Deforestation is a key focus of our sustainability activities in the leather supply chain.

Against deforestation.

Mercedes-Benz clearly positions itself against all forms of illegal deforestation and also demands this from its suppliers.

It is a requirement of our supplier awardings that supply chains for products we source must be free from any form of illegal deforestation and do not contribute to the endangerment or loss of natural forests (high conservation forests). Our suppliers have confirmed that the hides processed for the products delivered to Mercedes-Benz come from cattle raised outside the areas of Amazônia, Cerrado, Pantanal, Gran Chaco, Mata Atlântica and Chocó-Darién.

Only a small percentage of the leather in our supply chains comes from Brazil at all. We have confirmation that this leather does not come from sources in the areas mentioned. We are currently reviewing the possibility of completely excluding Brazil as a source of leather in the future. We take indications of violations of our requirements very seriously and check them.

As a matter of principle, Mercedes-Benz calls on its direct suppliers to comply with its standards in terms of working conditions, human rights, environmental protection, safety, business ethics and compliance, and also to carry them into their upstream value chains and to monitor their compliance.

We are taking the path to our climate goals together with our partners. More information can be found here.

Diverse leather substitutes

We also work on making our high-quality genuine leather even more sustainable. Traceability and animal welfare are just as important as the sustainable use of resources and CO₂ emissions along the leather chain.

At the same time, we are conducting intensive research into animal-free alternatives to genuine leather. They should not only conserve natural resources for future generations, but also offer the highest quality in all aspects. Promising alternatives to genuine leather have already been presented in the Mercedes-Benz VISION EQXX, made, for example, from renewable raw materials such as powdered cactus fibres or from mycelium, which is the rootlike underground structure of mushrooms.

We offer various leather-free trim options in our vehicle interiors. These include a high quality leather replica and a microfibre fleece fabric that has a suede look and feel. It is used in the vehicle interior, for example as a seat cover, roof lining, and pillar trim, and contains around 50 per cent recycled materials. The proportion of recycled material will be continuously increased in future.

Recycled materials are already in series production in many vehicles today. In the interior, for example, we offer various high quality upholstery fabrics made from up to 100 per cent recycled PET bottles, in addition to high-quality man-made leather and microfiber weave. As part of our sustainable business strategy, the Mercedes-Benz Group also relies on the use of natural fibres and textiles to replace conventional plastics with renewable raw materials.