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Mercedes-Benz
Gap Score: +10.0
#bestglobalgreenbrands
  • Mercedes-Benz has achieved a slight reduction of CO2 emissions per vehicle, but CO2 emissions have increased overall. Compared to other automakers, its disclosure around these issues is minimal.

  • Overall waste production has slightly decreased.

  • Overall water usage has slightly decreased.

  • Mercedes-Benz and its parent Daimler continue to innovate toward more-sustainable vehicles. Half of the patents earned in 2010 were for green technologies. It has the most hybrid vehicles (buses, vans, and cars) on the road, four electric vehicles in production, and its BlueTEC clean diesel models are among the most eco-friendly in Germany’s luxury class for CO2 emissions.

Working Together

In June 2010, Mercedes-Benz (China) Ltd. announced the establishment of the Mercedes-Benz Star Fund in partnership with the China Youth Development Foundation (CYDF). An investment of nearly US$5 million in the Mercedes-Benz Star Fund is the company’s largest start-up amount for a charity fund worldwide and makes it one of the biggest start-up charity funds in the Chinese auto industry. Under the slogan “Nurturing the World of Tomorrow,” the Mercedes-Benz Star Fund provides an integrated platform supporting the five core CSR pillars of environmental protection; education; music, arts, and sports; charity and disaster relief; and the culture of driving. The new initiative not only signifies Mercedes-Benz’s long-term commitment to social causes in China, but also sets up a comprehensive leadership model to advocate for sustainable causes. Poised to become a positive driving force in the company’s CSR efforts, the fund is expected contribute significantly to the well-being and future of Chinese society.

The Green Advantage

Despite innovations such as BlueTEC and BlueEFFICIENCY, Mercedes-Benz is still popularly associated with luxury and the finest German engineering and less recognized for its sustainability efforts. The automotive industry is one of the more competitive ones for operations improvements, with most competitors improving operational points in 2014. In comparison, Mercedes fell behind its peers, particularly in emissions, energy, and water intensities. Mercedes has, in recent years, expressed its commitment to energy efficiency through its state-of-the-art products, but to keep pace with others in its industry, it must take a more holistic view of its enterprise and extend its sustainability efforts to all parts of its business. At a time when others in its industry are making headlines for their green initiatives, it is essential for Mercedes to highlight its own innovative approaches and clearly communicate its strategic intention to create a world of clean mobility—that doesn’t sacrifice luxury.

Links

Mercedes-Benz and the environment
Sustainability drives growth at Daimler
Daimler Sustainability Report 2013