Our aim is to increasingly decouple the consumption of resources per vehicle from the growth in vehicle sales. We are therefore working to close material cycles in order to increase the share of secondary raw materials (recyclates) in our vehicles and further improve the efficiency of our processes. In this way, we intend to reduce the overall consumption of resources and advance the circular economy.
As part of our holistic “Design for Environment” approach, we keep the circular economy in mind from the very start as we develop our products. During the vehicle development process, we already prepare a concept for each vehicle model that involves examining all of its components and materials to see whether they are compatible with a circular economy approach. This process includes analyzing all the components and materials to find out how suitable they are for the various stages of the recycling process. As a result, all Mercedes-Benz car models are 85 percent recyclable in accordance with ISO 22 628. Moreover, they comply with the European End-of-Life Vehicles Directive 2000/53/EC, which specifies that 95 percent of the material in passenger cars and vans with a gross vehicle weight of up to 3.5 tons has to be capable of being reused or recovered.
Use of recyclates
The increased use of recyclates in our vehicles conserves natural resources and can deliver an overall reduction of their consumption despite an increasing production volume. Mercedes-Benz has set itself the target of increasing the share of secondary raw materials in its car fleet by an average of 40 percent by 2030.
The use of recycled materials is also getting increased political attention. For example, the European Commission has supplemented the European End-of-Life Vehicles Directive 2000/53/EC with the European plastics strategy, which requires manufacturers to use more recycled materials in vehicle production. Already since 2000, our requirement specifications for new Mercedes-Benz cars has specified a minimum proportion of components containing recycled materials. This proportion varies depending on the vehicle’s model and series.