In a landmark memorandum of understanding (MoU) with TSR Recycling GmbH & Co. KG, Mercedes-Benz is aiming to substantially advance its circularity strategy in relation to end-of-life vehicles. The MoU relates to the recovery of secondary materials through so-called “urban mining”. With this pilot project Mercedes-Benz expects to gain a deeper understanding of the potential of post-consumer materials in Europe, focusing on steel, aluminium, polymers, copper and glass. Together, the two companies plan to analyse the demand for and source of secondary materials and conduct a commercial evaluation. Thereby, Mercedes-Benz makes another step towards establishing a true closed-loop approach for end-of-life vehicles.

“With our ‘Design for Circularity’ approach we consider circular economy right from the start. The goal is to decouple primary resource consumption from growth by keeping as many raw materials as possible in the cycle. We expect this to reduce our use of primary resources in our new vehicle fleet by 40 percent by 2030 compared to a conventional approach. Together with our partners, we are working to increase the share of secondary raw materials in our vehicles and further improve process efficiency. We see great potential in urban mining as a cost-effective way to conserve valuable resources through the circular economy.”
Markus Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, Chief Technology Officer, Development & Procurement

The partners intend to develop activities that will provide access to material flows that would otherwise be exported to other sectors and countries. The aim is to avoid so-called downcycling, whereby recycled materials are subject to a loss of quality. One current example is a planned cooperation with TSR and another tier-1 supplier for recycled aluminium. This first-of-a-kind material has an 86-percent content of post-consumer recycled aluminium and reduces CO₂ emissions by 73 percent. First press tests for prototype parts have been successful. Evaluation is ongoing and Mercedes-Benz looks forward to putting this into series production as soon as possible.

By working directly with partners, the company is pursuing its responsibility to actively drive the expansion of the circular economy in the future. Such initiatives are central to achieving Ambition 2039, which aims to make the fleet of new passenger cars net carbon-neutral over the vehicles’ entire lifecycle by 2039.

Source: Mercedes-Benz aims to drive circularity through “urban mining | Mercedes-Benz Media