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Bright night for Mercedes-Benz philanthropy

By Zhuan Ti | China Daily | Updated: 2011-06-30 08:13

 Bright night for Mercedes-Benz philanthropy

Mercedes-Benz executives, dealer representatives and program partners of the Mercedes-Benz Star Fund jointly launch its volunteer ambassador program by lighting up the three-pointed star. Photos provided to China Daily

 Bright night for Mercedes-Benz philanthropy

Klaus Maier, president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz (China) Ltd and chairman of the Mercedes-Benz Star Fund, shares the story of the CSR initiative's journey.

Auto icon announces new corporate social responsibility initiative

Under a ceiling painted with blue skies and twinkling with shimmering stars at the National Center for the Performing Arts (NCPA) in Beijing, Mercedes-Benz celebrated the first anniversary of its Star Fund yesterday, marking a milestone in the carmaker's long-term commitment to China.

Since June 30 last year, the Mercedes-Benz Star Fund has embraced the company's core corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs - nature protection, music, arts and sports, culture of driving, education as well as social care and disaster relief programs.

Following the Star Fund's many achievements in the past year, Mercedes-Benz announced the official launch of its 'Star Ambassador' Volunteer Program, the latest initiative to further develop its CSR program through encouraging public involvement.

Acting as a bridge between the Mercedes-Benz Star Fund and the public, the 'Star Ambassador' program provides individuals with a passion to serve with the opportunity to work with the company's CSR causes.

Under the program, the company will develop and share volunteer resources with its partners to increase engagement.

Mercedes-Benz also plans to further its efforts in education by rallying celebrities, employees, dealerships and like-minded individuals from all over the country to help uplift music education in 125 Hope Schools across China through this volunteer initiative.

At the ceremony, the NCPA hall was lit up with twinkling stars symbolizing the launch of the 'Star Ambassador' Volunteer Program - along with the first group of Mercedes-Benz Star Ambassadors including violinist Lu Siqing, Li Biao and his youth percussion group, famous singer Shang Wenjie and volunteers from various music institutions who pledged their support for this program.

Representatives from Mercedes-Benz's Star Fund partners such as NCPA, China Youth Development Foundation, UNESCO, dealers, and other guests were also present to witness the launch.

 Bright night for Mercedes-Benz philanthropy

Li Biao and his youth percussion group, accompanied by students from Hope Schools, on stage at the National Center for the Performing Arts.

Klaus Maier, president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz (China) Ltd and chairman of Mercedes-Benz Star Fund, said: "From our past years of CSR actions to the establishment of the Star Fund last June; and to the review of our achievements today with our valued partners, we have laid a very solid foundation in fulfilling our social responsibilities and long-term commitment in China. The success from the 'Inspiring the Future' Happy Music Classroom Program is one such milestone in our CSR program."

"We are excited to launch the new 'Star Ambassador' Volunteer Program as a forward-looking, open model that will further increase our positive contribution to society through promoting public participation in our various activities. This perfectly supports our goal of sustainable CSR," Maier said.

In another move, the carmaker now has its 'Star Ambassador' Program website online at for volunteers to register.

CSR initiatives

The automaker is no stranger to CSR with its related activities dating back to the 1990s.

Today the company continues to drive the development of CSR through many projects.

As an integrated, systematic and long-term platform to manage its social responsibility programs in China, the Mercedes-Benz Star Fund has achieved successes throughout the past year.

Its Green Legacy Program achieved a milestone as it renewed another three-year cooperation with UNESCO to protect the World Heritage sites with improved management.

In education, the 'Inspiring the Future' Happy Music Classrooms program successfully saw 125 Hope Schools receiving brand new music equipment in their classrooms and their teachers also underwent specialized music training.

Two unique programs were also launched under the Culture of Driving CSR initiative - Mercedes-Benz Cup 2011 China Best Driver Contest and 'This I Promise' road safety awareness campaign that have since been rolled out across the country to promote proper road conduct among the public.

"As a co-partner of the Mercedes-Benz Star Fund and its key programs, we, have witnessed Mercedes-Benz's passion and dedication in carrying out the professional work to fulfill their corporate responsibility to the society. This serves as a role model for other corporations and reinforces our confidence in our future cooperation," said Tu Meng, secretary-general of China Youth Development Fund.

Through its CSR initiatives, Mercedes-Benz said it has been proactive in its duties as a responsible corporate citizen through its unique competitiveness in sustainable development that in turn enrich its 125-year-old brand.

 Bright night for Mercedes-Benz philanthropy

Wang Yan, vice-president of communications and media relations for Mercedes-Benz (China) Ltd, hands out certificates to the first Star Ambassadors.

(China Daily 06/30/2011 page16)

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