Climate protection & air quality

On the road to CO2-neutral production

Climate and environmental protection already play an important role in the production of our vehicles. Our goal is to make our vehicle production processes CO2-neutral in all of our production plants by 2039 at the latest – in Europe already by 2022. In order to contribute to improving air quality in our production plants, we are also working to reduce airborne emissions.

Reducing CO2 and airborne emissions

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As part of our sustainable business strategy, we have set ourselves the overall goal of making the mobility of the future more sustainable. That includes not only reducing the CO2 and airborne pollutant emissions of our vehicles but also looking at our production plants and our supply chain in the process. By pursuing our goal of making our production processes CO2 -neutral over the long term we are fulfilling our voluntary commitment and also complying with national and international climate protection guidelines.

In addition to CO2 emissions, we are also paying attention to the airborne emissions of our production plants. Reducing the airborne emissions from our plants is a constant task and a challenge – for our plant and facility planning teams and our daily operations. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are highly important in this regard, especially those produced in our paint shops. Other significant air pollutants include the nitrogen oxide and sulfur oxide emissions from our furnaces and energy generation systems, as well as particulate matter released by the welding smoke exhaust units in our bodyshell area and by our energy generation systems.

How we make our production more environmentally and climate-friendly

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Daimler operates around 70 production facilities all over the world. They are subject to a variety of regional and national laws regarding air quality. We have put organizational and technical measures in place in order to comply with the respective legal limit values for airborne emissions.

The environmental protection measures at our production locations are centrally controlled and coordinated across business units by three regional committees (Germany/Europe, North and South America, and Asia). The main task of these committees is to network our environmental experts across different plants and throughout the Group and to work out globally acceptable standards and procedures. The aim is to continuously improve our environmental performance by developing standards, sharing tried-and-tested and innovative processes, and communicating our environmental goals.

Monitoring our own processes

At our production locations, the local managers are in contact with the responsible regulatory authorities in order to ensure that our plants are familiar with all locally valid emission regulations and in compliance with them. Moreover, the plants’ emission-related data are collected annually in the centrally managed Daimler environmental data information system “DUDIS”.

Internal and external options for registering a complaint

If our employees notice any irregularities in the area of environmental protection, they can report them to their respective supervisors. Residents from the communities in which our plants are located, as well as employees of neighboring companies, can also inform us about emissions-related anomalies or irregularities by contacting the plant’s environmental protection officer. This officer will search for the cause of the complaint and, if necessary, will promptly initiate corrective measures. The environmental protection officers have the right to report directly to the management bodies of their respective plants.

Climate protection goals for our plants

We have formulated the following climate protection goals for our plants:

  • Starting in 2022: CO2-neutral production at our European plants in all business units
  • By 2039: CO2-neutral production at all of our plants and in all of our business units worldwide
  • At Mercedes-Benz Cars & Vans we are striving to reduce the absolute Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 50 percent by 2030 compared to the reference year 2018. In addition, we plan to reduce the Scope 3 emissions in the use phase of our Mercedes-Benz cars and vans by 42 percent per vehicle-kilometer by 2030 compared with 2018. These goals have been confirmed by the Science Based Targets Initiative.

CO2-neutral energy supply

Starting in January 2022, all Daimler AG locations in Germany will receive electricity from 100 percent renewable sources of energy. An electricity contract for all Daimler locations will ensure that their energy needs will be fully covered at all times by wind, solar, and hydroelectric power. If any gaps should occur, the necessary electricity will be generated in our own highly efficient gas-fired combined heat and power plants.

Beginning in 2022, we intend to offset the resulting CO2 emissions through suitable compensation projects. This means that we will support climate protection projects that help to lower greenhouse gas emissions. We will also compensate for all other energy purchases by the plants, such as natural gas, district heating for buildings, and the fuel used for transportation within plant grounds. For this compensation process we will use Gold Standard CER certificates.

3.1 Energy consumption in production

We plan for our new factories in Germany and the rest of Europe to have a CO2-neutral energy supply from the very start: The plant in Hambach (France) already covers all of its electricity requirements with energy from renewable sources. We have installed photovoltaic (PV) systems at many of our production locations. In 2019 we installed PV systems on site to supply electricity directly to the plants in Brixworth (UK) and Kassel (Germany). Extensive analyses and planning for the installation of additional major PV systems are under way at many other production locations in Germany and other countries.

Our Factory 56, one of the world’s most advanced automobile production systems, is now being built at our Sindelfingen plant: Factory 56 will already be supplied with CO2-neutral energy when it goes into operation. A photovoltaic system installed on the roof of the production hall will generate green electricity for the manufacturing operations below. Numerous measures to reduce energy consumption will also be implemented at the facility, and approximately 40 percent of the roof’s surface will be extensively greened as well. This will not only ensure rainwater retention and offset the creation of impervious ground surfaces but also improve the interior climate in the hall.

Production at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Jawor (Poland) will also be CO2-neutral as of the plant’s commissioning. The plant will be supplied with environmentally friendly energy from the Taczalin wind farm, which is located about ten kilometers away. The wind farm’s 22 wind turbines have a combined installed capacity of 45.1 megawatts. The VSB Group developed and now operates the wind farm. With this contract, Daimler as a consumer of electricity is safeguarding a green electricity supply for the location over the long term.

Our battery production

We assemble drive batteries in our own battery manufacturing network, which stretches across three continents. This assembly is of fundamental importance for safeguarding the production of electric vehicles.

Our total global battery production network consists of nine factories at seven locations on three continents. The first factory built in Kamenz (Germany) is in serial operation. The second factory in Kamenz, as well as the battery factories in Beijing (China) and Bangkok (Thailand), began series production in 2019. The battery factories in Stuttgart-Untertürkheim (Germany), Tuscaloosa (United States), and Jawor (Poland) are currently under construction.

In the reporting year the Mercedes-Benz plant in Bangkok (Thailand) began its local production of batteries for Mercedes-Benz plug-in hybrid models. Mercedes-Benz AG has cooperated with its local partners Thonburi Automotive Assembly Plant and Thonburi Energy Storage Systems to invest more than €100 million in battery production and the expansion of the existing vehicle production plant. Large solar panels on the roofs of the production plant’s buildings are helping us reach our goal of CO2-neutral production. Surplus solar power is temporarily stored in second-life battery storage systems consisting of reused batteries from electric vehicles. The plant is working closely together with Mercedes-Benz Energy GmbH on this project. The stationary storage systems can improve the cost-effectiveness as well as the life cycle assessment of electric vehicles.

The production of these drive batteries with lithium-ion technology requires the intense use of resources and energy. On the road to climate-neutral mobility, Mercedes-Benz has therefore set itself the goal of ensuring that around one-third of the battery cells for the next vehicle generation of the product and technology brand EQ are 100 percent produced with electricity from renewable energy sources. As a result, we will be able to shrink the CO2 footprint of the drive batteries of future vehicle models by more than 30 percent. We are already producing our own batteries at the Kamenz location using green electricity and implementing compensation measures for the remaining CO2 emissions.

Increasing energy efficiency

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Since 2012 we have introduced and certified energy management systems certified in accordance with the DIN EN ISO 50001 standard at our German production locations. The introduction of this standard has included the establishment of an energy management organization with energy management officers and an energy team. Extensive measurements are made and analyzed in order to identify the key areas of energy consumption.

This enables us to identify and exploit savings potential in the areas of production and infrastructure. Here we have optimized the switching times of lighting and ventilation systems, changed to LED lighting, implemented a new lighting control system including a dimming function in the body-in-white unit, optimized the software of the energy supply systems, and introduced the regulated control of air volume according to changing needs. The use of efficient motors and control systems is always taken into account in the purchase of new facilities and the conversion of existing ones. By means of these measures we have been able to optimize energy consumption and energy efficiency as well as enhancing transparency. In addition, the workforce in the plants is being sensitized to this initiative through a variety of measures. These include readily visible tips for energy saving, training courses, and energy measurements in the production facilities. Various technical measures, such as the installation of energy-saving LEDs, the automatic switching off of energy consumers during pauses and production-free periods, and the use of highly efficient turbo compressors for central compressed-air generation, are contributing to further energy saving. These measures are supported by efficient control of the electric power supply.

3.2 Direct and indirect CO2 emissions from production

With these and further energy efficiency projects we were able to save approximately 180 GWh/a in electricity, heat/cold, fuels and other energy carriers in 2019. These energy efficiency projects and the energy and CO2 reductions achieved are systematically tracked in our database for the steering of targets implemented Group-wide.

We now aim to expand these successful energy conservation measures worldwide. Several of our locations abroad have already been certified in accordance with the DIN EN ISO 50001 standard. They include our facilities in Brixworth (UK), Detroit-Redford (United States), Kecskemét (Hungary), and Vitoria (Spain). More than 70 percent of our locations in Europe already have energy management systems in place. In 2019 our production facility in Aksaray (Turkey) was certified in accordance with the revised ISO standard 50001 (ISO 50001:18). Our plants in Aksaray, São Bernardo (Brazil), and Wörth (Germany) are in close contact with one another so that they can coordinate their efforts to efficiently implement the requirements of these standards and learn with and from one another. We are also working intensely to extend these certifications to other production plants.

3.3 Daimler in China

Participation in European emissions trading

Industrial facilities that produce CO2 emissions as a result of the combustion of fossil fuels (oxidation) and whose approved thermal output exceeds 20 MW are required by law to participate in the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS). The operators of such facilities are required to calculate on an annual basis the CO2 emissions they produce, report the figures to the responsible authorities, and then submit to the same authorities CO2 emissions permits in the amount of the reported CO2 emissions. One CO2 emissions permit (European Union Allowances – EUA) allows the facility to emit one ton of CO2.

A total of 13 Daimler Group facilities in Germany, France, Spain, and Hungary are currently subject to this requirement. These facilities generate on their own sites most of the electricity and heat energy they need for their production operations. All of them are highly efficient and utilize natural gas almost exclusively. The Mannheim plant operates a foundry that is also subject to the regulations governing the EU ETS.

The permitted total number of EUAs within the EU’s emissions trading program is limited. A small number of EUAs are assigned to industrial plants free of charge. Fewer and fewer free CO2 emissions permits are issued each year, which means that by the end of the fourth trading period (2021 to 2030) the number of such permits available to the automotive industry and many other sectors will have been reduced to zero. A large portion of the CO2 emissions permits that are needed must therefore be acquired at a cost via EUA auctions, the emission certificate market, or direct trading. At Daimler, an in-house committee consisting of experts from various departments defines the procurement strategy and the risk management for the CO2 emissions permits the Group needs.

More than half of the CO2 emissions generated at our European production locations are currently covered by emissions trading. Beginning in 2022, we intend to offset these CO2 emissions from Daimler facilities through suitable compensation projects. We are also striving to reduce our CO2 emissions further by implementing projects to increase energy efficiency and expanding the capacity of systems that generate heat and electricity from renewable sources. Assessments of our CO2 reduction projects also take into account the costs of CO2 emissions trading and CO2 compensation measures.

Reducing VOC emissions

Emissions of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) occur mainly in the paint shops of automobile production plants. “VOC” is a general term for various organic substances that easily enter the gaseous phase. Different countries use a variety of methods to define and record VOCs; as a result, it is difficult to achieve uniform worldwide documentation. Moreover, the documentation of these emissions must comply with various legislative limit value specifications. There is currently no Group-wide voluntary obligation regarding this type of emission. However, we are striving to comply with the European standards regarding VOCs, which are among the strictest in the world.

3.4 Specific solvent emissions (VOC) per vehicle

One example of our efforts to decrease VOC emissions is a public-law contract between our Sindelfingen plant and the City of Sindelfingen. According to the contract, the emissions of the painted surface of a vehicle may not exceed 20 grams per square meter. Our real emissions in this area are actually significantly lower. By way of comparison, the legal EU limit value for cars is 35 grams per square meter of the painted surface of a vehicle. We are continually optimizing existing exhaust air purification systems and developing new technologies. One example of that is the innovative treatment of solvent-bearing exhaust air at a paint shop at the Gaggenau plant, which combines two exhaust air purification processes. First the solvents are removed from the exhaust air and concentrated by means of an adsorption wheel (first process step). Next, they are partially desorbed and then oxidized in a catalyst (second process step) at low temperatures in an energy-efficient process. By means of the adsorption wheel, the volume of the stream of exhaust air to be treated can be reduced energy-efficiently from about 34,000 Nm3/h to only 1,400 Nm3/h. The result of this process is a highly concentrated mixture of solvent and air that has a high energy content. By comparison with traditional thermal afterburning as the second process step, the catalyst reduces the reaction temperature to 300 °C. That increases the system’s efficiency while decreasing the thermal stress on the components.

The Eco Paint painting process for trucks (EP-T) is an innovative, environmentally friendly, and highly flexible painting process for truck cabs all over the world that was developed by Daimler and is now used in series production. We achieve energy savings and a more than 50 percent reduction of CO2 emissions by comparison to conventional processes through the use of new paint materials with an extremely high proportion of solid content (80 percent of total weight), the integrated (wet-in-wet) application of the filler and the topcoat, and the energy-efficient and resource-conserving dry separation of the paint overspray. Through these measures we are also reducing solvent emissions by as much as 60 percent.

Optimizing transport logistics

Our global transport logistics operations currently serve 75 manufacturing plants in around 30 countries and about 8,500 retailers in almost all regions of the world. We transported around 3.3 million vehicles worldwide in 2019. In addition, almost 5.4 million tons of production materials were transported in Europe in the first half of 2019 alone. Our global transport volume amounted to around 460,000 standard containers of sea freight and about 90,000 tons of air freight.

We are working hard to optimize our logistics network in order to reduce the associated CO2 emissions. Our main goal is to optimally connect transportation hubs with one another so as to reduce the distances traveled and utilize capacity more efficiently. Innovative transportation concepts and new modes of transport also play a major role here.

We select logistics concepts not only on the basis of their costs, duration, and transport quality, but also according to their CO2 emissions. When selecting providers of logistics services, we also take sustainability criteria into account – from environmental certificates and the use of environmentally compatible equipment to the utilization of low-emission trucks that meet the latest Euro emissions standards.

About 70 percent of the sea freight containers that enter and leave the Global Logistics Center (GLC) in Germersheim are transported to inland destinations via barges and about 30 percent are transported by train.

The environmental footprint of the shipping industry will also significantly decrease with the introduction of low-sulfur fuel after the regulation mandating its use (IMO 2020) takes effect as of January 1, 2020. We stand for the definition of optimally priced, innovative, environmentally friendly, and protective packaging at an appropriate time in accordance with legal requirements.

Local measures

About 80,000 men and women work for Daimler in the Stuttgart region. To ensure that they can get to work in as climate-friendly a way as possible, we are subsidizing their use of public transport such as commuter trains, streetcars, and buses by means of job tickets, company tickets, and other measures. Thanks to Daimler’s coverage of the costs, since January 2018 the Group’s employees have also been able to use local public transportation free of charge to travel between their homes and workplaces in the Stuttgart region on particulate alert days.

How we assess the effectiveness of our management approach

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On the road to CO2-neutral production, we have already achieved success in a number of areas. The long-term CO2 reduction goals for our production processes that we set for 2020 were already achieved in 2019. They included

  • The reduction of absolute CO2 emissions at our European plants by 20 percent relative to 1992/1994 by 2020.
  • The reduction of specific CO2 emissions (per vehicle) at our European plants by 66 percent relative to 1992/1994 by 2020.
  • The reduction of specific CO2 emissions at our production facilities worldwide by 40 percent relative to 2007 by 2020.
CO2 emissions from energy consumption (in 1,000 t)
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Since 2016, the “market-based” and “location-based” accounting approach have been implemented in accordance with GHG Protocol Scope 2 Guidance. Since then, the market-based approach has been the standard accounting approach. The historical data for 2006-2015 were calculated using a method similar to the location-based approach.

CO2 direct (Scope 1)






CO2 indirect (Scope 2) – market-based*






CO2 indirect (Scope 2) – location-based*






Total – market-based*






Total – location-based*






Specific CO2 emissions (in kg/vehicle)*
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excl. CO2 from liquid fuels


Since 2016, the “market-based” and “location-based” accounting approach have been implemented in accordance with GHG Protocol Scope 2 Guidance. Since then, the market-based approach has been the standard accounting approach. The historical data for 2006-2015 were calculated using a method similar to the location-based approach.

Cars – CO2 direct (Scope 1)






Cars – CO2 indirect (Scope 2) – market-based**






Total – Cars – Scope 1 & 2






Trucks – CO2 direct (Scope 1)






Trucks – CO2 indirect (Scope 2) – market-based**






Total – Trucks – Scope 1 & 2






Vans – CO2 direct (Scope 1)






Vans – CO2 indirect (Scope 2) – market-based**






Total – Vans – Scope 1 & 2






Buses – CO2 direct (Scope 1)






Buses – CO2 indirect (Scope 2) – market-based**






Total – Buses – Scope 1 & 2






Air emissions (in t)
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Solvents (VOC)






Sulfur dioxide (SO2)






Carbon monoxide (CO)






Oxides of nitrogen (NOX)






Dust (PM)






Specific solvent emissions (VOC) (in kg/vehicle)
































Daimler AG Mercedesstraße 120
70372 Stuttgart
Tel.: +49 711 17 0

Represented by the Board of Management: Ola Källenius (Chairman), Martin Daum, Renata Jungo Brüngger, Wilfried Porth, Markus Schäfer, Britta Seeger, Hubertus Troska, Harald Wilhelm

Chairman of the Supervisory Board: Bernd Pischetsrieder

Commercial Register Stuttgart, No. HRB 19360
VAT registration number: DE 81 25 26 315