by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte
e-mail: mercedesbenzblog@gmail.com

Sustainable growth initiative by Daimler

Daimler will continue to rely on sustainable actions and in its “Mercedes-Benz 2020" growth strategy takes ecological as well as social aspects into account with the goal of long-term, sustainable growth. As part of the annual "Daimler Sustainability Dialogues” the company also draws upon the know-how of external experts.

Integrity as part of the corporate culture

Daimler is committed to the actions in and on behalf of the company being guided by values. However, conduct based on business ethics cannot be filled with life by decree, but rather solely on the basis of generally supported principles – both in dealing with one another and with customers and business partners. To achieve a common understanding of "proper business dealings", Daimler conducted a Group-wide integrity dialog across divisions and hierarchies in 2011 and 2012. The results of these dialogs have been integrated in the Daimler Integrity Code, which specifies a binding code of conduct and guidelines that govern everyday actions. Respect, openness, fairness, responsibility, compliance with laws and the respect for rights are key principles in this regard.

Dr. Christine Hohmann-Dennhardt, member of the Daimler Board of Management, Integrity and Legal Affairs: “Conduct based on business ethics is an essential success factor for companies striving for a sustained top position. We share this conviction and have sustainably anchored integrity as in inherent part of our corporate culture.”

Advisory Board for Integrity and Corporate Responsibility

Daimler also places great importance on the critical and constructive outside perspective: for this reason Daimler has established the Advisory Board for Integrity and Corporate Responsibility, which advises the company on questions regarding integrity. Its members are:

- Stefan Aust, journalist, publicist and author
- Professor Kai Bussmann, Head of Economy & Crime Research Center, Martin Luther University, Halle-Wittenberg
- Professor Helmut Holzapfel, Head of the Department for Integrated Traffic Planning and Mobility Development, University of Kassel
- Renate Hornung-Draus, Managing Director of the Confederation of German Employers’ Associations (BDA), Director European and International Affairs
- Professor Michael Kittner, former Professor of Business, Labor and Social Law, University of Kassel and legal advisor for IG Metall
- Professor Julian Nida-Rümelin, Professor for Philosophy, Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich
- Pierre Sané, Board Member, UN Global Compact
- Sylvia Schenk, attorney in Frankfurt, Board Member of Transparency International Germany and German Olympic Academy
- Prof. Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker, environmental scientist, climate expert and former Member of the Bundestag

The newest member is Louis Freeh, former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and federal judge, who advised the company as compliance monitor until March 31, 2013 and will henceforth be part of this independent advisory committee.

“We are delighted that we were able to attract personalities with outstanding know-how in the area of conduct based on business ethics for our Advisory Board for Integrity and Corporate Responsibility. The exchange benefits both sides equally,” said Dr. Christine Hohmann-Dennhardt, member of the Daimler Board of Management, Integrity and Legal Affairs.

Market success by means of sustainable innovative strength

Daimler also demonstrates a strong commitment to sustainability with the ever-growing environmental compatibility of its products. From electric bicycles, passenger cars and vans to light-duty trucks and buses the company meets almost all mobility needs.

“We invest more than five billion euros each year in research and the development of our passenger car portfolio – about half of that in green technologies. That pays dividends. We were able to achieve sizeable CO2 savings in all vehicle segments,” said Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber, Member of the Daimler Board of Management, responsible for Group Research and Development Mercedes-Benz Cars as well as Chairman of the Daimler Sustainability Board.

The company’s portfolio today has more than 47 passenger car models with CO2 emissions of less than 120 grams per kilometer; among them 14 models that emit less than 100 grams of CO2 per kilometer. Thanks to the efficiency initiative, Mercedes-Benz Cars was thereby able to reduce the average CO2 emissions of its entire fleet of new passenger cars in Europe to 140g/km in 2012 – the equivalent of a mere 5.6 liters per 100 kilometers. The Stuttgart-based automaker repeatedly achieves a significant reduction in the CO2 emissions of its vehicle fleet and at the same time remains below the target values specified by the EU for 2012.

Furthermore, the gasoline-powered models of the new Mercedes-Benz A- and B-Class today already meet Euro 6 emission standards that will only go into effect in September 2014. “As an automaker we want to safeguard mobility in individual and sustainable fashion. That’s why we put the bar much higher with regard to sustainability and continuously set ourselves new and most importantly ambitious goals. By 2016 we want to lower the emissions of our Mercedes-Benz Cars fleet to 125 g/km. To achieve this, we use all relevant control levers – from high-efficiency drive systems and intelligent energy management to perfect aerodynamics and consistent lightweight construction.”

Most extensive portfolio of electric vehicles in the industry

In order to meet strict future statutory CO2 emission limits, electric mobility will increasingly gain in significance. That is the reason why the company already has the most extensive portfolio of electric vehicles in the industry, now numbering nine models. This includes the smart ebike, the smart fortwo electric drive and its BRABUS version, the Mercedes-Benz A-Class E-CELL, B-Class F-CELL, the SLS AMG Coupe Electric Drive, the Vito E-CELL and the Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid bus. More electric vehicles are already in the starting blocks: the B-Class Electric Drive recently celebrated its world debut at the New York International Auto Show and the electric version of the next-generation smart car is planned both as a two- and four-seater model.

With the example of the smart fortwo electric drive Daimler also shows that emission-free electric mobility is not just feasible on a local scale, but also comprehensively: the energy required for operating all electric smart vehicles in Germany is supplied by a wind power station next to the A9 autobahn, with which Daimler supplies the grid additionally with electricity produced entirely from renewable resources. More than 1000 units of the smart fortwo electric drive have already been produced and delivered to customers; production output will be increased continuously in 2013 to meet the strong demand. With a market share of 20 percent of the entire German market for electric passenger cars, the smart fortwo electric drive is already today’s market leader among passenger cars with a purely battery-electric drive system.

Sustainability Report with A+ rating

The focus of the Daimler Sustainability Report this year was once again on the principles of “materiality” and the inclusion of stakeholders. The company bases its reporting about sustainability on the standards and requirements of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). The goal of the GRI is to create comparability between companies within the same industry. The current Daimler Sustainability Report again earned an “A+” rating.

Credits: Daimler AG

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