Becoming a role model for integrity and compliance is one of the key objectives of Volkswagen Group China as defined in our TOGETHER 2025+ strategy.
For us, integrity means acting out of conviction, with responsibility and steadfastness. Integrity serves as our moral compass for doing the right thing in gray areas, in the absence of explicit rules or in the event of conflicting objectives. Complying with our Group principles and the ethical values established therein and behaving correctly in accordance with the rules, regardless of economic and social pressure, is expected from all of our employees.
We firmly believe that only by a comprehensive and sustainable integration of integrity in our corporate culture, we will be able to strengthen the trust of the general public, our customers, staff, shareholders, business partners in our company.
Together4Integrity: Establishing processes and engaging with people
As a central part of achieving the goal of becoming a role model for integrity and compliance, Volkswagen Group has launched the Together4Integrity (T4I) program – one of the most extensive transformation programs in the history of the Group.
Through the implementation of the Together4Integrity (T4I) program, we want to continuously enhance our corporate governance on integrity and compliance. With T4I, integrity and compliance are given the same priority as other parameters such as economic targets, sales figures and product quality.
T4I is based on the five principles of the internationally recognized Ethics & Compliance Initiative (ECI), which relate to strategy, risk management, a culture of integrity, a speak-up environment and resolute accountability.
The program serves to implement processes and structures that create a regulatory framework for acting with integrity and in accordance with the law. Furthermore, T4I aims to engage with people, creating a corporate culture that enables them to work together as equals, inspiring creativity, allows diversity to flourish and encourages people to act in line with their values.
Through T4I, corporate governance at Volkswagen Group China will be geared towards integrity and compliance. This will provide a stable framework in which the whole workforce can act responsibly, with purpose and entrepreneurial spirit.
In the long term, a company can only be successful if it acts with integrity, complies with statutory provisions worldwide and stands by its voluntary undertakings and ethical principles, even when this is the harder choice. We are committed to this principle. Compliance must be second nature to all Group employees. This standard is also expected to be followed by our business partners. They are expected to act responsibly and to agree to comply with the requirements defined in the Code of Conduct for Business Partners.
The Volkswagen Group takes a preventive approach to compliance which heightens employee awareness and knowledge in order to prevent potential rule breaches before they happen. Compliance at Volkswagen Group China is practiced through activities whose overall aim is to ensure that all employees – including members of the Board of Management, Management and Tariff Personnel act in accordance with internal regulations and all legal requirements and prohibitions. Internal Audit and Security complete systematic compliance checks, conduct necessary investigations on a regular basis, perform spot checks in the absence of suspicion, and examine the circumstances in cases of alleged misconduct. Human Resources and Legal respond by applying the relevant measures. These processes are closely integrated to form a holistic compliance management system. However, we are aware that even the best compliance management system can never fully exclude the possibility of criminal action by individual employees.
Code of Conduct
The Code of Conduct is a common set of binding guidelines for all employees in the Volkswagen Group China. It helps in complying with existing rules and regulations and offers guidance, advice and support in everyday work situations and decision-making. The focus is on the responsibility of each individual employee to comply with the rules of ethical conduct.
The information contained in the Code of Conduct is divided into three main sections:
- Our responsibility as a member of society
- Our responsibility as a business partner
- Our responsibility in the workplace
Code of Conduct for Business Partners
The Code of Conduct for Business Partners makes clear which standards apply for business partners of the Volkswagen Group.