Energy efficiency and low-carbon production

Objective. Our Group-wide target is a 20-percent reduction in production-related CO2 emissions per vehicle between 2007 and 2015. For the European plants we have set the additional target of reducing absolute CO2 emissions by 20 percent relative to the 1992-1994 reference period. To achieve these goals, we are introducing new energy-saving production methods, increasing the efficiency of existing processes, using low-carbon energy sources, and relying on renewable energy wherever possible.

 

Daimler Group — energy consumption
  2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
GWh              
               
Fuels 284 272 328 325 322 315 305
Coal/coke 191 140 169 181 139 69 61
Liquid gas 100 119 92 96 99 108 98
Heating oil 161 135 97 104 84 78 55
Natural gas 4,412 3,523 4,072 4,161 4,305 4,971 4,922
District heat 989 907 1,085 913 949 973 824
Electricity 4,788 3,856 4,456 4,685 4,870 4,545 4,586
High level of vertical integration at Mercedes-Benz Cars and effect on energy consumption structure
High level of vertical integration at Mercedes-Benz Cars and effect on energy consumption structure

CO2 emissions. Despite the significantly increased production output, all of these measures and the mild weather led to a 1.9-percent decline in energy consumption and a 2.6-percent decrease in CO2 emissions in 2014. The total emissions presented in the chart result from the combustion of fossil fuels and purchases of electricity and district heat from third-party energy producers.

Climate-friendly energy supply. For the heating of our plants we use low-carbon natural gas and, where available, district heating. In many locations, we have highly efficient cogeneration facilities in use, which are operated by Daimler or by a regional provider. The concerted expansion of decentralized combined heat and power (CHP) units is an important pillar of our eco-friendly energy supply system. From 2011 to 2014 we set up more than 27 CHP modules with a capacity of around 160 MW. With these modules alone, we can cover around 6 percent of our electricity and heating requirement under optimized CO2 conditions.

Direct and indirect CO2 emissions from production
Direct and indirect CO2 emissions from production

 

Direct and indirect CO2 emissions of the Daimler Group
  1992-94 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
1,000 t                
                 
Scope 1 541 1,009 823 932 955 960 1,052 1,030
Scope 2 1,895 2,770 2,212 2,550 2,481 2,376 2,304 2,241
Total 2,436 3,779 3,035 3,482 3,436 3,336 3,356 3,271
Annual vehicle production Daimler Group (1992 = 100%)
Annual vehicle production Daimler Group
In order to have the appropriate correlation with our environmental data, we only count the production from plants which are majority-owned by the Daimler Group.
Since no minority participations in companies or external contract production are included, the production volume is lower than cited sales numbers might indicate. 

In several locations in Germany, the U.S., and India, we operate photovoltaic installations on our roofs or provide roof space for the use of operating companies. More than 65,000 square meters of roof space are used for CO2-neutral electricity production in this manner.

In addition, we also report the upstream and downstream CO2 emissions for the Mercedes-Benz Cars business unit (scope 3). For the upstream production phase this amounts to 13.7 million tons of CO2. For the service life phase (150,000 km) the figure is 33.3 million tons for the vehicles sold in 2014.

Saving energy. Our energy projects at all locations are operated on the basis of exact record-keeping through a dense network of automatic electricity meters. In line with this, we design our energy-saving measures in accordance with four points.

  1. To avoid unnecessary use of energy during production breaks, we use intelligent switch-off and stand-by controls.
  2. Furthermore, we are dealing with energy waste through compressed air leaks, heat losses and excessive process requirements (e.g. temperature specifications). In these areas, there is reduction potential not only in the production processes themselves, but also in the building infrastructure with heating, air conditioning, and ventilation.
  3. We achieve the most significant efficiency increases by replacing old production facilities with modern plant technology and new building construction.
  4. The success of an energy project depends, not last, on the employees’ commitment. That is why we are raising our employees’ and managers’ awareness of energy issues with the help of events and communication measures. In addition, energy-saving suggestions are rewarded within the scope of the company suggestions system.
  • Energy efficiency project in Sindelfingen

    Successful energy efficiency project in Sindelfingen

    One of the most important goals in the planning and construction of the production facilities for the new S-Class in the Sindelfingen plant was to significantly improve the energy efficiency in comparison with the production of the predecessor model. The realization of a goal such as this requires special efforts since numerous opposing effects must be compensated at first. For example, larger building areas and more energy-intensive processes lead to an additional energy requirement.

    In Sindelfingen, it was possible to fall back on the ideas, measures, and experience gained from various energy efficiency projects at the site. And with success: Thus, for example, it was possible to reduce the electricity consumption per vehicle by 23 percent in body shell construction and assembly. In addition, all other energy carriers that were significant for the overall energy consumption were recorded and optimized. This included the manufacturing equipment and processes as well as the buildings and their operations.

    For example, it was possible to further improve the infrastructure and operation of ventilation systems and the need-based control of the heating systems. In the area of manufacturing equipment, the conveyor technology and robotic controls were optimized. The performance specifications called for optimal modes of operation with high utilization and flexible control and shutdown capability. Other energy savings were achieved by adjusting the temperature levels and the use of heat recovery techniques.

    The S-Class production at the Sindelfingen site is monitored on a continuous basis with the help of energy measuring equipment. As part of its energy management system according to DIN EN ISO 50001 implemented in 2012, the plant intends to identify, evaluate, and implement further optimizations on this basis.
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