Integrity, compliance and legal affairs

Shared values and rules provide orientation in times of technological transformation and social change. These values and rules help us make the right decisions and fulfill our responsibility not just for our business success but also for the environment and the societies we live in.

As one of our main corporate values, integrity is as much a part of everyday business conduct at Daimler as compliance and legal responsibility. The foundation is our Integrity Code, which was modernized and updated in 2019, and which focuses, among other topics, on technical compliance. It is binding on all companies and employees of Daimler AG and all Group companies worldwide. The Code contains central corporate principles of behavior that we expect all of our employees and business partners to adhere to out of a sense of conviction. We expect our executives to serve as role models in terms of ethical behavior and thus offer employees guidance in this regard.

The task of Integrity Management is to promote the culture of integrity at the Daimler Group and support its further development and to provide the management and the employees with the necessary tools and knowledge. The unit’s goal is to establish and maintain a common understanding of integrity in order to reduce risks and help ensure Daimler’s sustained success.

To this end, a large number of communication activities and measures are carried out. These include dialog events, training programs and employee surveys that provide employees with important stimuli and advice related to their daily work and business decision-making. Our “Infopoint Integrity” is available to all of our employees as a central point of contact and a center of advice on integrity-related issues in the daily working environment. In addition, a network of integrity contact persons supports the divisions in ensuring that all integrity-related measures are firmly embedded within their organizations. One of the things we focused on in 2019 was dialog sessions that addressed the topic of technical integrity in the development departments of our various business divisions.

Further information can be found in the section »Compliance«.

Compliance and legal responsibility

Value-based compliance is an indispensable part of our daily business activities at Daimler. For us, compliance means acting in accordance with laws and regulations. Our objective here is to ensure that all of our employees worldwide are always able to carry out their work in a manner that is in compliance with applicable laws, regulations, agreements with workers’ representative bodies, voluntary commitments and our values, as set out in binding form in our Integrity Code. Our compliance activities focus on complying with anti-corruption regulations, the maintenance and promotion of fair competition, the compliance of our products with technical and regulatory stipulations, respect for and the protection of human rights, adherence to data protection laws, compliance with sanctions and the prevention of money laundering. Our compliance and legal organizations are designed to ensure that they can advise and support all of our corporate units worldwide with regard to their business operations, processes and services in order to minimize legal and business risks.

Our Compliance Management System (CMS) serves as the foundation

Our Compliance Management System (CMS), which has its basis in our culture of integrity, is designed to support the observation of laws and policies in the company and by its employees and to prevent misconduct. The measures needed for this are defined by our compliance and legal affairs organizations in a process that also takes business requirements into account as appropriate. Our CMS consists of basic principles and measures for the promotion of compliant behavior throughout the Group. The CMS is based on national and international standards and is applied on a global scale at Daimler AG and all Group companies. The systematic minimization of compliance risks is extremely important here, and for this reason we analyze and assess the compliance risks of our Group companies every year. These analyses are based on centrally compiled information on the Group companies; specific additional details are taken into account if necessary. The results of the analyses form the basis of our risk management.

More detailed information on the Daimler Compliance Management System can be found in the »Compliance« section of this Annual Report. 

In order to ensure an independent external assessment of our Antitrust and Anti-Corruption Compliance Program, KPMG AG Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft audited the Compliance Management System for antitrust law and anti-corruption in accordance with Audit Standard 980 of the Institute of Public Auditors in Germany. This audit, which was based on the principles of appropriateness, implementation and effectiveness, was already successfully completed at the end of 2016 (antitrust) and at the end of 2019 (anti-corruption).

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