A comprehensive approach to environmental protection. Protecting the environment is a primary corporate objective of the Daimler Group. Environmental protection is not separate from other objectives at Daimler; instead, it is an integral component of a corporate strategy aimed at long-term value creation. For Daimler, a focus on the highest possible product quality includes compliance with stringent environmental standards and the sparing use of vital natural resources. Our measures for manufacturing environmentally friendly products therefore take the entire product lifecycle into account — from design, production and product use all the way to disposal and recycling. The environmental and energy-related guidelines approved by the Board of Management define the environmental and energy-related policy of the Daimler Group. This expresses our commitment to integrated environmental protection that begins with the underlying factors that have an impact on the environment, assesses the environmental effects of production processes and products in advance, and takes these findings into account in corporate decision-making.
€2.8 billion for environmental protection. In 2014, we continued to energetically pursue the goal of conserving resources and reducing all relevant emissions. We kept a close eye on the impact of all our processes, ranging from vehicle development and production to recycling and environmentally friendly disposal. Our expenditure for environmental protection fell temporarily from €2.9 billion to €2.8 billion in 2014, mainly as a result of powertrain model cycles.
Environmentally responsible product development. A vehicle’s environmental impact is largely predetermined in the first stages of development. The earlier environmentally responsible product development (Design for Environment, DfE) is integrated into the development process, the more efficiently it can help minimize the impact on the environment. The continual improvement of our products’ environmental compatibility is therefore a major requirement when setting product specifications. Our DfE experts are involved in all stages of the vehicle development process as a cross-functional team. We also systematically integrate our product design processes into our environmental and quality management systems in accordance with ISO 14001 and ISO 9001. Mercedes-Benz has been in full compliance with the relevant standard — ISO 14006 — since 2012. Mercedes-Benz has also been certified according to ISO TR 14062, the standard for environmentally oriented product development, since 2005. It was the first automaker in the world to achieve this certification.
Further reductions in cars’ CO2 emissions. Daimler makes great efforts to reduce the fuel consumption of its vehicles while enhancing their performance — and thus increasing driving enjoyment and safety reserves. With a fleet average of 129 g/km (2013: 134 g/km), we once again significantly reduced the average CO2 emissions of the cars we sell in the European Union in 2014. This achievement was due to the further optimization of our BlueEFFICIENCY measures, the success of our efficient hybrid drive and extremely fuel-efficient new models. Over the past five years, we have reduced the CO2 emissions of our cars by more than 19%. More than 60 Mercedes-Benz models emit less than 120 g CO2/km, and more than 90 models have received A+ or A energy efficiency labels. (See graphic B.43)
These include the new S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID (S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID: fuel consumption in l/100 km: combined: 2.8; CO2 emissions in g/km (combined): 65; electricity consumption in kWh/100 km: 13.5). With certified fuel consumption of 2.8 l/100 km and emissions of 65 g of CO2/km, the model is the most efficient vehicle in its segment and therefore also bears the best efficiency label of A+. (See A Pioneer for Efficiency) The E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid is also very fuel-efficient (E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID: fuel consumption in l/100 km: urban 4.1-3.9, extra-urban 4.1-3.8, combined 4.1-3.8; CO2 emissions in g/km: combined 109-99). The car combines a 150-kW four-cylinder diesel engine with a 20-kW electric motor and consumes only 3.8 liters/100 km on average. That corresponds to CO2 emissions of 99 grams per kilometer.
We plan to use innovative technologies for locally emission-free mobility and, more importantly, new hybrid models, in order to further reduce the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of our cars. Our goal is to reduce the CO2 emissions of our new-vehicle fleet in the European Union to 125 g/km by 2016. We have also continuously reduced the pollutant emissions of our cars in recent years — by more than 80% since 1995 and by over 20% in the past five years. Thanks to BLUETEC technology, we are a world leader for diesel vehicles. Automobiles equipped with this technology conform to the strictest emissions standards and are the cleanest diesel cars in the world.
Economical and low-emission commercial vehicles. We have also continuously reduced emissions of CO2 and pollutants from our commercial vehicles in recent years. Along with the introduction of BLUETEC technology, these reductions have been achieved through more efficient new engines, the Mercedes PowerShift 3 automated transmission fitted as standard equipment, axle ratios better suited to specific needs and improvements to tires and aerodynamics. Daimler was also the first manufacturer to offer its entire European product range in a Euro VI version well before those new emissions standards went into effect in January 2014. This development began in 2011 with the launch of the new Actros for long-distance road haulage. It was followed in 2012 by the Antos for heavy-duty distribution transportation. In 2013, we introduced the Arocs for the construction sector and the Atego for light-duty distribution transportation. We completed our Mercedes-Benz Trucks product offensive with the Mercedes-Benz Unimog and Mercedes-Benz Econic special vehicles, which have been rolling off the assembly line in Wörth equipped with BLUETEC 6 technology since the fourth quarter of 2013. Despite complex exhaust-gas treatment, our new Euro VI engines consume up to 5% less fuel than the predecessor Euro V engines. We are also leading the way with the introduction of the latest exhaust technology in the bus sector. All Mercedes-Benz and Setra model series are now available with Euro VI technology. In 2013, we also set a new benchmark for fuel efficiency in the North American truck market with the launch of our new heavy-duty Freightliner Cascadia Evolution. Thanks to its improved aerodynamics and its new Detroit DD15 engine equipped with proven Daimler BLUETEC exhaust technology, the new heavy-duty truck consumes 7% less fuel than the predecessor model. This was measured and confirmed by an independent agency in the course of a one-week test drive across the United States.
The consumption of diesel fuel can also be greatly reduced by hybrid technology — particularly in vans and trucks used for distribution transportation. For example, the FUSO Canter Eco Hybrid consumes up to 23% less fuel than a comparable diesel truck, depending on use, and the Freightliner M2e Hybrid consumes up to 30% less fuel than a conventional diesel-powered M2 106. No other commercial vehicle manufacturer has more experience or has done more testing in the areas of alternative drive systems and electric mobility. We also have the most extensive lineup of series-production vehicles in this field, ranging from vans and trucks to buses. There are more than 1.2 million environmentally friendly Daimler commercial vehicles equipped with SCR technology on the road worldwide, as well as a further 21,000 vehicles with alternative drive technology.
In Europe, we aim to reduce the fuel consumption of our truck fleet by an average of 20% between 2005 and 2020. Compared with the year 2005, we already achieved a reduction of 10% in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions with the launch of the new Actros model series in 2011, and we are working systematically on achieving the next 10%.
Actros wins the “Fuel Duel.”The Actros once again demonstrated its outstanding fuel economy during the year under review by beating the competition in “Fuel Duel” fleet trials. The Mercedes-Benz brand claim for the Actros in the competition was that the model is the most fuel-efficient truck and would therefore consume less fuel than the most economical truck in the other fleets participating in the “Fuel Duel.” The Actros took part in just under 600 fuel duels in 2014 and emerged as the winner more than 90% of the time. On average, the Actros was 11% more fuel-efficient than comparable rival models.
Economical super trucks. We utilize highly efficient powertrains and sophisticated aerodynamic features in our North American semi-trucks (Class 8) in order to reduce their fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. This is true of the new Western Star 5700XE as well. The truck’s front end and its chassis and cab paneling were aerodynamically redesigned in a manner that significantly lowered air resistance. The model is also equipped with a new integrated Detroit Diesel powertrain featuring a DD15 engine that operates at a lower revolutions as well as a DT12 automated transmission and a particularly fuel-saving rear axle. The individual measures and especially the finely tuned overall package have led to a reduction in fuel consumption of nearly 15% as compared to the reference vehicle, a Western Star 4900 FE.
Through its use of further refined technologies, Daimler has also succeeded in meeting the targets of a research project organized by the US Department of Energy. Our test vehicle achieved the required efficiency gains in 2014 for both the entire tractor-trailer and engine efficiency. Daimler was able to demonstrate engine efficiency of more than 50% on a test rig, and during two test drives on a highway the tractor-trailer combination displayed up to 61% greater overall efficiency compared with the base vehicle from 2009.
Award for climate protection and environmental management. At the 2014 CDP Climate Leadership Award Conference in Munich, CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) acknowledged Daimler AG as the leader in its sector for the automotive industry. The company received the award for its outstanding commitment and exemplary transparency in addressing climate change and achieved the maximum possible score of 100 in the Climate Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI). Daimler also received the highest possible performance rating of “A” for the measures it has introduced, the progress it has already made and its planned strategies for reducing CO2 emissions. One of the things the CDP honored Daimler for was the fact that the company has reduced the CO2 emissions of its new car fleet in Europe by more than 20% over the last five years. Along with its continual improvements to individual vehicle models, the Group’s efficient production, including the environmentally friendly generation of electricity, also contributes to its positive performance.
During the year under review, Daimler AG was also once again very successful in the manufacturer rankings of the motoring association Verkehrsclub Deutschland (VCD). VCD cited the company’s open information policy and its early compliance with the more extensive particulate thresholds for direct-injection gasoline engines, which do not go into effect until 2017, as important factors in its decision to name Daimler the most environmentally friendly manufacturer in 2014.
Lower weight, more recyclates and more natural materials. We want to make our vehicles lighter and further reduce the environmental impact of the materials used in their production. To achieve these goals, we are using new lightweight materials and components. In addition, we are increasingly utilizing renewable resources and recycled materials. Intelligent lightweight construction can reduce the weight of a vehicle without compromising safety and comfort. Along with material selection, component design and manufacturing technology also play a key role in lightweight engineering. Not every material is suitable for every component. At 35%, the bodywork accounts for the largest portion of a vehicle’s total weight. After that comes the running gear at 25%, the comfort and safety equipment at 20% and the engine and transmission also at 20%. The most effective way to reduce vehicle weight is therefore to focus on the body.
For example, the innovative aluminum hybrid body for the new C-Class is approximately 70 kilograms lighter than a conventional body made of steel. In total, we were able to reduce the vehicle’s weight by almost 100 kilograms compared with the previous model. The share of aluminum used for the vehicle body increased to nearly 50%, compared with less than 10% with the predecessor model.
Extensive recyclability of old vehicles. To make our vehicles more environmentally friendly, we are reducing our automobiles’ emissions and the resources they consume over their entire lifecycle. We therefore pay close attention to creating a recycling-friendly design already at the development stage. Up to 85% of the materials in all Mercedes-Benz models are recyclable and as much as 95% of the materials are reusable. This means we were in compliance with the new EU recycling directive before it even went into effect at the beginning of 2015.
Other proven elements of our recycling concept are the resale of inspected and certified used parts, the remanufacturing of parts and the MeRSy Recycling Management workshop disposal system.
Avoiding waste. In the area of waste management, Daimler believes that recycling and the prevention of waste are better than disposal. Accordingly, the reconditioning and reuse of raw, process and operating materials has been standard practice at our plants for many years. In order to avoid the creation of waste from the outset, we use innovative technological processes and environmentally focused production planning. Waste materials that are unavoidable are generally recycled. As a result, the recycling rate for waste at our plants is over 85% on average. At some plants, almost 100% of the waste is now recycled, meaning that waste destined for landfills has been almost completely eliminated.
As we systematically pursue our environmental protection activities, we rely on comprehensive environmental management systems. Today, more than 98% of our employees worldwide work in plants whose environmental management systems have been certified as conforming to the ISO 14001 or EMAS environmental standards.
Extensive measures for environmental protection in production. In recent years, we have been able to limit the energy consumption, CO2 emissions, production-related solvent emissions and noise at our plants with the help of environmentally friendly production processes. As a result, energy consumption during the period 2010–2014 increased by only 5.4% to 10.9 million megawatt-hours, which was well below the rate of production growth. During the same period, CO2 emissions actually decreased by 6.0% to a total of 3.3 million metric tons, thanks to a transition to energy sources that produce less CO2. Our ongoing energy-saving projects enabled us to more than offset the additional energy consumption that resulted from the significant increase in production in 2014. Energy consumption in the reporting year therefore decreased by 1.9% from the prior year, and CO2 emissions actually decreased by 2.6%. With resource-conserving technology such as circulation systems, water consumption rose by only about 6.2% between 2010 and 2014, well below the rate of production growth. Despite the aforementioned increase in production, the savings measures taken meant that it was actually possible to reduce water consumption by almost 3% compared to the prior year.