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Case Study
Multi-Annual Responsible Sourcing Mapping & Audit Program for Mercedes-Benz

Challenge

On the way to a fully electric future, human rights and environmental standards are non-negotiable for Mercedes-Benz. Because of this, increasing due diligence requirements and to comply with different national and international regulations (e.g. German Supply Chain Act, EU Battery Regulation, etc.) Mercedes-Benz prioritises maximum transparency and sustainability in complex supply chains for critical battery raw materials like cobalt, lithium, nickel, graphite, copper and manganese.

Solution

To answer these needs, RCS Global Audit & Mapping unit conducts the identification of Mercedes-Benz’s suppliers and sub-suppliers’, and continuously monitors their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance data based on actual audit results. RCS Global has also supported the setup of a Supply Chain Due Diligence process for Responsible Sourcing to improve human rights due diligence and environmental aspects like biodiversity, water protection, hazardous substances, and energy management along their full supply chain.

The Responsible Sourcing Audit Program RCS Global delivers to Mercedes-Benz includes the prioritisation of high-risk supply chains, incorporation of client requirements and action and management approaches for each material in scope.

The program provides an in-depth understanding of the supply chain map and ESG risk exposure across suppliers for the materials in scope. For selected suppliers, an environmental module is incorporated to additionally assess environmental risks in the supply chain.

Impact

Through assessments of the entire supply chain and mine sites, RCS’s services have significantly increased supply chain transparency – an important aspect for Mercedes-Benz with regard to standards and regulations.

The program includes the visualisation of multi-material supply chains and management of due diligence performance via the Vine platform.

Furthermore, it enables the client to organise, understand, visualise and track ESG performance of exact suppliers and sub-suppliers. This is achieved through a collaborative approach involving the issuance and monitoring of Corrective Action Plans (CAP), which continuously lead to measurable improvements in ESG practices across their supplier network.

Moreover, Supplier Capacity Building is provided by the RCS team through trainings for selected suppliers each year.

“Since 2018, the audit and consulting company RCS Global has been creating transparency about the complex supply chains for battery cells for Mercedes-Benz. In the reporting year, these audits were extended to include further battery raw materials. Along with the human rights due diligence, the audit now also covers specific environmental topics – including environmental due diligence, CO2 emissions and the use of electricity from renewable sources.”

–  Mercedes-Benz Sustainability Report 2022

Finny Tang
Director of Mapping
& Auditing