At its first ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) Conference, Mercedes presented an ambitious plan to reduce carbon emissions by more than half, Well to Wheel (WTW), being thus over the entire life cycle of each car, by the end of this decade.
In addition, 70% of the energy used must be renewable. There needs to be more transparency about the origin of risky raw materials. Financing should be greener, and last but not least, the German manufacturer also wants 30% women in senior management positions by 2030.
50% CO2 reduction in ten years
At the COP26 climate conference in November 2021, Mercedes indicated that it wants to accelerate the transition to electromobility. “As demand for individual mobility continues to grow, it is important to more than halve carbon emissions by 2030,” states Ola Källenius, Chairman of the Board of Mercedes-Benz Group AG. “To make faster progress on climate protection, we need to cooperate better with governments, other companies, and actually the whole of society.”
From 2030 onward, the CO2 emissions of a vehicle – measured over its entire life cycle – must be reduced by more than 50% compared to 2020. This will involve using (70%) renewable energy through self-generated solar and wind power, improved battery technology, and extensive use of recycled materials.
Mercedes will work step-by-step and wants half of all new vehicles to be electric or plug-in hybrid as early as 2025, and from 2030, all vehicles must be electric, provided that the local markets support this.
Today, Mercedes already has six electric models, and that number will increase, with additional electric vans to follow. Mercedes also promotes the roll-out of charging points and focuses on ‘green charging’ by injecting sufficient, sustainable electricity into the grid.
The German manufacturer will also make the production of battery cells greener and believes it can reduce the CO2 emissions of production by 20%. Energy density can also be improved with LFP batteries with cobalt-free cathodes.
Such technology also makes later recycling easier. Mercedes will also use ‘green steel’ (H2GS) and aluminum that releases less CO2 during the production process. More recycled and circular materials will be used, such as PET bottles used for insulation and floor mats.
To accelerate this greening process, the ESG Conference analyzed that more diversity and inclusion are needed in the various teams, and this includes more women. Currently, women make up 37,5% of the management board, but the manufacturer wants more highly educated women in senior management positions. By 2030, the share of women here should be at least 30%.