Many Industries, Uniform Standards


Daimler AG hosted in early July the industry-wide econsense project group "SCM – Sustainability in the Global Supply Chain." Among other things, the sustainability experts focused on a training package for suppliers on the subject of human rights.

The experts of the econsense project group meet several times a year to discuss the sustainable development of the economy. In July their host was Daimler. At the meeting a central topic dealt with was the training package on “the observance of human rights in the supply chain.” This training module is aimed at suppliers. The contents include concrete expectations regarding a company’s duty of care when it comes to human rights (“human rights due diligence”).

These are described using practical examples as well as a brief checklist showing how to improve conditions in supply chains. For example with respect to working hours and safety in the workplace. Buyers receive instructions as well as more detailed information as support. The e-learning module is published in four different languages on the Daimler Supplier Portal (English, German, Spanish, and Chinese).

daimler-supplier-econsense-group-july 2016
The econsense project group "SCM - Sustainability in the Supply Chain."

Promoting Industry-Wide Standardization

The Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) is also interested in the project group’s work. Sustainability experts from automotive manufacturers and suppliers are currently working on shared social and ecological minimum standards for suppliers. The VDA would like to publish these standards soon as a recommendation. As another step, the self-assessment survey for all OEMs is to be developed for suppliers and used for their supply chains. This facilitates a “common language” between OEMs, and also ensures that suppliers only have to complete one survey.

But Daimler’s procurement function is not only working in the field of sustainability in Germany. It is also implementing measures as part of the “European Automotive Working Group on Sustainability in the Supply Chain,” under the umbrella of CSR Europe. Together with other automotive manufacturers, Daimler is organizing the first “Sustainable Supply Chain Logistics Forum” which will be held on September 20, 2016 in Berlin. A report on the event will then be published in the Daimler Supplier Magazine Online.

Access to health care, the right to strike, and fair wages are just a few aspects of entrepreneurial due diligence.

No Business Relationship Without Sustainability

Suppliers must meet clearly defined requirements for a product to be considered as “produced sustainably.” The Supplier Sustainability Standards are part of the contractual conditions, and serve as the basis for every business relationship, be it with manufacturing suppliers or service providers, anywhere in the world. Direct suppliers are required to comply with the sustainability standards, convey them to their employees and pass them on to their upstream value added chains. Daimler supports its suppliers with targeted information and training measures.
This is also promoted by a brochure which serves as a guide and came about in partnership with industry associations. The brochure describes the consensus among econsense members regarding the central aspects of corporate sustainability. The goal is to promote a common understanding of corporate sustainability among large and small firms alike. And: a simplified dialog on sustainability throughout the supply chain.

Daimler’s procurement function is continuing to work with other automotive manufacturers and associations in order to establish sustainability even more firmly in supply chains.

Jul 20, 2016
Florence Göckeritz