In addition to developing fuel-saving and zero-emission vehicles, Daimler is responsible for ensuring environmentally compatible production. Everything the plants do to continuously improve the environmental compatibility of production has been documented for many years. We take a look behind the scenes at the plants.
Goodbye CO₂! Major savings at the Mercedes-Benz Berlin plant
Energy-saving is one of the focal points in the drive toward better sustainability at the Mercedes-Benz Berlin plant. The production site's current environmental program targets a CO₂ reduction of over 8,000 tonnes by the end of 2017, mainly thanks to the newly commissioned in-house combined heat and power plant, which covers the site's basic heat requirements as well as some of its power requirements and reduces CO2 emissions by 3,800 tonnes annually. After renewing the ventilation system in Camtronic production and equipping it with a heat recovery system in September 2016, it was possible to further reduce CO₂ emissions by at least 2,000 tonnes annually.
Blooms, bees and breeders at the Mercedes-Benz Bremen plant
Another example is the Mercedes-Benz Bremen plant, where the management team introduced a raft of biodiversity measures in 2015. One staff team installed 20 breeders for indigenous songbirds and twelve special nest boxes for the swift bird species, for instance. Staff also constructed an insect hotel, which provides living space for indigenous insects such as wild bees, common lacewings and ladybugs. They have also planted eight wildflower meadows covering a total area of 4,500 square meters at the plant site.
Hydrogen drive at the Mercedes-Benz Düsseldorf plant
In a drive to improve its carbon footprint, the plant logistics team at the Mercedes-Benz Düsseldorf plant is trialling two hydrogen-powered forklifts. The two forklifts equipped with fuel cells refuel at an in-house hydrogen filling station. "The aims of the project are to further improve the carbon footprint of our plant logistics and to increase the availability of the forklifts at the plant," states Michael Humpert, Director Supply Mercedes-Benz Vans at the Düsseldorf plant.
Solar energy at the Rastatt plant
The Mercedes-Benz Rastatt plant operates photovoltaic systems on two of its factory roofs. On a utilized roof area of about 29,000 m², 5,380 modules with a module area of about 7,730 m² produced about 1,126 MWh of power in 2015, easing the burden on the environment by about 616 tonnes of CO₂ (conversion factor 547 g CO₂/kWh). As well as being operated at German production locations, there are also photovoltaic systems in place in South Africa, India and Greece, among other countries.
Peregrine falcons join the team
Peregrine falconshave been breeding at the Mercedes-Benz Sindelfingen plant since 2004. More than 30 chicks have hatched to date in a specially built nest box mounted on the smokestack of a combined heat and power plant. The plant works closely together with a bird sanctuary and observes the birds' development.
In addition to these environmental protection measures, the plants are also improving their production processes continuously. By way of example, the Mercedes-Benz Gaggenau plant has developed a new ecofriendly coating process that reduces hazardous waste by about nine tonnes per year. Daimler has set itself the target of reducing CO₂ emissions at all European plants by 20 percent by 2020.
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