Mercedes-Benz is committed to respecting and upholding human rights – in its own Group companies and among suppliers throughout the value chain. How far does this commitment extend in the face of complex automotive value chains? And how can lasting social improvements arise from this commitment? A conversation with Marc-André Bürgel, Head of Social Compliance Department, and Elisabeth Viebig, Head of Corporate Citizenship & Memberships.
Marc-André Bürgel is Head of the department for Social Compliance formed in 2019 and has been Deputy Human Rights Officer of Mercedes-Benz Group since 1 January 2023. He has concerned himself with the subject of human rights for many years. As a young adult in a township in South Africa, he became very aware of the importance of social justice. Today, he and his team at Mercedes-Benz work on translating the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights into Group-specific strategies and processes, and applying these worldwide.
Elisabeth Viebig is Head of the team Corporate Citizenship & Memberships at Mercedes-Benz Group. The name of this unit reflects the variety she so enjoys. Viebig, who holds a diploma in education, states that it is very important for long-term support programmes to be developed with project partners and to be given measurable goals. As not every approach immediately leads to goal achievement, regular dialogue is essential.