Bundling of all activities in the three dimensions of sustainability: economy, ecology and society
Presentation of the new „360 DEGREES“ Sustainability Report at the Magdeburg Environmental Forum
Stuttgart/Magdeburg – Daimler has established a Sustainability Board at top management level, thus grouping together the company’s existing management functions in the three dimensions of sustainability: economy, ecology, and society. Under the lead of Dr. Rüdiger Grube, Board of Management member of Daimler AG responsible for Group Development and Corporate Strategy, the Sustainability Board coordinates all sustainability measures throughout the Group and provides implementation support for the operative sectors. This newly created board thus supplements the already existing management structures within the Group, for example in Corporate Environmental Protection, in the Legal & Compliance department with the Business Practices Office, or in the Human Resources sector with the Global Diversity Office.
Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz-Cars: “With the Sustainability Board, the responsibility of our executives for sustainable action is now also represented in the organizational structure of the company. That is how we strenghten the interplay of all our ecological, social and economical activities concerning sustainability.”
New “360 DEGREES” Sustainability Report
The title of the new “360 DEGREES” Sustainability Report reflects Daimler AG’s holistic approach to sustainability. The report has two parts: This year, the “MAGAZINE on Sustainability 2008” reports on the key emphasis topic of “Efficiency” in background profiles of the Group’s activities and initiatives concerned with economy, society, and ecology. The supplementary report “FACTS on Sustainability 2008” documents the company's overall performance record on sustainability through facts and figures for the 2007 business year. The FACTS report is strongly aligned to the internationally recognized guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) on sustainability reporting; following an examination by the GRI it received the highest possible ranking, "A+" as an indicator of the completeness and transparency of the documentation. As a supplement, for the first time this year, experts can find in-depth information on individual topics from the fields of economy, ecology, innovations, and safety as well as employees, customers, and society, in an Internet special at www.daimler.com/sustainability
Innovations for Sustainable Mobility
With environmentally compatible vehicles, drive systems, production processes, and fuels, Daimler AG is shaping mobility with a view to the future in passenger cars and commercial vehicles. Furthermore, the protection of human lives with active and passive safety systems is a declared aim in the further development of vehicles from the Group’s automotive brands.
“We regard shaping mobility in a sustainable, future-proof manner as one of our core responsibilities. We are taking on the role of pioneers for clean and safe automobiles with determination and enthusiasm,” said Dr. Thomas Weber, Board of Management member of Daimler AG responsible for Group Research and Development Mercedes-Benz Cars, at the presentation of the new Sustainability Report in Magdeburg. “This is why we will invest 14 billion euros in research and development by 2010. We will be dedicating a considerable portion of this amount to development of environmentally compatible technologies.”
Technological innovations are key to shaping future mobility for Daimler AG. The initiatives “Road to the Future” for passenger cars and “Shaping Future Transportation” in the commercial vehicle sector are demonstrating innovative technology concepts for environmentally compatible vehicles of today and tomorrow. A particular point of emphasis is the reduction of fuel consumption and emissions. The innovative BlueTEC technology, for example, makes the efficient diesel just as clean as the gasoline engine. BlueTEC diesel vehicles have the potential to undercut even the world's most stringent emission limits. Since the introduction of BlueTec in the commercial vehicle sector in 2005, more than 160,000 commercial vehicles with this technology – from trucks and buses to vans – have been sold in Europe. In the passenger car sector, BlueTEC was introduced in the USA with the E 320 BlueTEC in October 2006 and in Europe with the E 300 BlueTEC at the end of 2007.
As a way of lowering fuel consumption in passenger cars, Daimler has been working on the combination of internal combustion engine and electric motor among others. This concept will be introduced in 2009 as BlueHYBRID for gasoline engines and at a later date as BlueTEC HYBRID for diesel engines in various models. Lithium-ion battery technology plays a key role in this undertaking: Daimler will be introducing this innovative technology in the S 400 BlueHYBRID as early as next year. With more than 1,500 Orion Hybrid buses already on the roads of North America and a further 1,100 orders received, Daimler is the world market leader for hybrid drive systems in the bus segment. Mitsubishi Fuso is also proving successful in the field of hybrid vehicles in Asia with 300 Fuso Canter Eco Hybrid trucks sold and with the Fuso Aero Star Eco Hybrid bus.
Daimler sees fuel-cell or battery-powered vehicles as the most promising option for local emission-free mobility. With around 100 fuel cell cars and commercial vehicles, the Group has had the world’s largest fleet in operation with customers since 2004. In London, Daimler is currently also operating a test fleet of 100 smart ed (electric drive) cars. The company has already announced that it will launch the first small series of battery and fuel cell vehicles in 2010.
Along with reducing consumption and emissions, Daimler is also striving for environmental compatibility throughout a vehicle’s life cycle: Under the heading of “Design for Environment,” the company already adopted an environmentally compatible approach to product development twelve years ago. “Only with an integrated approach that takes into account the design, development, production, operation, and recycling of our products can we attain an ecologically balanced overall performance scorecard,” said Prof. Herbert Kohler, Vice President Vehicle and Powertrain Group Research & Advanced Engineering, as well as Chief Environmental Officer of Daimler AG.
Commitment to Society
For Daimler, acting in a sustainable manner also means practicing efficient long-term business management and commitment to society in all locations where the company is active. In particular, Daimler also exercises responsibility toward its employees, with numerous social benefits along with programs for health care and for promoting the compatibility of family life and career. 350 daycare places for children under the age of three are to be established throughout Germany by 2009; an extension to this program is already being planned. For Daimler, the innovative power of an enterprise is founded on the multifaceted world of its employees’ experience. A wide range of competencies, personalities, experience, and views are crucial to enhancing competitiveness. Effective diversity management is thus appropriate and necessary in both entrepreneurial and societal terms. Responsibility toward society also means making well-qualified vocational training accessible to young people: Some 40 percent of all trainee positions within the German automotive industry are provided by Daimler. For several years, the Group has been providing training well beyond its own requirements. Company pensions are a further topic that has recently acquired enormous significance in view of demographic developments and state pension funds. In cooperation with the employee representatives, Daimler is currently reorienting the existing system to ensure a secure future for its employees.
Daimler views itself as a “good corporate citizen” and is committed throughout the world in societal and cultural terms to people, above all to tomorrow's generation. The Group promotes a wide range of initiatives in the fields of science, education, and culture. This is evident for example in the “MobileKids” initiative for the enhancement of road safety for children, Daimler’s training centers in many regions of the world, the Mondialogo initiative in cooperation with UNESCO for intercultural dialog between engineering students and schools on a global basis, and several projects and initiatives within society in the immediate vicinity of the Group’s locations throughout the world. Daimler also actively encourages voluntary commitment on the part of its employees.
The Group also assumes responsibility to society in the regional environment of its international locations and in many other countries, for example in numerous developing regions. Mercedes-Benz South Africa, for example, has extended its anti-HIV/AIDS program for employees beyond the confines of its locations, introducing it to small and medium-sized businesses in the Siyakhana Project. Through its partnership with the International Olympic Committee and through the Laureus Sports for Good Foundation, Daimler also promotes recreational sports in developing countries and supports projects for young people active in society in about fifty countries throughout the world.