[THE INVESTOR] Stepping up its commitment to giving back, Mercedes-Benz Korea has been bolstering corporate social responsibility activities focusing on children’s wellness and education.
The local unit of the German luxury carmaker has held various CSR projects, including a charity marathon, traffic safety education program and picture contest, in Korea, with plans to expand such initiatives in the future.
Give’N Race participants warm up before the marathon at the Banpo Riverside Park in May.
The company recently hosted its first charity marathon “Give ’N Race,” together with Kids and Future Foundation, at the Banpo Riverside Park in Seoul on May 28. Over 2,000 participants turned out for the event where they raced three different courses, including a 3km walking course, a 5km and 10km race course.
The Korean unit raised a total of 200 million won (US$175,976) through the entry fees, on-site donations and Mercedes-Benz’ CSR fund. The entire amount has been donated to the Seoul Metropolitan Children’s Hospital, earmarked for the rehabilitation of young patients with serious illness.
“It is remarkable that by participating in the marathon, you not only run for your health, but also save the precious lives of children,” said Dimitris Psillakis, CEO and president of Mercedes-Benz Korea, who completed the 10km course at the event.
“We pursue new technologies and innovations as a leader in the auto industry, but as a responsible corporate citizen, we endeavor to contribute for the new giving culture that combines health and joy.”
As part of the carmaker’s CSR initiatives, Mercedes-Benz Korea on June 24 held an emoticon contest, where children submitted emoticons they designed, depicting behavior, expressions and objects describing traffic safety. Among 300 entries, 20 submissions were selected for the final awards.
The winning emoticons have been compiled into a video that is now available on YouTube, which will be widely used in online and offline campaigns to promote safety for children.
The automaker’s renowned program “Mercedes-Benz MobileKids” is also part of its initiative to educate traffic safety to children.
MobileKids, developed by Daimler’s German headquarters in 2001, offers practical safety tips through diverse experiences and role-playing games.
Children receive traffic safety education during the “Play the Safety Awards” ceremony at the Children’s Traffic Park located in Songpa-gu, eastern Seoul on June 24.
Over 10,000 children participated in the Korean program as of June since it began in 2014, according to the local unit. Mercedes-Benz Korea is planning to provide the program at 170 elementary schools across Seoul, reaching 4,000 children this year alone.
MobileKids is part of Mercedes-Benz’s corporate-wide social responsibility program called “Mercedes-Benz Promise,” officially launched with Daimler affiliates and 11 official dealers in Korea in 2014 to strengthen the luxury carmaker’s commitment to Korea.
It consists of three main programs which include MobileKids, “Mercedes-Benz Mobile Academy,” the company’s industry-university cooperation program that offers hands-on training for Korean engineering students, and “Mercedes-Benz All Together,” the company’s regular volunteer activities for local employees and executives.
“We will continuously support children and youths who will become leaders of future generations to successfully grow as members of the society, and consistently expand various corporate contribution activities such as “Give ’N Race” that successfully took place on May 28.” Psillakis said.
By Ahn Sung-mi (email@example.com)