ESG: A culture of integrity and responsibility at Audi
You mentioned activities in the social and governance areas. What are you doing for ecological sustainability?
Klewitz: A lot, in fact. We gradually and continuously reduce CO2 in our supply chain. We require our partners to use green electricity, we close material cycles and increase the share of secondary materials in areas where they have a major impact, for example in aluminium. Specifically, following the Audi CO2 program in the supply chain, we were able to achieve a net reduction of over 480,000 metric tons of CO2 in 2021. This covers an entire year of carbon emissions from around 43,000 people living in Germany.1
Let’s be honest now. Is it possible to always act with integrity?
Neidlein: Sure, it’s uncomfortable to hold on, and sometimes that can mean giving up a personal advantage. Conflicting goals are the order of the day in large corporations. There is great skill in aligning one’s own behavior with the big picture, the overall good intention, and working together to achieve it. It requires the right mindset. This includes, for example, the willingness and responsibility to question and speak up when something is not working. At the same time, it is very important for me to learn from past mistakes. It’s the only way for a company and its culture to continue to grow, and it’s ultimately reflected in the ratings. ESG pays off for everyone.
Klewitz: For me personally, having a stable and healthy inner compass of values is crucial. I want to feel comfortable with my decisions. It is also essential for my work in the field of sustainability. This area brings together many expectations and requirements – from regulators to the public, NGOs and customers to our own employees. They all want us at Audi to act transparently, responsibly and credibly.