Principles and guidelines
If we want to continue to operate worldwide, we have to at least ensure that our business dealings comply with legal requirements everywhere. However, regulations sometimes differ widely at our company’s locations around the world. To enable us to find our way around in this complex legal environment and also set standards in countries with underdeveloped legal frameworks, we have developed our own principles and guidelines, which are binding for our employees worldwide. Our aim here is to create a corporate culture that not only complies with legal requirements, but also lives up to the highest ethical standards and is therefore exemplary for the entire industry.
Our Integrity Code. In July 1999, on the basis of our corporate values of Integrity, Passion, Respect, and Discipline, we developed an Integrity Code that sets binding standards for the conduct of all of our managers and employees. The code, which we are currently revising in line with integrity-related principles, encompasses all of the key aspects of proper business conduct, such as how to handle conflicts of interest and how to behave toward political parties, government agencies, competitors, and business partners. The code also addresses environmental protection.
Principles of Social Responsibility. In 2003, we expanded our Integrity Code by adding the Principles of Social Responsibility, to which Daimler’s management and all of its employee representatives around the world had committed themselves in September 2002. These measures implement the UN Global Compact’s universal principles (see box) at our company. In line with our principles, we are, for example, committed to upholding internationally recognized human rights, promoting equal opportunity, and preventing any kind of illegal discrimination or exploitive labor relations. These principles also deal with our efforts in relation to the health and safety of our employees worldwide.
Code of Ethics. In 2003, we also expanded our Integrity Code with a Code of Ethics that meets the requirements of U.S. law. The code’s principles are targeted at our senior officers, i.e. Board of Management members and other executives. For the members of our Board of Management, the rules of procedure have a similarly binding nature in accordance with German law.
The UN Global Compact is currently the world’s largest multinational sustainability initiative. Daimler was one of the initiative’s founding members in the year 2000. Since then we have intensified our involvement in the initiative by, for example, becoming a member of the German Global Compact Network (DGCN). Following our election to the network’s steering committee, we have been actively involved in its processes. We are also involved in a variety of thematic working groups worldwide, including one on combating corruption. In addition, we are active in a number of local networks in countries such as Egypt and Poland. We will further intensify these activities in the future.
We have also been a member of the UN Global Compact LEAD Group since it was established in 2011. We are the only automaker among the group’s more than 50 founding members. The LEAD Group aims to make sustainability issues and their handling a key issue at the management level. To this end, the member companies strive to implement the Blueprint for Corporate Sustainability Leadership and meet its detailed requirements. In addition, the LEAD members promote efforts related to other UN targets by publicly advocating them and forming strategic partnerships.
We continuously address all levels of the UN Global Compact when it comes to integrity and compliance. In May 2011, we hosted a LEAD Group event on “competitive advantage through sustainability” in Berlin. At the event, Dr. Christine Hohmann-Dennhardt, the Daimler Board of Management member responsible for Integrity and Legal Affairs, emphasized the key role that the company’s management plays in building and maintaining trust. The event served as a valuable dialogue platform for leaders from various governmental, international, and social organizations.
Daimler is dedicated to leveraging its operational strengths as much as possible in order to support the Millennium Development Goals program. In 2000, 89 United Nations member states committed themselves to attaining these goals. For example, the third Millennium Development Goal — to promote gender equality and empower women — is one of Daimler’s declared aims. For us as an automaker, the seventh Millennium goal (sustaining the environment) is also of key importance.
House of Policies. The principles of our Integrity Code are implemented at our company through specific Group guidelines, framework directives, and recommendations. They provide uniform, practical, and clear information on how to address everyday business situations. In 2008, our Board of Management also approved the new House of Policies, which brings together all of the Group’s guidelines, thus making it easier for staff to follow and address these guidelines. All employees can access and call up Daimler’s entire set of regulations at a central intranet portal.
We are continuously enhancing and more precisely defining our codes of conduct. In addition to new or amended laws, the results of our stakeholder dialogue also contribute to this development, as do initiatives and the associated joint decisions in which we take part. In 2011, for example, we moved ahead with the implementation of the UN Global Compact and launched a Group-wide dialogue for developing a common understanding of what it means to behave with integrity. In November 2010, Daimler CEO Dr. Dieter Zetsche signed the Principles of Responsible Behavior in Business, which formulate specific requirements regarding successful value-based management.
|A selection of key in-house principles and guidelines||Further information|
|Integrity Code, including Corporate Social Responsibility Principles||PDF file, 142 KB|
|Code of Ethics of Daimler AG||PDF file, 96 KB|
|Rules of procedure of the Board of Management|
|Corporate policies and guidelines derived from the above [AR1]|
|Environmental Guidelines||PDF file, 3,1 MB|
|Corporate Compensation Policy|
|Occupational health and safety guidelines
Framework directive for occupational safety management as well as supplemental regulations
|Guideline on “Improper Payments and Other Allowances/Benefits”
Guideline on “Protection of Assets”
Guideline on “Conflicts of Interest”
|Corporate policy on data protection
International protection guideline for the processing of data
|Sustainability Guidelines for Suppliers|
|Political Communication Manual|
|Guideline on committee membership|
|Principles regarding donations and sponsorship
Guideline on “Donations to Nonprofit Organizations”
Guideline on “Donations to Political Parties”
On November 25, 2010, board of management members and top managers from 21 leading German companies signed the Code of Responsible Conduct in Business on the day the guiding principles initiative was launched. The initiative from the Wittenberg Center for Global Ethics stipulates specific requirements for success-oriented and value-oriented corporate management in line with the social-market economic system. By the end of 2011 more than 40 companies had signed up for the initiative, which focuses particularly on the responsibilities of top management. For example, the guiding principles set clear standards when it comes to eliminating jobs, remunerating managers, and lobbying. One of their aims is to counteract the decline in society’s faith in the business community. These guiding principles serve as the basis of standards and measures that are incorporated into Daimler’s own understanding of sustainability. The leadership philosophy they express has been fully integrated into the Daimler organization through the inclusion of sustainable and socially responsible behavior indicators in the remuneration system for top management. Additional measures are being implemented in line with our Group-wide sustainability strategy.
My Sustainability Report
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