Audi experience in culture and sport
Audihas 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. The Audi Festival had its 25th anniversary in 2015.
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, the German ice-hockey champions in 2014. And Audi has a longstanding partnership as main sponsor with the soccer players of FC Ingolstadt 04, who have been in the First Bundesliga since the 2015/2016 season. The home games of the Bundesliga team are played in the Audi Sportpark. In connection with both FC Ingolstadt 04 and ERC Ingolstadt, Audi places particular importance on encouraging young and promising players: For example, since the Audi Schanzer Soccer School was founded in 2009, more than 20,000 children have attended its holiday camps. And 23 young talented players of FC Ingolstadt 04 and ERC Ingolstadt attend the Audi Sport Academy, which is a boarding school especially for sporty children.
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 in Ingolstadt, Neckarsulm and Győr, interested persons can get to know an honorary activity for one day – about 350 employees were involved in the Ingolstadt region in 2015. Some 100 Ingolstadt Audi employees took part in the “Giving Autumn Time” campaign for senior citizens in the fall of 2015. Those who would like to be involved during the year besides the days of action can look for a suitable voluntary position on “Audi mynet,” the company’s intranet. Voluntary projects are posted there by Audi employees and charitable institutions in the region, for which more helpers are required. In addition, Audi departments are regularly active in the context of so-called “team actions” in social institutions.
In view of the great hardship of refugees in Europe, Audi provided one million euros as immediate support for projects at the production sites in Ingolstadt, Neckarsulm, Győr and Brussels in September 2015. Since then, employees can suggest regional projects that they want to implement in cooperation with charitable organizations. Numerous projects are already being implemented, such as assistance for unaccompanied underage refugees, German courses and support for meeting places. In addition, a project for providing young adult refugees with occupational qualifications was started in Ingolstadt in January 2016.
Audi employees take on social responsibility for the region also with the annual Christmas donation. For 39 years now, the Works Council has appealed every year to the workforce to make a Christmas donation. Over 99 percent of Audi’s employees responded to this appeal in 2015 and together with the company donated a total of €695,000. With this money, support was provided to 104 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 2015, 211 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 30 scientific institutions and sponsors a total of six endowed professorships. Audi also provides support to young academics: Approximately 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. Some 20,000 people have the attended the specialist lectures since they started in 2004.
Audi also cooperates closely with the schools in the region in order to support practice-oriented 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” (university-entrance qualification) 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” for bus transport, and more than 9,800 of them have been sold since it was introduced in 2012. The company is continually expanding its mobility services for employees: Starting this year, employees can also buy a reduced-price “job ticket” for bus and railway routes in the region. Since 2015, Audi-employees can use the “Urban Mobility Assistance” ride-sharing app to help organize their journeys to work and back home. These measures also help to improve the traffic situation and the environment at and around the site.