Stuttgart - Following the example of its saloon stablemate, the new C-Class Estate has now also been awarded the Environmental Certificate. This means that the certification department of TÜV Süd Management Service GmbH confirms that this estate car has been developed in line with environmental considerations in all aspects, as laid down by ISO standard 14062. Mercedes-Benz is the only automotive brand in the world to have received this prestigious certificate.
“Many of the solutions implemented are to be regarded as exemplary”, the TÜV experts state in their audit report and go on to praise the “truly comprehensive integration of environmental aspects into the development process”. Only those companies which meet this requirement are awarded the Environmental Certificate in accordance with the ISO “Design for Environment” guideline. According to TÜV (Germany’s technical inspection authority) the requirements specified in this guideline are “met in full” by Mercedes-Benz. The certification examination also includes the environment-related product information on the new C-Class Estate which Mercedes-Benz has put together alongside the Environmental Certificate itself in a 65-page brochure. The brochure is available on the internet at www.media.daimlerchrysler.com
The Environmental Certificate is based on a complete life cycle assessment of the new estate car. It takes approximately 40,000 individual processes into account and evaluates everything to do with the car, from the production of the materials and components used, through its active period in operation up to a total distance of 200,000 kilometres and on up to end-of-life disposal.
Taking the C 200 KOMPRESSOR and the C 200 CDI as examples, factors which were evaluated included the energy requirement and emissions. Both of these engines in the new estate achieve significantly better figures than the predecessor models presented in 2001. In the case of the C 200 KOMPRESSOR Estate, for instance, the overall energy requirement for production, use and disposal was reduced by 17.7 percent, which corresponds to the amount of energy contained in about 4900 litres of petrol.
Carbon dioxide emissions down 19 percent
Per vehicle, the TÜV-certified life cycle assessment puts carbon dioxide emissions at a total of 50.3 tonnes. This means that these emissions have fallen by about twelve tonnes from one generation of the C-Class Estate to the next, and are now 19 percent below the figure for the predecessor model presented in 2001. In the case of the C 200 CDI Estate the TÜV experts calculated a drop of around eight percent in CO2 emissions.
Nitrogen oxide emissions (NOx) over the life cycle of the C 200 KOMPRESSOR Estate have been cut by more than a fifth as compared with the 2001 model. Only 3.5 percent of all NOx emissions occur during the actual use phase; the majority of these emissions are due to vehicle production (26 percent) and fuel production (70 percent). The new C 200 KOMPRESSOR undercuts the currently valid EU exhaust gas limits by approximately 90 percent in the case of nitrogen oxides, 86 percent in the case of hydrocarbons and 75 percent with regard to carbon monoxide.
Meticulous selection of materials with a view to environmental considerations
Environmental aspects also played a major part when it came to the selection of materials. The experts at Mercedes conducted their own, special life cycle assessments for certain components to determine which material offered the greatest benefits in ecological terms. One example of this approach is the front end of the new C-Class Estate, for which variants made of steel, a steel/aluminium mix and a steel/plastic mix were under consideration. An analysis of energy requirements during production, the effect of lightweight design on fuel consumption and other factors revealed that a 15-percent lighter steel/aluminium construction was the most suitable solution.
Volume of components made of recycled plastics up 36 percent by weight
Like the C-Class Saloon, the new estate model also already complies with the EU recycling rules due to come into force in 2015, which call for a recycling rate of 95 percent (including a maximum of 10 percent in the form of energy recovery). Altogether, 39 components weighing a total of 43.6 kilograms are made of recycled plastics. This increases the mass of components made from approved secondary materials by 36 percent compared with the previous model. One example of the exemplary materials cycle is the front wheel arch liners in the C-Class, which are made of carefully processed material derived from old battery casings and bumper panelling as well as from production waste arising from cockpit manufacture. A further contribution to the conservation of resources made by Mercedes-Benz in the new C-Class Estate is the fact that 32 components are made of renewable raw materials .
Mercedes-Benz is the sole automotive brand with an Environmental Certificate meeting the ISO standard
The “Design for Environment” (DfE) principle defined by ISO standard 14062 has been firmly established in the development process of Mercedes-Benz passengers cars for twelve years. Specialists in the fields of life cycle assessment, dismantling and recycling planning, materials and process engineering, structural design and production accompany the development of new models, define the ecological requirements and ensure that those requirements are met.
Following the S-Class presented in 2005 and the C-Class Saloon unveiled earlier this year, the new C-Class Estate is the third Mercedes-Benz model to have its environmentally oriented development process reviewed and confirmed by independent experts. Mercedes-Benz remains the world’s only vehicle brand to have an Environmental Certificate meeting the ISO standard.