Mercedes-Benz AG

Mercedesstraße 120
70372 Stuttgart

Phone: +49 7 11 17-0

Represented by the Board of Management:
Ola Källenius (Chairman), Jörg Burzer, Renata Jungo Brüngger, Sabine Kohleisen, Markus Schäfer, Britta Seeger, Hubertus Troska, Harald Wilhelm

Chairman of the Supervisory Board:
Bernd Pischetsrieder

Court of Registry: Stuttgart; commercial register no. 762873
VAT ID: DE 32 12 81 763

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Sustainability Report 2022

Integrity and compliance

Compliance management

Strategy and concepts

Value-based compliance management

GRI 2-25

GRI 3-3

Value-based compliance is an indispensable part of the Mercedes-Benz Group’s daily business activities and is firmly embedded in its corporate culture. The company is strongly committed to responsible conduct. It expects its employees to comply with laws, regulations and voluntary self-commitments. The Mercedes-Benz Group has also laid down these expectations in its Integrity Code in binding form. 

Through its Compliance Management System (CMS), the Mercedes-Benz Group aims to promote compliance with laws and policies at the company. The necessary measures are defined by the compliance and legal organizations in a process that also takes the company’s business requirements into account in an appropriate manner.

Main objectives for compliance management

How the Mercedes-Benz Group approaches its priority objectives, which laws and directives it uses as a guide and which specific measures it implements are described below:

Combating corruption

GRI 3-3

GRI 205-1/-2/-3

The Mercedes-Benz Group has committed itself to fighting corruption - because corruption undermines fair competition and thereby harms it and society. The Mercedes-Benz Group’s corruption prevention measures extend beyond compliance with national laws and also encompass the guidelines from the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions (1997) and the United Nations Convention against Corruption (2003).

As a founding member of the UN Global Compact, and in accordance with one of its ten principles, the Mercedes-Benz Group takes steps to actively combat corruption around the world.

The Corruption Prevention Compliance Programme at the Mercedes-Benz Group is based on the Group-wide Content Management System (CMS). An important element of this programme is the integrated risk assessment. In assessing potential risks, the Group takes into account both internal information, such as an entity's business model, and external information such as the Corruption Perceptions Index of Transparency International. The Group sees increased corruption risks in the area of sales activities in high-risk countries. In these areas, the Mercedes-Benz Group implements targeted measures to minimise risks.

The results of the risk assessment serve as the basis for implementing targeted corruption prevention measures that are oriented toward the risk faced by the unit in question. These measures aim to prevent corruption in all business activities, for example, by critically evaluating business partners and transactions (with a risk-based approach) and interacting with authorities and public officials in a particularly sensitive manner. In this way, the Group seeks to allay any possible suspicion of bribery or corruption from the very start.

The management of each Group company is responsible for implementing and supervising the measures. In this task, the management team cooperates closely with the specialist units within the Integrity and Legal Affairs division. Mercedes-Benz Group AG monitors the activities of the management teams at the respective Group companies. Companies exposed to an increased corruption risk are supported by an independent Local Compliance Officer, who assists the respective management with the implementation of the Corruption Prevention Compliance Programme.

Mercedes-Benz Group AG regularly assesses the effectiveness of its measures and continuously enhances its methods and processes, particularly with respect to maintaining and promoting fair competition. In addition, Mercedes-Benz Group AG offers a variety of communication and training measures to sensitise its employees and raise awareness of the importance of corruption prevention.

In order to ensure an independent, external assessment of the Corruption Prevention Compliance Programme, Mercedes-Benz Group AG commissioned KPMG AG to audit its Compliance Management System for corruption prevention in accordance with 980 Standard of the Institute of Public Auditors in Germany. This audit, which was based on the principles of appropriateness, implementation and effectiveness, was successfully completed at the end of 2019.

Promoting fair competition

GRI 3-3

GRI 206-1

The Group-wide antitrust compliance programme is oriented to national and international standards in order to ensure fair competition. The programme establishes a binding, globally valid company standard that defines how matters of antitrust law are to be assessed. It is guided by the standards of the underlying European regulations and takes into account the established legal practice of the European antitrust authorities and courts. The objective in this regard is to ensure a uniform level of compliance and advice in all countries.

By means of an advisory hotline, guidelines and practical support, Mercedes-Benz Group AG helps its employees around the world to recognize situations that might be critical from an antitrust perspective and to act in compliance with all regulations. This is particularly important when employees deal with competitors, cooperate with dealers and general distributors, and participate in trade association work. In addition to the central legal department of Mercedes-Benz Group AG specialist counsels, local legal advisers are also available to the global business units. They also ensure that the standards are met.

The results of the Group’s annual compliance risk analysis form the basis for defining the measures. Responsibility for designing and implementing measures for addressing possible antitrust risks lies primarily with the respective Group company’s management. It also has the duty of supervision. As a result, managers at Group companies cooperate closely with the Integrity and Legal Affairs division, which also provides information on how to implement compliance measures effectively. Within the framework of its corporate management, the Mercedes-Benz Group AG monitors the management activities of the respective Group entity. In particular, entities which face a higher potential risk must also systematically assess the adequacy and effectiveness of locally implemented antitrust compliance measures at regular intervals. The Mercedes-Benz Group monitors the management activities of the respective company within the framework of Group management. To supplement this, the Compliance, Legal Product & Technology and Corporate Audit units conduct monitoring activities at the company’s divisions. They also examine whether antitrust laws and internal regulations are complied with, regardless of whether a suspicion exists. This helps the Mercedes-Benz Group to continuously improve the effectiveness of its antitrust compliance programme and adapt it to global developments and new legal requirements. The Mercedes-Benz Group constantly refines and improves the associated methods and processes.

The Mercedes-Benz Group utilises a variety of communication and training measures to make its employees aware of the importance of competition-related and antitrust laws and issues. In addition to the basic topic of “Contact with competitors”, the training focused on how to deal with contacts and behaviour in the area of association work, as well as in cooperation activities with other companies.

Managers and employees who are involved in trade association work are also required to take additional courses.

The local legal departments of foreign Group companies have independently organised and conducted additional specific training courses.

The Mercedes-Benz Group continually reviews existing training measures and develops them further – in particular the measures designed to maintain and promote fair competition. In addition, further information materials such as guides and toolkits on antitrust law in the context of ESG are to be developed for employees in the future.

In order to ensure an independent external assessment of the Antitrust Compliance Programme, Mercedes-Benz Group AG commissioned KPMG AG Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft to audit the Compliance Management System for antitrust law in accordance with Standard 980 of the Institute of Public Auditors in Germany. This audit, which based on the principles of appropriateness, implementation and effectiveness, was successfully completed at the end of 2021 for the second time, after having also been conducted in 2016.

Compliance with technical and regulatory requirements

GRI 416-2

Mercedes-Benz Cars and Mercedes-Benz Vans, technical compliance means adhering to technology-related laws, regulatory requirements and standards. The objective here is to identify risks within the product creation process (product development and certification) at an early stage and to implement preventive measures. For this purpose, the Group has established a technical Compliance Management System (tCMS) in its automotive divisions. The Mercedes-Benz Group’s objective is to ensure that Mercedes-Benz Cars and Mercedes-Benz Vans comply with all legal and regulatory requirements throughout the entire product development and certification process. The tCMS defines values, principles, structures and processes in order to provide employees with guidance and orientation, especially with regard to challenging questions on how to interpret technical regulations.

Mercedes-Benz Cars and Mercedes-Benz Vans has also created dedicated expert units for technical compliance in the development departments of vehicle-related divisions. Among other things, these units manage a network of technical compliance contact persons in the development and certification departments. This network serves as a link between the operating units and the compliance organisation. It supports the development departments in matters of technical compliance. Complex issues of technical compliance are evaluated and decided within the framework of an interdisciplinary process based on technical, legal and certification-related criteria (tCMS committees).

To account for the transformation and the special risks in software development and digitalisation, Mercedes-Benz Cars and Mercedes-Benz Vans have expanded the tCMS organisation in the Integrity and Legal Affairs division. Here, a new unit was established that adjusts tCMS processes and structures – and supplements them when necessary – in line with specific software development requirements. In this context, further expansion of the global tCMS network has also begun.

Across the Group, the tCMS is managed by an independent governance function whose management team reports directly to the Board of Management member for Integrity and Legal Affairs. This governance function comprises employees with expertise in various fields, such as development, legal affairs, integrity and compliance.

The tCMS policy has applied to Mercedes-Benz Cars and Mercedes-Benz Vans since 2019. Since then, it has been valid for all subsidiaries with relevant development and certification activities. The policy summarises the key elements of the tCMS and defines the roles and responsibilities of all relevant functions. Process descriptions have been developed for key elements of the tCMS; the rights and obligations of the tCMS committees are defined in rules of procedure.

In addition, the whistleblower system BPO is available as a point of contact when there are indications of misconduct in connection with technical compliance. Examples of such violations include infringements of technical provisions or environmental protection regulations.

Various training and communication measures are regularly carried out in order to raise awareness of integrity, compliance and the law in the product development process among employees of Mercedes-Benz Cars and Mercedes-Benz Vans in the development and certification departments of all business units.

In order to ensure technical compliance in the supply chain of Mercedes-Benz Cars and Mercedes-Benz Vans, the segments raise awareness of the importance of technical compliance among business partners, especially suppliers. Mercedes-Benz Cars and Mercedes-Benz Vans communicate the specific requirements in the form of information guidelines, for example. The segments also enter into dialogue with selected business partners whose scope of supply is of particular relevance for technical compliance; Mercedes-Benz Cars and Mercedes-Benz Vans communicate their understanding of technical compliance and clarify their expectations towards their business partners.

Technical Integrity is an important component of the tCMS, helping to further develop integrity culture in the product development departments and establish it there for the long term. It makes an important contribution to the corporate culture, as well as to the protection of the Group’s reputation, by openly addressing critical issues and making deliberate discretionary decisions.

The “Speak up” and “Judgement calls” commitment statements jointly formulated by the integrity management team and the development units provide all employees in the development and certification units with a basis for a common understanding of responsible behaviour in the product creation process and are firmly embedded within the respective organizations by means of additional measures within the units.

Mercedes-Benz Cars and Mercedes-Benz Vans assess the effectiveness of the tCMS by means of an annual monitoring process. The improvement measures identified here are considered and addressed.

In order to ensure an independent external assessment of the tCMS, Mercedes-Benz Group AG commissioned KPMG AG Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft to audit the tCMS with a focus on relevance to emissions in accordance with Standard 980 of the Institute of Public Auditors in Germany. This audit, which was based on the principles of appropriateness, implementation and effectiveness, was successfully completed at the end of 2020.

Responsible handling of data

Connectivity and digitalisation will have a major impact on mobility in the future. The responsible handling of data is therefore becoming increasingly important for the success of the Mercedes-Benz Group. The Group meets the increased regulatory requirements in the area of data protection with its Group-wide Data Compliance Management System (Data CMS), which is embedded in an overarching data governance system together with the data vision and data culture.

Sanctions compliance, export control and prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing

In the context of the volatile and dynamic development of personal and goods-related sanctions and embargoes, Mercedes-Benz Group AG ensures that all applicable sanctions and export restrictions are observed.

The Group-wide policies on sanctions compliance and export control define uniform measures for compliance with applicable sanctions regulations and goods-related restrictions. Among other things, this involves the systematic checks of applicable sanctions lists and goods-related restrictions. Doing business with individuals, companies and organisations designated on these lists is a potentially illegal and punishable offence. As required by law, the Mercedes-Benz Group compares the sanctions lists with the data of customers, employees, strategic cooperation partners and business partners, for example, from Sales and Procurement. In doing so, it considers applicable supranational sanctions lists and embargos, such as those published by the United Nations and the European Union, as well as national sanctions lists from various countries (in particular the United States) while taking respective data protection requirements into account. The extent to which further risk minimization measures are necessary and must be implemented is constantly analysed and evaluated.

In addition, money laundering and the financing of terrorism cause tremendous damage - to the economy and society in equal measure. Even an accusation of money laundering can compromise the Group’s reputation and have financial consequences for the Mercedes-Benz Group, as well as for its shareholders and stakeholders. For this reason, the prevention of money laundering and the financing of terrorism, and the implementation of appropriate measures to combat both, are defined as central compliance goals in the Group’s Integrity Code.

The Mercedes-Benz Group produces and sells motor vehicles worldwide, and offers its customers corresponding services as well as suitable financial and mobility solutions. As a result, Mercedes-Benz Group AG and its affiliates conduct their operations in accordance with the provisions of the German Money Laundering Act (GwG) applicable to both distributors of goods and the financing and leasing business. For example, the Mercedes-Benz Group has taken groupwide measures to prevent and combat money laundering and terrorist financing.

In order to effectively combat and prevent money laundering, the Mercedes-Benz Group established a two-pillar model (trade in goods and mobility services) which aims to take into account the different regulatory requirements in the area of goods trading on the one hand and the area of financial services on the other. It uses an integrated compliance approach to check applicable sanction lists and restrictions on certain goods and implements measures for the prevention of money laundering and the financing of terrorism. On the one hand, these measures aim to prevent supranational and national sanctions and embargoes from being evaded; on the other, money laundering, the financing of terrorism, organized crime and other types of corporate crime are to be combated. 

The first pillar of money laundering prevention comprises the affiliates of the Mercedes-Benz Group as dealers in goods, while the second pillar relates to the Mercedes-Benz Mobility financial companies. For the first pillar of the core business, vehicle sales and service in goods trading, Mercedes-Benz Group AG has officially appointed the Chief Compliance Officer and Vice President Legal Product & Technology as the responsible Group Money Laundering Officer and his deputy respectively. They report directly to the Board of Management member responsible for the prevention of money laundering, are in charge of money laundering prevention for all affiliates in the goods trade and act as a contact for the regulatory authorities, law enforcement agencies, authorities for the investigation, prevention and elimination of threats as well as for the Central Office for Financial Transaction Investigations. In this process, the Group Anti-Money Laundering Officer for the distribution of goods reports to the Board of Management member for Integrity and Legal Affairs, whereas the Group Anti-Money Laundering Officer for Mercedes-Benz Mobility reports to the Board of Management member for Finance & Controlling. The strategic exchange between these two pillars is ensured by the Group-wide Anti Financial Crime Committee. This committee brings together the Group Anti-Money Laundering Officers and their deputies from both pillars as well as key stakeholders for compliance and criminal law issues in order to share information.

The Anti Financial Crime & Export Control (AFC & ECL) specialist unit supports the Money Laundering Officer in all their tasks: for example, it performs the regulatory function for Mercedes-Benz Group AG and all its companies in the area of goods trading across all business divisions, and is responsible for the standards and processes applicable throughout the Group in accordance with the Money Laundering Act. In addition, it is responsible for the Group-wide Sanctions Compliance Program and export control compliance. As a central unit, the specialist unit therefore also brings together under one roof the two Centres of Competence for Preventing and Combating Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism and the Centre of Competence for Sanctions Compliance and Export Control.

Prevention of money laundering at Mercedes-Benz Mobility, the second pillar, is managed by the “Anti-Money Laundering@MBM Group Office”, which defines the standards and uniform measures in accordance with the Money Laundering Act in the Guideline on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing of Mercedes-Benz Mobility AG. The subsidiaries of Mercedes-Benz Mobility AG are obliged to implement the policy in their respective organisations. The Group Office continuously monitors their implementation in close cooperation with the money laundering officers of the subsidiaries of Mercedes-Benz Mobility AG through an annual, detailed group risk analysis as well as control and monitoring actions derived from it. If a need for action is identified, the Group Office informs the respective money laundering officers and the management in order to agree on remedial measures. The activities are always carried out in close cooperation with the compliance organisation of the Mercedes-Benz Group and the AFC department for goods trading.

Open-source software and licensing agreements

In 2021, the Mercedes-Benz Group introduced a Group-wide “Free and Open Source” policy. In this policy, the Group has defined measures, processes and systems with which it ensures that the licensing requirements for open-source software are observed. This so-called FOSS ecosystem was further developed by the Group in the reporting period, with regard to the digitalisation and automation of processes to improve the feasibility of the licensing requirements. One of the goals was to establish a “FOSS Disclosure Process”. This also makes a significant contribution to the Mercedes-Benz Group’s digitalisation offensive.

The Compliance Management System

The Compliance Management System (Graphic)

The Compliance Management System

GRI 3-3

The CMS at Mercedes-Benz Group AG consists of basic principles and measures that ensure compliant behaviour. The CMS is based on national and international standards and is applied on a global scale in the Mercedes-Benz Group. The CMS consists of seven elements that build on one another.

Compliance organisation

GRI 3-3

The compliance organization at the Mercedes-Benz Group is structured functionally, regionally and along the value chain. As a result, it can provide effective support - for example, by means of guidelines and advice. Contact persons are available to each function and region. In addition, a global network of local contact persons makes sure that the Group’s compliance standards are met. The contact persons help the management at the companies implement the Mercedes-Benz Group’s compliance programme at their respective sites.

Moreover, the Compliance Board provides guidance regarding overarching compliance topics and monitors activities to see whether the Group’s compliance measures are effective. The Board’s mission is to react promptly to changes in business models and the business environment, deal with regulatory developments and continuously enhance the CMS. The Compliance Board consists of representatives of the compliance and legal affairs departments. It meets regularly and as needed, and is chaired by the Chief Compliance Officer and Vice President Legal Product & Technology.

The Chief Compliance Officer and Vice President Legal Product & Technology reports directly to the member of the Board of Management for Integrity and Legal Affairs and to the Audit Committee of the Supervisory Board. He also reports regularly to the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG at regular intervals and as needed on matters such as the status of the CMS and its further development, as well as the BPO whistleblower system.

In addition, the Chief Compliance Officer and Vice President Legal Product & Technology reports to the Group Risk Management Committee. From the Mercedes-Benz Group’s perspective, the structure of the reporting lines safeguards the compliance officers’ independence from the business divisions.

Compliance risks

GRI 3-3

GRI 205-1

The Mercedes-Benz Group examines and evaluates its subsidiaries and corporate departments systematically each year in order to reduce compliance risks. In this process, the Mercedes-Benz Group uses, for example, centrally available information about its companies, such as revenue, business models and relations with business partners. If necessary, other locally sourced information is supplemented. The results of these analyses are the foundation of the Group’s compliance risk control.

How legal proceedings are handled

GRI 2-16/-27

GRI 3-3

GRI 206-1

The Mercedes-Benz Group assesses legal proceedings against its subsidiaries as being significant if they represent a particular financial and/or reputational risk for the Group. Significant legal proceedings against subsidiaries of the Mercedes-Benz Group are presented in the Annual Report 2022 or in the respective current quarterly report.


Compliance programme

The compliance programme comprises principles and measures that are designed to reduce compliance risks and prevent violations of laws and regulations. The individual measures are based on the knowledge gained through the Group’s systematic compliance risk analysis. The Mercedes-Benz Group focuses, among other things, on the following aspects: the continuous raising of awareness of compliance issues, the systematic tracking of information received regarding misconduct, and the formulation of clear standards for the behaviour of business partners. All of these points are addressed in greater detail in a later section.

The whistleblower system BPO

GRI 2-16/-25

The Business Practices Office (BPO) whistleblower system enables all employees worldwide, as well as business partners and third parties, to report violations of the rules. The BPO is available around the clock to receive information, which can be sent by e-mail or normal mail or by filling out a special online form. External toll-free hotlines are also available in Brazil, Japan, South Africa and the United States. Reports can also be submitted anonymously if local laws permit this. In Germany, whistleblower reports can also be submitted to an external neutral intermediary in addition to the BPO.

The information provided to the BPO whistleblower system enables the Mercedes-Benz Group to learn about potential risks and thus to prevent damage to the Group and its employees and business partners, as well as to protect individuals who might be harmed by misconduct. A globally valid corporate policy defines BPO procedures and the corresponding responsibilities. This policy aims to ensure a fair and transparent process that takes into account the principle of proportionality for the affected parties, while also giving protection to whistleblowers. It also defines a standard for the Mercedes-Benz Group’s evaluation of incidents of misconduct and decisions about their consequences. If a new report is received, the BPO usually confirms receipt to the whistleblower within 24 hours. After an initial risk-based assessment based on the four-eyes principle, the BPO forwards the case to an appropriate investigation unit or to the responsible department.

If the initial risk-based assessment of an incident categorizes it as a low-risk rule violation for the Mercedes-Benz Group, the BPO hands the case over to the responsible unit – for example, the HR department, Corporate Security or Corporate Data Protection. The respective unit investigates the incident and deals with the case on its own authority. Examples of rule violations with a low risk include theft, breach of trust, and undue enrichment valued at less than €100,000 – if the violation does not fall into the category of corruption. 

If the BPO’s risk-based initial assessment categorizes an incident as a rule violation with a high risk for the Mercedes-Benz Group or for individuals affected by the violation, the BPO hands the case over to an investigation unit. The BPO provides support for the subsequent investigation until the case is closed. Examples of high-risk rule violations include offences related to corruption, breaches of antitrust law and violations of anti-money laundering regulations, as well as infringements of binding technical provisions or environmental protection regulations. Personal matters, such as incidents of sexual harassment or human rights violations, are also considered
high-risk rule violations.

Based on the report of the internal investigation unit, recognisable misconduct is also assessed under the aspect of labour law. Human Resources can then impose appropriate personnel measures in line with applicable labour laws. Possible personnel measures as a result of rule violations are described in the Treatment of Violations policy and can be viewed transparently by all employees. The investigation report can refer not only to irregular conduct, but also to favourable associated circumstances and possibilities for further improving processes and for specifying measures that have a mitigating effect or prevent a repeat offence.

In an effort to constantly increase trust in the BPO whistleblower system and make it even better known to employees, the Mercedes-Benz Group uses a variety of communication measures. Here, the company also takes into account the knowledge gained from the most recent employee survey. The Group provides informational materials such as country-specific information cards, pocket guides and an instructional video that is available in ten different languages. The Mercedes-Benz Group also holds dialogue events at which it provides employees with information about the BPO. In addition, the company regularly informs employees about the type and number of reported violations and makes case studies available on a quarterly basis. For example, individual case studies of rule violations representing a high risk for the Mercedes-Benz Group are regularly presented in-house in anonymised form. In this way, the Group wants to contribute to becoming a “learning organisation”. In addition, the Mercedes-Benz Group publishes quarterly statistics on the incidence of cases by case category in order to raise awareness among employees and checks the effectiveness of the measures through regular employee surveys. This involves asking specific questions about awareness of and trust in the BPO. Within this framework, employees can also give feedback worldwide.

Whistleblowers who report a possible rule violation based on concrete indications are protected; the confidentiality of their statements is ensured. The policy classifies penalties imposed on whistleblowers as a high-risk rule violation. As a result, whistleblowers who have been discriminated against for their reports should contact the BPO. Discrimination against or intimidation of a person because of a report they have made is punishable by disciplinary measures in consideration of the applicable law.

Whistleblowers may also contact government authorities (such as the police, public prosecutor’s office and supervisory bodies for financial services) at any time. There are no in-house requirements or measures that would hinder or prevent such a step.

Sales partners and suppliers

The Mercedes-Benz Group expects not only its employees to comply with laws and regulations. The Group also requires its sales partners and suppliers to adhere to clear compliance requirements, because it regards integrity and conformity with regulations as a precondition for trust-based cooperation. The Business Partner Standards describe in detail exactly what the Mercedes-Benz Group expects of its business partners. 

In the selection of direct sales partners and in existing sales partnerships, the Group ensures that its business partners comply with laws and observe ethical principles. In order to monitor this, the Mercedes-Benz Group uses a globally standardized, risk-based Sales Business Partner Due Diligence Process. During the reporting year, the Group subjected all of the new sales partners to a due diligence audit. In addition, it audits the existing sales partners as part of the monitoring process. Monitoring in this area is designed to ensure that the company can identify possible integrity violations by its sales partners. The Mercedes-Benz Group also reserves the right to terminate cooperation with, or terminate the selection process for, any sales partner who fails to comply with the Group’s standards. In addition, the Mercedes-Benz Group works with its procurement units to continuously improve processes for selecting and cooperating with suppliers.

The Mercedes-Benz Group’s Responsible Sourcing Standards replaced the Supplier Sustainability Standards in the reporting year and therefore now apply to the suppliers. On the basis of these standards and the Integrity Code, the Mercedes-Benz Group makes a Compliance Awareness Module available to each of its suppliers and sales partners. These modules are intended to sensitize them to current integrity and compliance requirements such as those related to anti-corruption measures and technical compliance. Through these measures, the Mercedes-Benz Group also offers its suppliers and sales partners assistance for dealing with possible compliance risks.


GRI 2-17

GRI 3-3

GRI 205-2

Mercedes-Benz Group offers an extensive range of compliance training courses that are based on its Integrity Code – for example, courses for employees in administrative areas and for members of the Supervisory Board and the executive management of Group companies. The contents and topics of the training courses are tailored to the roles and functions of the respective target group. Mercedes-Benz Group AG regularly analyses the need for its training programme, expands or adapts it as necessary and conducts evaluations. As a review of the acquired knowledge, the web-based training courses contain test and control questions that must be answered correctly for successful completion of the respective modules. Employees in administration have access to a web-based training programme for specific target groups, which, in addition to a mandatory basic module, includes specific modules for managers as well as expert modules on various compliance topics.

Mercedes-Benz Group AG automatically assigns the respective modules to employees when they are recruited or promoted, or when they switch to a role associated with increased risk. Employees must complete the training programme every three years. The training is voluntary for industrial employees. The central web-based training portfolio is complemented by local training courses and classroom training.

Mercedes-Benz Group AG also offers information and training measures for supervisory and management functions. This applies, for example, to new members of the Supervisory Board of Mercedes-Benz Group AG. As part of the onboarding programme, Mercedes-Benz Group AG informs the new members about the topics of compliance, integrity, law and sustainability – specifically, for example, about the antitrust compliance programme and the “technical compliance management system”.

The new web-based management module “Corporate Governance” is aimed at CEOs and CFOs, members of a supervisory board committee of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, as well as controlled and non-controlled shareholdings. It provides general knowledge about the rights, duties and personal risks associated with the mandate. In this way, the training supports newly appointed as well as existing members of senior management and Supervisory Board functions in their role and exercise of their mandates.

Effectiveness and results

Effectiveness of the management approach

GRI 3-3

Each year, the Mercedes-Benz Group checks the processes and measures of the CMS and conducts analyses to find out whether the measures are appropriate and effective. For these activities, the Mercedes-Benz Group relies on information about the Group companies as well as additional locally gathered information. The Group also monitors their processes regularly on the basis of key performance indicators such as the duration and quality of individual processes. To determine these indicators, the Mercedes-Benz Group checks, among other things, whether formal requirements are being met and whether the content is complete. It also takes into account the knowledge gained through both internal and independent external assessments.

If changed risks or new legal requirements call for adjustments, the Mercedes-Benz Group adapts the CMS accordingly. The Group companies implement the improvement measures derived from this process. The companies also regularly monitor these measures to determine their effectiveness and inform the responsible management committees about the results of their monitoring process.


Independent audits

In order to ensure an independent external assessment of the compliance programme, Mercedes-Benz Group AG appointed auditing firm KPMG AG to audit its Compliance Management Systems (CMS) for corruption prevention, antitrust and technical compliance in accordance with Auditing Standard 980 of the Institute of Public Auditors in Germany. These audits, which were based on the principles of appropriateness, implementation and effectiveness, were successfully completed for the Group’s CMS Corruption Prevention at the end of 2019, for tCMS (focus on emissions) at the end of 2020 and for CMS Antitrust at the end of 2021. The latter was the second such audit, the first having been conducted in 2016.

Reported violations

GRI 2-16

GRI 3-3

GRI 205-1/-3

GRI 406-1

The Business Practices Office (BPO) whistleblower system enables all employees, as well as business partners and third parties, to report misconduct anywhere in the world. A total of 72 new cases were opened during the reporting year (2021: 33 cases). Overall, 19 cases were closed “with merit”. In these cases, the initial suspicion was confirmed. Of these cases, two were in the Environmental Violations category, one was in the Data Protection category and four were in the Reputational Damage category. In ten cases, accusations of inappropriate behaviour of employees toward third parties were confirmed – e.g. racism or sexual harassment. One case fell into the category of Antitrust Law. Another case fell into the category of Injury to Physical Integrity. With regard to those cases that are closed “with merit”, the Mercedes-Benz Group decides on appropriate response measures in line with the principles of proportionality and fairness. The personnel measures in 2022 included admonishments, warnings and terminations without notice.

Key figures

Integrity and compliance training programme 2022 – web-based
GRI 205-2

Basic Modules

These modules are automatically assigned to all active employees (full-time and part-time) in administration of Mercedes-Benz Group AG and group member companies.


Basic Module – Integrity@Work

Number of participants


(Key content: Integrity and compliance as competitive edge, prevention of corruption, protection of free competition, protection of personal data, human rights, indications of legal and rule violations)



Administrators worldwide:


Managers worldwide:


Basic Module - Sustainability@Mercedes-Benz

Number of participants




Administrators worldwide:


Managers worldwide:


Management Modules



Management Module - Integrity@Work

Number of participants


This module is automatically assigned to all managers (full-time and part-time) of Mercedes-Benz Group AG and controlled member companies.



Managers worldwide:


Management Module - Corporate Governance

Number of participants


This module is assigned to all CEOs/CFOs as well as members of a supervisory board of Mercedes-Benz Group AG and controlled as well as non-controlled holdings.



Managers worldwide:


Expert Modules

These modules are automatically assigned to all relevant employees (full-time and part-time) in administration of Mercedes-Benz Group AG and controlled member companies.


Expert Module – Anti-Money Laundering

Number of participants




Administrators worldwide:


Managers worldwide:


Expert Module – Antitrust Overview

Number of participants




Administrators worldwide:


Managers worldwide:


Expert Module – Data@Mercedes-Benz

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Administrators worldwide:


Managers worldwide:


Expert Module – EU General Data Protection Regulation

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Administrators worldwide:


Managers worldwide:


Expert Module – Insider Law

Number of participants




Administrators worldwide:


Managers worldwide:


Expert Module - Integrity & Compliance@Mobility Sales & Marketing

Number of participants




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Expert Module – Integrity & Compliance@Procurement

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Administrators worldwide:


Managers worldwide:


Expert Module - Integrity & Compliance@Sales & Marketing

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Managers worldwide:


Expert Module – Intellectual Property

Number of participants




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Managers worldwide:


Expert Module – Product Safety & Liability

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Managers worldwide:


Expert Module – SCE Relevance@Cars and Vans

Number of participants




Administrators worldwide:


Managers worldwide:


Expert Module – Social Compliance

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Administrators worldwide:


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Expert Module – Technical Compliance & Integrity@Cars and Vans

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Administrators worldwide:


Managers worldwide:


Integrity and compliance training programme 2022 – face-to-face1, 2
GRI 205-2


Number of events

Number of participants

(incl. general compliance topics)



Anti-Money Laundering






Check against Sanction Lists



Data Compliance



Technical Compliance




Face-to-face training sessions were partially conducted in digital form in the reporting year.


Target group relevant managers and administrators worldwide

Due diligence
In general, due diligence processes involve careful examinations, analyses and assessments of a company. Human rights due diligence encompasses measures that a company employs in order to detect and counteract human rights-related risks in its business operations, its supply chain and the services it uses.
All glossary terms
The acronym ESG stands for Environment, Social and Governance. Within the context of sustainable finance, this abbreviation is used when investment decisions take into account environmental, social and responsible governance aspects, in short: ESG criteria.
All glossary terms
Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) is software whose source code is public and thus offers possibilities to many developers to develop custom solutions. A prerequisite is compliance with relevant licences that require the open source principle for the further development. Players and resources in this area can be seen in their multiplicity as an "ecosystem", which evolves dynamically and in a self-directed manner.
All glossary terms
Based in Paris, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an international organisation encompassing 37 member countries that are committed to democracy and a market economy.
All glossary terms
UN Global Compact (UNGC)
The United Nations (UN) Global Compact is a pact concluded between companies and the UN in order to make globalisation more socially and environmentally friendly. The companies regularly report to the UN on the progress they make.
All glossary terms