Sustainability at Daimler

Our view of sustainability. For us, sustainability means conducting business responsibly to ensure long-term success in harmony with the environment and society. We are moving toward our goals by making sustainability a firmly integrated aspect of our operations and by requiring and promoting a strong sense of responsibility for sustainable operations among all of our managers and employees throughout the Group. We include our business partners in this process and conduct a dialogue on these issues with our stakeholders. Our management structures, processes and systems are designed in accordance with this concept of sustainability. As one of the world’s foremost automakers, Daimler clearly occupies a leading position in the area of sustainability.

Our sustainability strategy. We have developed a Group-wide sustainability strategy to enable us to meet the requirements associated with sustainability, and we systematically pursue the sustainability goals we have set for ourselves. This strategy is embedded in our corporate strategy, which is based on our four core values of passion, respect, integrity and discipline. We can only ensure sustained profitability and society’s acceptance of our business activities if we take into account the impact all of our business processes have on the environment and society, and if we align our business targets with environmental and social requirements.

Our sustainability strategy has six core aspects (“dimensions of responsibility”), to which relevant areas have been assigned where action needs to be taken. We have linked them with targets and target indicators. Together, all of our goals and targets serve as the basis for our medium-to long-term Sustainability Program 2020, which we use to measure our performance, although we also wish our performance to be judged externally. Sustainability Program 2020 also defines the areas in which we plan to take action in the coming years. For example, we aim to further reduce pollutants and emissions, further enhance the safety of our vehicles, and further expand and more systematically structure our efforts to protect human rights. We also seek to improve our dialogue with our suppliers and dealers and to further strengthen our social commitment.

Our business activities are also strongly guided by the ten principles of the UN Global Compact, to which we are firmly committed as a founding member. We are also a member of the Global Compact LEAD Group. Our internal principles and guidelines are based on this international reference framework as well as on other international principles.

  • We are committed to both legal and ethical standards and we must ensure that these standards are adhered to around the world — by our business partners and suppliers as well.
  • Road traffic is one of the causes of CO2 and pollutant emissions. As an automobile manufacturer, we work to promote sustainable mobility solutions and have demonstrated our innovative capability with regard to environmental and resource protection and safety.
  • Our operations impact the environment, and this is especially the case in vehicle production. We therefore employ a consistent system of environmental management in order to minimize this impact.
  • As an employer, we have a responsibility to ensure fair and attractive working conditions for our 280,000 employees worldwide.
  • As a corporate citizen, we seek to contribute to the common good beyond the level of our business operations, and we utilize our special expertise in order to achieve this goal.

Group-wide sustainability management. At Daimler, sustainability is thematically and organizationally embedded in our Group-wide corporate governance activities. (See Corporate Governance Report) The Corporate Sustainability Board (CSB) is the central management body for all sustainability-related issues. The operational work is conducted by the Corporate Sustainability Office, which is staffed by representatives of the specialist departments and divisions. Since 2011, we have been using the Sustainability Scorecard as a tool for steering our efforts to meet key sustainability targets. The scorecard uses a color-coded system either to display the success of quantitative indicators and qualitative objectives or to show that action needs to be taken. This allows targeted measures to be taken with the direct involvement of corporate management.

Comprehensive reporting on sustainability. In 2014, Daimler published its tenth Group-wide sustainability report. The report provides a detailed and comprehensive sustainability balance sheet for the previous financial year and is supplemented by an interactive online sustainability report that contains more detailed and extensive information. (See daimler.com/sustainability)

The new sustainability report on financial year 2014 will be presented at Daimler’s Annual Shareholders’ Meeting in early April 2015. The report was drawn up in line with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines 4.0. In this context, Daimler specifically highlights all of the company’s key sustainability-related issues. This applies in particular to focal topics such as further reductions in the fuel consumption of our vehicles through hybridization, for example, as well as our attractiveness as an employer, our activities in China and the company’s mobility concepts. In addition, we report on specific issues such as the remanufacturing of used engines, the further expansion of initiatives related to integrity and compliance, and efforts to boost employee commitment to sustainability-related issues.