Advances in mobility should never be achieved at the expense of human rights. We therefore pursue a systematic approach along our automotive value chain to exclude the possibility of human rights violations to the greatest extent possible. Wherever appropriate, we work together with various associations, organizations, and competitors to promote the responsible procurement of raw materials.
Committed to upholding human rights
We aim to ensure that human rights are respected and upheld along our entire value chain. Daimler is therefore firmly committed to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the German government’s National Action Plan for Business and Human Rights. These standards also serve as the basis for numerous measures that we have implemented in order to ensure that we meet our due diligence obligations with regard to human rights. We are currently working to further expand the Daimler Human Rights Respect System (HRRS) step by step at all Group companies of the Daimler AG and to integrate it into our Group-wide Compliance Management System. We also plan to introduce a separate due diligence approach for human rights in the supply chain. We actively incorporate external stakeholders into all of our activities in this area. For example, we regularly exchange information with NGOs on human rights risks or invite stakeholders to participate in our annual Daimler Sustainability Dialogue in Stuttgart, Germany.
Systematically addressing human rights
The Daimler HRRS employs a risk-based approach to systematically address human rights issues. Our newly established Social Compliance department works with specialist units and procurement units on measures to safeguard human rights. In our holistic Group-wide approach, each specialist unit is responsible for implementing and monitoring the measures that have been assigned to it. The distinguishing feature of the HRRS is that it focuses primarily on the risks faced by rights-holders, i.e. the affected individuals on the ground, rather than focusing solely on the risks to the company.
Promoting sustainability throughout the automotive industry
Daimler AG is a LEAD partner in the automotive industry’s “Drive Sustainability initiative” – a European working group coordinated by the CSR Europe corporate network that seeks to improve sustainability in the automotive supply chain. The initiative has developed an important tool in the form of a standardized sustainability questionnaire for suppliers. In addition, the initiative offers joint training courses and workshops for suppliers to help them improve their sustainability performance.
We are striving to make our communication on human rights issues more transparent. To this end, we will report in the future in more detail on our website about our approaches, the progress we make, and our achievements in this area and we will also describe the complex challenges associated with the topic. In this manner we will actively address the expectations and information requirements of our customers, investors, rating agencies, NGOs, and the interested public. Our objective here is to increase the trust external stakeholders place in us with regard to human rights measures.
Raw materials initiatives
Responsible Minerals Initiative
Daimler has been a member of the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI) since 2018. The RMI uses an independent validation scheme for refineries and smelters to demonstrate that they have systems in place to ensure the responsible sourcing of minerals.
Aluminium Stewardship Initiative
Daimler joined the nonprofit Aluminium Stewardship Initiative in 2018 in order to support the implementation of an independent certification scheme for the entire aluminum value chain.
Responsible Steel Initiative
The Responsible Steel Initiative aims to increase transparency in the steel supply chain and to this end is developing a certification system for environmental and social standards. It also focuses on lowering CO2 emissions in production. Daimler has been a member of the initiative since 2018.
We are systematically continuing our efforts to ensure that human rights are respected and upheld to the greatest extent possible at our Group companies and in our supply chains. To this end, we are also planning numerous additional measures worldwide that aim to increase transparency, increase awareness of human rights, and help us to assess the effectiveness of our activities in this area.
In order to increase the sustainability of our supply chains, we plan to improve transparency and traceability with regard to the raw materials we procure – for example in the supply chain for battery cell production. Here there are concerns that the raw materials needed to manufacture electric vehicles might possibly be obtained under conditions that are critical in terms of human rights. We are also closely examining the supply chains used by our service providers and continuing our dialog with all of our suppliers.Recognizing risks, taking targeted action