Headquater and BMW Welt

Advocacy

Advocacy.

Headquater and BMW Welt

Advocacy

Advocacy.

The BMW Group is a multinational organisation operating in a highly connected world. Our activities have a significant impact on our business environment and affect the interests of a wide variety of stakeholders. Geopolitical instabilities, megatrends, sustainability aspects and social expectations in the face of climate change all influence the conditions under which we do business – and that’s why we work constructively and openly to help shape the politics determining the business environment through active, transparent dialogue with decision-makers and representatives from politics, trade unions, and various associations and NGOs.

Our approach.

The BMW Group bases its strategy on the analysis of global megatrends that are pivotal to the transformation of the automotive industry. The most important ones at the moment with long-term impacts on our business model are: climate change and the reduction of carbon emissions, electromobility, digitalisation and connectivity – including automated and autonomous driving – and mobility patterns in society.

As a global company with a complex value chain, our business activities and products affect not only our workforce and customers but also the interests of various stakeholders. Conversely, social developments affect the business activities of the BMW Group as a whole in many respects. Business partners, suppliers, lobbyists, the media, politics, science, industry associations, NGOs, investors and other stakeholder groups all have different views and expectations of us. Responding to them appropriately can increase our social legitimacy, competitive advantage and success as a company.

That’s why at the BMW Group, we are in constant contact with stakeholders worldwide, incorporating their various perspectives into our decision-making and taking care to comply with the applicable regulatory frameworks. Our dialogue enables us to identify new political and social trends and develop sustainable solutions for the challenges of the future. If stakeholders have any concerns about our activities, we encourage them to raise them early on. That way, if there are any conflicts of interest, we can openly discuss solutions with them. To enhance the transparency of our decision-making even further, we share information about our strategy and views on political, regulatory and social issues.

When it comes to our business success, striking the right balance between commercial, environmental and social concerns is key. So too is our capacity to develop sustainable technological innovations, offer stable, secure employment and collaborate with all the partners in our ever more sustainable value chain.

For this reason, since the financial year 2020, the BMW Group has kept stakeholders up to date with business developments via an integrated report. This provides a holistic, well-founded insight into our organisation, as can be seen in the current integrated Group report, providing an account not just of our business activities but of our action on sustainability as well – in transparent, comprehensible form.

To help form the policies that shape our business environment, the BMW Group works constructively and openly, engaging in active, transparent dialogue with decision-makers and representatives from politics, trade unions, and various associations and NGOs. We are a member of multiple associations in different countries, mostly on a voluntary basis. In some cases, however, the cooperation may be statutory, for example with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry for Munich and Upper Bavaria (IHK München, Oberbayern) and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Berlin (IHK Berlin).

Our engagement with associations ranges from board memberships in various committees and participation in working groups to observer roles. Our goal throughout is to achieve mutual alignment on important strategic topics with the respective associations. If we notice our positions diverging, we raise the issue with the association concerned and discuss it to improve alignment. We contribute our company’s point of view to decision-making by the associations through active participation in discussions on key strategic topics including climate protection, human rights, the circular economy, carbon footprint reductions and transparent supply chain management. We advocate for the targets of the Paris Climate Agreement in  associations and organisations we are a member of.

At the BMW Group, our understanding of the values and aims of those around us, our relationship management and stakeholder communications are managed by our Corporate and Governmental Affairs section.

Within Corporate and Governmental Affairs, our Governmental Affairs department is responsible for our relationships with political and regulatory stakeholders, NGOs and the scientific community worldwide and ensures the consistency and transparency of our core political messages and positions.

At Governmental Affairs in Munich, communications are organised into three main topic areas: E-mobility & Environment, Trade & Geopolitics, and Digital Cars & Mobility. The aim is to establish uniform, legally compliant framework conditions that leave us sufficient flexibility and agility to develop innovative products. The team in Munich also coordinates our relationships with core automotive manufacturers’ associations like the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) and the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA).

At the international level, Governmental Affairs is organised into four key regions: Europe, the Americas, China and Asia-Pacific/Africa/Middle East. In selected individual and growth markets, the BMW Group also operates local Governmental Affairs offices and/or employs local staff to interact directly with policymakers and regulators. The offices provide a permanent point of contact for local decision-makers and are available to address queries directly and in the local language – an opportunity our stakeholders are keen to use.

Governmental Affairs strives to ensure the greatest possible transparency as well as fact-based information and credibility. For this reason, a comprehensive set of compliance regulations is in place across the company to govern our contact with external stakeholders and shape the nature of our interactions with them.

Transparency registers for interest groups such as private individuals, companies and NGOs involved in political decision-making vary from country to country and also between regions. They may be voluntary or compulsory, and individuals or organisations seeking to influence political institutions or decision-making can/must register with them. The purpose of these registers is to help increase public trust in politics and maintain transparency over the way lobbyists and representatives exert their influence.

The BMW Group has been listed in the European Union’s Transparency Register since 2008. Details are provided of the number of employees and budget allocated to influencing European legislative processes, our areas of interest and details of association memberships relevant to EU policymaking.

Since 2022 the lobby register legislation of the German Bundestag and Bavarian State Parliament has also been in force, providing for the establishment of public lobbying registers. BMW AG is listed in these registers and, in accordance with requirements, we provide detailed information about our political and association work and financial expenditure in connection with political lobbying.

The BMW Group welcomes the establishment of transparency and lobbying registers of this kind, as they help to increase transparency as well as trust in the democratic legislative process and the political work of all those involved in it.

OVERVIEW OF OUR CORE AREAS.

We support the transformation of the automotive industry in six core policy areas.

Electromobility and reducing emissions.

BMW an Ladestation
BMW an Ladestation

At the BMW Group, “one size fits all” is not what we do. Because although alternative drives and digitalisation are transforming mobility, they are doing it at different rates in different parts of the world. That’s why we believe in keeping an open mind to all kinds of technology. It’s essential for our future mobility.

Antriebsformen

Given the uncertainty around the mobility transition, ruling out any particular type of drive simply doesn’t make sense. Far more, we believe that going forward, goals should be underpinned by regular, well-founded reviews of progress in infrastructure development, the current geopolitical situation and all the relevant dependencies. The degree of electrification we’re set to see in the future will generate huge demand for raw materials for batteries, such as lithium and cobalt. These are largely mined and refined outside Europe, sometimes in high-risk regions.

Meanwhile, future fleet CO2 targets in all major markets are extremely ambitious and will require stakeholders to agree definitive and binding framework conditions. The charging and H2 refuelling infrastructures are particularly significant, as they offer customer value, but equally important is the availability of renewable energies, as a direct correlation can already be seen today between infrastructure density and electric vehicle market shares.

Switching to zero-emissions mobility requires framework conditions that take a holistic view. If we place all our bets on a single technology – with all its shortcomings – it could create geopolitical dependencies, potentially putting supplies of things like critical raw materials at risk and jeopardising the switch that customers might otherwise be willing to make. In contrast, if we keep an open mind to all technologies for low- and zero-emissions mobility, we can increase our strategic resilience. The raw materials and supply chains for fuel-cell vehicles, for example, are easy to adapt if needed, as cell systems are made of common materials such as steel, polymers and aluminium, plus enough platinum to make between one and two catalytic converters. The recycling industries for these materials are already well established and provide vast quantities of secondary materials.

Climate and the environment.

Street in a forest
Street in a forest

A rapid transition to electromobility in the transport sector is key to climate neutrality. At the BMW Group, we have a clear goal: to reduce the carbon footprint of the entire value chain for our vehicles. BMW AG clearly and publicly supports the Paris Climate Agreement and has pledged to do its part to achieve its targets. In 2021 we became the first German automotive manufacturer to join the Science Based Targets Initiative’s (SBTi) Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign. Following this goal, our lobbying and advocacy are also aligned with the Paris Climate Agreement.

Together with our suppliers, we advocate for decarbonisation and renewable energies. The aim should ultimately be to establish national and international carbon limits and trading systems as key to supporting the decarbonisation of all industries.

When it comes to achieving climate goals, the European Union (EU) considers itself a global trailblazer. Ambitious climate protection targets have also been proposed by the US and Chinese governments.

When it comes to saving resources and reducing environmental impacts, the BMW Group is a great supporter of global efforts to boost circularity and the circular economy. Our own endeavours in this regard are underpinned by stringent targets for the use of secondary raw materials. With the right framework conditions, these will become more readily available and of higher quality. However, we don’t consider sector- and material-specific quotas for the use of recyclates to be a viable alternative, as it is inefficient and would distort the market. In our view, circularity is like CO2 emissions: it requires a holistic approach.

Digitalisation.

Car in Datawall
Car in Datawall

Digitalisation concerns every area of the mobility sector. Our customers enjoy a constant supply of new digital services and automated driving functions that are available for them to use. But the impact of digital progress on our products is two-fold: it presents us not only with new opportunities but with challenges as well, for instance around cybersecurity as cars become increasingly connected. At the BMW Group, we want our customers to have the best digital experience there is – with all the necessary data protection and cybersecurity requirements in place.

As a multinational, we want to help establish uniform, legally compliant framework conditions that give us the flexibility and agility we need to innovate to our full potential and capitalise on advances in digitalisation – while remaining fully compliant with all the relevant vehicle approval guidelines and cybersecurity regulations.

Another area where we adopt a stringent Security by Design approach is digital applications. We eliminate points of entry for cyberattacks, for example during the transmission of vehicle data. To guarantee the cybersecurity of our vehicles, in 2017 we rolled out BMW CarData, our own secure data transfer platform. This gives BMW and MINI customers full control over the transfer and use of their vehicle data and allows them to pass their data on to other partners without delay.

Trade and market access.

Containerschiff auf Fluss
Containerschiff auf Fluss

The BMW Group is a global company with over 30 production sites worldwide. We also operate international supplier and distribution networks and sell our products in 140 countries. To secure our supply and distribution chains and maintain our focus on exports, we need free access to third markets and open trade channels.

We support the liberalisation of trade and free trade at global scale. We also advocate for certain trade barriers to be reconsidered, provided human rights, labour protection standards and sustainability are not impacted. Equally, we support a de-escalation in global trade tensions and strong trade and investment agreements with partner countries worldwide.

In addition, the BMW Group is calling on the EU to establish the same open, rule-based trading system for domestic and foreign companies. Despite the current geopolitical developments, we must endeavour to achieve global standards based on openness, transparency and shared values. Common sustainability standards should be an inherent part of every free trade agreement.

Urban mobility.

MINI Aceman in City
MINI Aceman in City

The influx of people to cities is overstretching housing and transport systems. Many cities and communities are responding by introducing their own regulations and traffic-free zones in order to ease congestion.

 

When it comes to tackling increasing traffic volumes and emissions, the BMW Group is working with cities and communities to develop and implement solutions together. And we believe there’s still plenty more potential for cities, mobility service providers and vehicle manufacturers to collaborate.

A particular focus of ours is on measures to ramp up electromobility, for example by establishing and expanding the charging infrastructure in relevant locations and implementing eZones, in which plug-in hybrids automatically switch to electric mode.

Also under the spotlight are traffic management measures to keep traffic moving. These include digital solutions such as parking management systems, which reduce cruising for parking spaces by encouraging people to opt for other forms of transport.

Our goal is to help cities build a future in which citizens can remain mobile and sustainability goals will be met.

Human resources and social policy

BMW Personal
BMW Personal

At the BMW Group, our employees are the foundation of our success. We offer attractive, secure employment and comprehensive training and development opportunities. When it comes to the equal pay standard and our range of working-hours models, we set the benchmark. In early 2023 we became the first German company to attain top Fair Pay Leader certification. We also actively engage with legislative proposals on labour and social policy.

We are committed to respecting internationally recognised human rights and strive to go above and beyond the minimum required – not just at our own plants but elsewhere too. We make every effort to ensure these standards are met worldwide, along our entire supply chain. Compliance with the labour protection laws across the globe is a given at the BMW Group, and we also set our own, more stringent standards in addition, to help us improve even further.

As a multinational, we value diversity in our workforce, which brings together people from over 100 different countries. They contribute a wide range of perspectives, experience and expertise to what we do, in turn making us more innovative and competitive. Back in 2011, the BMW Group signed up to the Diversity Charter, pledging to create a working environment that’s free from prejudice. From our young talent programmes on, we want to inspire more women to take up technical professions – because in our view, lasting change is what matters. Over the years, the share of females in our workforce has steadily increased, and our goals remain ambitious: by 2025, we want women in at least 22 percent of our leadership roles.

Contact.

For further information from the BMW Group regarding Government and External Affairs please contact us at this email address.

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