- as a catalyst for global trade with its world-spanning logistics networks, which make it possible for companies and people to participate in international trade, and
- as an indirect economic factor, with our sites, employees and suppliers contributing to economic growth and development in their respective regions.
The Group’s economic performance is presented in detail in our 2016 Annual Report. Our solid financial position is evidence of the trust our customers place in us as a socially responsible company. At the same time, this position allows us to expand our activity in the area of corporate responsibility.
Conservative tax strategy
By paying taxes and other duties to federal, state and local authorities in many different countries, the Group also helps finance the maintenance and expansion of infrastructure. This responsibility is the basis for our conservative tax strategy. As a global company, we also have subsidiaries in so-called “low-tax” countries; we do not regard these as tax optimization opportunities, but as companies that support our business activity.
With the help of our global team of tax experts, we ensure that taxation risks can be recognized and counteracted, that national and international tax-related complianceThe adherence to laws and regulations, standards, company policies and self-commitments. requirements are met and, as a result, that the commercial activities of the Group are properly taxed in the respective countries. Please refer to our 2016 Annual Report for details on our tax expenses.
Rewarding investor trust
We reward the trust placed in us by our investors with a stable share price. In the reporting year, we paid out €1,027 million in dividends for fiscal year 2015, pumping this money back into the economy. Information on dividends for fiscal year 2016 can be found in our 2016 Annual Report.