Digitalization, sustainability and urbanization define our lives. Everything is connected. Many things have become faster and simpler, many have become more complex, and some have become more complicated. It is important to be mindful in the handling of resources as well as of one’s own time. More and more people are looking for solutions that are efficient as well as sustainable, that make their daily lives easier, and that provide room for what is truly important.
As a premium manufacturer, our aim is to formulate attractive individual products and services that meet the needs of our customers. At the same time, our social responsibilities include doing our part to meet the pressing challenges of today and tomorrow. Scarcity of resources and climate change, safety and social justice are issues that concern us.
We take worldwide social and political requirements into account in our corporate strategy Audi Vorsprung. We are transforming into a provider of sustainable, individual premium mobility. We remain true to our DNA: Vorsprung is our promise. We fulfill this promise with our products, mobility offerings and services.
To us, sustainability means future viability. As a result, we are consistently advancing the development of alternative drive concepts. By 2020, we will have three electric models in our product lineup. Starting in 2021, we will successively electrify our core product lines. And we are confident enough to predict that by the middle of the next decade, one out of every three cars Audi delivers will be partially or fully electrically driven.
We are continuously advancing the development of charging technologies and charging infrastructure. In 2016, the Volkswagen Group with the brands Audi and Porsche as well as other automotive manufacturers signed a declaration of intent in order to establish fast charging stations on Europe’s most important transport routes.
We are shaping the future of mobility holistically. For instance, we are investing in alternative fuels like Audi e-gas, e-gasoline or e-diesel, which will make climate-neutral driving possible in the future. The next major phase of our drive system roadmap is hydrogen as an energy source.
Sustainability doesn’t stop at the factory gates - quite the contrary. Our sites are the cornerstones of change within our company. We are systematically reducing the environmental impacts of our production. In addition, we have calculated and certified the carbon footprint for the entire life cycle of our automobiles. We are working on material cycles that leave no room for waste. We plan, for instance, for the energy supply for our plant in Brussels to be carbon-neutral – which for us is a natural basic condition for the production site of the first electric model from Audi.
We are also working to ensure that each stage of the value chain offers added social value. For example, Audi suppliers must fulfill twelve sustainability criteria. These include protecting the environment, human rights and working conditions, among others.
Our view of sustainability stretches from product and product-related environmental aspects to social issues. We have for many years been supporting social projects at our worldwide sites that help employees and people in our communities.
The future of Audi is created from our present. This also continues to be largely shaped by the diesel issue. We are serious in our promise to learn from the insights gained over the past year and a half. These have left deep impressions on us and have caused us to scrutinize many things internally. This has resulted in improved processes, reallocated responsibilities and adjustments to our organization. We have, for instance, begun establishing a new and expanded compliance structure with new reporting and control systems. With this, we are strengthening the position of the Chief Compliance Officer. In addition to Compliance/Integrity, he is now also responsible for Risk Management and for a central Project Management Office, which in particular attends to the requirements of the U.S. Department of Justice. For this, he will provide the external monitor assigned to Volkswagen AG with all the information required to gain an understanding of the measures. In the Technical Development division, we have now strictly separated product development from the homologation and approval process.
We are fully committed to our responsibility and are doing our part to ensure all open questions are completely and conclusively answered. Our stakeholders can depend on our cooperation – just as customers and fans of the Four Rings can depend on exciting products and services for their own, personal future mobility.