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Mercedes-Benz hosted the first edition of its Sustainability Dialogue in India today. The 2023 edition of the dialogue focused on ‘Sustainable Mobility – Accelerating Towards a Green, Inclusive and Safe Future’ to emphasize the need for decarbonizing energy, industry, and mobility, and accelerating the transition toward a more sustainable future. The event saw key stakeholders and changemakers from the public and private sector as well as academia, participating in a series of pertinent conversations on global trends and recent developments with Members of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, including Ola Källenius, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, and Renata Jungo Brüngger, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG for Integrity and Legal.

Sustainability for Mercedes-Benz means creating value for all stakeholder groups: for customers, employees, and investors as well as for business partners and society as a whole. The India edition of the Sustainability Dialogue focused on driving sustainability in the mobility ecosystem in India and fostering collaborations and partnerships towards achieving India’s sustainable development goals.

Following 15 successful editions in Germany, over 250 attendees took part in the first India edition of the Mercedes-Benz Sustainability Dialogue, including government representatives, policymakers, academics, corporate leaders, emerging startups, and ecosystem enablers. The Dialogue sought to accelerate the collective transition to CO₂-neutrality and focus on responsible usage of our planetary resources.

As part of the Sustainability Dialogue India 2023, Mercedes-Benz announced its support for ‘beVisioneers: The Mercedes-Benz Fellowship’, a global programme to provide thousands of young innovators with training, mentoring, expert support, scholarships, and funding to launch their projects in the areas of environmental sustainability, and decarbonization. The beVisioneers programme is an initiative designed and implemented by experts of a German non-profit organization, The DO School Fellowships, aimed at enabling young participants to pursue project ideas that will make a measurable positive impact on the local communities and the environment. Mercedes-Benz will fund the programme on a yearly basis by way of donations.

The seed capital for the fellowship comes from the auction proceeds of the iconic 1955 Mercedes-Benz SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé. The car was auctioned in May 2022 at a record price of 135 million EUR to a private collector.

Announcing the support for the global fellowship programme in India, Renata Jungo Brüngger, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG for Integrity and Legal Affairs, said, “As a global company and luxury brand, our responsibility does not end at our factory gates. Donating proceeds from the auction of the 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé – the most valuable car in history – gives us the opportunity to support something even more valuable: sustainable change. We are very happy that India is among the first few regions to be included in the programme, which is implemented by an independent non-profit organisation. We see this as a testament to the extensive capabilities of the talent pool in India to build a smart and sustainable future. We are looking forward to recognizing the exemplary ideas that emerge from this programme and its impact on local communities. We wish all fellows every success as they make their vision a reality.”

Manu Saale, CEO and MD, Mercedes-Benz Research and Development India, said, “Sustainability is one of the core values for Mercedes-Benz and we strongly believe in creating value for all stakeholder groups: for customers, employees, and investors as well as for business partners and society as a whole. With the first Sustainability Dialogue hosted in India, Mercedes-Benz reinforces its commitment to India and partners in the journey towards achieving India’s sustainable development goals.”

“We are very happy to support beVisioneers which promotes young talent at the intersection of sustainability, leadership, and innovation. It is a proud moment for us as India is among the first few countries to be included in this programme,” added Manu Saale.

About beVisioneers: Programme Structure and Milestones

The fellowship has been newly designed and is now being implemented by the German non-profit organization, The DO School Fellowships. Following a first call for fellow applications beginning in January of 2023, the beVisioneers fellowship will launch in June of 2023 with an initial cohort of fellows from three regions: India, South Africa and parts of Europe including Germany, Poland, Hungary, Denmark, Sweden, Spain, and the UK. Applications can be made via the beVisioneers website at www.bevisioneers.world. In the coming years, beVisioneers will scale up to support up to 1,000 young people per year.

beVisioneers fellows will be 16- to 28-year-old innovators with promising ideas for sustainability projects. They come from diverse backgrounds and are selected by The Do School. To be selected for the programme, applicants must present a viable project idea with the potential to make a measurable positive impact on the environment and, ideally, on the applicant’s local community.

The experts at The Do School will provide fellows with a comprehensive 12-month intensive training and skills development programme focused on leadership, entrepreneurship, and sustainability. During this 12-month hybrid-learning period, fellows are also matched with a personal mentor, and experts are engaged to provide their knowledge and skills as needed, whether in one-to-one or group meetings. The fellowship includes access to project funding and needs-based access to a financial stipend.

Mentoring and expert support may continue after the first year as part of the fellows’ ongoing project and leadership development. The long-term goal of beVisioneers is to build an inclusive and effective global community of fellows, mentors, and experts, working together at eye level to achieve positive environmental change.

Mercedes-Benz Corporate Citizenship Strategy 

As a corporate citizen, Mercedes-Benz wants to make tangible contributions to society, worldwide. In 2022, Mercedes-Benz refined its corporate citizenship strategy and developed a holistic approach, one that is rooted in the company’s principles. The beVisioneers fellowship programme will promote sustainability and social cohesion through education – and thus reflect important elements of the Mercedes-Benz corporate citizenship strategy.


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