Statement on the study by Statement on the study by Brot für die Welt mining in South Africa and the responsibility of German companies mining in South Africa and the responsibility of German - PDF Document

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  1. Statement on the study by Statement on the study by Brot für die Welt mining in South Africa and the responsibility of German companies mining in South Africa and the responsibility of German companies Brot für die Welt concerning the appalling conditions in platinum concerning the appalling conditions in platinum We take information from external stakeholders regarding critical issues such as the study by Brot für die Welt seriously and believe it is valuable for promoting critical and constructive dialogue, and for continuing to improve conditions in the supply chain. For this reason we provided Brot für die Welt with feedback and information whilst they were compiling their study. Our activities surrounding the sustainable purchase of commodities Our activities surrounding the sustainable purchase of commodities We are aware of the difficulties in obtaining certain commodities and take comprehensive measures to extract commodities in a socially and environmentally compatible way. Since the Volkswagen Group has no direct business relations with mining companies, we have integrated corresponding sustainability requirements into contracts with our business partners, some 40,000 direct suppliers worldwide. In future, we will also subject all of our suppliers to a sustain- ability assessment before they are commissioned; there will be a sustainability rating. This also means that we will perform risk-based on-site checks where necessary to make sure our suppliers fulfil our sustainability requirements. Based on a combination of global production data and country-specific risk analysis, Volkswagen identifies social and ecological risks and risks related to human rights for the relevant commodi- ties. Furthermore, additional research is carried out on relevant sustainability topics, for example by way of press and Internet screening. In addition, Volkswagen and several other partners commissioned the management consultancy firm TwentyFifty Ltd in 2016 with an analysis under the umbrella of the Global Compact Network Germany (DGCN) regarding risks relating to human rights in mining commodities for selected future technologies. Moreover, through the industry initiative DRIVE Sustainability, Volkswagen and other car makers address the impact of commodity mining on human rights. The industry association launched an initiative in February 2017 to address commodities which entail sustainability risks. Its objective is to check compliance with sustainability standards in the pre-supply chain. A preliminary step will be to define critical commodities in the car industry, which are to be published in a study in June 2018. We systematically investigate any suspicious circumstances in which risks have been identified. In this regard, Volkswagen also revised its guideline on sustainable commodity purchasing in 2017 in which it describes its expectations of suppliers in potential cases of suspected human rights violations. SEITE 1 VON 2

  2. We are continuing our work on the implementation of the five steps of the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas, and are currently extending our strategic measures for our activities in the supply chain. Platinum mining in South Africa Platinum mining in South Africa We absolutely condemn the events of 16 August 2012. In our Code of Conduct for Business Part- ners, we require our direct business partners to promote compliance with sustainability require- ments, also regarding their suppliers. We implemented measures when the incidents came to light. We are in close and constant con- tact with our suppliers, who are instructed to inform us on the progress of implementing the agreed measures on-site. The measures implemented or agreed on included: – Multiple sustainability audits and an examination of the installed processes by independent external auditors in the mines, the focus being on labour standards and human rights, including action plans – Regular contact between Volkswagen/Group brands and suppliers, and also close contact and progress checks between Volkswagen suppliers and mining companies – Involvement of our suppliers in the International Platinum Association, with the aim of improv- ing the situation in the platinum belt in South Africa – Continued home building for the miners In addition, we visited South Africa ourselves on several occasions together with Volkswagen Group employees to take a look at the situation in the mining industry there (the last time was in August 2017) and the status of implementation, and also took part in a stakeholder dialogue with Lonmin and BASF on the “Quality of Life and Social Stability on the Western Limb of Platinum Belt”. Regardless of the activities in the commodity sector, Volkswagen’s strategy is to gain platinum group metals from recycling material, as far as this is possible, for its own use. To this end, Volkswagen operates its own treatment plant for exhaust systems and works with specialised recycling service providers. The recovered precious metals are directly reintroduced to the produc- tion process for new exhaust systems. This means that we can reduce our primary material re- quirements and make a considerable contribution to reducing CO2 emissions in the supply chain. We publish current information on our sustainability activities in the supply chain in the 2017 Sustainability Report, which can be found on our Volkswagen Group website. SEITE 2 VON 2