Sustainability in our supply chain
Our commitment to sustainable corporate management does not end at the factory gates. We also urgently require our direct suppliers all over the world to comply with our sustainability standards. Moreover, we expect them to behave with integrity and in conformity with all the applicable rules and regulations. Our direct suppliers are subject to our Supplier Sustainability Standards, which require, among other things, compliance with wide-ranging environmental regulations and respect for human rights. Our direct suppliers commit themselves to observing our sustainability standards, communicating them to their employees and passing them along to their own supplier companies. We support them in these activities by regularly providing them with information as well as training and qualification measures.
To ensure that our direct suppliers comply with the sustainability standards, we regularly conduct a risk analysis of our suppliers according to country and product group. We use regular database research to discover any violations of our sustainability and compliance rules by our current suppliers. We systematically follow up all reports of violations. With the help of an online survey, we also question our main suppliers about their sustainability management and their communication of these requirements to their upstream value chains. On the basis of the results, we reach agreements with our suppliers on improving their sustainability performance.
In the case of suppliers selected on a risk basis, our employees ask specific questions during their on-site assessments concerning compliance with sustainability standards. We also conduct a more thorough assessment whenever this is necessary.
We have established a complaint-management process that enables individuals to draw attention to possible human rights violations at suppliers. In this context, we work together closely with the world employee committee. We bring together all the available information and take action only if the reports are well-founded. The suppliers are requested to respond to the accusations; after that, the responsible management committees assess the facts of the case and take the necessary measures. This can lead up to the termination of a business relationship. In addition to the complaint-management process, information on misconduct can always be submitted to the whistleblower system BPO established by Daimler. (See Compliance)
In the year under review, reports were received concerning suspected violations by suppliers of rules concerning working conditions and the treatment of employees, which we are systematically investigating.