Resource conservation

Resource conservation in production

We are minimizing the environmental footprint of our manufacturing operations

GRI 103-1

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 our vehicles. For this reason, we are continuously working to make production more efficient and more environmentally-friendly. In order to minimize 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 substances at our plants.

How we manage resource utilization throughout the Group

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Our commitment to environmental protection is an integral component of our business strategies. For this reason, we have established environmental management systems at our production plants. 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 are likewise responsible for the conservative use of resources. They too set themselves targets in this area and report to the management boards of their Group companies, who in return report to the Group’s Board of Management. This procedure is the result of our system of targets, which was adopted by the Board of Management as a component of our sustainable business strategy.

We are pursuing these goals

We have set ourselves the strategic corporate objective of continuously reducing resource consumption per vehicle and increasing the efficiency of resource use at the individual divisions. More specifically, we have set ourselves targets for water and energy consumption as well as for the volume of waste for disposal per vehicle.

Identifying, assessing, and minimizing potential environmental risks

GRI 303-1

We have introduced environmental management systems at all of our production locations. These systems ensure clear areas of responsibility as well as transparent and standardized compliance with internal and external environmental protection regulations. We also ensure comprehensive reporting at our worldwide production facilities. Within the framework of our management systems, we monitor aspects such as their 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 environment-related incidents, we document them and take necessary measures to eliminate possible shortcomings.

20 | Environmental risk assessment

Environmental risk assessment (Graphic)

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

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 Group — both internally at all production locations in which the Group has a majority interest, and externally in connection with our planned mergers and acquisitions. We also have a standardized 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 plants and the respective executive management so that any necessary optimizations can be carried out.

In addition, we annually assess the extent to which our recommendations for minimizing 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 risk assessments at each production location of Mercedes-Benz Cars & Vans and Daimler Trucks & Buses. The fifth round of environmental risk assessments began in 2019 and will continue until 2023.

The location risk assessments that had been scheduled for 2020 could not be carried out as planned because of the covid-19 pandemic and the associated travel restrictions and lockdown regulations. In order to return to the five-year cycle in the future, we will carry out the skipped assessments in the years ahead. However, we are continuing the internal reporting process, as well as our controlling of the degree of implementation of the improvement measures, as usual.

Environmental protection: We offer our employees regular training sessions

We conduct training sessions on environmental protection at all of our 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 in part on legal requirements. 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.

Boosting energy efficiency, reducing energy consumption

GRI 302-3/-4/-5

In order to shrink the environmental footprint of our production processes, we aim to boost our energy efficiency. Since 2012, energy management systems conforming to DIN EN ISO 50001 have been introduced and regularly certified at the German production locations of Mercedes-Benz AG and Daimler Truck AG. We are currently also implementing ISO 50001 systems at a number of individual locations outside Germany. In accordance with this standard, we have embedded energy management within our organization.

We regularly measure and assess our essential energy consumption in order to identify and take advantage of savings potential in the areas of production and infrastructure. For example, we have optimized 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 have also optimized the controls of building technology systems and introduced a demand-oriented .

Furthermore, we always look for high levels of energy efficiency when purchasing new facilities or converting plants and 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 sensitizing 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 are also conserving energy by means of many different technical measures, including an intelligent robot control system, highly efficient for centralized 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.

For example, during the reporting year Mercedes-Benz AG optimized a casting process for manufacturing cylinder heads, thus reducing the amount of energy it requires by about 83 percent. Improvements to the foundry of the Mettingen plant in Germany included a conversion of the coremaking process that eliminated the need for energy-intensive filtering of the exhaust air from the foundry.

Mercedes-Benz AG consumed 5,632 GWh/a of electricity, natural gas, fuels, and other energy carriers in 2020. This was a reduction of 12 percent on the prior year. Trucks & Buses consumed 2,982 GWh/a of energy, representing a drop of 19 percent on the prior-year value.

Energy consumption is systematically recorded in a Group-wide database. During the reporting year, the energy consumption per vehicle at Mercedes-Benz Cars rose by 15 percent compared to 2019. This increase is due to the effects of the pandemic-related drop in production output as well as the production launches at the new factories. Mercedes-Benz Vans was able to reduce the energy consumption per vehicle by 3 percent compared to the previous year. Trucks & Buses saw energy consumption per vehicle increase by 17 percent compared to 2019.

21 | Daimler in China

Beijing Foton Daimler Automotive Co., Ltd. (BFDA)

Beijing Benz
Automotive Co., Ltd. (BBAC)

Fujian Benz Automotive Co., Ltd (FBAC)

Shenzhen BYD Daimler New Technology Co., Ltd.

50 percent Daimler,
50 percent Foton

49 percent Daimler,
51 percent BAIC

50 percent Daimler Vans Hong Kong Limited, 35 percent BAIC Motor Corporation Ltd.,
15 percent Fujian Motor Industry Group Corporation

50 percent Daimler,
50 percent BYD Co., Ltd.





Production volume in 2020
Total (including TTO&KD: 130,597 units

Production volume in 2020
608,977 units

Production volume in 2020
29,935 units

Production volume in 2020
4,153 units

Medium and heavy-duty Auman brand trucks, EST-A, EST, GTL, ETX, Mercedes-Benz
OM 457 engines

EQC* SUV, AMG A35L, A-Class L, C-Class SWB & LWB, E-Class L, GLC SUV L, GLB, GLA

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


Energy consumption
419.6 GWh

  • thereof electricity: 85.1 GWh
  • thereof natural gas: 192.7 GWh
  • thereof heating oil: 141.8 GWh

Energy consumption
1,005 GWh

  • thereof electricity: 499 GWh
  • thereof solar electricity: 9 GWh
  • thereof natural gas: 497 GWh

Energy consumption
86.7 GWh

  • thereof electricity: 47.2 GWh
  • thereof natural gas: 39.3 GWh



see appendix: Labeling

We are using water with increasing efficiency

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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. This is why we at Daimler want to help create a sustainable water management system and continue reducing our 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. We are also installing water-conserving fittings in sanitary facilities and making production processes more efficient. For instance, the new paint shops for cars and trucks are now using dry instead of . At our truck transmission plant in Gaggenau we are avoiding the use of water altogether by painting components using UV light. We are also relying on innovative industrial cleaning processes and using lasers for spot cleaning instead of water.

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 of our production locations we use a biological water treatment process that functions without the use of biocides. As a result, the wastewater contains fewer harmful substances, and the volume of water can be retained and reused within the cycle roughly three times as often.

Wastewater from our production processes and sanitary facilities is either channeled to local wastewater treatment and disposal facilities according to local regulations or pretreated and purified at our own sites. We also have biological wastewater plants at a number of our locations. The risk of polluting rainwater on our plant premises is minimized through the implementation of the Daimler regulations for environmental protection. One example of our responsible wastewater management is our truck and bus production plant in Chennai (India). None of its wastewater is channeled into the sewage system or into bodies of water. Here, process water is systematically treated in the plant’s own wastewater treatment facility. In addition, large volumes of rainwater are collected in retention basins on site and purified by means of water filtration systems. The water is subsequently used in the plant’s operational processes and sanitary facilities, as well as for watering its green areas.

For water management at Daimler Truck AG, we have set ourselves the goal of fully implementing the Group’s standard for avoiding the pollution of rainwater at all of our production locations worldwide by 2030 at the latest.

At Mercedes-Benz Cars, water consumption per vehicle rose by 14 percent in the reporting year, compared to 2019. This is also due to the pandemic-related drop in production output as well as to the production launches at the new factories. In 2020 Mercedes-Benz Vans saw water consumption per vehicle increase by 12 percent compared to the previous year. During the reporting year, water consumption per vehicle rose at Trucks & Buses by 15 percent compared to 2019.

We are reducing waste volumes

GRI 306-1/-2

Our goal is to reduce the waste volumes generated in our production. As part of this effort, it’s important to ensure transparency concerning the waste value streams and to correctly separate the various types of waste. For example, in Europe we classify different types of waste according to waste key numbers, and we treat and dispose of them according to specific regulations. We generally work with licensed and regularly certified waste disposal companies to ensure the professional disposal of our waste materials. Furthermore, we minimize the amount of waste resulting from new or optimized production processes, such as clippings, sands, filter media, and slurries.

The volume of disposable waste per vehicle at Mercedes-Benz Cars declined by 21 percent during the reporting year, compared to 2019. In recent years, waste continuously decreased at Mercedes-Benz Cars, for example. This was done by reducing the waste components that contributed considerably to the amounts disposed of at the plants for major assemblies and CKD production. In 2020 Mercedes-Benz Vans was able to reduce the volume of disposable waste per vehicle by 13 percent compared to the previous year. During the reporting year, the volume of disposable waste per vehicle rose at Trucks & Buses by 12 percent compared to 2019.

We are reducing our waste volumes in the area of logistics. For example, we are optimizing packaging and using reusable carriers. At our Mercedes-Benz plant in Aksaray (Turkey) we have improved the packaging of engines and transmissions for transport. Before the switch, the engines and transmissions were transported in one-way containers made of wood. We are now using multiple-use steel load carriers. Through this measure we are saving packaging materials equivalent to 3,200 trees annually.

Waste reduction 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 35 staff restaurants and 54 company-owned shops. Our goal is to reduce the CO2 balance of our food and the volume of waste it generates. We have developed a sustainable packaging strategy that makes this possible. In the reporting year we implemented various measures that reduced plastic waste by about 23.9 tons.

For example, at our catering facilities we do not use any disposable plastic. By introducing sustainable menu boxes made of bagasse and eliminating single-use coffee cups, we will fully reach this goal in the future. According to current calculations, by simultaneously introducing our reusable plastic-free coffee cup in a deposit system, we will be able to avoid the use of 2.4 million disposable coffee cups. These two measures could reduce our annual volume of plastic waste by an additional 14.8 tons. We also want to deal more sustainably with unavoidable food waste. To this end, we are assessing the recycling loop of food waste with the help of innovative solutions and partners. For instance, we are working together with energy suppliers that can convert waste food into energy.

How we preserve and promote biodiversity at our locations

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 emissions and protect the climate as well as soil and water resources, another important task for us is the maintenance and promotion of biodiversity at our plant locations. At the Daimler AG production plants we have already established many measures to preserve the environmental balance, and we will continue to expand these 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, facades, and dry stream beds as well as rock gardens and flowering meadows. We have also redesigned semi-natural green areas at many of our locations in Germany. For a number of years now, the German environmental organization NABU has provided advice, support, and documentation for our programs benefiting the flora and fauna at these locations. At many other locations, marginal strips of land and previously little-used plots of ground have also been renatured and provided with species-appropriate nesting aids and birdhouses. These programs have been successful. For example, more than 30 peregrine falcon chicks have hatched at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Sindelfingen.

Many of the plants in Germany use the biodiversity index (BIX) we have developed in-house to assess their plant grounds and evaluate their biodiversity enhancement.

The United Nations have declared the period between 2011 and 2020 the “UN Decade on Biodiversity” and called on the people of the world to help promote biodiversity. In the reporting year, the biodiversity project of the Mercedes-Benz plant in Mannheim was recognized as an official project of the UN Decade on Biodiversity because of its commitment to the protection, preservation, and enhancement of species diversity. The project team planted meadows of wild herbs on 1,100 square meters of green areas on the plant grounds. An additional 6,000 square meters of land were laid out in ways that reduced pruning to a minimum. As a result, these areas can develop naturally and offer a habitat to butterflies, wild bees, and other endangered insect species.

How we assess the effectiveness of our management approach

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In order to continuously reduce our consumption of resources in production operations, we have set ourselves specific targets to be reached by 2030 for our consumption of water and energy and for the waste for disposal volume per vehicle. In order to monitor progress toward our goals and our reporting in this area, Daimler systematically compiles key environmental and energy data from its plants in Germany and abroad. The Daimler locations operated by majority holdings gather, calculate, and evaluate these data at the plant level using the Daimler environmental data information system (DUDIS).

On the basis of the measurement data and by means of internal and external tools, we assess the extent to which we are reaching the resource targets we have set for our plants. We have defined the key figures for in-house assessments, and we monitor these figures by means of a scorecard. 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.

Energy consumption (in GWh)
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Water consumption (in 1,000 m3)
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Waste by disposal method (in 1,000 t)
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Non-hazardous waste for disposal






Non-hazardous waste for recycling (excluding scrap metal)






Scrap metal for recycling






Hazardous waste for disposal






Hazardous waste for recycling













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

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 percent 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