Audi assumes responsibility – far beyond the confines of the company. This extensive commitment benefits the regions around its locations thanks to cultural and social projects. The company also supports educational programs, and networks with communities, schools and universities.
Social commitment is taken for granted at Audi. With the “Audi Volunteers”” program, the company accepts social responsibility in those regions where its sites are located. Audi helps employees to be actively involved in volunteer efforts. Whole departments get involved in social-welfare institutions through “team actions,” for instance. During the Volunteer Days in Ingolstadt, Neckarsulm and Győr, Audi employees combine their skills with a commitment to helping others. An online platform on the intranet helps match volunteers with activities.
A great deal of emphasis is also placed on social commitment at Audi’s international sites. In San José Chiapa in Mexico, for example, a youth orchestra for children and young people from the region was set up.
In 2015, Audi provided emergency funding to the tune of one million euros for refugee projects. The money from the corporate donation is being invested in local aid projects at the Audi production locations in Ingolstadt, Neckarsulm, Brussels and Győr. Whereas emergency aid was initially the focus, the company is now concentrating on promoting integration projects. In this way, Audi, in cooperation with the City of Ingolstadt, the Ingolstadt Adult Education Center and the Vocational College in Ingolstadt, is supporting two classes for integrating refugees and teaching them job and cultural skills. This pilot project helps young refugees learn German and find a job. The project aims to enable young people to undertake an apprenticeship at companies in the region. One of the two classes is made up entirely of women. Here, female refugees are given the opportunity to learn in a safe environment, with training geared to their specific needs.
At its location in Brussels in the Forêt/Forest community too, Audi, in cooperation with the European Pour la solidarité (PLS) think & do tank, has designed a comprehensive refugee aid project: Various refugee requirements were identified and the existing nonprofit organizations which are able to cover these needs received financial support.
A model project for gifted children and young people who have had a difficult start in life was set up in Ingolstadt in 2014. Under the motto “No talent wasted,” Audi in cooperation with the Bavarian state government, the City of Ingolstadt and the Roland Berger Foundation is helping disadvantaged schoolchildren obtain a high school diploma. Another social project aimed at training disadvantaged young people is the “Café Vergissmeinnicht”: Disadvantaged young people work in the café on the Audi Technical Development site in Ingolstadt in the course of their training. The model for this project came from the eponymous organization on the island of Mainau in Lake Constance, found by the social worker Sandra Countess of Bernadotte in 2010.
Audi cooperates with universities and research institutes to push forward innovations, promote knowledge transfer, support young talent, embrace corporate responsibility and to make its locations more attractive. Audi works with a wealth of national and international institutions while investing not only in technical partnerships, but also in cooperation with the humanities, social sciences and business sciences. The topics are wide-ranging and the forms of cooperation vary. In research projects young scientists tackle topics relevant to Audi, promoting knowledge transfer between industry and science in the process. This knowledge sharing is enhanced through lectures from academics that present their research at Audi. The series of public lectures “Wissenschaft im Dialog” specifically extends the academic offering at the Audi Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm sites and provides insights into topical social and scientific issues where Audi also accepts social responsibility. In addition, Audi employees lecture at universities, thus providing students with insights into business practice. Endowed professorships are one particular form of cooperation: Audi sponsors professorships and helps extend research and teaching in new areas through this commitment, while also making a contribution to society.
In projects such as the “Audi Autonomous Driving Cup,” where miniature-format Audi models programed by students tackle a challenging handling course using automated functions, Audi employees are looking to engage directly with university teams and work together on innovative solutions. Interesting opportunities emerge for students as part of these projects, enabling them to make initial contact with Audi as a prospective employer. The company offers students internships, graduate thesis openings and attractive access schemes for graduates.
The goal is to help protect nature and the environment as well as supporting science and research. The primary areas supported by the foundation with equity capital of five million euros are the conservation of natural resources required for human, animal and plant life; promotion of scientific work that contributes to a sustainable system for humans and the environment; promotion of the development of environmentally compatible technologies; and the support of measures and activities for environmental education.