Most manufacturers today are in a scramble to prove that they are indeed invested in a sustainable future. It's no longer a question of whether a company is going green, it's become a matter of how green and how quickly. Mercedes-Benz addressed these questions this week with the announcement of Ambition2039, its plan to make its business as carbon-neutral as possible.
Ambition2039 orbits around a single goal: to have a carbon-neutral new passenger car fleet in 20 years, or about three product cycles. This doesn't simply mean the cars need to be emission-free, it means the entire operation, including the plants, are environmentally friendly.
The cars are a key component to accomplishing such a massive project, however, and Mercedes-Benz took its first steps with the EQC electric SUV. It is hoping half of all car sales by 2030 will come from pure electric cars or plug-in hybrids. In addition to electrics, Mercedes-Benz is also continually working on other alternative fuel methods, such as hydrogen, as seen with the GLC F-Cell.
Deeper than vehicle emissions, Mercedes-Benz wants to fix manufacturing emissions. M-B sites its carbon-neutral Factory 56 plant in Sindelfingen, Germany, as a green blueprint for the future, and by 2022, all European plants will follow suit. The company also notes that in addition to its plants using renewable energy sources such as wind and solar, its vehicles have a "potential recycling ratio of 85 percent," which will help reduce overall waste.
Mercedes-Benz knows that it cannot control every single part of this equation. A majority of electric energy still comes from sources that release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and many of the parts for its cars come from manufacturers who do not have the same green-thinking mindset. However, it says it is working with suppliers to find green solutions and encourages its customers to charge electric vehicles with renewable energy.