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Company Response

15 Dec 2020

Kommentar von Volkswagen

At Volkswagen, we are working continuously on improving the transparency and sustainability in our supply chains. We want to know the origin of the raw materials that our suppliers and we process. However, the multitude of raw materials, compounds and primary materials would go beyond the scope of a sustainability report. Such a report must remain comprehensible to the public.

In addition to the sustainability report, we communicate further measures, for example through press releases on our membership of "Cobalt for Development", on our activities regarding work in the upstream supply chain or Porsche's membership of the "Responsible Mica Initiative".

In order to be able to identify risks to human rights and the environment at an early stage, we set up a Raw Material Due Diligence Management System in 2020. In this system, we prioritise those raw material chains that we consider to be particularly risky. They are monitored accordingly. We are currently focusing on 16 raw materials. Our Due Diligence Management System builds upon the rules of the OECD. More precisely: we are compliant with the "OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas".

Volkswagen is also in favour of a supply chain law. We would prefer an EU-wide regulation that obliges companies and their suppliers to respect human rights. As long as this EU-wide regulation does not exist, we believe that a national law that makes human rights due diligence obligations binding would be a good idea, too. This regulation must provide individual companies with a clear legal framework and, within this framework, sufficient scope for practical implementation.

Such a law must have the broadest possible scope. The more companies are directly obliged, the more effective the law is. In general, the approach should be: The closer the business relationship with the supplier and the greater the scope of influence, the greater the company's responsibility. This is the only way to really succeed in effectively penetrating the entire supply chain.

We take criticism and suggestions for improvement from NGOs seriously. This also applies to the Inkota report. We are happy to examine how we can present our measures more comprehensively in the future.

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