As a globally operating automotive company, we are active in socially diverse settings. Our corporate citizenship helps us to make tangible contributions to the common good at our locations all over the world. Together with our employees and partners, we want to improve society step by step.
Good reasons for corporate citizenship
As one of the world’s leading vehicle manufacturers, Daimler and its numerous brands are well known around the globe. Our company stands for business success, advanced solutions, and social responsibility. This combination is important for us because we can only remain successful in the future if we operate in a prospering environment where people can realize their ideas of a good life. A high level of education among the population, as well as a high degree of economic and social stability, are crucial for ensuring a society worth living in – and ultimately the success of our work as well. As a company, we can only grow and create value in places where these factors are guaranteed. This is why we work to achieve sustainable social development in our markets and in the communities in which we operate. We also encourage our employees to support our efforts. This is important, because social commitment expands individual horizons and also strengthens our own corporate culture.
All of these activities are part of our Corporate Citizenship commitment, which supports our company’s sustainable business strategy. To this end, we promote freedom, education, equal opportunity, and peaceful coexistence all over the world and in this way help to make society sustainable and fit for the future.
How we are assuming social responsibility
A large part of our corporate citizenship consists of donations to nonprofit institutions and the sponsoring of socially beneficial projects. The donations and sponsorship committee of the Board of Management manages all of our donations and sponsorship activities around the world. The Daimler and Benz Foundation, the Laureus Foundation, and the Daimler Foundation are responsible for additional socially beneficial projects, which they manage autonomously.
Throughout the Group, Daimler makes donations and sponsors projects in line with the criteria and standards of our donation and sponsorship guidelines. These guidelines were updated in July 2019 for alignment with our new Group structure. It stipulates that all of the Daimler Group’s donations, sponsorships, and marketing partnerships must comply with the applicable national and international laws, meet ethical standards, and correspond to the Daimler Group’s values. Irrespective of whether cash or non-cash donations are involved, the contract award process has to be transparent in all cases. Other corporate policies, such as our Integrity Code, must be complied with as well. In addition, we are guided by the UN Global Compact Principles.
We create transparency by recording all of the Group’s donations and sponsorships in a centralized database. Moreover, we regularly inform our employees about the valid policies and alert them to possible risks connected with donations and sponsorships.
How we shape our commitment
Throughout our Group, our corporate citizenship is directed towards an overarching goal: We want to make tangible and sustainable contributions to the common good, together with our employees, at our locations all over the world. “With our employees,” “For our locations,” “All over the world” – these three pillars form the foundation of our corporate citizenship.
In accordance with our sustainable business strategy, our corporate citizenship primarily promotes projects and activities related to our core business, because this is where we can jointly make the biggest value contribution.
For example, we seek to promote traffic safety and respect for human rights, as well as diversity and cultural interaction. We encourage our employees to become involved in socially beneficial projects, we help improve the social environment in the communities where we operate, and we initiate aid projects worldwide. We also seek to strengthen communities, promote education, science, the arts, and culture, and contribute to nature conservation.
With our employees
The “ProCent” initiative is an example of our employees’ commitment to society. It enables our employees to donate the cent amounts of their monthly paychecks. Daimler then matches these amounts and puts them into a fund for the support of socially beneficial projects. As a result, a total of €8.45 million has been released since the launch of the initiative in December 2011. On a central platform, employees can suggest projects that should receive support from this fund. One of the many organizations that have received donations in this way is the “Verein der Palliativ-Care-Teams im Kreis Böblingen e. V.”. This organization’s six palliative care doctors, five nurses, a coordinator, a social worker, a minister, and a psychologist assist severely ill children under the age of 18. This team operates in a radius of 120 kilometers around the city of Stuttgart. The initiative also supports four other teams in the wider area. Together, these teams care for around 250 children. The donation from “ProCent” enabled the organization to purchase notebooks and special software for effective communication and the management of the patient files.
We encourage our employees to actively participate in socially beneficial projects through our “Social Days”, the “Day of Caring”, and other hands-on campaigns such as “Give a Smile”. During the “Social Days”, teams from the Daimler subsidiary Deutsche Accumotive GmbH & Co KG, for example, refurbished the outdoor areas and interior rooms at two of the locations of the Christliches Jugenddorfwerk Deutschlands in Kirchheim/Teck. The “Im Doschler” facility is home to around 100 young people who take part in professional training measures while also receiving coaching in social topics. The “Hohenreisach” facility operates a vocational school for young adults who have not yet found a job or a place in a training program.
In the course of the reporting year, around 2,600 employees participated in 78 projects during the “Social Days”. On our Social Intranet, we have also encouraged our employees to support other projects, such as the following:
In 2019, we once again organized the “Give a Smile” campaign, in which employees donate and wrap Christmas presents for children from socially disadvantaged families. Employees at 40 locations of Daimler AG and the Daimler Group took part in this campaign worldwide, putting together more than 22,000 gift packages in the process.
Daimler is the official mobility partner of the NABU crane center in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Moreover, the company supports national and international projects for the protection of these impressive migratory birds. During the reporting year, employees were able to work for one or two weeks as volunteer crane rangers at the “Kranorama” observation station on the Baltic Sea. A total of eleven employees took advantage of this opportunity.
For our locations
We conduct a wide variety of projects that support social development at our locations:
At our training campus in Stuttgart, we have been working together with the Bürgerstiftung Stuttgart and other companies since 2016 to enable young refugees to enter the world of work. We help these young people gain vocational training by organizing mentoring programs, procuring internships, and providing information and advice. Whereas the focus in 2019 was still on helping the refugees find a training program and preparing them for such training, over the next three years we want to increasingly concentrate on giving them support during their training. In this way, our training campus will turn even more into a center of learning, where the participants will be able to get extra tutoring, for example. In November 2019, Chancellor Merkel presented the Stuttgart Campus with an integration award after it had been selected as one of the ten best integration projects in Germany.
Genius knowledge community
More curiosity – more future. This has been the motto of the “Genius – Daimler’s young knowledge community” STEM education initiative for almost ten years. “Genius” aims to get children and teenagers enthusiastic about technology at an early age. It also provides teachers with practical, state-of-the-art instruction materials and organizes further education measures for teachers in Germany. These courses address topics related to the future of mobility. Employees serve as Genius ambassadors in these courses and in technology workshops at Daimler locations.
Around the world
We initiate aid projects worldwide that help people determine the course of their lives independently, on their own responsibility, and without material deprivation, thereby creating a better future for the generations to come. One example of this is a project that we run in cooperation with the “Bon Pasteur” aid organization in Congo. In the Kolwezi mining region, we organize targeted education measures to give women and children employment as an alternative to working in cobalt mines. The goal is to improve living conditions for more than 19,000 people in the region by 2022. The project provides children, girls, and women with access to education, healthcare, and professional training.
We promote greater safety for children in road traffic through our international “MobileKids” initiative. This project is targeted not only at children but also at adults and schools. We provide a comprehensive range of information and instruction materials to enable children to move around safely in road traffic. In 2019, for example, we held train-the-trainer workshops at our locations in Wörth and Sindelfingen, in which we qualified 43 employees to become “MobileKids” ambassadors. These employees learn how to playfully teach elementary school students about traffic. As a result, they can now impart this knowledge at the schools their children attend. Additional activities were held in 2019, including the painting of pedestrian crossings in Mexico and the renewal of traffic signs in India.
Funding through foundations
Our foundations support projects around the world related to science, research, technology, education, and sports.
Laureus Sport for Good
The Laureus Sport for Good Foundation uses the appeal of sports to bring people together. It primarily enables socially disadvantaged children and teenagers to discover their hidden potential through sports and thus improve their opportunities for a better future. There are now around 200 Laureus projects under way in more than 40 countries. One example is the “Moving the Goalposts” project for women’s rights in Kenya. Although a new middle class of well-educated young people is growing up in big cities like Nairobi, traditional structures and stark poverty are still the order of the day in rural areas. The contrast between rich and poor is especially pronounced in the Kilifi region. Women possess almost no rights here and many families reserve education for their sons. “Moving the Goalposts” overcomes these traditions and provides girls with soccer training so that they can enter a typically male-dominated sphere. The girls also learn how to become organized and how they can assert themselves.
Daimler and Benz Foundation
The purpose of the Daimler and Benz Foundation is to clarify the interrelationships between human beings, the environment, and technology. To this end, it promotes multidisciplinary scientific dialog and interdisciplinary research projects. The foundation’s scholarship program supports outstanding young scientists from all disciplines. During the reporting period, it supported 24 postdocs and assistant professors with management experience; it awarded 12 new scholarships in 2019. Using a variety of support measures, the foundation investigates research topics that are relevant to the future. It also stages several lecture series in order to make science more visible and accepted in the public eye.
In addition to its involvement in the Donors’ Association for the Promotion of Sciences and Humanities, the Daimler Foundation focuses on structural problems in research and teaching, as well as on engineering sciences and international and scientific cooperation. Since 1993, it has helped to establish 27 endowed professorships and assistant professorships in Germany and abroad.
How we evaluate the effectiveness of our management approach
In 2019 we spent around €60 million on donations to nonprofit institutions and the sponsorship of socially beneficial projects. This amount does not include our own foundation activities and projects that we ourselves initiated. The money for the donations and sponsorships was distributed as follows among the various areas:
- Social issues and community: 77 percent
- Art and culture: 4 percent
- Education: 13 percent
- Science/technology/environment: 5 percent
- Political dialog: 1 percent
We use a variety of methods to monitor the effectiveness of our corporate citizenship. Among other things, we actively supervise projects and engage in dialog with partners and affected parties. The results are reflected in the above distribution of our donations and sponsorships, which takes into account the various focal points of support from our locations.