Resource conservation

Resource conservation in production

Strategy and concepts

More environmentally friendly production

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Not only the use of resources in the vehicle but also the consumption of resources in production plays an important role in the environmental compatibility of vehicles. For this reason, the Mercedes-Benz Group is working continuously to make production more efficient and more environmentally friendly. In order to reduce the environmental footprint of our production processes, we want to use less water, energy and raw materials.

One important lever for reaching this goal is our measures to increase our energy efficiency. By becoming more energy-efficient we decrease our energy consumption and conserve resources while reducing the CO2 emissions of our production processes. We also want to reduce our water consumption — for example, by closing water cycles. Conserving resources also means reducing waste volumes. Accordingly, we are intensifying our efforts to use lower volumes of raw materials and other materials at our locations.

Group-wide resource management

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Shrinking the environmental footprint of our production processes is an integral part of our business strategy. In order to ensure efficient, high-quality, legally compliant and environmentally friendly manufacturing operations, we have established environmental management systems in accordance with EMAS or ISO 14001 at our production locations. Since 2012 we have also introduced energy management systems certified in accordance with the DIN EN ISO 50001 standard at our German production locations. These energy management systems are certified at regular intervals. We are currently also implementing ISO 50001 systems at a number of individual locations outside Germany. In accordance with the standard, we have embedded environmental and energy management within our organisation. By means of these systems we aim to achieve efficient, high-quality production processes that are also environmentally compatible, safe and in conformity with the law. The individual divisions and production locations are similarly responsible for the conservative use of resources. They set overarching and location-specific targets and report on these topics to the respective management. This procedure is the result of our system of targets, which was adopted by the Board of Management as a component of the sustainable business strategy.

Among other things, these environmental and energy management systems ensure clear areas of responsibility as well as transparent and standardised compliance with internal and external regulations for environmental protection and energy efficiency. In addition, they ensure that our production facilities worldwide engage in comprehensive reporting. Within the framework of our local environmental management systems and the overarching, company-wide risk assessments, we monitor the legally compliant operation in the areas of waste management, airborne emissions, wastewater discharge, soil/groundwater contamination and the handling of environmentally hazardous substances. In the event of any relevant shortcomings, we document and eliminate them.

The effectiveness of the management systems is monitored by external auditors as part of the certification process (ISO 14001, EMAS, ISO 50001), as well as in the environmental sector by internal environmental risk assessments (environmental due diligence process).

Environmental risk assessment

Environmental risk assessment (Graphic)

As early as 1999, we developed an environmental due diligence method in order to ensure transparency regarding potential environmental risks at our production locations, assess these risks and take the necessary preventive measures. Since then we have employed this method throughout the company — both internally at all production locations in which the company has a majority interest, as well as externally in connection with our planned mergers and acquisitions. We also have a standardised process in place for inspecting and assessing the Group’s consolidated production sites every five years. The results of this process are reported to the respective plant and company management so that any necessary optimisations can be carried out. In addition, we annually assess the extent to which our recommendations for minimising risks at the locations have been put into practice. The objective of our environmental risk assessments is to ensure that we meet high environmental standards at all of our production locations around the world.

Between 2000 and 2019 we concluded four cycles of risk assessments at the production locations of Mercedes-Benz Cars & Vans. The fifth round of the environmental risk assessments commenced in 2019 and will run until 2023.

Travel restrictions and lockdown regulations due to the covid-19 pandemic prevented the location inspections from taking place as planned in 2020 and 2021. The inspections that had to be cancelled will now be carried out over the next few years so that Mercedes-Benz AG can retain the five-year rhythm. We are continuing the internal reporting process, as well as our controlling of the improvement measures, as usual.


Training sessions on environmental protection

The Mercedes-Benz Group conducts environmental protection courses at its locations. The important content of our training courses includes waste and hazardous materials management, water pollution control, wastewater treatment, emergency management in case of environmentally relevant malfunctions and the planning of plants and workplaces in accordance with environmental protection principles.

The frequency and the content of our training sessions for employees depend on legal requirements as well as on local conditions. These requirements can differ depending on the location. In Germany, the corporate function “Sustainability, Group Environmental Protection & Energy Management” offers annual training courses for qualifying the officers responsible for air and water pollution control and waste management as required by German law.

Reduction of energy consumption

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The Mercedes-Benz Group regularly measures and assesses essential energy consumption in order to identify and take advantage of savings potential in the areas of production and infrastructure. Energy consumption is systematically recorded in a Group-wide database.

In order to save energy, we have, for example, optimised the switching times of lighting and ventilation systems at our locations and replaced conventional light sources with LEDs. In addition, we have implemented new lighting control concepts, including dimming functions. We’ve also optimised the controls of building technology systems and introduced a demand-oriented .

Furthermore, the Mercedes-Benz Group always looks for high levels of energy efficiency when it is purchasing new production facilities or converting buildings. We focus on the control systems for all technical installations and components, as well as a transparent system for measuring consumption. For example, we consider it important to have production equipment that can be switched off during breaks and non-production times and can be operated efficiently even under conditions. Moreover, we are sensitising the workforces at the plants to the issue of energy conservation by means of various measures such as generally visible tips, training courses and energy measurements in the production facilities. We’re also conserving energy by means of many different technical measures, including an intelligent robot control system, highly efficient for centralised compressed air production and the systematic reduction of the of management and production units. Furthermore, we are striving toward an efficient control system for all of our energy supply and building technology facilities.

During the reporting year, Mercedes-Benz AG used highly efficient robots to assemble the new S-Class and the EQS. This enabled energy consumption to be significantly reduced compared to the predecessors.

In addition, Mercedes-Benz increased the energy efficiency of its plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama (United States) in 2021 by, among other things, optimising existing ventilation systems, switching to LED lighting and using a highly efficient cooling unit for the new battery factory, which will commence operation in 2022.

At all Vans locations, we are optimising and expanding the technical systems for the recovery of waste heat from our processes. During the reporting year, a new heat recovery system was, for example, installed in the paint booths of the plant in North Charleston, South Carolina (United States). This allows heat energy to be recovered and fed back into the painting process.

The Mercedes-Benz Van plant in Düsseldorf optimised ventilation systems during the reporting year. Highly efficient drive systems, improved airflows and needs-based volumes of air significantly reduce energy consumption.

The Mercedes-Benz Group in China

Beijing Benz
Automotive Co. Ltd. (BBAC)

Fujian Benz
Automotive Co. Ltd. (FBAC)

Shenzhen DENZA New
Energy Automotive Co., Ltd.

49 per cent Daimler,
51 per cent BAIC

50 per cent Mercedes-Benz Vans Hongkong Limited, 35 per cent BAIC Motor Corporation Ltd., 15 per cent Fujian Motor Industry Group Corporation

50 per cent Daimler,
50 per cent BYD Co., Ltd.




Production volume in 2021
578,254 units

Production volume in 2021
37,766 units

Production volume in 2021
4,858 units

EQC1 SUV, AMG A35L, A-Class L, C-Class SWB & LWB, E-Class L, GLC SUV L, GLB, GLA, EQA, EQB

Body shop and Paint shop and assembly plant for vans (V-Class, Vito)


Energy consumption
1,059.3 GWh

  • thereof electricity: 505.7 GWh
  • thereof renewable electricity: 33 GWh
  • thereof natural gas: 520.6 GWh

Energy consumption
119.4 GWh

  • thereof electricity: 55.8 GWh
  • thereof natural gas: 63.5 GWh



EQC 400 4MATIC: NEDC: Combined electrical consumption: 21.9–19.4 kWh/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 0 g/km. Electricity consumption was determined on the basis of Commission Regulation (EC) No 692/2008.

Efficient water utilisation

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Water is not only a precious commodity — it is also scarce. According to UNESCO’s World Water Development Report, climate change, population growth and increasing consumption will lead to water scarcity for more than five billion people in 2050 — if we continue to use water at the present rate. That’s why the Mercedes-Benz Group wants to help create a more sustainable water management system and continue reducing its water consumption.

We are achieving this reduction by closing our water cycles — for example, by treating process water and using closed-loop cooling systems instead of open ones. For instance, the new paint shops are now using instead of . Mercedes-Benz has also implemented water-conserving measures for the rain test, which is used to check the water resistance of all new vehicles. At some locations, we are using a biological water treatment system that does not employ biocides. As a result, the wastewater contains fewer pollutants, and the volume of water can be retained and reused within the cycle roughly three times as often.

Wastewater from the production processes and sanitary facilities is either channelled to local wastewater treatment and disposal facilities according to local regulations or pretreated and purified at the company’s own sites. the Mercedes-Benz Group also has biological wastewater plants at a number of its locations. The risk of polluting rainwater on our plant premises is reduced through the Group’s regulations for environmental protection.

In order to improve water quality and minimise the risk of water pollution, our efforts related to waste water discharge encompass measures such as regular wastewater checks and their documentation. In order to initiate targeted measures at the locations, we developed the standard “Storm Water Protection — Pollutant Discharge Elimination” in 2014. This standard provides fundamental information and guidelines for the prevention and reduction of potential environmental damage through the rainwater management systems at production facilities, company-owned sales and service outlets and workshops. Since then, it has provided a basis for the targeted improvement of water quality.

Assessing water-related risks

At the Mercedes-Benz locations, we also evaluate water-related risks as part of our environmental risk assessments that take place every five years. The focus is on water extraction, discharge, flooding, scarcity and contamination. If necessary, remedial measures are initiated and their implementation is monitored. This ensures that technical and organisational risks are reduced in a demonstrable manner. Based on the assessments made over the past five years, only a few locations that suffered from water stress were identified.

Since 2021, Mercedes-Benz AG has also been working with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). We use the WWF water risk filter to examine and identify locations where there might be negative effects in the future. All of the Mercedes-Benz AG production locations were examined during the reporting year. Several of them will continue to be monitored.

Less waste

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The goal of the Mercedes-Benz Group is to keep the waste volumes generated in its production operations as low as possible. In order to make these efforts more focussed and long-lasting, we want to make the reduction of the total volume of waste a mandatory goal in the future.

In order to achieve this goal, it is important to ensure transparency concerning the waste value streams and to correctly separate the various types of waste. In Europe we classify different types of waste according to waste key numbers, and we treat and dispose of them according to legal requirements. We work with licensed and regularly certified waste disposal companies to ensure the professional disposal of our waste materials. Furthermore, we continue to implement new or optimised production processes in order to reduce waste such as clippings, sands, filter media and slurries.

Among other things, the sub-plant in Hedelfingen has installed filters into the swarf conveyor system. This enables more processing oil to be reused and reduces the amount of waste by 360 tons per year. We have also optimised the treatment and process reuse of old sands at the Untertürkheim plant. This continuous reuse of the sand cuts waste by more than 800 tons each year. During the reporting year, we also expanded the pre-treatment system for wastewater at the plant in Yesipovo (Russia), thus reducing the waste from water-soluble paints and coatings by over 1,500 tons.

However, our measures are not only restricted to individual locations, as we also search for cross-plant solutions for reusing operating materials. Among other things, we reuse the end caps of powertrains. These caps have a specific weight of 44 grams and their reuse in axle manufacturing can reduce waste by more than 20 tons per year.

Avoiding waste and CO2 emissions in catering

The production and sale of food and the disposal of food waste all have a considerable impact on the environment. The Group’s catering company in Germany, Daimler Gastronomie GmbH, provides around 45,000 employees with food and beverages daily at 11 locations in 30 staff restaurants and 70 company-owned shops. Our goal is to reduce the CO2 balance of our food and the volume of waste it generates.

Since March 2021 we have only offered take-away meals and drinks in disposable non-plastic packaging made of renewable raw materials. This switch enables us to cut plastic use by about 57.9 tons per year. However, we focus on reusable alternatives. As a result, we introduced a reusable non-plastic cup in January 2021. A deposit is charged for these cups. Since April 2021 we have also been offering a free reusable container for take-away food.

We want to reduce the CO2 emissions caused by our bought-in and prepared meals by up to 15 per cent in 2022. We want to achieve this goal by increasingly procuring regional and seasonal goods for our meals. Moreover, we want to optimise the use of meat and dairy products. For example, we now offer a vegan dish every day and will calculate the greenhouse gas emissions of individual meals in the future. Since December 2021, Daimler Gastronomie has been displaying its CO2 emissions at several locations. By March 2022, this kind of labelling is to be introduced at all of its directly operated canteens. This will enable us to depict savings in CO2 emissions and increase our employees’ awareness of what they eat while encouraging them to do so in an environmentally friendly way.

Wasting less food is another means of cutting CO2 emissions. That’s why we constantly weigh our waste food and make sure to avoid causing such waste along the entire value chain. Moreover, we set concrete goals for every year. During the reporting year, we achieved our goal of reducing the amount of waste food by five per cent relative to the previous year. We want to achieve this goal again in 2022.

Biological diversity

The decline of biodiversity is a global problem that is steadily growing. There are many causes for this decline, including the massive use of natural resources, increasing pollutant emissions and production-related inroads on habitat. Along with measures to reduce immissions and protect the climate as well as soil and water resources, another important task for Mercedes-Benz Group AG is the maintenance and promotion of biodiversity at its locations. At our production plants we have already established many measures to preserve the environmental balance, and we will continue to expand them in the future.

Our internal recommendations for promoting biodiversity include practical tips for creating semi-natural habitats at our plants. They encourage the plants to actively promote biodiversity and to consider this aspect when construction work is being planned, as well as implementing the corresponding measures. For example, at our locations we have created insect hotels and nesting aids for local birds, set up hotels for wild bees and created greening for roofs and façades, dry stream beds, rock gardens and flowering meadows. We have also redesigned semi-natural green areas at many of our locations in Germany. The German environmental organisation NABU has provided advice, support and documentation for our programmes benefiting the flora and fauna at these locations.

Many of the plants in Germany use the biodiversity index (BIX) we have developed in-house to evaluate their sites. The index indicates the environmental value of a plant-covered area or of an entire location. The BIX can be used to determine whether appropriate measures are required to promote biological diversity.

In order to make the employees aware of the importance of biodiversity, we have designed a travelling exhibition on this topic and presented it at many German locations in the reporting year.

In 2022, the Group’s sales outlets will install hive aids for wild bees throughout Germany in order to contribute to biodiversity at the local level.

Involvement in raw material initiatives

Raw material initiatives serve as important platforms for making the procurement of raw materials more environmentally and climate-friendly and more responsible. They provide cross-sector mechanisms such as auditing standards and certification systems that help, among other things, to make it possible to trace the origins of materials. The Mercedes-Benz Group focusses here on aluminium and steel:

  • Aluminium Stewardship Initiative: The Mercedes-Benz Group joined the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) in 2018. Through our membership, we are promoting the introduction and spread of an independent certification system for the entire aluminium value chain. The Responsible Aluminium Performance Standard combines ethical, environmental and social aspects. In the area of resource conservation, it particularly focusses on greenhouse gas emissions, airborne emissions, wastewater, waste and water. As a member of the Standards Committee, we are currently reworking and enhancing this standard. Mercedes-Benz AG already procures ASI-certified materials for certain components, such as those in the EQS. In addition, we only award contracts to our tier-1 press shop and foundry suppliers in Europe if they procure their primary aluminium from ASI-certified sources.
  • Responsible Steel Initiative: The Mercedes-Benz Group has been a member of the Responsible Steel Initiative since 2018, because steel accounts for the largest proportion of material used in automobile construction. It is also the world’s largest raw materials industry. The Responsible Steel Initiative is developing a uniform certification system that, on the one hand, specifies requirements regarding the responsible use of resources and, on the other, addresses the greenhouse gas emissions caused by the steel industry. The requirements of the certification system have been defined cooperatively by a number of stakeholders including the Mercedes-Benz Group. Our contribution particularly features the end customer’s perspective.

Effectiveness and results

The effectiveness of our management approach

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The Mercedes-Benz Group wants to steadily reduce resource consumption in production. To this end, we have set ourselves targets for water and energy consumption as well as for the volume of disposable waste per vehicle. We plan to achieve these targets by 2030. In order to monitor progress toward its goals and its reporting in this area, we systematically compile key environmental and energy data from the plants in Germany and abroad. The production locations throughout the world enter this data into a central environmental data information system for subsequent evaluation.

On the basis of this data and with the help of internal and external tools, we assess the extent to which we are reaching the resource targets we have set for our plants. For in-house assessments, we have defined key figures, which we regularly monitor. We have commissioned an auditing company to conduct the external audit. This company annually evaluates a selected number of our corporate goals and their implementation. We use the audited results of these evaluations to adapt and improve our measures for resource conservation.


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The projects for resource conservation were implemented as planned. Despite increasing energy efficiency, during the reporting year the energy consumption per vehicle at Mercedes-Benz Cars rose by ten per cent compared to 2020. The efficiency measures implemented were overlaid by increased consumption by our ventilation and heating systems due to the pandemic and by multiple ramp-ups of new models. An additional factor was due to the maintenance of production readiness at our plants during the semiconductor supply bottlenecks.

Approximately ten per cent of the energy consumption per vehicle produced is due to generation losses in the production of power and heat in our highly efficient combined heat and power plants.

The powertrain plants at our production locations manufacture products and parts kits for vehicles the production output of which is not consolidated in the scope of our balance. Around 30 per cent of our energy consumption of the powertrain plants is accounted for by these production volumes.

Due to similar effects, the energy consumption per vehicle at Mercedes-Benz Vans increased by five per cent compared to the previous year.

Mercedes-Benz Cars & Vans consumed 6,786 GWh/a of electricity, natural gas, fuels and other energy carriers in 2021. This was an increase of three per cent on the prior year.

Energy consumption per vehicle by car and powertrain plants

Energy consumption per vehicle by car and powertrain plants (Graphic)

At Mercedes-Benz Cars, water consumption per vehicle rose by five per cent in the reporting year, compared to 2020. This was also due to the maintenance of production readiness at our plants during the semiconductor supply bottlenecks and multiple ramp-ups of new models. Mercedes-Benz Vans was able, in contrast, to reduce the water consumption per vehicle by around two per cent compared to the previous year.

The volume of disposable waste per vehicle at Mercedes-Benz Cars decreased during the reporting year by 39 per cent compared to 2020. In recent years, waste has continuously decreased at Mercedes-Benz Cars due to the reduction of the waste components that made up a large part of the amounts disposed of at the plants for major assemblies and CKD production. Mercedes-Benz Vans reduced the volume of disposable waste per vehicle by three per cent compared to the previous year.

Development of waste for disposal Mercedes-Benz Cars & Vans

Development of waste for disposal Mercedes-Benz Cars & Vans (Graphic)
Energy consumption (in GWh)
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These data include Mercedes-Benz Cars & Vans. The spin-off and hive-down of the Daimler commercial vehicle business as an independent company in December 2021 makes it impossible to compare these data with the data from the previous years.


These data have been adjusted due to the spin-off and hive-down of the Daimler commercial vehicle business as an independent company, nonetheless, they still contain minor uncertainties as adjustments for combined locations and units can first be made in financial year 2022.

Water withdrawal (in 1,000 m3)
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These data include Mercedes-Benz Cars & Vans. The spin-off and hive-down of the Daimler commercial vehicle business as an independent company in December 2021 makes it impossible to compare these data with the data from the previous years.


These data have been adjusted due to the spin-off and hive-down of the Daimler commercial vehicle business as an independent company, nonetheless, they still contain minor uncertainties as adjustments for combined locations and units can first be made in financial year 2022.

Waste by category (in 1,000 t)
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Non-hazardous waste for disposal






Non-hazardous waste for recycling (not including scrap)






Scrap metal for recycling






Hazardous waste for disposal






Hazardous waste for recycling













These data include Mercedes-Benz Cars & Vans. The spin-off and hive-down of the Daimler commercial vehicle business as an independent company in December 2021 makes it impossible to compare these data with the data from the previous years.


These data have been adjusted due to the spin-off and hive-down of the Daimler commercial vehicle business as an independent company, nonetheless, they still contain minor uncertainties as adjustments for combined locations and units can first be made in financial year 2022.


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

Airflow control

Airflow control systems regulate the volume of incoming and outgoing air in ventilation systems.

All glossary terms

Partial load

Partial load refers to a machine’s mean operating condition between full load (100 per cent of possible output) and no load (the machine is switched off).

All glossary terms


A turbocompressor is a machine that can compress air. Compressed air is used, for example, to drive machines in industrial production. Unlike “normal” compressors, turbocompressors are structured like a turbine and have aerodynamic properties, which make them especially energy-efficient.

All glossary terms

Base load

With regard to power supply, the base load is the minimum amount of electric power that has to be generated in order to ensure grid stability.

All glossary terms

Dry/wet separation technologies

Paint separation systems are technologies that can bind excess paint particles that are released into the air when vehicles are painted. Wet separation uses water to clean the air. Dry separation is a more environmentally friendly variant in which a dry binding substance (e.g. stone dust) is used in order to reduce the amount of water and chemicals that are needed.

All glossary terms

Dry/wet separation technologies

Paint separation systems are technologies that can bind excess paint particles that are released into the air when vehicles are painted. Wet separation uses water to clean the air. Dry separation is a more environmentally friendly variant in which a dry binding substance (e.g. stone dust) is used in order to reduce the amount of water and chemicals that are needed.

All glossary terms