Corporate Governance

Corporate governance at ŠKODA AUTO


Corporate governance is a system to manage and supervise the company. It defines how rights and duties are distributed among company stakeholders, including shareholders, executive management, governing bodies, employees, and customers. The corporate governance system is a set of legal and executive methods and procedures committing us to maintain a balanced relationship between the company and its workforce.

The aim is to engage in responsible, qualified, and transparent business management focused on the company’s long-term success and the protection of stakeholder interests.

The ŠKODA AUTO Group attaches great store by the fact that it is perceived as a successful, transparent and open company by employees, business partners, all customers and the public at large.

Since 2007, the ŠKODA AUTO Group has subscribed to relevant recommendations and rules set out in the Corporate Governance Code Based on OECD Principles (the “Code”). By continuously improving its internal processes and rules in accordance with the Code, we wish to fuel support for transparency and ethical behaviour in business practices in the Czech Republic.

At the same time, corporate policy rests on principles enshrined in the “Code of Conduct at ŠKODA AUTO Group”. The Code of Conduct in place is based on the application of generally accepted social values.

Integrity


We believe that only with lasting, dependable integrity and compliant behaviour will our Company gain and strengthen the trust of its staff, customers, shareholders, business partners and the general public. Our aim is to become a role model when it comes to integrity and compliance. This way, we want to strengthen trust and to maintain integrity of our company in the future.

Acting with integrity is an essential part of our Group strategy TOGETHER 2025+ and is thus on par with the quality of our products, our financial KPIs and the satisfaction of our customers. By implementing our ambitious Integrity program and the Group Essentials, which provide orientation for the daily value-oriented actions of all employees, we are ready to face future challenges.

The key initiative “integrity program” is also a part of the Together4Integrity Program. It has the goal of increasing understanding of integrity and its importance as a basis of doing business among all the Volkswagen Group’s employees and managers and of creating a culture in which acting with integrity is not only consistently possible, but also seen as a matter of course. It is associated with encouraging the constructive handling of mistakes, increasing the transparency of reasons for decisions and strengthening courage to also address potential risks and issues with managers.

Integrity is a core element of professional conduct for us and this is the only thing we aim for: to do the right thing in a given situation.

As the basis for running our business, integrity must affect all levels. This means integrity is an obligatory criterion for all the Board of Management’s decisions: every submission to the Board of Management must include an opinion by the responsible company´s department on the way in which the intended decision support the Group’s integrity and compliance or whether/ what potential integrity or compliance risks are associated with it and how they can be lessened.

You will find further information regarding the topic Integrity at VW Group under the following link: https://www.volkswagenag.com/en/sustainability/integrity.html

Compliance


ŠKODA AUTO a.s. as a company and the ŠKODA AUTO Group as a whole are rigorous in their duty of adherence to legislation, internal regulations, ethical principles and other voluntary commitments. Compliance reaches beyond business relations to embrace activities both within and outside the group. This is the ŠKODA AUTO Group’s way of signalling loudly and clearly that its conduct will echo the requirements of legal and ethical rules on competition, finances and taxes, environmental protection and employee relations, including the safeguarding of equal opportunities.

ŠKODA AUTO a.s. has a Governance, Risk & Compliance Department to oversee the pursuit of these values. This department’s work includes the provision of consulting on all compliance-related issues and the implementation of appropriate measures to raise awareness of the intrinsic value of compliance among the workforce and 3rd parties. For the purposes of the above-mentioned consultancy serves at ŠKODA AUTO an e-mail address compliance@skoda-auto.cz.

The ŠKODA AUTO Group staunchly believes that economic success is sustainable only if everyone sticks to the rules. Voluntary standards – consisting of statutory and internal requirements, obligations stemming from the commitments that have been made, and ethical principles – are a company mainstay and form the bedrock of its decision-making. Compliance activities provide a means to implement strategy formulated by the Volkswagen Group and are part of global compliance efforts.

Code of Conduct

The Code of Conduct sums up fundamental principles underlying the conduct of ŠKODA AUTO Group employees and is instrumental in responding to legal and ethical challenges.

The ŠKODA Group’s reputation is a core value relying on the resolve shown by employees around the world to act in keeping with our Code of Conduct and all laws. The “Code of Conduct at ŠKODA AUTO Group” has become part and parcel of our corporate culture.

Download the Code of Conduct for further information:
ENGLISH
CZECH
GERMAN

Whistleblower system


Complying with statutory regulations and internal rules has top priority at WV Group and its companies. The Whistleblower system offers a discreet and reliable opportunity to report the violation of applicable laws or internal regulations at the company especially to its employees, but also to the business partners and other persons who has a concrete suspicion of such behaviour. The Whistleblower System acts according to the principles of protection, fairness, trust. These principles apply equally to whistleblowers and those affected. The aim of the Whistleblower System is primarily to avoid possible damages that might affect our company, our employees and business partners in case of regulatory violations.

Handling of the reports at the company follows the below listed principles:

  • The whistleblower can submit the report at any time and in any language.
  • The whistleblower can choose from various options for submitting the report (see below).
  • The whistleblower can submit the report anonymously or give his/her name.
  • Strict confidentiality is maintained throughout the entire process of report handling („need to know“ principle).
  • An investigation will be initiated only after the facts stated in the hint are taken into account and the reasonable suspicion of a rule violation is carefully assessed.
  • Reports are investigated fairly, quickly, and in a sensitive manner.
  • The person, who submits the report, has the right of the protection of the whistleblower on the part of the company according to the relevant internal guideline.
  • Affected persons are treated fairly and presumed innocent as long as a rule violation is not confirmed.
  • A Serious Regulatory Violation is an action that significantly affects the interests of the Volkswagen Group or one of its companies, in particular interests of reputation or financial interests, or that significantly violate the ethical values of the Volkswagen Group.
  • Management employees are obliged to report any suspicion of a Serious Regulatory Violation immediately to the relevant offices.
  • The abuse of the Whistleblower System will not be tolerated and is considered as a Serious Regulatory Violation.

The following options are available to the whistleblowers for submitting their reports (at any time and in any language):

  • Personally to Central Investigation Office Volkswagen*
    Central Investigation Office (K-ICW)
    Porschestraße 1, 384 40 Wolfsburg (centrum)
  • By post
    Central Investigation Office
    Box 1717
    38436 Wolfsburg (downtown), Germany
  • By telephone
    toll-free number +800 444 46300 (availability 24x7 incl. the possibility to communicate in Czech)**
    If your local telephone provider does not support the toll-free service, you can call the following chargeable number +49 5361 946300 (not a toll-free number).
  • By contacting the Ombudspersons (external lawyers)
    • The Ombudspersons are external neutral lawyers appointed by the Volkswagen Group and are available to the whistleblowers for accepting the concerns.
    • The services of Ombudspersons are available in different languages incl. Czech.
    • The Ombudsman as a lawyer is the subject to the duty of confidentiality and therefore hands over only the information, which the whistleblower wants to hand over to the Central Investigation Office.
    • The identity of a whistleblower is handed over by the Ombudsman only if the reporter explicitly requests so. The Ombudsman never investigates the reports by himself, he only examines the reports with respect to their legitimacy and credibility.
    • You will find the contact details of the Ombudspersons on the following websites:
      English: https://www.ombudsmen-of-volkswagen.com
      German: https://www.ombudsleute-der-volkswagen-ag.de

You will find further information regarding the Central Whistleblower System at VW Group: https://www.volkswagenag.com/en/group/compliance-and-risk-management/whistleblowersystem.html

*) In such case please write to e-mail address io@volkswagen.de in advance in order to arrange a meeting.

**) If there occur technical problems with the availability of the hotline, please use the other listed reporting channels to report your concern to the Investigation Office.

Risk Management


The ŠKODA AUTO Group’s risk management structure is built on a common principle of risk management within the Volkswagen Group complying with German legislative requirements. Risk management, as an operational component of the corporate process, must pinpoint individual risks down to the last detail, assess how great they are, take action to eliminate them, and document how effective the response has been.

The ŠKODA AUTO Group’s global operations on automotive markets throw up numerous risks that could dent its financial performance and business success. At the same time, economic and regulatory changes can offer opportunities that the group then strives to seize so that it is able to consolidate and build on its competitive position.