Production-related environmental protection
Our commitment to the environment is an integral component of our corporate strategy, which focuses on increasing the value of the company over the long term. For this reason, we have established environmental management systems at our manufacturing locations with the goal of ensuring that we can produce our vehicles safely, efficiently and at a high level of quality in an environmentally friendly manner that complies with all legal stipulations. We also carry out environmental risk assessments at all production locations in which the Group has a majority interest in the ownership structure.
We have achieved a high level of air quality control, climate protection and resource conservation (in terms of water consumption, waste management and soil conservation). We intend to maintain this high level with the help of the Daimler Group standards. The environmental and energy-related guidelines approved by the Board of Management define the environmental and energy-related policy of the Daimler Group. The guidelines also express our commitment to integrated environmental protection. That begins with the assessment of the causes of environment problems and takes into account the environmental effects of production processes and products as early as the planning and development phases.
Environmental protection measures at our production locations are coordinated across business units by three regional committees (Germany/Europe, North and South America, and Asia) that are centrally managed. These measures are regulated in line with a Group guideline and organizational and technical standards.
The environmental measures are monitored by external auditors (ISO 14001 certification, EMAS validation) and by internal environmental risk assessments (the due diligence process).
We conduct training sessions through the respective local organizations. The important content of our training sessions includes water pollution control, wastewater treatment, emergency management in case of environmentally relevant malfunctions, and the planning of plants and workplaces in accordance with environmental protection principles.
Minimizing environmental risks
In 1999 we developed a methodology for assessing environmental risks (environmental due diligence) as a tool for preventing risks to the environment and complying with statutory requirements. We have applied this methodology throughout the Group since 2000, both internally and also externally in connection with our acquisition plans. During this period we have conducted three complete risk assessments at the Daimler production plants of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Mercedes-Benz Vans, Daimler Trucks and Daimler Buses. The results of these assessments were reported to the management of the locations, and summaries were provided to the management of the respective divisions. The fourth round of environmental risk assessments began in 2014. A number of new risk aspects have been integrated into the topic areas. Nonetheless, we have not changed the methods or the tools, because we want these results to be comparable with the results of the assessments that have already been carried out. (See E.02)
In this way, all the production locations are being visited and assessed in five-year cycles according to well-established and standardized procedures. The results are reported to the plant and divisional managements, and the Group annually assesses the implementation of the recommendations for minimizing risks at the locations. In this way, we are striving to enforce the high environmental standards to which we have committed ourselves at all of our production locations around the world.
In 2017 we were also able to audit all the locations of the Daimler Buses division. The most important results were in the areas of rainwater pollution and rainwater drainage, as well as the proper storage of hazardous substances.