Compliance

The basic precondition of every sustainable business activity is observance of all the relevant laws, regulations, voluntary commitments, and internal guidelines. We refer to such rules-based behavior as “compliance.”

As a member of the UN Global Compact, Daimler joined other internationally operating companies in committing itself to uphold and actively promote the Compact’s ten principles. These principles include the struggle against corruption.

Compliance organization strengthened. In 2011 we oriented the Group Compliance unit more strongly toward the Group’s divisions. As a result, the Group’s units and divisions are integrated more intensely into the compliance management process. The divisional Chief Compliance Officers help the employees in their divisions take responsibility for compliance in their daily work. They report to the Group’s Chief Compliance Officer, who in turn reports to the head of the corporate function Integrity and Legal and the Daimler AG Supervisory Board. Our Group compliance organization comprises about 160 employees worldwide, approximately 74 of whom work at Group headquarters.

Compliance management system improved. Although Daimler assigns top priority to compliance with all of the relevant laws, regulations, and rules of behavior, it is never possible to entirely eliminate individual violations of the rules. That’s why we put in place the necessary basic conditions and develop measures to protect the Group and its employees from unethical decisions and employee misconduct in order to promote behavior that is in line with the law. In order to reduce compliance risks, and in particular to prevent corruption, we have introduced new processes and systems. In addition, we have revised some of the preventive measures that already exist.

  • The Group Compliance unit defines the Group’s annual compliance program on the basis of a systematic risk analysis. In order to assess the risks within the business units, this unit uses both qualitative (e.g. estimates of the business environment) and quantitive indicators (e.g. statistical data concerning the Group).
  • In 2011 we substantially restructured and improved our process of identifying integrity-related suspicions and eliminating risks to integrity involving our business partners (compliance due diligence). This is a core element of our Business Partner Integrity Management system.
  • We have also restructured our process for preventing corruption in our business dealings with state and government-related institutions, and in doing so we have improved the cooperation between the sales units and the Group Compliance organization.
  • The effectiveness of the compliance program that has been implemented within the Group’s units and companies is regularly evaluated by means of a standardized control system and is also regularly monitored by the internal review structure.
  • Our employees are continually informed about the significance of compliance and the goals of the compliance program. The Group’s top managers regularly state their views regarding compliance issues at events and in our internal print and online media. Newly appointed managers at Daimler receive a separate introduction to the topic of compliance.
  • In addition, Daimler offers a comprehensive compliance training program. More than 50,000 employees from the subsidiaries and the sales units completed the web-based training program on corruption prevention in 2011. In more than 150 face-to-face training sessions, about 4,400 employees deepened their understanding of corruption prevention. We identify the target groups of these face-to-face training sessions on the basis of the annual risk assessment of the Group’s companies and units.
  • In 2011 we developed a new training program concerning antitrust law. Approximately 16,500 managers and selected employees from the relevant business units all over the world have already completed this web-based training program. By the end of 2011, about 654 managers had taken part in the advanced face-to-face training sessions on antitrust law.
  • Since the beginning of 2011 we have also been offering compliance training sessions for our external partners, our joint venture partners, and companies in which Daimler is a minority shareholder. In these sessions we inform them about possible minimum requirements of a compliance management system that would ensure compliance with the rules governing business relationships.

Contact persons for employees. Our employees can turn to the Compliance Consultation Desk (CCD) if they have specific questions on how to avoid bribery. In 2011 the whistleblower system was thoroughly reformed. One important innovation is that in the future the Business Practices Office (BPO) will focus on serious violations of the regulations and cases that cause major damage to the Group. The BPO has also expanded its range of services. Since 2011 it has been receiving confidential tips regarding suspected misconduct via various access channels worldwide in a variety of languages.

The BPO decides whether to initiate an investigation using defined criteria. It considers, for example, whether the case involves a criminal act and whether the reputation of the company is being seriously threatened. Every possible case of misbehavior is dealt with according to the principles of fairness, consistency, transparency, and sustainability. Binding regulations are in place concerning the protection of whistleblowers.

Starting on February 1, 2012, whistleblowers in Germany also have the option of taking their concerns to Prof. Dr. Winfried Hassemer, a neutral intermediary who acts as an ombudsman. The obligation of lawyers to maintain confidentiality ensures that the identity of the whistleblower in question will not be made public without his or her permission.

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Award-winning innovations. In 2011 Daimler was the winner in two categories of the ÖkoGlobe environmental award. The Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) local transportation system placed first in the category “New Mobility Concepts,” and the Mercedes-Benz Atego BlueTec Hybrid placed third in the category “Series-produced Vehicle with a Sustainability Factor.”
Constructive dialogue. In 2011 we held our second Sustainability Dialogue in China. The event was attended by more than 50 experts from Chinese and international organizations, who discussed local sustainability issues related to Daimler. Analogous to the annual Stakeholder Dialogue in Stuttgart, we also held the first Sustainability Dialogue in Washington, D.C.
Climate-friendly driving. By 2016 we aim to reduce the CO2 emissions of our fleet of new passenger cars in Europe to 125 g CO2/km.
Compliance? Of course! Over 71,500 employees and managers participated in 2011 in online training courses on antitrust law and the prevention of corruption or face-to-face training programs, where they deepened their knowledge of these issues.
Risk assessment. In order to ensure that our business activities have a positive effect on the protection of human rights in the long term, we have introduced a risk assessment system. In 2011 we used this system to assess risks at three of our production countries.
125 years of innovation. Since the invention of the automobile, Daimler has submitted more than 80,000 patent applications worldwide. In 2011 alone, the Group invested a total of €5,6 billion in research and development.
Powerful and efficient. BlueEfficiency Power is the name of a new generation of heavy-duty engines launched in spring 2011. All of the powerful yet clean engines for heavy-duty commercial vehicles already meet the Euro VI emissions standard two years before it becomes binding.
Certified according to ISO and EMAS. More than 98 percent of our employees worldwide work at plants using certified environmental management systems.
Employee satisfaction. We regularly implement improvement measures of many kinds on the basis of the results of our employee surveys. The Employee Commitment Index (ECI) remained stable at 63 points in 2011.
Worldwide training programs. We support our suppliers in a targeted manner regarding themes such as working conditions, the environment, and business ethics. In 2011 more than 100 suppliers in Brazil, India, Mexico, and Turkey participated in training sessions on these themes.
Award-winning customer service. In 2011 the Service Award of kfz-betrieb magazine once again went to Mercedes-Benz. Places 1 through 5 went to four Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicle centers and one Fuso center. Mercedes-Benz also had top scores in the ADAC 2011 test of car workshops.
Financial support has increased. In line with our policy of social responsibility, we supported nonprofit organizations and social initiatives with funds totaling €59 million in 2011. This amount represented a 15.5 percent increase on the previous year.
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