BMW has been recognised as one of the most sustainable companies in the world. So how is it that a company that produces automobiles, which account for 12% of global CO2 emissions, is one of the most sustainable companies? Well keep on reading!
BMW has integrated sustainability throughout its business, from the design and development of its vehicles all the way to their end of life. The company has approached this by assessing its vehicles’ life cycles by looking at four key stags: vehicle development, vehicle production, vehicle utilisation and vehicle recycling.
Much of the environmental and social impacts of vehicles is determined at the initial development stage where the materials, production technologies, suppliers and engine type are selected. BMW designs its cars to have efficient dynamics, have recyclable components and to minimise their life cycle environmental impacts. This approach has led to each new generation of BMW cars to be more efficient. For example, the BMW 7 Series involves more efficient use of resources of in materials and production leading to reduction of 25% CO2 emissions over its entire life cycle.
In terms of vehicle production, BMW is minimising environmental impacts by setting sustainability standards for its suppliers, ensuring clean production as well as green logistic concepts. The BMW Group has aimed to reduce its resource consumption per vehicle by 45% by 2020. This comes back to the initial design phase where the decisions made by engineers and designers will affect the resource consumption during production. In addition, the company is also participating in initiatives for sustainable use of materials as well as establishing recovery systems so that materials and components can be reintegrated into the materials cycle.
Among many other global car manufacturers such as Tesla, the BMW Group has also dived into electric automobiles. These vehicles have the potential to change the way we live by improving air quality and further reducing CO2 emissions. Plug-in hybrid models use up to 50% less fuel than combustion-powered equivalents. BMW’s electric car i Series was first introduced in 2013 and offers customers new, dynamic driving experiences. The company has continued to add more models to this range with four more new plug-in hybrid vehicles to come in 2015 and 2016.
In an industry that has been responsible for significant greenhouse gas emissions, the BMW Group is innovating to develop new solutions that will help us in the battle to mitigate climate change while still delivering cars that its customers love.