Daimler dedicates themselves to sustainability in the supply of raw materials

Author: Osman Cetinkaya
Date: 09.08.2018

Expansion of e-mobility poses new challenges for purchasing

Daimler is working together with associations, organizations and competitors to promote a more sustainable supply chain. Together they have set several goals. In the future, for example, there will be certifiable standards and the working and living conditions of local people will be significantly improved. In addition, the procurement of risky raw materials should be more transparent regarding to the origin of the materials in the future.

By joining, Daimler complements its commitment to higher transparency in global supply chains. In addition, the company is thus setting an example for more sustainability in mobility. One main focus is on the procurement of materials such as cobalt, steel and aluminum, which are needed for the production of electric vehicles. Here, the next step will be to make supply chains completely transparent, especially in battery cell manufacturing. Besides cobalt, lithium, nickel, copper and manganese are also needed for this.

“The expansion of electro mobility poses new challenges for the automotive industry and especially for purchasing. We are aware of our responsibility in procuring raw materials and pool our resources in these initiatives through cooperation with other business enterprises” says Sabine Angermann, Head of Purchasing and Supplier Quality for Raw Material and Strategy at Mercedes-Benz Cars.

Board member Renata Jungo Brüngger sees the initiative as a complement to existing human rights protection activities, such as the Human Rights Respect System. In the long term, this decision could contribute to better circumstances for the people affected. The company considers about 50 raw materials as risky. The commitment is intended to make the supply chain of risky raw materials transparent and also to take measurements to make the goal a reality.

Joining the initiatives also serves the holistic sustainability strategy that Daimler is currently driving. Thereby, the company looks at the entire lifecycle of a product, so everything from development through purchasing and production to recycling. In this process every single initiative has its own goal.

Cobalt is the key component of e-mobility. Together with other companies, representatives of the government and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Daimler will now work on measures to combat social and environmental risk factors in the supply chain of cobalt. Thereby the focus is on minimizing child labor and increasing transparency and governance.

By joining the Responsible Minerals Initiative, Daimler can help to remove conflicting material from the supply chain. The certification scheme for refinery and smelters developed by the initiative will help. The initiative also provides tools and information for companies to help them source minerals with the necessary responsibilities. This can create more transparency in the supply chain.

Aluminum is also very important in the e-mobility sector. Unlike steel, it is a very light metal. By joining the Aluminum Stewardship Initiative, Daimler has laid the foundation to implement an independent certification scheme. In addition, Daimler is now part of the Responsible Steel Initiative, which increases transparency within the steel supply chain through the development of a certification scheme and is committed to developing CO2 production potential.

Daimler AG. is also a member of the industry initiative “Drive Sustainability”. They implement measures to improve supply chain sustainability. Daimler is one of the lead partners here and actively supports improving and raising sustainability standards in supply chains of all industry. The focus is especially on the tool of the sustainability questionnaire. Moreover there are trainings and workshops for suppliers to help them improve the sustainability of their supply chain.