In choosing the direction of our sustainability strategy we are guided by two aspects: on the one hand, by the question which requirements we set for ourselves in order to have sustainable success, and by our desire to know our stakeholders’ expectations on us as a globally operating company, on the other. We use a multi-step materiality analysis for the identification of the fields of action that are relevant for us and our stakeholders. G4-18, G4-26
In the design of this report we observe the G4 guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), accounting for the principles of completeness, contextualization, stakeholder inclusiveness, and materiality. Significant fields of action are important for our stakeholders as well as for our company. For our determination of the cross-section of perspectives, which do not always coincide, and to enable us to set priorities, we utilize a multi-step materiality analysis. G4-18, G4-19, G4-26
Identification and relevance. In order to obtain an exact picture of the expectations of the various stakeholder groups we also evaluate reader surveys on this report, customer and employee surveys, specialist unit workshops, dialogs with individual stakeholder groups, and the results of our “Daimler Sustainability Dialogue.” In 2014, we additionally organized specialist events on current issues, in this case on data protection and sponsoring, in order to get critical impulses and initiate social discourse. In addition, we also take into account the analyses of our “News and Issues Management” and our “Society and Technology Research Group.” G4-18, G4-26, G4-27
The following applies to the fields of action identified in this manner:
- They affect our present and future business activities.
- We are in a position to influence them – directly or indirectly.
Prioritization through open stakeholder survey. To enable a priority ranking of the identified fields of action, we conducted the second international open stakeholder survey in 2013, for which we did not preselect the target groups in order to consider as many legitimate stakeholder interests as possible. Within a period of about one month, all interested parties could take part in the survey on our website daimler.com, and name and evaluate topics that were important to them. G4-25, G4-27
By the end of the survey, more than 800 responses had been received. In our assessment of results, we gave special consideration to the great significance of our primary stakeholder groups (shareholders and investors, customers, suppliers, and employees) as well as to the expertise of non-government organizations. That is why these groups are taken into account with a higher weighing factor. G4-24, G4-25
Cross-section of significant topics from the company and stakeholder view. The results of the online survey were incorporated into a materiality analysis, in which they were compared with the results of a survey and discussion among the members of our company’s sustainability bodies as well as the entire Board of Management of Daimler AG. The decisions made in these internal bodies were based on the discussion of topics that have material effects on our company from a social, ecological, ethical, human-rights, and economical perspective. The results of the internal and external surveys used in our materiality analysis in the last two years varied only to a minor extent. That is why we have decided to perform the materiality analysis at two-year intervals from now on. The next survey will therefore be conducted in 2015. The table shows the fields of action evaluated in the last survey in 2013 – organized thematically in line with the responsibility dimensions of our sustainability strategy and presented in decreasing order of stakeholder priorities. The importance of the majority of action fields for our stakeholders and for our company is high or very high. G4-18, G4-22, G4-23, G4-26, G4-20, G4-21
From analysis to actual practice. The results of the materiality analysis show us the areas that must be given special attention in our activities. Thus for example, in the reporting year we intensified our efforts for reducing the CO2 emissions of our vehicles, and further advanced our approach for the observance of human rights. We are also working intensively on ways of further improving the satisfaction of our customers by examining the different customer requirements worldwide in even greater detail. For reviewing and improving our activity as an employer we use the feedback instrument of our worldwide employee survey. G4-27, G4-26
The materiality analysis also provides us with guidance for our annual “Daimler Sustainability Dialogue.” It enables us to select topics, which we discuss in depth at the events with sustainability experts and other stakeholders. G4-25, G4-26