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  • Sustainability in consulting

February 2020

Sustainability @ Mercedes-Benz Consulting

Sustainable action is more than a fad. For us, sustainability means accepting responsibility in order to create (added) value for the long term: for customers and employees just as much as for business partners and society as a whole.

In doing so, it is important to align our economic, social and ecological responsibilities in a reliable way – and to do so along the whole added-value chain.

For each field of action defined in our business strategy, we set ourselves targets and establish target indicators. Together, these targets form a comprehensive target programme for the medium to long term.

The areas currently under review, internally, include for example operational mobility management, the conservation and handling of resources, customer relationships, and responsible data handling. In addition, we continue to work on a wide range of customer projects looking at developing individual target images, identifying areas for action, and kick-starting their implementation. Sustainability as a new strategic area of consultancy will in future play a significant role for Mercedes-Benz Consulting GmbH.

The firmer anchoring of sustainability in Retail, in supply chains and in the mindset of individuals, along with exploitation of the opportunities presented by digitalisation in the context of sustainability, are also key areas of focus here.

Hands-on sustainability with active involvement

Just what active participation internally might look like is apparent from the example provided by the Digital Performance team during their team conference, held on 7 February at our MC Centre.

The theme: one day – five challenges.

Team 1 met up on Stuttgart’s main square, the Schlossplatz. Here, in accordance with the tenets of the Cleanup Network, their aim was not only to pick up litter in inner-city Stuttgart, but to raise people’s awareness for the cleanliness of their surroundings. The team were particularly struck by the divergent reactions of passers-by, some of whom greeted the team members’ actions positively, while others were critical. Ultimately, a substantial amount of rubbish was collected.

At the same time, Team 2 were on their way to the Café Raupe Immersatt on the Hölderlinplatz in Stuttgart. The motto here is “Sharing is Caring”. The “Raupe Immersatt” is part of the foodsharing.de fair sharing concept, here in the form of a café. Foodsharing.de is a Germany-wide volunteering platform that saves many tonnes of food, every day, from being thrown away and ensures that they are passed on and used. After an introduction to the concept and the background of the “Raupe Immersatt”, the team returned to the MC Centre to prepare lunch for everyone from ingredients sourced from the café,

Team 3 also had a foodie theme, this time at the Kulturinsel Stuttgart. After an introductory class about the use of regional wild herbs, the team moved on to a practical tasting session: a spread made with wild plants, which exceeded all the team members’ expectations. Suitably fortified, the team were then given guidance in creating mobile herb beds in shopping trolleys, one of which they brought back with them to the MC Centre. A whole host of different herbs are now available for seasoning our lunch or snacks. Over the coming months, the teams from Digital Performance will take turns in taking responsibility for the beds.

To help us understand why sustainability is such an important issue, particularly for us as MC, Team 4 calculated the total CO2 emissions from the team conference and created a dashboard to visualise these in clearly understandable form. The underlying data included such factors as the food and drink consumed, the rooms used, the travel of colleagues coming from Berlin, and their accommodation. The calculated CO2 consumption figure provides on the one hand a baseline measurement, while on the other hand generating high-level awareness with respect to our current and future behaviours.

Team 5, meanwhile, took on the task of creating a matrix to analyse how CO2 consumption in the office building might be reduced. Potential “green hacks” were clustered here according to their impact and the complexity involved in implementing them. Even such small measures as more plants in the office or the introduction of motion detectors can have a big effect. The more significant measures, which could have a correspondingly major impact on sustainability, include for example the use of rainwater for toilet flushing or turning the concrete façade of the MC Centre into a living green wall.

A big thank you to all those colleagues who spent a day thinking about and experiencing the issue of sustainability from different perspectives. “Our aim is to promote the idea of sustainability and to suggest measures, big and small, with which every employee can identify. And I think we achieved that pretty well”, summarises Dominik Ochs, Manager Marketing Excellence.

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