Page Overview: BMW Group - Responsibility - Environmental Protection

Group-wide Environmental Protection

Group-wide environmental protection.

Our production is resource-friendly.

In the scenario of new energy-policy measures – our central scenario – global energy demand is set to grow by more than a third by 2035.

IEA 2012 - World Energy Outlook

Key Visual SVR 2019

Sustainable Value Report.

All facts and figures can be found in our current Report.

Group-wide environmental protection.

Energy efficiency at the BMW Group.

The BMW Group has a long tradition of minimising its impact on nature and the environment. Back in 1973, we were the first automobile manufacturer worldwide to appoint our own environmental officer. We will continue to lead the way as we steadily evolve. We are reducing our resource consumption, lowering emissions and avoiding waste, We also take environmental factors into account in our choice of locations.

Our investments in Group-wide environmental protection are constantly improving our resource-efficiency and have generated cost savings of € 167 million since 2006.

We are systematically reducing our environmental footprint in the area of energy usage, by continually enhancing the energy efficiency of our processes. We also evaluate the use of wind and hydropower at our sites, for example, and purchase renewable energy. Our long-term goal is to obtain 100% of our electricity from renewable sources. 

With water one of our most valuable resources, economical use of it is a priority for us. In production, we therefore rely on closed water cycles and wastewater-free processes.

For better resource and energy efficiency, we strive for a closed-loop resource management, focused on waste prevention and recycling – what is considered as waste often contains valuable resources that can be used in intelligent ways.

Read more about how we protect nature and the environment. Learn about the contribution we are already making and how we are implementing measures to become even better in the future.

Our commitment is having an impact.

An arrow pointing downwards illustrates the 40.4% decrease in energy consumption.
An arrow pointing downwards illustrates the 28.8% decrease in water consumption at the BMW Group.
An arrow pointing downwards illustrates the 78.4% decrease in waste for disposal.
To further enhance our energy efficiency and to move forward with the use of renewable energy at all our sites, we have defined the following strategic action areas:

  • increase energy efficiency
  • expand use of renewable energies
  • increase renewable energies as a percentage of purchased electricity

Sustainability by design.

Innovative robotics for better occupational health.

BMW Group employees work alongside robots.

Renewable energies: biogas.

Inside view of a silo.
A pile of cow dung in front of a skyline.
Two BMW Group employees reading data from equipment.
A man standing next to a cow in South Africa.
A herd of South African cattle, grazing.

Renewable energies: methane gas.

Cleve Beaufort's target is to run factories only on renewable energies.

At the BMW plant in Spartanburg he and his team have already come a long way. Watch the short film about Cleve to learn how an unconventional idea helped to save up to 92,000 tons of CO₂ every year.

Energy generation from methane gas.


But that's just one of many examples for the BMW Group's approach to steadily save energy and increase the percentage of renewable energies we use in production:

  • In Leipzig, four wind turbines with a total output of 10 MW ensure that BMW i3 production is 100 per cent CO₂-free.
  • The BMW paint shop in Tiexi, China, is one of the most environmentally-friendly in the world. Thanks to state-of-the-art process technologies, each painted car body uses only 430 kilowatt hours of energy - a third of what was needed just ten years ago.
  • The largest solar installation in the UK is located on the roof of the MINI plant in Oxford. The 11,500 solar panels provide the plant with more than 3 MWh of renewable energy.
  • For the cooling of the BMW Group computer centre at the Munich Research and Development Centre a process has been developed that uses the naturally cold temperate of groundwater. Unlike conventional cooling methods, this process generates no CO₂-emissions, supports climate protection and consumes up to 90 per cent less electric energy.

The BMW Group already obtains 79 per cent of its purchased electricity from renewable energies. The company's long-term goal is to achieve 100 per cent.

Sustainability in Dealerships.


When looking at his new dealership in Daegu, South Korea, Sung Hyeun Lim has his eyes set on the future: The façade of the country's first sustainably designed BMW dealership consists of state-of-the-art solar panels that generate around 14,000 KWh of energy annually. Customers and visitors of the innovative dealership are impressed with the green building, which is equipped with sustainable technologies down to the smallest detail – from the night lighting generated by solar and wind energy to the ultra-modern process water management.

Sustainable retail at the BMW Group.

The application of these sophisticated technologies entails reductions in water consumption of 30 %, in energy consumption of 20 %, and in carbon emissions of 6,300 kilograms a year.

The BMW Group supports the construction of sustainably designed dealerships not only in South Korea but also other locations.. Thanks to the introduction of innovations such as LED lighting in the showrooms, washing water recycling, heat pumps and wind turbines, BMW dealerships use less and less resources and step up the share of renewable energies in business operations.

Sustainably designed dealerships worldwide. That is what's next for us.

Environmentally-friendly buildings.

Outside view of a sustainabile BMW Group building.

Another prime example of the BMW Group’s innovative thinking is the BMW South Africa head office near Johannesburg. Originally built in the 1980s, the iconic ring-shaped office has recently been refurbished to a four-star green building. The building now features solar panels and an advanced building management system which controls the interior climate. Additional window panels that surround the inner ring of the building move with the sun to reduce glare.

Key performance indicators: Group-wide environmental protection.