We consider it important to engage in a continuous dialog with all of our interest groups so that we can bring together various perspectives on our involvement with sustainability issues, address future trends early on and share experiences. We also want to engage in constructive discussions of controversial themes at a very early stage. We always focus on conducting a dialog that is successful and productive for both sides. In order to conduct this kind of dialog, we need to identify our stakeholders. We deﬁne our stakeholders as individuals and organizations that have legal, ﬁnancial, ethical or ecological expectations regarding Daimler. One of the criteria for identifying and weighting stakeholders is the extent to which a person or group is aﬀected by our company’s decisions or, conversely, is taken into account in such decisions. Our primary stakeholders are our shareholders, creditors, employees, customers and suppliers. However, we also communicate regularly with civil groups such as NGOs, as well as associations, trade unions, the media, analysts, municipalities, residents and neighbors in the communities where we operate and representatives of science and government.
Dialog at the Group level. In order to implement the dialog with our stakeholders throughout the Group, we have deﬁned clear areas of responsibility, communication channels and speciﬁc dialog formats. The proactive dialog with our stakeholders is initiated by experts from the Integrity and Legal Aﬀairs department and coordinated by our corporate sustainability bodies. One essential tool of the dialog with our stakeholders is the “Daimler Sustainability Dialogue,” which has been held annually in Stuttgart since 2008 and brings various stakeholder groups together with members of our Board of Management and executive management. The participants attend a range of workshops, where they discuss issues related to sustainability and work together to address them. The Daimler representatives responsible for speciﬁc themes take up the impulses from the discussions and work together with the stakeholders to incorporate these ideas into their work throughout the year. They then report at the event in the following year on the progress made in the interim. We held our eleventh “Daimler Sustainability Dialogue” in Stuttgart during the year under review. The evening before the event was devoted to sustainability issues related to electric mobility. In a creative ideas workshop called “Smart Cities,” experts from various units worked out sustainable solutions to everyday urban problems. On the main day of the event, about 200 stakeholders split up into eight working groups to discuss themes such as data ethics, the market penetration of electric vehicles and digitalization in the work environment.
As a global company, we have set ourselves the goal of implementing sustainability standards at our business units and specialist departments around the world. To this end, we organize “Daimler Sustainability Dialogue” events in other countries and regions as well. Such dialog events have been held in China, Japan, the United States and Argentina. During the year under review, more than 200 stakeholders attended the sixth “Daimler Sustainability Dialogue” in Beijing, where they discussed topics relating to sustainable production, innovation, artiﬁcial intelligence and integrity and legal aﬀairs.
The Advisory Board for Integrity and Corporate Responsibility has been an important source of input for sustainability activities at Daimler since 2012. The board’s members — external experts from the ﬁelds of science and business, as well as from civic organizations — utilize an external point of view to oﬀer critical and constructive support for the integrity and corporate responsibility process at Daimler. The board meets at regular intervals and holds discussions with members of the Board of Management and other Daimler executives. Its members have extensive experience and possess a variety of specialized knowledge regarding environmental and social policy, various human rights and ethical issues, and the development of transport, traﬃc and mobility. During the year under review, the Advisory Board addressed, among other things, the further development of our culture of integrity, electric mobility, mechanisms for dealing with complaints, mobility services and data responsibility.
We also maintain contact with representatives from civic organizations and other companies, and we participate in various associations, committees and sustainability initiatives. The most important initiatives here are the UN Global Compact and Econsense — a German business forum for sustainable development.
Overview of our most important memberships
We also utilize online and print media, discussions with experts, workshops and local and regional dialog events for our dialog with stakeholders. In addition to the formally structured dialog, we receive inquiries from stakeholders concerning various sustainability-related topics. These inquiries are addressed directly by speciﬁc specialist departments and units in a decentralized manner. This approach brings our stakeholders closer to our business operations and enables specialized knowledge to be directly incorporated into the dialog. Individual inquiries from stakeholders are also reported on in the meetings of our sustainability bodies and committees and are thus taken into consideration in the strategic decisions made by our sustainability management organization. Our sustainability bodies also coordinate dialog with our stakeholders on interdisciplinary issues.
Dialog at the local and regional levels. We also engage in a dialog with the stakeholders at our locations. In connection with speciﬁc occasions and projects, we address questions, concerns, criticism and suggestions made by stakeholders and conduct an open-ended dialog with them. We also stage proactive dialog and information events on current topics. The results of all of our dialog measures are incorporated into decisionmaking and decision-implementation processes at the company. A current example of this approach involves the sustainable further development of the Rastatt plant. The transformation process here focuses on electric mobility and the associated need for additional factory space. Together with oﬃcials of the city of Rastatt, we searched for potential locations for a plant extension in the vicinity of the current plant and took into account the suggestions and recommendations made by stakeholder groups, including nature preservation and environmental organizations, property owners, tenants and leaseholders, neighboring communities and municipal agencies. We also continue to keep the public up to date with various dialog and information events, including civic dialogs, meetings with aﬀected individuals and organizations, and plant tours.