As a fiduciary on behalf of our clients, BIS has engaged with members of Daimler’s Supervisory Board over the past several years on a range of governance and material sustainability topics, including the impact of climate risk on its business. In December 2017 we wrote a letter to the Chairman of Daimler’s Board of Management asking the company to closely review the TCFD framework and to consider reporting in alignment with its recommendations.
The company clearly considers climate risk in its strategy and has established a number of stepped targets to reduce its carbon intensity. For example, the company aims for CO2-neutral production across its European operations beginning in 2022, plug-in hybrids or all-electric vehicles accounting for more than a 50% share of passenger car sales by 2030 and CO2-neutral vehicles by 2039.3 While the company’s 2019 climate-related disclosures provide useful insights into these efforts, its limited progress in explicitly aligning its reporting with the TCFD recommendations falls short of our expectation of large carbon emitters with a previous history of engagement with BIS on the topic.
- Resolution on ratification of Supervisory Board members’ actions in the 2019 financial year
Given the lack of progress Daimler has made on its climate disclosures, BIS’ policy is to withhold support from the re-election of those Supervisory Board members who are most accountable through their membership of relevant board sub-committees. In the absence of such committees, BIS will hold accountable the most senior Supervisory Board member. However, Daimler has ‘staggered’ Supervisory Board elections, meaning that shareholders do not have the opportunity to vote on all members in any given year…While BIS accepts this as common practice in several markets across EMEA, the hindrance of this model to shareholders being able to optimally reflect their views is illustrated at this AGM. We are unable to withhold support from the re-election of Supervisory Board chair Dr. Manfred Bischoff as the most senior director responsible for climate disclosures. As such, BIS voted against the discharge of the Supervisory Board as a whole for actions taken in 2019.