- Tax payments are part of responsible corporate governance for the Schaeffler Group
- Donations and sponsorships are managed under separate guidelines throughout the Group
Responsible tax strategy
Part of GNFK StartCompliance with all national and international tax laws is part of Sustainable Corporate Leadership for the Schaeffler Group. The tax strategy therefore pursues the lawful, tax-optimized handling of all issues both domestically and abroad. The company promotes open and honest dialogue.
The Schaeffler Group does not pursue any inappropriate tax planning strategies and pays taxes wherever it generates value. The Schaeffler AG Executive Board is aware of the company’s social responsibility and the necessity of appropriate government funding. The Schaeffler Group contributes to tax revenue on the basis of its performance both domestically and abroad, and promotes an open and respectful collaboration with the tax authorities.
The Corporate Tax Directive defines the tasks and tax responsibilities of the people who interact with tax authorities on behalf of the Schaeffler Group, tax-related processes, the integration of the group Tax department into Schaeffler Group processes, and reporting and documentation obligations.
The Schaeffler Group’s risk management system is an integral part of the management structure and covers tax opportunities and risks. The Executive Board is in charge of the risk management system. It regularly reports to the Schaeffler AG audit committee and ensures that the necessary risk control measures are adopted.
The Executive Board has also introduced a “Tax Compliance Management System” (Tax CMS) based on loss prevention and risk control, which is designed to ensure compliance with tax requirements throughout the company and conforms with the Schaeffler Group’s governance model. In 2020, an independent auditing company confirmed the appropriateness and implementation of the Tax CMS of Schaeffler AG and its domestic companies, the majority of whose interests are held indirectly or directly by Schaeffler AG. The audit was carried out in accordance with the IDW AsS 980 standard for auditing compliance management systems as well as the IDW Practice Statement 1/2016: “Design of and Assurance Engagements Relating to Tax Compliance Management Systems in Accordance with IDW AsS 980”.
A globally accessible whistleblowing system for identifying potential misconduct enables anonymous reporting of alleged violations.
In line with legal requirements (country-by-country reporting), the company provides the Federal Central Tax Office (BZSt) with tax information on all group members on the basis of the consolidated financial statements audited by an independent auditing firm.Part of GNFK End
CSR projects were implemented worldwide
Focusing on the common good
The company donates to those organizations and initiatives in particular that work towards the common good, are non-profit, and operate in compliance with the Schaeffler Group’s Code of Conduct (CoC). Donations of around EUR 4.4 m (prior year: EUR 1.6 m) were made in 2020. The significant increase is primarily the result of donations made to mitigate the coronavirus pandemic. The Compliance department monitors donations and sponsorships. Sponsorship funds are used systematically in accordance with a group-wide policy, and measures are controlled by an associated global management system. In the reporting period, a total of 374 CSR projects were implemented worldwide.
Education and science
Education and scientific research are key factors for success in the Schaeffler Group’s business model. The company is therefore active in education and science through strategic partnerships and collaborations.
Through its CSR program HOPE, Schaeffler India supports a variety of educational measures to encourage underprivileged children and children with disabilities to complete a vocational training program. Schaeffler India enables virtual learning options to ensure that children’s education is not compromised by the acute coronavirus crisis in remote villages.
The Schaeffler Group is a premium partner in a project dedicated to the future of work. Initiated by Futury, this project is also implemented in collaboration with other partners such as Harley-Davidson, Nestlé, Deutsche Bank, Werte-Stiftung, Bain & Company, and Handelsblatt. The idea behind it is to develop sustainable, value-based innovation for the work of the future. The fundamental values of the criteria include specific ESG aspects, the SDGs, and the planetary boundaries. 20 talented minds were selected from more than 1,000 applicants from all over Europe to take part in a three-month intrapreneur program. Working in five groups, they have the opportunity to develop sustainable and innovative ideas in this area.
Health and social issues
The Schaeffler Group has a positive influence on its environment and supports people in need or in difficult living conditions. In the reporting year, the coronavirus crisis required special dedication.
Schaeffler AG and the Schaeffler family together donated EUR 1 m to the Red Cross in April 2020 to enable rapid assistance. In February, the company donated around EUR 770,000 to local Chinese aid organizations and supported the Red Cross in China. Global financial and material donations focused on providing hospitals with the equipment they need. For example, the company provided a diverse range of medical equipment amounting to EUR 70,000 in Pune, India. In 2020, around half of all donations went to organizations and social institutions dedicated to mitigating the coronavirus pandemic.
In Romania, the Schaeffler Group is a key supporter of the national project “Mobility for Heroes”, which was initiated by Autonet, the Romanian Automotive Aftermarket sales partner. At garages throughout the country, a project relief fund covers the costs for repairing and maintaining ambulances and other first responder vehicles.
Sports and culture
The Schaeffler Group joined the new HYRAZE League as partner in an effort to elevate the successful work on electric drive systems and key fuel cell components to a whole new level. The new racing series with hydrogen cars is set to kick off in 2023. Prototypes are expected to be developed by the end of 2021 and tested on the racecourse beginning in 2022. Motorsport with hydrogen technology is as ambitious as it is pragmatic and demonstrates new opportunities for series production.
The Schaeffler Música project in the Brazilian city of Sorocaba was launched in 2007. The idea is to bring classical music to local communities and cultivate an audience for this type of art. City theaters host performances by national and international musicians every season. Admission is affordable and some concerts are even free. Due to the pandemic in 2020, the concerts were offered as a free online program for everyone. The series of concerts, which usually spans the entire year, was complemented by presentations and workshops about classical music, reaching not only a larger audience than expected, but also an audience throughout Brazil and Europe.