In addition to further developing electromobility, the BMW Group is also systematically implementing its sustainability strategy throughout the entire value chain. Since 2006, for instance, resource consumption and emissions per vehicle produced have decreased by more than 50%. When it comes to lowering water consumption in car production, the BMW Group is the industry benchmark. All plants operated by the BMW Group worldwide obtain their energy from renewable sources, guaranteeing a 100% carbon-free power supply.
The BMW Group has joined forces with BASF SE, Samsung SDI and Samsung Electronics to launch a joint cobalt mining project in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Under the name “Cobalt for Development”, the partnership is working with the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) to improve working conditions in artisanal mining and achieve better living conditions in the surrounding communities. The idea is for this work to continue in the future as a privately funded project.
Cobalt is a key component in manufacturing batteries for the automotive and electronics industries. Industrial mining accounts for only about 80-85% of Congolese cobalt production, while the remaining 15-20% is extracted through artisanal mining. In line with the BMW Group’s commitment to human rights and compliance with environmental standards, a 100% privately funded project is testing an approach designed to overcome the challenges associated with artisanal mining.
Sustainability is an important aspect of our corporate strategy and plays a vital role in expanding electromobility. We are fully aware of our responsibilities. Cobalt and other raw materials must be extracted and processed under ethically responsible conditions.
Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Purchasing and Supplier Network
RAW MATERIAL SUPPLIES.
In the extraction of raw materials – in particular of key raw materials such as lithium and cobalt – the BMW Group gives top priority to compliance with environmental standards and human rights. The company believes that ethically responsible raw material extraction and processing begins at the very beginning of the value chain: in the raw material mines. The BMW Group has therefore restructured its supply chains for the upcoming fifth generation of battery cell and will be purchasing cobalt and lithium directly (without intermediaries) from 2020 and making the raw materials available to its battery cell manufacturers.
In future, BMW will purchase its cobalt directly from mines in Australia and Morocco, along with lithium also from Australia, among other places. This will ensure 100% transparency about the origin of these two key raw materials.
For us, ethically responsible raw material extraction and processing starts at the very beginning of the value chain: We take a keen interest in battery cell supply chains – all the way down to the mines themselves.
Head of Purchasing Indirect Goods and Services at BMW AG.
Battery storage farm in Leipzig.
The BMW Battery Storage Farm Leipzig forms the basis for two energy-related business models: Local energy optimisation at the Leipzig location targets energy costs and CO2, as well as grid stabilisation using so-called balancing energy. The large-scale battery farm is able to integrate locally-generated energy from its four wind turbines more efficiently into the plant's own energy consumption, further reducing its carbon footprint. By using “peak shaving”, i.e. avoiding costly peak loads, the battery storage farm also helps reduce energy costs at the Leipzig plant.
Battery storage farm in Hamburg.
Used batteries from electric vehicles are connected to form a large power storage farm in Hamburg. With energy available within seconds, they can help stabilise the power grid. The storage farm developed by Vattenfall, BMW and Bosch consists of 2,600 battery modules from more than 1,000 electric vehicles, with an output of two megawatts (MW) and a storage capacity of 2,800 kilowatt hours (kWh). With this capacity, the storage farm could supply the average two-person household with electricity for seven months.