Dealing with climate change is one of the greatest challenges in human history. That’s why it’s best, in this transformation to increased...
What is the drivetrain of the future? This question has been on our minds – and not just since the historic realignment of our company, but...
With the high-reaching goals of our “Ambition 2039,” we at Mercedes-Benz are clearly committed to climate-neutral mobility. But we also aim...
Dealing with climate change is one of the greatest challenges in human history. That’s why it’s best, in this transformation to increased sustainability, that we’re no longer discussing the “if” but the “how.” In doing so, we shouldn’t first think of problems, bans or sacrifices, but rather of the opportunity to keep our planet worthy of habiting and to promote social progress and prosperity.
With that in mind we are using our full strength to drive our transformation forward. With “Ambition 2039,” we set our course towards CO2 neutrality for our entire company in 2019. Last year we decided to once again significantly accelerate down the road to an emission-free and software-driven future. We will invest some 60 billion euros in this effort by 2026.
We want our products to be fully electric by the end of this decade wherever market conditions allow. With our new EQA, EQB, EQE and EQS we introduced four all-electric models in 2021 alone. And our electric product offensive continues – across all our brands. We are encouraged by the strong positive feedback from our customers, which is equally reflected in our strong sales numbers: In 2021 we sold nearly twice as many electric cars and vans as in the previous year.
However, when it comes to promoting sustainability, it’s not solely about products. It’s also about the big picture. In order to further advance the spread of electromobility, for example, we must also accelerate the expansion of green infrastructure – a very demanding task that governments, energy suppliers and car manufacturers can only solve by working together.
We’re also making our contribution: Mercedes me Charge, for example, is already one of the world’s largest charging networks with access to some 700,000 charging stations. By adding additional markets and charging station operators, this network is growing steadily. Working with our partners, we are participating in its further expansion. At the same time, we are increasingly using our own systems and buildings to generate sustainable electricity from solar power.
Much can be achieved when we pull together across company and industry boundaries. That is why we comply with international agreements in everything we do and are clearly committed to initiatives such as the UN Global Compact.
It is part of our corporate responsibility to optimally position ourselves structurally for the future. To do so we took a historic step forward last year: Out of the former Daimler we formed two strong, independent companies in Daimler Truck and Mercedes-Benz. This enables us to concentrate more fully on our respective customers and their technological requirements in the future and to further accelerate our transformation to sustainability.
What is the drivetrain of the future? This question has been on our minds – and not just since the historic realignment of our company, but since our founder fathers invented the automobile 136 years ago. At Mercedes-Benz we have a clear answer: Innovation. Today, this is particularly true when it comes to sustainability. Innovation is the key to ensure that future generations can live well on our planet. To this end, we are not only completely gearing our product range to electric driving – we are also changing the way we develop our vehicles.
We presented tangible evidence of this at the beginning of 2022 in our Vision EQXX. It’s an electric car pushing the boundaries and exploring options for future production vehicles. It is designed down to the last detail for maximum range and efficiency. With a comparatively small and light battery, our technology showcase will be capable of exceeding 1,000 kilometers on a single charge. To accomplish this, we pursued a holistic approach, from the high-tech drivetrain to optimized aerodynamics and bionic lightweight structures. We also set out to achieve as much as possible in terms of environmental compatibility. That’s why, for example, we use new materials obtained from cactus fibers and mushroom mycelium. The important thing is that this car is not merely a show car. It comes out of a technology program from which we learn to advance our series production. This includes new forms of digital development and interdisciplinary cooperation that make us both faster and more efficient.
The holistic approach to Vision EQXX is also a symbol of our efforts to become climate-neutral along our entire value chain. Production in our own plants will be CO2 neutral as early as 2022. We have also made carbon dioxide emissions a key award criterion in our purchasing. Suppliers, who account for around 90 percent of our annual purchasing volume, have already agreed to only supply us with CO2 neutral products in the future.
Rarely have we set ourselves more ambitious goals at Mercedes-Benz than we do today. This is how we want to be a driving force for a good future.
With the high-reaching goals of our “Ambition 2039,” we at Mercedes-Benz are clearly committed to climate-neutral mobility. But we also aim to be a driving force for a better future beyond our own value chain.
In November 2021, for example, we were the only German car manufacturer to sign the “COP26 Declaration on Zero-Emission Cars and Vans” at the world climate conference in Glasgow. We are convinced: Only through collective action by governments, business and civil society can we achieve the goals of the Paris climate agreement.
That is why we not only accelerated from “electric-first” to “electric-only” in this past year, but also further intensified the exchange with our stakeholders. In our Advisory Board for Integrity and Sustainability, in the Sustainability Dialogue and as part of our membership in organizations such as the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, we use external feedback to position ourselves even more sustainably.
In terms of sustainable transformation, we aim to create added value for all stakeholders in the spirit of ESG. We have therefore aligned our sustainable business strategy with the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN. For us, environmental, social and economic responsibility are inextricably linked.
Specifically, that means we do not want to shift any problems to other parts of the world – such as in the extraction of raw materials for our electric vehicles. We only want to offer products that have been manufactured without human rights violations. To this end, we are further developing our Human Rights Respect System, with which we can meet central regulatory requirements at an early stage. Our declaration of principles for social responsibility and human rights, which was adopted in the 2021 reporting year, also contributes to this end.
We employ governance instruments of this kind for other sustainability issues. The data compliance management system is becoming increasingly important to our ambition to “Lead in Car Software.” When using AI or automated driving, we also take ethical requirements into account. And we’ve done so with success: We were the first manufacturer in the world to receive an internationally valid system approval for highly automated driving.
Our corporate principles and our code of conduct, which was awarded top marks in the reporting year, help us to do the right thing. Sustainability and Integrity are the central guidelines in the daily work of our more than 170,000 employees. They play the decisive role in the sustainable transformation of Mercedes-Benz – our “how” to master what is perhaps the greatest challenge in human history.