As a company with worldwide activities, the Daimler Group is at the focus of public interest. The relevant stakeholders’ perception is therefore of crucial importance and can affect the reputation of the entire Daimler Group (See »Non-Financial Report«). A key role in the public’s current perception is played by the company’s approach to environmental, employee and social matters, fighting corruption and bribery, and respecting human rights, and may lead to non-financial risks.
Risks arise above all in connection with the public debate about diesel vehicles and the related fundamental reconsideration of methods for measuring emissions. Due to the replacement of the NEDC (New European Driving Cycle) with the new measuring method WLTP (Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure), the fleet CO2 average has worsened. In the light of today’s knowledge, this makes it more difficult to achieve the CO2 targets as of 2020. Furthermore, there has been some pressure in the past two years on diesel technology, which is important for compliance with the challenging CO2 targets in the EU, because of NOx levels exceeding the limits at some measuring stations in cities. The current public focus on vehicle emissions as well as possible certifications stops and recalls jeopardize the reputation of the automotive industry and in particular of the diesel engine, and could result in damage to Daimler’s reputation. With the development of a new generation of diesel engines and their systematic market launch, Daimler aims to achieve a reduction in NOx emissions in real driving conditions (RDE). In general, legal risks – for example in connection with antitrust investigations – as well as possible legal and social violations by partners and suppliers can have a negative impact on the reputation of the entire Daimler Group. As one of the fundamental principles of business activity, Daimler places particular priority – also in the selection of partners and suppliers – on adherence to applicable laws and ethical standards.