For Volkswagen Group, sustainability means simultaneously striving for economic, social and environmental goals in a way that gives them equal priority. We want to create enduring value, provide good working conditions and a positive influence on human rights as well as handle the environment and resources with care.

Volkswagen’s business partners play an integral part in the success of the Group. This is why Volkswagen sets great store by close co-operation with its business partner and expects them to pursue sustainability as well, especially with regard to human rights, health and safety, environment and anti-corruption.

These expectations and requirements are set out in the Volkswagen Group requirements regarding sustainability in its relationships with business partners (Code of Conduct for business partners). They are obligatory for all suppliers. From 1st of July 2019 onwards, Volkswagen Group will check suppliers’ compliance with the requirements via the so-call Sustainability Rating (S-Rating). Awarding of suppliers is then not possible anymore without an S-Rating or with a negative S-Rating.

Information about the S-Rating

The Sustainability Rating (S-Rating) assesses our suppliers’ sustainability performance. The tools used for rating our suppliers are the Sustainability Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) as well as an on-site check in case a higher sustainability risk is identified. The rating is determined location-based.

In addition, selected suppliers are required to go through an in-depth anti-corruption assessment. In case you are not specifically contacted by Volkswagen Group, no action is required.

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Title Version/ Date Language
1.0 / 12.02.2020

Sustainability Requirements towards Business Partners

The sustainability requirements towards suppliers are specified in the Code of Conduct for Business Partners, which defines the Volkswagen Group’s expectations regarding the way business partners act in their corporate activities. The requirements are considered a basis for successful business relations between the Volkswagen Group and its partners. The Code of Conduct for Business Partners is contractually binding. Business partners are expected to request their suppliers to comply with these requirements.

Please find the Code of Conduct for Business Partners here:

Monitoring of Requirements

Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ)

Suppliers are required to complete a Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) on Sustainability, which covers the areas of human rights and working conditions, environment, business ethics, supplier management as well as the responsible sourcing of raw materials. The joint SAQ was developed by the members of the industry initiative Drive Sustainability , facilitated by CSR Europe. The SAQ is provided on the external platform by the service provider NQC Ltd.

Due to the standardized questionnaire used by several OEMs, suppliers can complete the SAQ once and voluntarily share their responses with different buyers. By this, we aim to reduce the workload for suppliers who do not need to complete several different sustainability questionnaires from different buyers.

Please note that we expect our suppliers to comply with minimum requirements set by the Volkswagen Group. Whether our suppliers meet our minimum requirements is checked with help of the SAQ. For further information regarding the minimum requirements, please see the document "Minimum requirements towards suppliers" below.

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Title Version/ Date Language
1.0 / 09.04.2019
1.1 / 07.02.2020
1.0 / 07.02.2020
1.0 / 13.03.2020

A step-by-step guidance is available here:

On-Site Check (Audit)

To ensure that our suppliers comply with the sustainability requirements outlined in the Code of Conduct for Business Partners, we examine selected partners with an On-Site Check. This check aims at evaluating our suppliers’ sustainability performance and at helping to improve it if gaps and nonconformities are identified. A positive sustainability performance is mandatory for the awarding of a supplier.

The On-Site Check is conducted by an independent external partner, which is an internationally experienced audit company. After an On-Site Check, our suppliers are informed about the result and a corrective action plan is developed if necessary.

Please note that the SAQ result is still relevant in the assessment of suppliers’ sustainability performances, even if an On-Site Check is conducted.

Qualification of suppliers

To get informed about the Volkswagen Group sustainability requirements, suppliers have the opportunity to complete an eLearning at .

Complete the eLearning Sustainability now!

(Login / registration necessary!)

Furthermore, Volkswagen Group offers face-to-face trainings on sustainability in different regions of the world. For additional information on supplier trainings, please contact us via

Additional information

Please find further information on how to set up a policy and about management systems that are required in the SAQ in the following documents:

Documents (2)

Title Version/ Date Language
1.0 / 07.02.2020
1.0 / 07.02.2020

In case of general questions regarding sustainability in suppliers relations, please contact us via

In case of questions related to the S-Rating, please contact us via