Audi Stakeholder Forum 2012
The Audi Stakeholder Forum 2012, held in Ingolstadt, provided a platform for in-house experts to discuss corporate responsibility with all relevant stakeholders. The participants considered aspects of sustainability in four different workshops, with a common focus on the changing shape of mobility. Over 60 guests from international companies, environmental protection and aid organizations, associations and academic institutes took part in the discussion.
In his keynote speech, Audi Board Member for Human Resources Thomas Sigi stressed: “Companies are a significant component of society. We have the opportunity and the obligation to improve the quality of life in our society. In all important decisions we strive for a balance between social responsibility, ecology and economics. We do this through an open dialogue with society, our employees and our stakeholders.”
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Peter F. Tropschuh, Head of Audi Sustainability, provided detailed insight into Audi’s sustainability strategy during the forum. He explained how assuming responsibility has long been part of Audi’s self-perception. “Audi believes there is no inherent contradiction between economic stability, sporty mobility and responsibility,” emphasized Tropschuh. Its focus is on gradually accomplishing the shift in production and mobility towards CO2 neutrality, he said.
Audi had already sounded out the socially relevant groups regarding their expectations in an online survey and through expert interviews conducted before the event. Among the important findings were that the stakeholders viewed employee responsibility particularly positively at Audi, and rated the product as the top priority. The participants discussed the results and conclusions of the survey with Audi experts Dr. Dagobert Achatz, Head of Environmental Protection in Ingolstadt, Stefanie Ulrich, Head of HR for the Neckarsulm site, Johann Gessler, Head of Powertrain Testing, and Prof. Dr.-Ing. Peter F. Tropschuh.
In the eyes of the stakeholders, carmakers should concern themselves with four issues in particular. The first of these was the changing shape of mobility. This involves finding out how a holistic technological concept for alternative energy sources and electric mobility might look, and where the limits of an automotive manufacturer lie. Regarding environmental protection at the sites, the central issue was whether water and CO2 are the principal ecological challenges in all regions. Other aspects included how the Company can inspire its employees to take up the cause of environmental protection and whether protecting biodiversity is among its tasks.
The third subject area concerned the role of social commitment in the employer-workforce relationship. The issue at stake is how to motivate employees to make use of preventive health care opportunities and how volunteering can be promoted. A further issue: What opportunities do employees have to use their specialized skills to benefit society?
The focus within the subject area of transparency and reporting was on the question of what role a major industrial enterprise must assume in society. Participants also discussed what it is reasonable to expect of a corporate responsibility report and what channels of communication are appropriate for stakeholders.