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Case study: How Audi promotes occupational health and safety

As one of the leading car manufacturers worldwide, with production operations in 12 countries and more than 77,000 employees, Audi tries to be an attractive employer as employees, with their commitment, ideas and skills, are a key success factor for the company, in the face of global competition. As a consequence, promoting occupational health and safety is a top priority for Audi  Tweet This!.

This case study is based on the 2014 Corporate Responsibility Report by Audi published on the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Disclosure Database that can be found at this link. Through all case studies we aim to demonstrate that CSR/ sustainability reporting done responsibly is achieved by identifying a company’s most important impacts on the environment and stakeholders and by measuring, managing and changing. 

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With occupational health and safety as a key consideration regarding its more than 77,000 employees, Audi tries to not only protect employees from work-related risks, implementing measures to prevent accidents, but also to safeguard employees’ health and wellbeing. In order to promote occupational health and safety Audi took action to:

  • design workplaces according to ergonomic standards
  • raise employee awareness of occupational health and safety
  • maintain and improve employees’ health through the Audi Check-up
  • safeguard employees’ mental health

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2014 Corporate Responsibility Report Audi identified a range of material issues, such as economic stability, customer orientation, vehicle safety, corporate governance and compliance, environmental and social standards in the supply chain. Among these, promoting occupational health and safety stands out as a key material issue for Audi.

Stakeholder engagement in accordance with the GRI Standards

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) defines the Principle of Stakeholder Inclusiveness when identifying material issues (or a company’s most important impacts) as follows:

“The organization should identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations.”

Stakeholders must be consulted in the process of identifying a company’s most important impacts and their reasonable expectations and interests must be taken into account. This is an important cornerstone for CSR / sustainability reporting done responsibly.

Key stakeholder groups Audi engages with:   

Stakeholder Group
Customers
Employees
Representatives from government agencies, unions, politics and associations, neighbors and communities at Audi sites
Charitable organizations from the spheres of education and culture, society, social affairs, environment and science
Media representatives and CR experts
Business partners and investors

How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues

To identify and prioritize material topics, Audi conducted a stakeholder survey in 2012, also collecting data regarding the relevance of various topics for stakeholders during 2013 and 2014. Additionally, in 2013, 1,500 Audi employees were asked to assess the importance of Audi’s sustainability topics and, in 2014, Audi management representatives in Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Italy and Mexico were interviewed, to compare their viewpoints with findings already obtained.

What actions were taken by Audi to promote occupational health and safety?

In its 2014 Corporate Responsibility Report Audi reports that it took the following actions for promoting occupational health and safety:

  • Designing workplaces according to ergonomic standards
  • Audi makes sure workplaces are age-appropriate, healthy and designed according to modern, ergonomic standards, having set ergonomics as a binding standard and a strategic goal in Technical Development.
  • Raising employee awareness of occupational health and safety
  • In 2013, Audi introduced the prevention award, to recognize employees’ commitment to workplace safety, a well-designed workplace and the protection of employees’ health, replacing, with this award, the industrial safety award that was established 30 years ago.
  • Maintaining and improving employees’ health through the Audi Check-up
  • Audi implements, for its workforce, the Audi Check-up prevention program, using modern medical equipment and medical consultations to promptly detect and reduce health risks. Approximately 90% of Audi employees participate in the program and, since 2006, 70,000 Audi Check-ups have taken place.
  • Safeguarding employees’ mental health
  • Audi offers psychosocial counseling to employees and, also, runs seminars for HR officers, company doctors and managers to help staff recognize and manage possible psychological problems faced by employees.

Which GRI indicators/Standards have been addressed?

The GRI indicators/Standards addressed in this case are:

1) G4-LA6: Type of injury and rates of injury, occupational diseases, lost days, and absenteeism, and total number of work-related fatalities, by region and by gender – the updated GRI Standard is: Disclosure 403-2 Types of injury and rates of injury, occupational diseases, lost days, and absenteeism, and number of work-related fatalities

2) G4-LA7: Workers with high incidence or high risk of diseases related to their occupation – the updated GRI Standard is: Disclosure 403-3 Workers with high incidence or high risk of diseases related to their occupation

 

References:

1) This case study is based on published information by Audi, located at the link below. For the sake of readability, we did not use brackets or ellipses. However, we made sure that the extra or missing words did not change the report’s meaning. If you would like to quote these written sources from the original, please revert to the original on the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Disclosure Database at the link:

http://database.globalreporting.org/

2) http://www.fbrh.co.uk/en/global-reporting-initiative-gri-g4-guidelines-download-page

3) https://g4.globalreporting.org/Pages/default.aspx

4) https://www.globalreporting.org/standards/gri-standards-download-center/

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