Occupational Safety and Health and Volkswagen

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Global Compact Case Study Final Version 20 April 2007

Better Health and Safety for Suppliers
A partnership project between VOLKSWAGEN, ILO & GTZ

Maria Kristjansdottir Reykjavik University, School of Law mariak02@ru.is Tel: + 354 699 0482



Better Health and Safety for Suppliers Case Abstract This case study focuses on the “Better Health and Safety for Suppliers” project and how Volkswagen AG seeks to strengthen their policy in Health Protection, Promotion and Occupational Safety by promoting social protection, improving safety and health standards and strengthening labour inspection. The project is a partnership project between Volkswagen, the International Labour Organization and the German Corporation for Technical Cooperation. The project entails first facilitating the participation of selected Volkswagen suppliers in Brazil, Mexico and South Africa in audits with respect to Occupational Safety and Health in their workplace. Based on the findings of these initial audits, several recommendations are given and used to generate a checklist for a second review (conducted up to 6 months after the initial audit). A report is then created which documents the audit findings, including any improvements that have taken place at such supplier. When all the suppliers have been assessed, best practices and solutions found across all project countries will be developed and collected into an online network. This network will provide the necessary information on health and safety for the countries and enterprises involved. The ultimate goal of the project is the development of an international guideline for Occupational Safety and Health and supply chain management. The aim is to provide expert knowledge by developing an information and consultation network. The network can be accessed by those who require advice on problems regarding Occupational Safety and Health and will provide information about best practices and lessons learned. The project was launched in June 2004 and will be concluded in mid-2008. This case study is written in the beginning of 2007 and takes into account the status of the project at that point of time. The case study looks into what actions have been taken so far, how have they worked, lessons learned and next steps. Company Profile The Volkswagen Group (VOLKSWAGEN) is one of the world’s leading automobile manufacturers and the largest carmaker in Europe. The company was founded in 1937 and its headquarters are in Wolfsburg, Germany. VOLKSWAGEN develops, manufactures and markets automobiles and services throughout the world in order to provide its customers with attractive solutions for individual 2 LO\346635.2 502445-0000

mobility. VOLKSWAGEN includes VOLKSWAGEN Passenger Cars, VOLKSWAGEN Commercial Vehicles, Audi, SEAT, Skoda, Bentley, Bugatti and Lamborghini. Each brand retains its own identity and operates independently in the marketplace.1 In the first nine months of 2006, VOLKSWAGEN reached a record breaking sales performance of 4.264 million vehicles delivered to customers, compared to 3.866 million vehicles in the same time period for 2005. These numbers correspond to a 9,5% share of the world passenger car market. Split geographically, VOLKSWAGEN has 19,6% of the passenger car market in Western Europe, 11,7% in Central and Eastern Europe, 2,8% in North America, 18,7% in South America and South Africa, 6,3% in AsiaPacific and 11,2% in remaining markets. During the same period, VOLKSWAGEN generated sales revenue of €77 billion and profits after tax of €1,2 billion. 6,4% of this sales revenue is in Asia-Pacific, 8,5% is in South America and South Africa, 13,8% is in North America and 71,4% is in Europe and remaining markets. At September 30, 2006, the number of people employed by VOLKSWAGEN was 329.075. 52% of these employees worked at VOLKSWAGEN companies in Germany and 48% at VOLKSWAGEN companies abroad.2 Volkswagen AG is the parent company of the Volkswagen...
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