Governance

Governance


Sustainability is firmly anchored at VARTA through a well-defined governance structure. Ethical behaviour and legal compliance is of fundamental importance for VARTA's business activities. These practices are applied in all business areas and extended to all business partners.

VARTA not only emphasises sustainable practices in the upstream value chain, but also the sustainability of its products in all aspects. The company participates in industry and cross-industry initiatives such as the Responsible Minerals Initiative and amfori BSCI.


 

Business ethics

Ethical conduct and legal compliance by employees are fundamental to VARTA's business activities. They are the basis of the company’s reliability as a partner and ensuring compliance within the company and by suppliers.

  • VARTA Code of Conduct
    All employees act with honesty and integrity in accordance with the > VARTA Code of Conduct. This company policy is based on generally recognised, fundamental rules of conduct that are based on full compliance with the law, transparency and fairness.
     
  • Whistleblower system
    To give everyone the opportunity to seek advice and raise concerns about misconduct, unethical behaviour or breaches of the law in activities or business relationships, the > VARTA Integrity Line has been set up on the company's website.
     
  • Compliance Report
    The annual > Compliance Report provides insights into the development of the compliance management system at VARTA and potential findings from the whistleblower system.

Governance structure

Good corporate governance with responsible and farsighted action is essential for sustainable success. In this context, the Code of Conduct provides the basis for VARTA’s interactions with its internal and external stakeholders.

  • Approach to good governance
    VARTA AG is the parent company of the corporate group and is based on a two-tier governance body. In compliance with the German Stock Corporation Act (AktG), it consists of the Supervisory and the Executive Boards. Moreover, the afore-mentioned boards observe the German Corporate Governance Code principles and submit the > Declaration of conformity on an annual basis. The qualification matrix of the declaration of conformity analyses the knowledge and experience of the Supervisory Board regarding criteria such as ESG. The > Annual Report contains details on the implementation of good corporate governance.
     
  • Sustainability governance
    Sustainability is embedded throughout VARTA’s structure and is anchored in the Audit Committee of the Supervisory Board and the Executive Board through the Chief Technology Officer. The committee is responsible for decision-making and monitoring the management of the impacts of the organisation on the economy, the environment including climate and people. The overall responsibility for the strategic alignment for compliance and monitoring of sustainability due diligence lies with the Executive Board of VARTA AG. They oversee the strategy in terms of processes design, and the allocation of resources for their implementation. Monitoring the implementation of the strategy is the responsibility of those overseeing their respective locations. At the departmental level, managers are responsible for implementing appropriate measures in their area. The dedicated Sustainability Department is responsible for spearheading sustainability activities and their company-wide implementation. They report directly to the Executive Board on their coordination with relevant departments on climate change mitigation processes and human rights protection policy implementation.
     
  • ESG Incentives
    The > Remuneration Report provides a detailed explanation, for each individual, of the structure and amount of each component of Executive Board and Supervisory Board remuneration. The Remuneration Report was prepared jointly by the Executive Board and the Supervisory Board. It is in line with the requirements of the German Stock Corporation Act (Section 162 of the Aktiengesetz (AktG)) and complies with the applicable recommendations of the German Corporate Governance Code (Deutscher Corporate Governance Kodex, DCGK). Fifty percent of the Executive Board's members adopted variable remuneration targets linked to ESG criteria. The ESG variable of the Chief Financial Officer and the Chief Technology Offi cer made up 10% of the individual targets in 2022.

VARTA AG's cyber security and data protection systems were certified by Trusted Information Security Assessment Exchange (TISAX) in 2022.

VARTA has developed a human rights due diligence management system fulfilling industry and value chain requirements

VARTA supports amfori BSCI and the UN Global Compact and is committed to these sustainability principles and integrating them into its business processes.

„The pioneering spirit is part of VARTA's DNA. Battery innovation contributes to the shift towards a renewable and sustainable economy.“

Marc Hundsdorf, Chief Financial Officer

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