ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION FIRMLY ANCHORED WITHIN THE ORGANISATION
Environmental management is part of our sustainability management. The steering committee of the international environmental protection network, which is headed up by the Group Representative for Environmental Protection, is responsible for environmental management. In the delegation chain, operating responsibility is transferred to plant management. Every machine, building and space at each plant is allocated to an operator. Each operator is responsible for the products, processes, machines and technical systems in their allocated area.
ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
Environmental management systems are in place in all of our production facilities worldwide as well as in our central planning departments. With the exception of the Manaus and Cassinetta locations (national standard), these systems are certified in accordance with ISO 14001. The German and Austrian sites have undergone additional external audits and meet European Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) standards. Environmental management coverage of BMW†Group production facil≠ities is therefore at 100%. We have also installed environmental management systems at our dealerships in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. In summer 2012, the German dealerships were also successfully certified in accordance with ISO 14001/OHSAS 18001.
PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT FROM THE WORD GO
One main method of enhancing resource efficiency is to consistently take account of environmental aspects when planning new investments. This allows potential improvements in efficiency to be identified and implemented at an early stage. If they are found to be insufficient, more environmentally friendly alternatives can be sought.
Improvements that have been effective at one location are implemented at other locations wherever possible. Our six competence centres (for water, waste, energy, emissions, training and environmental management system) are staffed by environmental experts from the different plants and by specialists from Corporate Environmental Protection. They discuss legal requirements and best-practice solutions with technology experts from the production plants and develop reference systems on which to base future planning and process improvements.
One recent example is the newly opened Tiexi plant in China, a joint venture with our partner Brilliance Automotive Ltd. State-of-the-art manufacturing processes based on the combined experience of the BMW†Group’s global network ensure that production is particularly resource efficient. Environmental aspects were taken into account from the word go – even as early as the building planning stage. The plant is the most sustainable automotive production facility in China with regard to energy and water consumption, waste efficiency and process wastewater as well as the emission of solvents. It is a role model for environmentally friendly projects worldwide. The new plant is one of the most sustainable within the global production network of the BMW†Group.
Another example of best-practice solutions transfer is a recycling centre close to our Chinese facility in Shenyang, which should be opening in 2016. The centre will be designed along the same lines as our tried-and-tested recyc≠ling centre close to Munich. In the future, all prototypes and pre-series vehicles from the Chinese development departments are to be recycled at the centre. This means that the Chinese development departments can meet the same high standards as their counterparts in Munich. For details on the recyc≠ling of series vehicles, see here.
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AT SUPPLIER AND PARTNER COMPANIES
Beyond our own production lines, we also promote compliance with and improvement of environmental standards on the part of our suppliers. For example, in cases where envir≠onmental management is relevant and necessary, we require proof that suppliers have installed such a system.
We also work closely with our partners SGL Group and Brilliance Automotive Ltd. to implement continuous improvement. For example, our joint venture with SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers in Moses Lake uses renewable hydro-power to produce its carbon fibres.