Our activities concerning mica in the vehicle paints supply chain.

Our activities concerning mica in the vehicle paints supply chain.

Mica is needed to achieve the shimmering effect in vehicle paints. Mercedes-Benz has monitored its entire supply chain – from the mine to delivery of vehicle paints to our manufacturing plants.

The supply chain of mica, which is sometimes used in vehicle paints and is therefore not directly sourced by Mercedes-Benz, has been identified as one of the critical materials using the Human Rights Respect System. This is because the mining of mica has repeatedly been connected with child labour in India. For this reason we reviewed the complete supply chain for mica in 2018 — from the mine to the painting of Mercedes-Benz vehicles in manufacturing plants.

A team of quality engineers and human rights experts for example audited three mines and three mica processors in India in order to determine whether these facilities comply with standards for protecting human rights.

The overall objective of the project was to create transparency along the entire mica and paint supply chain, in order to reveal potential problems and define corrective measures. In the course of the audits, we worked towards the exclusion of a sub-supplier of our direct supplier from the paint supply chain.

We remain in contact with the mica supplier with whom the audits were carried out in 2018. Among other things, we discuss the implementation of the measures that were initiated as a result of the audit, and also confer about the ongoing audit of the mine by a local partner organization of the supplier. We have repeatedly examined the implementation and progress of the measures since the audit.

Mercedes-Benz has also joined forces for a project with the NGO Terre des Hommes Netherlands  and has joined the Responsible Mica Initiative (RMI) . The social project with Terre des Hommes strengthens local structures and creates future opportunities by giving children access to education. In joining the Responsible Mica Initiative, Mercedes-Benz is supporting the aim of completely eliminating child labour and unacceptable working conditions in mica mines by 2030.