Sustainable supply

Sustainability throughout the production process, integral to the Audi philosophy.

Working with suppliers equally committed to efficiency and sustainability is all part of Audi’s overarching philosophy and is an important step in producing true efficiencies into the future.

7 January, 2019

Real world performance and luxury with zero emissions is a reality

Due to arrive in Australia later this year, the Audi e-tron represents the brand’s first series production, all-electric vehicle. With its range of more than 400km and ability to fast charge as well as an innovative energy recuperation system, the Audi e-tron is an obvious example not only of the brand’s leading-edge technology, but its commitment to cleaner, sustainable future.

Real world performance and luxury with zero emissions is a reality, but it is as important to Audi that every step of the production process should likewise be as environmentally friendly as the end product. 

That the Audi e-tron is produced in Audi’s Brussels plant – a fully certified ‘green’ CO2-neutral facility – is a given, bit it is also important to the whole process that the brand’s key suppliers are likewise invested in working to the same high environmental standards.

With this aim in mind, the company has developed a sustainability rating with the aim of protecting the environment and safeguarding social standards. Since April 2017, Audi has audited more than 600 partners at their production sites to ensure that they meet with acceptable standards. At present, there is a particular focus on those suppliers that have been commissioned to supply components for the Audi e-tron and from 2019, the sustainability rating will be a decisive factor in awarding contracts to suppliers.

The rating makes sustainability just as important a selection criterion as costs, quality, technological expertise and innovativeness. 

“This shows how much importance we place on a sustainable supply chain at Audi,” says Dr Bernd Martens, Member of the Audi Board of Management responsible for Procurement and IT. “We are convinced that corporate responsibility is a decisive success factor and we only want to work with partners who think and act in the same way.”

For the rating, Audi considers far more than certificates and self-disclosure. The company also makes its own assessment at suppliers’ premises. Audi checks a total of 12 sustainability criteria from the environmental and social sectors. 

“We do not rely on random checks. We deliberately take the time to determine a sustainability rating for each individual supplier,” said Martens.

The current focus is on suppliers of components for the Audi e-tron, and the company is also paying special attention to sustainable value added. If a partner does not meet the sustainability requirements, it must make improvements within a certain period of time. In this way, Audi supports its suppliers in making the processes at their locations more sustainable.

Audi has already rated a total of more than 600 suppliers of components for various Audi models and a further 400 will be added by the end of the year.

Audi checks a total of 12 sustainability criteria from the environmental and social sectors