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Page Overview: BMW Group - Responsibility - Sustainability

Sustainability at the BMW Group

Sustainability at the BMW Group.

BMW Group once again sector leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.

The BMW Group has once again been named the world’s most sustainable automotive company in the rating published by RobecoSAM AG for the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes (DJSI). The BMW Group is also the only one of the three automobile manufacturers listed to feature in the renowned index every year since 1999. 

“The BMW Group is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. For us, sustainability is an important part of our identity and our strategy. We have accomplished a great deal in recent years and continue to set ourselves concrete goals for the future. We are delighted to be named sector leader once again in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. This shows that our activities continue to have an impact and we are on the right track,” according to Ursula Mathar, head of Sustainability and Environmental Protection at BMW AG. 

Sustainability is firmly embedded in the BMW Group’s culture and corporate strategy. In 2001, the BMW Group committed itself to the United Nations Environment Programme, the UN Global Compact and the Cleaner Production Declaration. It was also the first company in the automotive industry to appoint an environmental officer back in 1973. Today, the Sustainability Board, comprising all members of the Board of Management, defines the strategic alignment through binding targets. 

The BMW Group adopts an holistic approach, implementing sustainability throughout the value chain. In addition to reducing CO2 emissions, its strategy also focuses on achieving continuous progress in areas such as corporate environmental protection, supply chain sustainability, employee orientation and social commitment. 

Between 1995 and 2015, the BMW Group succeeded in reducing the CO2 emissions of its new vehicles sold in Europe (EU 28) by 40 per cent. In 2015, its average CO2 emission across Europe (EU28) stood at 127 g/km and worldwide 147 g/km. Systematic expansion of alternative drive trains in the BMW fleet, combined with innovative mobility services have made a significant contribution to this progress. 

Since July 2016, the BMW Group line-up has included seven models that are either all-electric, like the BMW i3, or combine a conventional engine with an electric motor as a plug-in hybrid. This signals the company’s clear commitment to sustainable mobility. 

The BMW Group aims to be a leader in the use of renewable energy in production and value creation. 58 per cent of the electricity purchased by BMW Group worldwide already comes from renewable sources. The company operates four wind turbines at its Leipzig site, for example, which exclusively supply energy for production of the BMW i3 and BMW i8. Its American plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, uses methane gas from a nearby landfill to generate up to 50 per cent of the power needed for production. 

In 2015, the BMW Group also became the first automobile manufacturer in Europe to use a 40-ton electric truck for transporting materials on public roads. 

A further goal of the BMW Group is to significantly increase transparency and resource efficiency throughout its supply chain by 2020. In this connection, around 1,900 supplier locations were evaluated for the first time using an industry-specific sustainability questionnaire in 2015. These evaluations are performed for all nominated, potential and active supplier locations. 

Further education and training of employees remains another top priority for the BMW Group. In 2015, the BMW Group invested a total of € 352 million in further education and training programmes. The company also hired more than 1,500 apprentices worldwide. Around 4,700 young people are currently enrolled in vocational training and talent development programmes at the BMW Group, including more than 3,800 in Germany. 

The BMW Group has also been involved in promoting intercultural exchange, both within and outside the company, for many years. In conjunction with the UN Alliance of Civilisations, the BMW Group presents the Intercultural Innovation Award to exemplary projects in this field. 

The BMW Group is also promoting exchange between refugees classed as unaccompanied minors, local youth and BMW employees through the neighbourhood project “Lifetalk” at its Munich plant. The aim of the initiative is to give young people a better idea of possible career paths. 

Dow Jones Sustainability Index.

Sustainability – An investment in the future.

We believe that sustainability is capable of making a positive contribution to the company’s long-term business success. Taking social and environmental responsibility for everything we do is an integral part of how we perceive ourselves as a company. We are convinced that the lasting economic success of any enterprise these days is based increasingly on acting responsibly and ensuring social acceptance. Efficient and resource-friendly production processes and state-of-the-art solutions for sustainable individual mobility offer a clear competitive advantage.

Most succesful and sustainable premium provider for individual mobility.

Pursuing long-term sustainability goals.

Our strategic sustainability targets up to 2020 cover areas from products and services, production and value creation to employees and society.

BMW i3 in the city.

Sustainable Value Report.

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

Sustainability management.

Two BMW i3 Cars at a charging station.

For the past 100 years, our company has inspired people around the world with fascinating products and services for individual mobility. Not many companies reach such an age – and not many companies have the opportunity and the resources to shape their own future.

Source: Sustainable Value Report

Long-term thinking and responsible conduct lay the foundation for the BMW Group’s economic success. The company has firmly established environmental and social sustainability throughout its value chain. This also includes comprehensive product responsibility and a clear commitment to resource conservation. We remain committed to the principles of the United Nations’ Global Compact, which we have implemented at all our locations since 2001.

Our actions are aimed at shaping the mobility of the future and securing our leading position as a successful company. We have set ourselves concrete sustainability targets for 2020. Last year, once again, our projects and activities brought us a good deal closer to these targets – as confirmed by the key performance indicators in this Sustainable Value Report.

However, it does not stop here. In 2016, we will once again be looking ahead. We see electrification and digitalisation as two of the main driving forces for the future. Over the next few years, these factors will change the automotive industry more than anything we have seen over the past 100 years. We recognised the direction the industry was going from automobile manufacturer to provider of the individual premium mobility and services of tomorrow.

This vision of the future not only includes vehicles with lower emissions and better fuel economy, it is also about developing new solutions for urban mobility – to improve the quality of life in cities. 

We stand by our promise of cutting fleet emissions in Europe from 1995 levels in half by 2020 and will continue to increase the percentage of renewable energies used in production. We will offer plug-in hybrids in all segments as well as expand our car-sharing service to further cities worldwide.

Digitalisation offers enormous potential – especially for traffic in urban areas. Vehicles that are connected to one another enable traffic in cities to be organised much more efficiently: new traffic guidance systems will help avoid traffic jams, while intelligent parking management solutions will reduce traffic. In short, the connected vehicle will become the nucleus of a plethora of new services. 

Through all this technological progress and development, our actions will always remain focused on the individual and their specific needs. The year 2015 demonstrated that our society still faces major challenges. We firmly believe that intercultural understanding is one of the most important factors in overcoming these challenges, together. For many years now we have been and remain very committed to promoting intercultural exchange of inside and outside the company. Through our partnership with the UN Alliance of Civilizations, we are proud to present the Intercultural Innovation Award to honour exemplary grassroots initiatives in this area.

The BMW Group foundations also aim to create added value for society. All activities of this kind will now be concentrated in the BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt. The BMW Group will also increase the Foundation’s funding by 50 million euros to 100 million euros. 

The BMW Group can look back on one hundred years of history. And we will continue to take responsibility in the future – when it comes to both technology and society. We will continue to captivate our customers with our fascinating products and services. And by implementing innovative concepts, we will continue to build a positive future for our company.

Sustainability management: key performance indicators.



9,224 million €



147 g CO2/km



352 Mio. €