Daimler’s sustainable business strategy applies to our value chain and thus also to the purchase of production materials and the procurement of services. Our three procurement units - Mercedes-Benz Cars Procurement and Supplier Quality, Global Procurement Trucks and Buses, and International Procurement Services - are jointly responsible for the Daimler Supplier Network cooperation model. These units work together to ensure the responsible procurement of materials and services and compliance with the Daimler Supplier Sustainability Standards in the supply chain. Our Supplier Sustainability Standards define our requirements for working conditions, upholding human rights, environmental protection, safety, business ethics, and »Human rights compliance«. They also serve as the guidelines for our sustainable supply chain management system. We demand that our direct suppliers commit themselves to observing our sustainability standards, communicating them to their employees and to their upstream value chains, and then checking to ensure that the standards are complied with. We support them in these activities by providing them with information and training and qualification measures. Our service providers also explicitly recognize these standards as a contractual component of their supplier agreements.
Compliance with the standards is systematically reviewed. For example, the procurement units of Mercedes-Benz Cars and Daimler Trucks & Buses examines the sustainability policies of new production material suppliers in on-site inspections. Such examinations are even more thorough in high-risk countries, and in particularly critical cases we discuss the results of the analyses in management committees and take them into account in decisions on whether to award a contract. Along with the assessment of new suppliers, we also examine sustainability risks at our existing direct suppliers within the framework of risk analyses conducted on a regular basis. Among other things, we conduct annual database research to identify any violations of our sustainability and compliance rules by our current suppliers. This is part of our supplier screening process. Mercedes-Benz Cars also conducts corporate social responsibility (CSR) audits and potential analyses of new suppliers.
We systematically follow up all reports of violations, and Mercedes-Benz Cars utilizes online surveys here as well. These surveys require suppliers to provide information about their sustainability management system and the measures they take to ensure that their own suppliers comply with sustainability standards. If the results of such surveys indicate insufficient sustainability performance, we instruct the supplier in question to improve the relevant processes. In order to ensure an effective sustainable supplier management system, it is very important to us that the results of the surveys can be compared. For this reason, we work with standardized instruments such as the industry-wide sustainability Self-Assessment Questionnaire developed by the European Drive Sustainability initiative.