Audi experience in culture and sport
Audi has been sponsoring cultural activities for more than 50 years. The Audi Wind Philharmonic, a plant orchestra that arose from an employee initiative, was the starting point for Audi’s cultural involvement. Under the heading Audi ArtExperience, the company now brings together a diverse cultural program that ranges from cooperation with world-famous cultural institutions to Audi’s own events in der region and valuable projects for young artists. In addition to the involvement with the Salzburg Festival and the Bavarian State Paintings Collection, the Audi Summer Concerts in the Ingolstadt region and the Audi Youth Choral Academy provide genuine experience of the arts and culture.
At a regional level, Audi is active as a dependable sport sponsor. For more than a decade now, the brand has been a partner of the ice-hockey club ERC Ingolstadt. And Audi has a longstanding partnership with the soccer players of FC Ingolstadt 04, who wear the Four Rings on their shirts: The home games of the second-division team are played in the Audi Sportpark. In connection with FC Ingolstadt 04, Audi places particular importance on encouraging young and promising players, which is already outstandingly implemented by the Audi Schanzer Soccer School and the new youth training center. In addition to these two clubs and longstanding partnership with the MTV athletics department, Audi also supports various sports events that are either held as Bavarian Championships or attract large numbers of participants and spectators. These are for example the Ingolstadt Half Marathon and the Ingolstadt Triathlon, the Hagau Equestrian Event, the Ice Gala and the Night of Sport.
Responsibility in the region
Living up to one’s responsibility is firmly anchored as a principle of Audi’s strategy. In addition to working on CO2-neutral mobility and production, Audi is active for society – especially in the areas of education, technology and disaster aid. As the biggest employer in the Ingolstadt region, Audi aims to enhance the quality of life here and therefore regularly collaborates with representatives of the city of Ingolstadt, local companies, associations and educational and social institutions. Helping is a matter of honor for Audi. Many Audi employees work on an honorary basis for charitable institutions in their free time. The company aims to recognize this involvement with the “Audi a matter of honor” initiative, while encouraging and supporting other employees to act for a good cause. At the Audi Volunteer Days, interested persons can get to know an honorary activity for one day – 460 employees were involved in 54 charitable projects in the entire region in 2014. Employees who want to be active in this way beyond the Volunteer Days can look for a suitable honorary position on the mediation platform “Audi a matter of honor online.” This platform brings together Audi employees with charitable institutions from the region that have projects for which helpers are needed. Interested persons can then look for suitable activities in areas such as education and care, manual work, emergency work, sport and nature, or they can enter into dialog with similarly minded people. In addition, Audi departments are regularly active in the context of teamwork in social institutions.
Audi employees take on social responsibility for the region also with the annual Christmas donation. For 38 years now, the Works Council has appealed every year to the workforce to make a Christmas donation. About 99 percent of Audi’s employees responded to this appeal in 2014 and together with the company donated a total of €910,000. With this money, support was provided to 120 projects of charitable and social institutions in Ingolstadt and the surrounding rural districts. Furthermore, the Works Council organizes a social Christmas market at Audi Forum Ingolstadt, where different regional and international charitable institutions have stands each year. In the context of the “Wish-Tree Action,” Audi employees can give Christmas presents to socially disadvantaged children: In 2014, 184 children’s wishes were fulfilled in this way in Ingolstadt.
Audi maintains intensive contacts with many universities. The science cooperations create ideal conditions for innovative solutions. Direct communication accelerates the knowledge transfer between research and industry. At present, Audi is cooperating worldwide with 31 scientific institutions. In 2014, the Technical University of Dresden was included in the cooperation network and AUDI AG endowed a professorship for operations management and process innovation at the German Graduate School of Management and Law (GGS) in Heilbronn. Audi also provides support to young academics: More than 140 doctoral students are currently carrying out research on science projects financed by Audi. But Audi’s science cooperations do not only focus on research. Under the motto of “University to touch and feel,” the “Audi Colloquium” series of lectures promotes an accessible form of knowledge transfer for the interested public. More than 2,100 people attended the specialist lectures in 2014. Audi also cooperates with the schools in the region in order to support practical ways of learning.
Right from the start, the company was active as a partner in the “School-Business Workgroup” and plays an active part in this network. Experts from Audi organize conferences and seminars for teachers and students and offer guided tours of the plant and internships. In addition, Audi supports young people who are willing to work but have not found an apprenticeship with programs for starter qualifications, thus improving their job opportunities. Audi is also a founding member of the association supporting the Swiss International School in Ingolstadt, which offers multilingual teaching from kindergarten as far as the “Abitur” (university entrance exam) and allows an internationally recognized education. And starting with school year 2014/2015, Audi also supports Germany’s first public “profile school” in Ingolstadt. This model project aims to ease the way to the “Abitur” for committed and gifted children as well as young people with difficult starting conditions.
The Ingolstadt region should become Germany’s strongest location for business. That’s the goal of the association Initiative Regional Management Ingolstadt Region. Audi is one of the founders of this initiative, whose members are companies, the city of Ingolstadt, the urban districts of Eichstatt, Neuburg-Schrobenhausen and Pfaffenhofen, and several small municipalities. They all share one objective: Together, they want to promote the region “IngolStadtLandPlus” – as a location for business, as a great place to live, and as a home.
Since 2012, AUDI AG has been cooperating with the Ingolstadt Transport Company, which is expanding the bus network in the region. New routes have been created, bus departure times have been adjusted to the needs of Audi’s employees, and new bus stops have been created. These changes benefit not only the Audi workforce, but all of the people who live in the region. For Audi’s employees, there is a reduced-price “job ticket,” and more than 6,500 of them have been sold since it was introduced in 2012. The company is continually expanding its mobility services for employees: For their journey to work, a discount on the “job ticket” of Deutsche Bahn (German Railways) has been available since 2014. These measures also help to improve the traffic situation and the environment at and around the site.