Mercedes-Benz boosts CSR efforts

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Mercedes-Benz boosts CSR efforts

Mercedes-Benz Korea on Thursday announced it will join with Daimler Trucks Korea, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Korea and 11 authorized dealers to institute a new corporate social responsibility (CSR) program called “Mercedes-Benz Promise.”

“The program will be supported by the strong team spirit generated among the contributors, building a sustainable endeavor to pool the group’s resources and benefit society over the long term,” the company said.

Mercedes-Benz is among several foreign car brands that have been criticized for a lack of CSR activities in Korea. Last year, Mercedes-Benz Korea had sales of 1.3 trillion won ($1.2 billion) with operating profit of 42.4 billion won, the best among foreign brands, but earmarked only 450 million won for CSR efforts.

BMW Korea allocated 1.6 billion won last year.

Mercedes-Benz Korea said its new CSR program, which is scheduled to begin as early as next month, will consist of three programs: Mercedes-Benz MobileKids, Mercedes-Benz Mobile Academy and Mercedes-Benz All Together.

The Mercedes-Benz MobileKids program was developed in 2001 at Daimler AG’s headquarters in Germany as the world’s first traffic safety education program for children. The curriculum will be localized to reflect Korea’s traffic patterns and rules and will be available to underprivileged children.

“It already has been tested in Seoul and other major metropolitan areas at social welfare facilities and children’s centers,” said a Mercedes-Benz Korea spokeswoman. “The education program will be held at 70 facilities for more than 1,500 children, with four classes at each facility.”

The Mercedes-Benz Mobile Academy program commences with the fall college semester in September and will provide students with vocational and technical training, while the Mercedes-Benz All Together program is a dealership and employee program that allows participants to suggest ideas for social services and carry out their proposals.

Mercedes-Benz Korea said the entire program will be steered by a new Mercedes-Benz CSR committee. The committee decided on a donation scheme based on the number of cars sold and financed. All funds raised will be managed by the Kids and Future Foundation.

“We are excited by this opportunity to provide children and college students with an internationally proven program developed by our German headquarters,” said Adi Ofek, president of Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Korea and vice chairman of the Mercedes-Benz CSR committee. “And by incorporating Mercedes-Benz’s exclusive technology into the program, we hope it will be a valuable stepping stone for participants as they prepare for a safer and brighter future.”

BY JOO KYUNG-DON [kjoo@joongang.co.kr]




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