Sustainability management is a continuous improvement process, which is used for the systematic steering of our sustainability program and the verifiable implementation of its objectives. We have coordinated our management and organization structures to this end, and have created clear lines of responsibility in all business divisions. Our sustainability objectives are anchored in our management and leadership system, and are documented in the target agreements between employees and managers.
Sustainability governance at Daimler
Our central management committee for sustainability is the Corporate Sustainability Board (CSB), headed by Dr. Christine Hohmann-Dennhardt (member of the Board of Management for Integrity and Legal Affairs) and Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber (member of the Board of Management for Group Research & Mercedes-Benz Cars Development). The CSB is managed by Prof. Dr. Herbert Kohler (Head of Group Research and Sustainability and Chief Environmental Officer). The operational work is done by the Corporate Sustainability Office (CSO) comprised of representatives from the specialist units and the business divisions.
In our sustainability strategy, we attach special importance to the broad-based anchoring of a culture of integrity throughout the Group. Our standards and guidelines of good conduct are formulated in our Integrity Code, which is supplemented by other in-house principles and policies that help our employees in making the right decisions in the highly complex day-to-day business. The Enterprise Regulations Database (ERD) contains all internal policies of the Group and works agreements, and is accessible to all employees. The ERD is available in ten languages and the policies are published in up to 23 languages.
The basic guidance for our business activity is provided by the ten principles of the UN Global Compact, with which we have a special affiliation as a founding and LEAD participant. Our internal principles and guidelines are founded on this international frame of reference and other international principles.
House of Policies — Policies in the Daimler Group
In 2008, our Board of Management decided to introduce a new policy management system. The internal group platform of the House of Policies was created for the following purpose: All internal policies of the Group and works agreements are compiled in a uniform, user-friendly digital Enterprise Regulations Database (ERD), which is accessible to all employees. The ERD is available in ten languages, and the policies are available in up to 23 languages.
In the process of developing the new policy management system, we standardized the individual policies and reduced their number by around 71 percent to the current number of around 560. The ERD also enables employee-specific filtering: With the help of the “My Regulations” function it is possible to display only the works agreements and policies that apply to a selected employee in his or her function. As a result of these measures, on average there are now only 41 valid policies per employee. The new ERD is additionally characterized by an ergonomic user interface and has an exact search function as well as a “Keep me posted” function, which informs the user by email about any changes to specific regulations.
The House of Policies has optimized the policy creation process and has defined strict quality criteria, which also leads to improved readability of the policies. Each policy applying to the entire Group is presented to test readers before being published in order to test the applicability and comprehensibility for the respective target group.
Building awareness. In a multi-step communication campaign we have informed all Daimler employees worldwide about the ERD and its new functions. To this end, two short videos are provided on the Intranet page of the House of Policies. In addition, employees who are involved in the policy creation and revision process can take part in e-training if needed.
The ERD also contains the names of contact persons for policies and policy management.
Basic principles and guidelines for our sustainability management
The principles and guidelines
Since 2011, we have been utilizing a sustainability scorecard as an instrument for controlling the key sustainability targets. This signals needs for action and successes based on quantitative indicators and qualitative targets via a traffic-light system and thus enables us to take targeted measures with the direct involvement of corporate management.
Governance structures. As a corporation founded under German law, the Daimler Group has a dual management structure comprised of a Board of Management and a Supervisory Board, both of which work closely together in the best interests of the company in line with the recommendations of the German Corporate Governance Code. The requirement for sustainable corporate management is also firmly established at this top management level — through the personal target agreements of the members of the Board of Management, which have been supplemented with annually updated non-financial indicators in the area of integrity and the UN Global Compact since the 2011 financial year.
Our staffing of management bodies and positions is carried out in consideration of diversity, for example on the topic of women representation. This applies to the Board of Management as well as to the Supervisory Board. With three women on the shareholders‘ side and two women on the side of the employee representatives, Daimler has almost achieved the 30-percent quota for women in Supervisory Boards of fully co-determined and listed companies required by the great coalition. Since February 2011, the Board of Management Division for Integrity and Legal Affairs at Daimler AG is headed by a woman. The current share of women in the Board of Management is 12.5 percent due to the enlargement of the Board of Management from seven to eight members as of January 1, 2015. Moreover, we have set ourselves a target of 20 percent women in senior executives positions by the year 2020. The share of women has grown continuously in recent years and was at a good 14 percent at the end of 2014. For the year 2015, we have set a target of one percent additional growth.