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Page Overview: BMW Group - Responsibility - Sustainability Dialogue

Sustainability Dialogue

Sustainability News.

One of our tasks is to find sustainable solutions for mobility of the future. That’s why we set ourselves ambitious goals, which have a decisive influence on our daily business. It’s a lively and versatile process we would like to share with you – with news, interviews and events.

Care4Water

Strong alliance.

In future, the BMW Group and Daimler AG are set to join forces for city car sharing, with plans to include their other mobility services, such as transport and chauffeur services, digital parking, access to public charging stations for electric vehicles and much more.

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Diversity makes sense

“Diversity makes sense”.

This much is clear: automotive manufacturers must reduce the CO2 and pollutant emissions of their vehicles fleets. Customers demand it, as do the EU climate targets. But with what technology?

Learn more
Care4Water

Many little water filters.

Great solutions can sometimes be so simple. For instance, in Thailand employees of BMW Group Thailand “Care4Water” have distributed countless little water filters – and helped over 343,400 people get clean drinking water in the process. 

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Hallo Zukunft.

100 facts and a clear commitment.

Short, sweet and to the point: the BMW Group Sustainability Factbook 2017 shows that, when it comes to climate protection, the Munich automotive manufacturer focuses not just on products.

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A bold promise?

By 2020, the BMW Group will obtain all of its electricity worldwide from renewable energy sources. That is what Munich wants to measure itself against.

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Hallo Zukunft.

Delhi's proud environmentalists.

Indian megalopolis New Delhi would have long collapsed under the mountains of rubbish it produces if it was not for the 'waste pickers' who collect, sort and recycle the garbage. In Delhi their work is now very much appreciated.

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Shared and parked.

Traffic jams and smog are not the only problems in China. Parking spaces are another – and without them, car sharing does not work. In Chengdu, a city with a population of more than 14 million, the BMW Group is looking for other solutions for its new electric fleet.

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Hallo Zukunft.

“We need to keep working on it.”

The BMW Group recycles and recovers 760,000 metric tons of waste per year – at a rate of 99%. So it may look like the goal has been achieved. But there is still a lot for the waste management experts to do.

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A better world in colour.

These colourful baskets from Ghana, Uganda, Madagascar and Bangladesh are much more than souvenirs from far-flung lands. Each of them, skilfully made by hand, also tells a personal story about the woman who made it and how she uses her work to escape poverty. 

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Hallo Zukunft.

Long-range and quiet.

The BMW Group has tested an HGV running on liquefied natural gas in Regensburg. The outcome is that this environmentally friendly truck presents an ideal alternative to diesel, especially over long distances. 

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Big visions.



The BMW Group and the UN Alliance of Civilisations (UNAOC) support local initiatives with big visions around the world – and provide much more than just cash.

Mehr erfahren
Hallo Zukunft.

Norway – an electric paradise.

In 2017, the BMW i3 was the best-selling BMW in Norway. Almost 70 percent of BMWs on the country’s roads are electric. Norway is the world’s undisputed leader for electric cars – but it’s not done yet.

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Cool maths app.


The BMW Group and the “Joblinge” initiative have developed an app that helps even math-averse teenagers qualify for technical vocations. 

Mehr erfahren
Hallo Zukunft.

Totally electrified.

While the advantages of electric mobility are still being debated in many a place, Munich is already totally electrified. 

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BMW enters Russian Car Sharing Market in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

100 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer and seven BMW i3 were delivered to Russian premium car sharing company YouDrive.

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Hallo Zukunft.

BMW Group and Codelco agree on cooperation to establish the Responsible Copper Initiative.

The BMW Group and the Chilean copper mining company Codelco have signed an agreement to cooperate on a sustainable and transparent supply of copper.

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BMW i now also powers Deutsche Post.

 BMW i battery modules now also drive some of Deutsche Post's fully electric delivery vans, built by Streetscooter GmbH, a 100 per cent subsidiary of Deutsche Post.

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Hallo Zukunft.

BMW model update measures for the spring of 2018.

Reduction injection now fitted to diesel models of the BMW 1 Series, BMW 2 Series, BMW 3 Series, BMW 4 Series and the BMW X1, and a particulate filter for further petrol-powered models.

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Virtual reality – pretty sustainable!

New technologies could soon dramatically shake up the work processes at the BMW Group.  A visit to the Virtual Reality Lab of the BMW Group demonstrates what this could mean. 

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Hallo Zukunft.

New BMW i3s traction control system for all future BMW and MINI models.

50-times faster responses for greater traction and driving stability in adverse road conditions and while brake energy recuperation.

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“Emotions run high”

The BMW Group has been involved with the Formula E series since its very first season. In 2019, the Munich-based BMW Group will be entering a works team in the electric racing series, and in the process sending out a clear signal: the future is electric. But that’s not the only message.

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Hallo Zukunft.

Quiet giants.

When the BMW Group sent the first electric truck out onto the streets two years ago, the silent 40-tonne vehicle was still a pilot project. Three fully electric trucks are now on the go in Munich, saving the company CO2 emissions amounting to around 82 tonnes per year. 

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Up and away - electric above the traffic.

What a dream: simply zooming away above the traffic chaos on your electric scooter or bike. ‘BMW Vision E³ Way’, an elevated highway concept developed in China, demonstrates what this vision could look like.

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Hallo Zukunft.

BMW Group supports natural rubber.

Businesses, environmentalists and human rights organisations sent an important message in Vancouver: they addressed the sustainable cultivation of natural rubber, which is used in the manufacture of tyres.

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BMW Group Plant San Luis Potosi inaugurates Training Center.

Today the BMW Group Plant San Luis Potosi has inaugurated the plant´s Training Center. With the official opening of the new building the Automaker sets the next major milestone during the ramp up phase of the plant that will start production in 2019.

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Welcome to the future.

“We will redefine individual mobility”

The UN Climate Change Conference (COP) and the commitment of the BMW Group can both look back on a long tradition. The BMW Group has taken part in climate conferences since 1992. In 2017, the company provided fresh impetus with the implementation of an ambitious energy and sustainability strategy.

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BMW Group adopts new approaches for a more sustainable battery cell supply chain. Plans call for greater transparency and concrete measures for cobalt mining.

The BMW Group has set itself the goal of enhancing the transparency of its battery cell supply chain and exploring options for model projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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Welcome to the future.

Sustainability Forum in Mexico – to be continued.

Cities with millions of inhabitants are now more than ever tasked with the issues of mobility, infrastructure and e-mobility. This was demonstrated at the Sustainability Forum in Mexico City, for which the BMW Group extended invitations at the end of September. 

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BMW Group underlines leading role in electro-mobility.

The BMW Group continues to build on its leading international role in the field of electro-mobility, as the 100,000th BMW i3 rolled off the production line at the company’s Leipzig plant today.

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Welcome to the future.

BMW receives gold for sustainable operating facility.

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen (German Council for Sustainable Development) certifies logistics hall of the central spare parts distribution unit at the BMW Group’s Dingolfing plant. 

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BMW Brilliance Automotive opens battery factory in Shenyang.

The BMW Group continues to expand its electro-mobility activities. In conjunction with its partner, Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Ltd., the BMW Group opened a new “High-Voltage Battery Centre” in Shenyang, China today.

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Welcome to the future.

DriveNow mobilizes urban art.

DriveNow, the joint venture of the BMW Group and SIXT SE, is bringing art to the streets of Berlin. Within the framework of a cooperative venture with URBAN NATION, an international institution for artists and neighborhood projects, nine DriveNow vehicles have been embellished with urban art motives. 

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Documentation BMW Group Dialogue Hangzhou.


On September 16th, the third BMW Group Stakeholder Dialogue took place in Hangzhou. We prepared a brief compilation of the most important outcomes for you. Please note that this document is only available in english.

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Welcome to the future.

Webinar - Integrating E-mobility into Electrical Grid.

E-Mobility is more than established as a crucial solution to cope with the mobility sector challenges arising from climate change, global warming and the need for decarbonisation. There is a considerable increase of electric and hybrid cars in the portfolio of automotive producers; regulators demand and support the expansion of E-Mobility through regulatory frameworks and incentive schemes.

Join us on 4th October at 3pm BST for this live webinar.

Register now here

DriveNow launches car sharing service in Lisbon.

DriveNow, the joint venture of the BMW Group and SIXT SE, is now offering its car sharing service in Lisbon starting today. 
 

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Welcome to the future.

BMW i and TED select social-oriented car sharing for non-urban areas as the winning “Next Visionaries” idea in the run-up to the IAA Cars show.

The finalists in the Next Visionaries contest instigated by BMW i and TED yesterday pitched their ideas live to an invited audience of 500 guests from the creative scene, business community and media.

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The BMW i Vision Dynamics. A new form of electrifying driving pleasure.

Just a year on from the presentation of its future-focused NEXT 100 vision vehicles, the BMW Group is introducing the electric mobility of the much more immediate future at the IAA Cars 2017 show in Frankfurt.

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Welcome to the future.

BMW at the IAA Cars 2017 in Frankfurt.

BMW is firing the starting gun on the brand’s forthcoming product offensive with an extraordinary pageant of new models and concept vehicles at the IAA Cars 2017 show in Frankfurt am Main.

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The new BMW i3 and BMW i3s.

The BMW i3 shows the way ahead to a new era of mobility. It is recognised the world over as a symbol of driving pleasure, sustainability and intelligent connectivity in the urban traffic environment, which is why it has become the best-selling electric car in the premium compact segment. The recipe for success of the BMW i3 has now been further improved, thanks also to the addition of a new model variant.

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Welcome to the future.

Welcome to the future!

There are still no fully interconnected electric bikes gliding through the urban canyons of megacities. But the BMW Group have already developed a prototype that reflects what is technically feasible today – and that shows Munich’s vision of zero-emission urban mobility on two wheels.

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Research vehicles and training equipment for educational institutions.

BMW Group supports apprentices and students with state-of-the-art automotive and e-mobility technology.   

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Documentation BMW Group Dialogue Chicago.

On July 12, the second BMW Group Stakeholder Dialogue took place in Chicago. We prepared a brief compilation of the most important outcomes of the BMW Group Dialogue in Chicago for you. Please note that this document is only available in english.

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Joschka Fischer.

BMW Group announces next step in electrification strategy.

Flexible vehicle architecture to enable electrification of every model series +++ Fully electric MINI confirmed as MINI 3 door variant +++ Electric drivetrain Made in Germany, integrated into car in Oxford +++

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Concise, informative, easy to use.

The BMW Group Sustainability Factbook, containing more than 100 facts at a glance.

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“Are you willing to sell your car?”

Don’t get us wrong. Dr. Carl Friedrich Eckhard, the person responsible for the issue of urban mobility at the BMW Group, does not wish to take anyone’s car away from them. He doesn’t think much of banning diesel-fuelled vehicles from urban areas either. The BMW manager simply wants to convince people to change their ways. 

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Successful launch of the Junior Campus App at the BMW Welt.

Since 25 June 2017, children and young people visiting the Junior Campus at the BMW Welt can experience a digital highlight. The BMW Group Junior Campus App combines playful learning with the conveyance of contents dealing with the issue of mobility of the future. The new app was first presented within the framework of the family Sunday “Digital with App & Co.” and was used more than 1,000 times during the first week after its launch. 

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Joschka Fischer.

Inspired by nature: New body protection for BMW employees.

Lighter protective clothing, tougher helmets, more stable protectors: New materials with up to 20-per-cent-better protective properties are the result of the BISS research project headed by the BMW Group. What is unique is that all advances are based on designs borrowed from nature – BISS stands for Bio-Inspired Safety Systems.

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Six years and counting: DriveNow assesses its accomplishments.

DriveNow, the car sharing joint venture of the BMW Group and SIXT SE, draws the balance six years after its founding. After its launch on June 9, 2011 in Munich, DriveNow has developed into the biggest carsharing provider in Germany and Europe.

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Joschka Fischer.

BMW Group Dialogue in Milan: Clear commitment to electro-mobility!

This city of more than a million people in the Lombardy region of Italy certainly had a lot to offer the BMW Group Stakeholder Dialogue. Milan is not only a leader in car-sharing, but also boasts a highly-efficient public transport network. The stakeholders and students invited to the event all agreed on one thing: Electric mobility is the city’s future!

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Documentation BMW Group Dialogue Milan.

We prepared a brief compilation of the most important outcomes of the BMW Group Dialogue in Milan for you.

Download

Sustainability News.

In future, the BMW Group and Daimler AG are set to join forces for city car sharing, with plans to include their other mobility services, such as transport and chauffeur services, digital parking, access to public charging stations for electric vehicles and much more.

Things get interesting when competitors become allies.

This is exactly what the BMW Group and Daimler AG are now planning by offering their city customers shared urban mobility services. The agreement on combining the mobility services business units has already been signed. Subject to review and approval by the relevant competition authorities, the two companies intend to merge their existing products for on-demand mobility in the areas of Car Sharing, Ride Hailing, Parking, Charging and Multimodality and to strategically expand these in the future. Each company will own fifty percent of the planned joint venture model.

As pioneers in car manufacturing, they did not intend to cede the field to others when it comes to mobility of the future, the companies headquartered in Munich and Stuttgart asserted. Their objective, they said, was to become one of the leading providers of innovative mobility services. To this end, they will support partners like cities and local authorities on their way towards sustainable urban mobility and contribute towards improving quality of life.

“With this alliance, we are taking a completely new path and making it easier for our customers to access digital and emission-free mobility”, said Harald Krüger, Chairman of the Board of Management at BMW AG. When it comes to making the best premium cars, however, the companies would remain rivals, he added.

The parity joint venture model is to unite the following services:

 

  • Car Sharing
    Car2Go (Daimler AG) and DriveNow (BMW Group) together have 20,000 vehicles in 31 metropolitan areas internationally. More than four million customers already use Car Sharing services, which have been shown to decrease the number of vehicles in cities.
  • Multimodal and on-demand mobility
    With moovel (Daimler AG) and ReachNow (BMW Group), various mobility offerings as ways of approaching individual urban transport needs can be networked together, including booking and payment.
  • Ride Hailing
    Today, a total of 13 million customers and around 140,000 drivers use ride hailing services like mytaxi, Clever Taxi, Beat, and Chauffeur Privé, a private car service. This also includes mytaximatch, which allows strangers to share a cab, another important way of reducing urban traffic volumes.
  • Parking
    Parkmobile Group/Parkmobile LLC (BMW Group) and ParkNow (BMW Group) offer ticketless and cashless parking on the street, as well as searching for, reserving and paying for spaces in car parks. The service helps to reduce traffic due to searching for a parking spot, which today makes up around 30 percent of urban traffic. 
  • Charging
    Digital Charging Solutions (BMW Group) and ChargeNow (BMW Group) offer more than 143,000 charging points worldwide, making it the largest network of public charging stations. In combination with privileged parking spaces in cities, they support the expansion of electromobility. 

This much is clear: automotive manufacturers must reduce the CO2 and pollutant emissions of their vehicles fleets. Customers demand it, as do the EU climate targets. But with what technology?

Customers face uncertainty while automotive manufacturers hunt for solutions. By 2021, they are required to meet the world’s most demanding climate targets for cars in Europe by lowering average CO2 values per kilometre from currently 120g to 95g. This is the equivalent of a reduction of 20 percent over six years, and failure means facing penalty payments. “The BMW Group will meet these limits. We have committed to them”, says Thomas Becker, head of political and external relations at the BMW Group.

A conversation about the role of diesel engines, new electric models, petrol cars and out-of-the-box innovations.

                                                    

The current debate about banning diesel vehicles is causing a significant decline in diesel sales across the EU. Has this become noticeable in the BMW Group fleet as well?

Thomas Becker: In 2017, the proportion of diesel vehicles in Europe was still significantly over 50 percent and they continue to make a clear contribution towards reducing CO2, although not to the extent planned originally. The BMW Group has reduced the CO2 emissions of the whole fleet by over 41 percent since 1995. Diesel engines have a major share in this because of their efficiency and CO2 emissions, which are about 15 percent lower in comparison to petrol engines. In addition, our engineers have equipped nearly all diesel models with a combination of NSC and SCR catalytic converters as of March 2018. As a result, our diesels achieve comparably low emissions levels.

 

What does that mean?

It means first of all that modern Euro 6 diesels meet the demanding European limits. In its current investigation, the ADAC checked the nitrogen oxide emissions of Euro 6 diesel models. German manufacturers achieved the lowest pollutant levels in a fleet comparison, with the BMW Group’s BMW and MINI vehicles among the best. In fact, the BMW 520d and 530d had the top values. Other NGOs and neutral institutions also certify very good performance for us.

 

In other words, the sooner these Euro 6 cars get onto the streets, the faster progress for air quality will be?

Europe has formulated the world’s most demanding climate targets for cars. The Euro 6 diesel is vital for meeting these targets - although of course not on its own, but in combination with electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. Likewise, the rapid launch of new technologies is critical for air quality in cities. The trend towards a higher average age in the fleet must be broken.

 

Customers will need incentives if you want to encourage them to buy new vehicles.

To accelerate the transition from diesel vehicles with standards older than Euro 5 to state-of-the-art exhaust aftertreatment or electric vehicles, the BMW Group and other German car manufacturers have committed to offering self-financed incentives in the short term. This includes for example a switching premium to be paid towards the purchase of a BMW i3, a plug-in hybrid or a new Euro 6 vehicle with a maximum CO2 value of 130g per kilometre.

 

Will this premium be offset against government purchase incentives?

No, it can be used in addition to the environmental bonus currently offered in Germany for the purchase of electrified vehicles, for example. This gives buyers of the new BMW i3 a total discount of 6,000 euros. But incentives alone are not enough. Framework conditions also need to be right, and this also includes expanding the charging infrastructure, which has yet to happen.

 

2018 is the year of electromobility at the BMW Group. What does that mean?

We invested in electromobility earlier than most German manufacturers, and have gained a certain head start here with a total of 200,000 electrified vehicles sold so far. We are currently the European market leader for battery vehicles and plug-in hybrids. By 2025, we will offer 25 fully or partly electric models worldwide and increase the share of electrified vehicles in global sales to 15 or 25 percent.

 

It sounds as though diesel and electric drives the only measures that reduce CO2 emissions.

The BMW Group thinks further than drives. By integrating new technologies and concepts, we will tap into more CO2 reduction potentials. For example, automated driving can ensure better traffic flow and therefore lower emissions. Data connectivity already makes fuel-saving acceleration possible today, and electromobility leads to lower-emission driving due to the increased utilisation of renewable energies. Our data shows that Car Sharing is used instead of older second-hand cars, making a significant contribution to lower emissions in cities.

 

So petrol engines are basically over?

Not at all. Every technology, from petrol engine to diesel, electric vehicle and plug-in hybrid, has advantages for different applications. We will continue to offer our customers a choice. Everyone can choose the concept that fits them the best. Diversity makes sense, otherwise we would not be making the best use of efficient technology. In the end, pragmatism is more effective than ideology.

 

Great solutions can sometimes be so simple. For instance, in Thailand employees of BMW Group Thailand “Care4Water” have distributed countless little water filters – and helped over 343,400 people get clean drinking water in the process.

Opas Noppornpitak grew up in the city, which means he took many things for granted – like clean water. Just turn on the tap and out it comes. The idea that things can be very different for other people had never really occurred to Opas – until he accompanied the “Care4Water” team of BMW Group Thailand into the provinces. A completely new world was revealed to the Manager of Corporate Communications from the plant in Thailand. “The village was right near the main road – yet the water that came out of the tap there was brown and pretty much undrinkable”, says Opas, shaking his head in disgust.

His colleague Jariya Koonlinthip, Chief Operations Officer at BMW Financial Services in Thailand, had a similar experience. The inhabitants of the village she visited had been collecting rainwater in jugs under their houses, in amongst all the mud and dirt. Not even the water used by the local hospital was clean, she recalls. In reality, few people in remoted areas in Thailand have enough money to be able to buy clean, bottled water. “But we can still do a lot for those who have no choice”, says Jariya.

When Opas and Jariya went into the villages, they had a solution for the villagers in their backpacks – little water filters fitted with a simple membrane that works without any batteries, electricity or mechanical devices. They are the same kind of water filters that former surfing pro John Rose took with him on his round-the-world trip about ten years ago. Forever in search of the perfect wave, the American surfer frequently found himself in regions with no running water – and definitely no clean water – in sight. At that time, John began handing out to local villagers the water filters he had originally taken with him purely for his own use. His surfing and backpacking community soon followed suit. A short time later, he founded the organisation Waves for Water, which now works with the support of various partners in 37 different countries around the world. Two years ago, John found some willing new recruits and enthusiastic partners in the form of the BMW Financial Services team. “The experience of being able to help people who live on the outskirts of our BMW Group Thailand offices in Bangkok and our plant in Rayong is not something you can buy with all the money in the world”, says Ong-ard Arunsaengroj, Sales & Marketing Director of BMW Financial Services in Thailand.

Sometimes the areas the BMW teams reach with their “Care4Water” initiative are more than 600 kilometres away from Bangkok. This means that the volunteers have to spend up to two days in the sweltering heat and humidity on dirt roads. “The amazing beauty of the landscape and the warm welcome from villagers make me forget all the hardship,” says Ong-ard. However, handing them out is not enough. For these BMW Group Thailand staff also assume long-term responsibility. Ong-ard likes to stay in touch with these people and help them if they have any problems with the filters”.

Over time, more and more employees of the BMW Group Thailand have joined the “Care4Water” team. Over 400 volunteers have been involved in the initiative since 2015 and rolled out more than 3,434 water filter systems to 39 communities in Thailand. One filter can provide 100 people with clean water every day. As a consequence, the company provided up to 343,400 Thai people with access to clean water at this point. Word has got around amongst their colleagues in India, Mexico and Brazil too, who now also distribute filters to people living in rural areas around the outskirts of BMW plants. But there is still much to be done – including in Thailand. “There are so many people out there we want to reach. So I will keep at it”, promises Opas. In this year alone, he and his colleagues plan to distribute 1600 water filters in Thailand.

Short, sweet and to the point: the BMW Group Sustainability Factbook 2017 shows that, when it comes to climate protection, the Munich automotive manufacturer focuses not just on products.

At the end of 2017, a highly symbolic light show transformed the BMW Group’s head quarters in Munich into a giant battery; it was clear even then that the automotive manufacturer had had an extraordinary year. With its message, “The future is electric”, the BMW Group therefore celebrated not only the sale of more than 100,000 electrified vehicles, but also the start of a successful new alignment.

And so the current Sustainability Factbook 2017 shows that the transformation process from a pure vehicle manufacturer to a sustainable premium provider for individual mobility has been in full swing for a while and includes the whole value chain. Starting with suppliers, through production and to the end of the life cycle of the vehicle, the Munich company is meeting the full bandwidth of challenges.

In other words, selling 100,000 electrified vehicles is not where this stops. Even though the BMW Group has secured a market-leading position through its early focus on electromobility (Fact 020), it has at the same time improved consumption in the rest of the fleet. In 2017, the Group achieved another significant decrease to 122 grams per kilometre on average in Europe, although the share of diesel vehicles had already been in decline there.

As mentioned, the company also presents the facts about emissions at its production sites. For example, the BMW Group has set itself a target of carbon-free manufacturing worldwide by 2020 (Fact 041). We have already done a lot towards this; to mention one example, the Leipzig site, where wind turbines help to ensure that the BMW i3 is made with 100 percent CO2-free electricity (Fact 042).

Worldwide, more than 12,000 suppliers made a significant contribution to the company’s value creation, so they are part of the comprehensive sustainability strategy, too. To increase transparency in the supply chain, for example, the BMW Group is the first automotive manufacturer in the world to publish information about smelting and countries of origin of the raw material cobalt (Fact 058) and launched the first certified eucalyptus wood in the market (Fact 052).

For the Munich company, sustainability means future viability - for the company and for society. Our wide variety of different community, social and cultural projects around the world (Facts 091 to 100) also make an important contribution to securing the company’s long-term reputation.

The BMW Group Sustainable Factbook makes no claims as to its completeness, but rather represents a very compressed extract, reduced to the bare essentials, of the Sustainable Value Report 2017, which is published in parallel. The latter offers an extensive overview of all facts and figures and came out on March 21, 2018, the same day as the Annual Report.

The BMW Group has published sustainability reports annually since 2001. The 2017 edition meets the complete requirements of CSR reporting in Germany, as per the guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). All quantitative and qualitative statements contained within were reviewed by an external auditor.

Both the Sustainability Factbook 2017 and the longer Sustainable Value Report 2017 are available here as PDFs.    

By 2020, the BMW Group will obtain all of its electricity worldwide from renewable energy sources. That is what Munich wants to measure itself against.

By 2020, the BMW Group will manufacture its more than 2.5 million vehicles annually using 100 percent green electricity. Initially, that might sound ambitious, costly, may be even unrealistic. “None of those”, claims Jury Witschnig, who is responsible for sustainable production in Strategic Planning at the BMW Group. He simply calls it “plannable”.

We interviewed Jury Witschnig about a goal that is rapidly coming closer.

In 2017, the BMW Gr oup announced at the UN Climate Conference that it intended to use only electricity from renewable resources by 2020. Don’t you think that’s a little overambitious?

Jury Witschnig: Why? In Europe, we’ve already reached our goal. Worldwide, we’re not quite there yet at 81 percent, but we will manage it by 2020. I have no doubt about that.

What makes you so sure?

We have already done a lot. And that aside, the vision of a carbon-free energy supply is not just some idea about replacing fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas with renewable energy from wind or the sun...

What then?

... it means taking care with the environment and our resources. We owe it to our customers. But to be honest, we do it in our own interest as well. Energy is expensive, which is one of the reasons why we have strongly reduced the energy consumption for each vehicle manufactured in recent years. Today, it’s already 37 percent lower than in 2006. We will keep it that way, even if production goes up. We therefore monitor and optimise our consumption not only regularly in our current operations, but also when we plan new processes.

That still leaves a large amount of green power that needs to come from somewhere.

Sustainability is not a random project. We developed a strategy for it years ago. This means that we know exactly which of our 31 locations worldwide are suitable for solar power and which for wind energy, how much green electricity we can buy, whether there are investment partners and what’s happening in politics. This has allowed us to gradually increase the share of renewables at all facilities.

With the result that the BMW Group today not only has wind turbines outside its plants, but also 30,000 cows.

Which makes sense. After all, the wind power systems at our Leipzig plant helps us to produce the BMW i3 from 100 percent carbon-neutral electricity. And our four-legged friends at the plant in Rosslyn, South Africa, produce enough dung for the biogas plant to generate almost a quarter of the electricity we need there. We love this result so much that we’re considering whether we should grow the herd quite a bit more.

Wouldn’t it be easier to buy green electricity?

Maybe, but it’s also pretty boring, and actually less economical. We’re engineers, after all, and fascinated by new technologies. There are lots of interesting developments happening now, and we want to use their potential. This includes for example photovoltaic systems, which could play a role very soon in some of our facilities.

In Leipzig, the BMW Group is using old BMW i3 batteries, right? You mean our storage farm? Yes, it’s great. We’re doing a proof of concept there with about 530 BMW i3 batteries to show that they can have a useful second life - as buffer storage for renewable energy. The battery farm helps to integrate the power from the wind turbines on the Leipzig site into the electricity grid. This saves electricity and money, and it’s also an interesting component in the context of the upcoming energy sector transformation.

Regardless of these efforts, do you still need to purchase extra?

We will not be able to get around extra electricity purchasing in the next few years, but we are relying 100 percent here on power from renewable sources. We are currently expanding our combined heat and power plants at seven locations in order to increase the efficient and environmentally friendly production of heat in manufacturing. Our alternative energy sources aren’t yet quite sufficient for heating. To give you an image, we would need several football pitches worth of solar thermal, or geothermal, but unfortunately that isn’t available everywhere. 

Why are you making your goal of 100 percent green electricity public this way? What do you gain from being a pioneer?

Germany committed to the Paris climate targets in 2015. This means we have some ambitious goals that we are achieving together if companies like ours take responsibility. However, we have to be consistent and think about it in an integrated way. Sustainable mobility consists not only of low-emission vehicles on the streets. To put it another way: electric cars can only develop their full potential if they have also been manufactured without emissions.

Then you could also start with your suppliers.

You’re right, integrated thinking has to include that as well. And we’re already doing so. After all, we hold more than 12,000 suppliers worldwide to the same environmental standards as the ones the BMW Group is measured against. This means that as multipliers, we recognise our own responsibilities and encourage our suppliers, not least for economic reasons, to save resources themselves and to invest in renewable energies. Many of them understand that already and in turn pass on the message to their own suppliers. It’s working really well, like a snowball effect. 

Indian megalopolis New Delhi would have long collapsed under the mountains of rubbish it produces if it was not for the 'waste pickers' who collect, sort and recycle the garbage. In Delhi their work is now very much appreciated.

Bharati Chaturvedi will not forget this particular winter's night in New Delhi for as long as she lives: it was foggy and bitter cold outside when her car suddenly broke down at around 

2 a.m. – in a city that no one would ever call safe. "I got out of the car, locked it and staggered through the pitch dark alleyways for about ten minutes, stiff with fear", she remembers. But when Chaturvedi suddenly came across a rubbish dump, she knew that people were living there. It was the poorest of the poor, stigmatised as criminals by the rest of society. Chaturvedi knew the people and woke them. Ostracised by everyone else, they immediately knew she needed help. The people walked back with her and moved her car to a safe place. "That night these people once again showed me that it was right to take a stand for them and help them", Chaturvedi says.

For a long time it had mostly been the enormous and continuously growing mountains of waste in her city that concerned Chaturvedi. She had already realised as a student that mega cities like Delhi would soon not be able to cope with the waste they produce. During her time at university in Delhi, Baltimore and New York she actively campaigned for the environment. After returning home, she did not just contribute to the guidelines for managing plastic waste, issued by the Indian Ministry of Environment, she also advised the Indian Government on its waste strategy, among other things.

"I had reached a point where I only saw all the people living in between all these mountains of rubbish, trying to survive on whatever they could pull out of the waste and still use or sell on", Chaturvedi says. People without education, forced to live in the most inhumane conditions. "I suddenly realised what a huge contribution these 'waste pickers' make towards conserving the environment and how they are treated with an utter lack of respect in return", Chaturvedi says. At the same time she realised that a paradigm shift in Indian society was needed to change this.

With Chintan, the environmental and human rights protection organisation she founded in 1999, Chaturvedi wanted to kick-start this change. Chintan means: a different way of thinking. What she means by this is reflected in the various initiatives of the not-for-profit organisation and its wide network of international, political, social and private partnerships. They include "Pick my Trash", a service that invites businesses, fast food chains, hotels, shopping malls as well as domestic consumers to have their waste collected at their door for a fee. "This has the advantage of plastic, paper and other recyclable material no longer ending up with the rest of the rubbish and possibly even being burnt", Chaturvedi says. Chintan has long since become a force to be reckoned with. With the support of various agencies and private initiatives its teams collect more than 25 tonnes of waste per day and recycle almost 70 per cent of it. Delhi's 'waste pickers' are proud that they are gaining respect in this way, especially since they now earn a living from what they do for their city. Chintan already helps send more than 1,300 children to school, enabling them to decide for themselves which job they want to do one day. "It is important to me that children will no longer be forced into doing the same job their parents do, but are free to choose", Chaturvedi explains.

Chintan also has some food for thought in store for the Indian middle classes and gets, for example, young people from privileged backgrounds to volunteer on the city's waste mountains. "This gives them the opportunity to see things from a different perspective for a change", Chaturvedi says. She wants to harness the curiosity and empathy of young people – knowing they can act as influencers of their generation.

When Chaturvedi was awarded the Intercultural Innovation Award for her work with Chintan in 2013, she suddenly was no longer alone with her "different way of thinking". That was a new experience for her. Just like at Chintan, people as drivers of innovation are also at the heart of the award presented by BMW Group in partnership with the United Nations Alliance of Civilisations (UNAOC). What followed for Chaturvedi was a "firework of impressions, ideas and plenty of reassurance". The award, a winter's night in Delhi... – the path is the right one. Chaturvedi will continue to follow it.

Traffic jams and smog are not the only problems in China. Parking spaces are another – and without them, car sharing does not work. In Chengdu, a city with a population of more than 14 million, the BMW Group is looking for other solutions for its new electric fleet.

People in China like to share, including their means of transport. First it was bicycles. Within just a few months of their arrival, the orange, lime and blue wheels of the local bike-sharing providers could be seen congregating on street corners and flooding city centres.

Car sharing quickly followed – and the boom began. In 2015 there were only 14,000 shared cars on the roads in China’s big cities, but today there are more than 40,000. And there are high hopes for car sharing in China. According to recent studies by PWC, car sharing has the potential to prevent traffic congestion in the country. With the ongoing economic upturn, the number of vehicles (currently around 180 million) could reach its peak in ten years’ time at 310 million – but thanks to car sharing, this could drop back to around 280 million vehicles by 2030.

The transition is not entirely straightforward, however, as all the shared vehicles owned by the now more than 40 car sharing providers have one thing in common: they have to be parked. And parking in most major cities is severely limited, if not impossible, due to a lack of urban planning and poor traffic management.

Nevertheless, the BMW Group – together with the Chinese car sharing provider Evcard – has ventured into the Asian market. In December, the BMW team launched a purely electric car sharing fleet in Chengdu, a city with a population of over 14 million in the southwest of China. With their car sharing brand ReachNow, which was launched in the US in 2016, they are taking a somewhat different approach to their Chinese competitors. For example, there are permanent parking stations for the 100 BMW i3s in the fleet, “where customers can park or pick up their vehicles”, says Joe Pattinson, who heads Mobility Services at BMW Group China. Vehicles can also be charged at the parking stations using the charging posts provided by Evcard. “To make it more convenient for people we try to ensure that there are parking stations through the city and are adding more stations all the time”, says Pattinson. The fact that this service is slightly more expensive than other local mobility services such as Didi or Lyft is not an issue for the BMW Group. “People in China are very conscious of status”, says Pattinson. For this reason they are willing to pay slightly more for a premium vehicle which is clean and kept in excellent condition.

The initial 25 parking stations for the 100 BMW i3s were placed with this in mind: in attractive residential areas, and outside offices for large companies, government buildings and five-star hotels. Pattinson, who enjoys driving his own electric car though his adopted homeland is sure his fellow residents will love the eco-conscious, quiet city cars – “precisely because of their premium quality.” 

The BMW Group produces 760,000 metric tons of waste per year, of which 99% is recycled and recovered. So it may look like the goal has been achieved. But there is still a lot for the waste management experts to do.

With its annual production of almost 2.5 million vehicles, the BMW Group generates more than 760,000 metric tons of waste per year. This waste is almost completely recycled and recovered. More specifically: at a rate of 99%! “100% would not be realistic”, says Frank Lippoldt, waste management expert in the BMW Group’s strategic planning team. There are some interesting reasons for this.

We discussed this complex and knotty topic with Frank Lippoldt.

The BMW Group recycles 99% of its waste – that sounds pretty good!

Frank Lippoldt: We are quite proud of that. We have been working on the issue of waste for a long time. As early as 2008, all of our newly registered vehicles were 95% recyclable – and therefore complied with the strict EU legal requirements that did not come into force until 2015.

Why do you have such a strong focus on recycling?

We do not regard our end-of-life vehicles or the residual materials in our production facilities as waste to be disposed of, but as a source of secondary raw materials. Residual materials such as steel, which are left over from car body construction, are melted down directly. In other words, in Leipzig, the truck that supplies our production facilities with steel then turns around and takes the scrap from the pressing plant back to the steel mill in Salzgitter.

And is this the same at all the other BMW Group locations worldwide?

The local infrastructure and conditions are different all over the world. So we have found many successful ways to recycle residual materials over the years. In China, for example, foundry sand is used for the production of concrete. In Africa, we have made backpacks out of plastic waste for the children at a local school, and in Brazil, old wooden pallets are being made into new pallets. Our waste management experts look at every possible solution, so that these ideas can be transferred to other locations.

What about new technologies?

These are always a key driver to enable conservation of resources and environmentally friendly production. In Munich, for example, we opened a new high-tech paint plant in 2017, where two coats of paint can be applied one after the other without any drying in between. This saves electricity, gas and water and generates less waste. As a general rule, the more modern the plant, the more sustainable the production methods. The plant in Mexico, which is currently under construction, will be the most resource-efficient plant in the BMW Group by 2020.

It’s probably not only good for the environment...

That’s right. Our investments in operational environmental protection have led to a continuous reduction in our resource consumption, so since 2006 this has saved us more than €161 million.

Why is 100% recycling of waste unrealistic? Surely the remaining 1% is manageable?

One reason is that the new materials used in the vehicles continually present our experts with new challenges. Currently this includes fibre-reinforced composites and waste from the foundry, as well as raw materials such as cobalt, which are needed for the batteries in electric vehicles. The aim is for these materials to be 100% recycled, too. There is still plenty of room here for interesting new technologies.

And the other reasons?

Regional differences in legislation and disposal infrastructure mean that our waste management experts need to continually come up with alternative solutions. To give just one example, there is neither a pressing plant nor an incineration plant near the Rosslyn plant in South Africa. So what should we do in this case? Transporting the remaining materials back to Germany would make little sense from an environmental or economic point of view.

So where to from here?

We work together with around 500 external waste disposal companies and suppliers worldwide. The only issue is that environmental awareness is not yet equally advanced in all countries. This is why, as well as training our employees, we also train our suppliers, in order to create awareness and enable local people to benefit from our experience in waste management. Our goal is to increase sustainability in the supply chain in order to have a positive impact on environmental standards in other countries. However, we still have a lot of work to do here.

These colourful baskets from Ghana, Uganda, Madagascar and Bangladesh are much more than souvenirs from far-flung lands. Each of them, skilfully made by hand, also tells a personal story about the woman who made it and how she uses her work to escape poverty.

Each and every basket is something special and different, individuals just like the women who made them. Their names are Memuna, Immaculate, Shuchitra and Nirupama Saha; they’re from Ghana, Uganda, Madagascar and Bangladesh; and they are bitterly poor. Every article comes with a photo of the artisan, along with her personal story and an opportunity to get in touch with her through a protected online register.

The stories are positive and strong, they give courage and pay tribute to these women who have been given a chance - and taken it. Theresa Carrington founded the Blessing Basket project in 2002 and knows what it means to be poor, to suffer hardship and to have to fend for yourself. Those were her childhood. But the US American also experienced what it’s like when the people around you are not indifferent to you: years ago, it was the letters from friends and acquaintances she received that helped her through a crisis in her life and encouraged her to go on. She collected the evidence of the care and compassion that surrounded her at that time in a “blessing basket”, she recalls. It was an experience she wanted to pass on, and she believes it is one that can also help fight poverty in the world. The former journalist reached out through an online platform and quickly found encouragement for her idea from all over the world.

From this, the Blessing Basket project was born, with a simple but effective programme that teaches women a craft such as basket-weaving. Selling these fair-trade products means the artisans receive payments up to six times higher than they would otherwise. The money is intended to be start-up capital for the women, allowing them to found and lead their own enterprises after about three years and further training. Just like Memuna from Ghana, who makes a solid livelihood for herself and her four children from her own grocery store and is diligently expanding with further shops.

Carrington soon recognised that one outcome of the project was a change in men’s attitudes towards the women. “In most countries in the world, crafts are something only women do. By participating in the Blessing Basket programme, they suddenly earn money from it and contribute to the family income”, says Carrington. “This means a higher status for the women. The men stop threatening them and selling their daughters. Instead, they begin supporting them.” In Bangladesh, Carrington has already accepted eight men into her programme.

“Small things can make the world a better place”, says Carrington. The Blessing Basket, her non-profit project, now reaches more than 3,500 artisans in seven countries. But this is only the start: Carrington still has big plans, and she knows how to use communication and publicity to get there. Through the sale of handicrafts alone, she has established more than 160,000 contacts via the internet between artisans and their customers all over the world. When she entered her project into the Intercultural Innovation Award in 2016, she did this deliberately, as she says, to lift her project “to a new trajectory”. The Award, which is presented by the BMW Group and the United Nations Alliance of Civilisations (UNAOC), and which she displays on her homepage (www.blessingbasket.com), enabled Carrington to spread her idea of “the small gesture” to the world. She was invited to seminars and panel debates, spoke in front of more than 2,000 people at the BMW Group, received standing ovations and rapidly developed her idea further. To give even more women a chance to stand on their own in future, she will soon add scarves and shawls from Indonesia to her product range, which currently includes baskets, backpacks, aprons and coffee, and which she distributes through her online shop as well as in markets and around her home town of St. Louis, Missouri. The new articles, too, will carry the signatures of women who have courage and spread hope.

Find more information about the Intercultural Innovation Award here: https://interculturalinnovation.org/the-award/about-the-award/

The BMW Group has tested an HGV running on liquefied natural gas in Regensburg. The outcome is that this environmentally friendly truck presents an ideal alternative to diesel, especially over long distances.

Heavy goods vehicles running on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) are not completely unknown on Europe’s streets. In Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Great Britain, these environmentally friendly and quiet trucks have been in use for years. These countries also already have functioning networks of LNG filling stations. In Germany, by contrast, the infrastructure is still very patchy, making it insufficient for widespread LNG use.

But this will soon change. The LNG truck, which the HGV manufacturer Iveco made available to the BMW Group for two weeks, and which has 400 HP and a range of up to 1,500 kilometres, proved to be a "sensible and sustainable alternative to conventional diesel, especially over longer distances", says Thomas Irrenhauser, who supervised the pilot operation on behalf of the BMW Group.

The natural gas truck completed the journey between the BMW site in Steyr and the BMW Group plant in Regensburg without problem on one tank, in fact, more than once. “With an electric drive, the journey there and back, which is 530 kilometres long, would have taken several charges”, says Irrenhauser. Even a truck running on CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) would not have been an option. These only have a range of up to 500 kilometres and need a fuel tank that is three times as large. To get LNG, on the other hand, natural gas is refrigerated to around minus 130 degrees Celsius before fuelling. This reduces its volume to 1/600th, and it is only returned into a gaseous state just before the fuel is injected into the engine.

Apart from the fact that an LNG truck is up to 50 percent quieter in use than a conventional HGV, it is also significantly more environmentally friendly. For example, nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions are up to 60 percent lower in a direct comparison. “This effect could be improved even more with biogas from fossil and renewable sources,” says Irrenhauser. Together with logistics providers, the BMW Group will now campaign to expand the network of LNG fuelling stations in Germany over the next few years.

The BMW Group and the UN Alliance of Civilisations (UNAOC) support local initiatives with big visions around the world – and provide much more than just cash.

The Intercultural Innovation Award, a partnership between the BMW Group and the UN Alliance of Civilisations (UNAOC), was presented last year at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. It is always the people and their ideas that move Bill McAndrews, head of BMW Group Communications Strategy and Corporate Communications. “90 percent of the awardees have experienced some major event in their lives that inspired them to seek social change. And that is exactly what they do – with a lot of passion and tremendous strength,” says McAndrews.

We talked to Bill McAndrews about an award that supports visions around the world to flourish.

Every year, the Intercultural Innovation Award is presented to ten initiatives and individuals committed to resolving intercultural tensions and conflicts. What does the award achieve?

Bill McAndrews: The award is designed to support impressive individuals, who have organized their ambitious ideas into exceptional social and community projects.

The monetary aspect of 5,000 to 40,000 dollars must be pretty appealing to most people ….

Bill McAndrews: The funding alone is not what matters most to the awardees. The candidates who apply for the Intercultural Innovation Award have long-term visions and have invested a lot of personal energy and expertise into their projects. But if they want to turn their ideas into something more substantial, they need to learn to operate their initiative much more like a professional entity. And that is where we, at the BMW Group, can offer them guidance and professional assistance to further strengthen their projects.

What does that look like exactly?

Bill McAndrews: The BMW Group – or, rather, our associates – support these entrepreneurs worldwide by providing extensive consulting services. We also offer different forms of training – for example, in public relations, so they can make their vision more visible and interest corporate and business sponsors. Such expertise and guidance is a key component in expanding their initiatives. Initially, many are reluctant to reach out to sponsors in the business world. We feel it is our job to help them overcome these reservations.

The Intercultural Innovation Award must surely be a good way to open doors?

Bill McAndrews: An award from UNAOC and the BMW Group can certainly open doors for local initiatives, but it’s no guarantee. It really depends on the people involved, their commitment and their personal engagement. Of the current awards, 85 percent of the projects are doing very well. They are growing and are reaching more and more people – and can ideally be replicated in other countries. We measure our success through their growth and replication. The Intercultural Innovation Award already supports 41 organisations and more than two million people in 105 countries. Our goal is to reach six million by 2025.

How can you be so sure?

Bill McAndrews: Our joint goal with UNAOC, from the beginning, was to create a community. We maintain close personal contact with the awardees globally, visiting them in their communities and staying connected via social media. All awardees also belong to the “Intercultural Leaders” network, which allows civil society organisations and young managers, including BMW Group associates, to share ideas and offer cross-cultural support. In this way, projects can achieve a long-term impact, based on the principle of “community capacity building”.

And what’s the benefit for the BMW Group?

Bill McAndrews: Our customers and associates rightly expect us to bring added value to society, to be an involved corporate citizen in communities around the globe and to support those looking to do the same. That is exactly what we aim to do with Intercultural Innovation Award. This is ultimately not just about the BMW Group; it is about the awardees and helping them to realize their visions – what they achieve is worthy of our admiration. We are proud to partner with these admirable individuals and their projects around the world, together with UNAOC. 

In 2017, the BMW i3 was the best-selling BMW in Norway. Almost 70 percent of BMWs on the country’s roads are electric. Norway is the world’s undisputed leader for electric cars – but it’s not done yet.

Nature-loving Norwegians share a vision. In Oslo they want to turn their noses towards the fjords and breathe in salty air rather than exhaust fumes. Over the last few years they’ve been working to make this happen. Few countries in the world have provided such generous national and local incentives to buy electric cars as Norway. As a result, electric and hybrid cars now make up almost 40 percent of new registrations.

The Munich manufacturers of the compact, electric city car have also benefited from this. In 2017 alone, BMW dealers in Norway sold 5,035 BMW i3s, mostly in Oslo and in Norway’s second city, Bergen. This is mainly due to the financial incentives that the city gives to drivers – VAT, import duties and road tax are all waived for electric vehicles. This means that a BMW i3 costs around 285,300 Norwegian kroner (approximately 29,600 euros) and is therefore cheaper than a BMW 116i at 307,900 Norwegian kroner (approximately 32,000 euros).

Norway does not a car manufacturer of its own, but Norwegians are big fans of German cars – including electric vehicles. The BMW i3 and the VW e-Golf are the most popular electric cars in Norway. One of the main reasons for this is the short waiting times for the BMW i3. “Customers who order one or our electric vehicles only have to wait two to three months. None of our competitors come close to this”, says Emmanual Bret, Managing Director, BMW Group Norway, with a touch of pride. This year, he is aiming to top last year's sales figures with attractive leasing contracts and service packages – and bring up to 6,000 electric vehicles onto the road. Bret thinks this is a very realistic target because – with a range of up to 200 kilometres – the BMW i3 2018 will also appeal to people in small towns and suburbs.

But Norway is not done yet. By 2025 it wants all new cars sold to be zero-emission vehicles. But there are a few hurdles to overcome before then, starting with charging points. In Oslo they seem to be everywhere, just like parking meters, but in fact there are still not enough. The number of electric cars has risen by more than 100 percent in recent years, but with only a 26 percent increase in charging columns, Oslo City Council is not exactly keeping up with demand. But infrastructure is only one side of the coin. The municipal authorities also need to offer incentives such as free parking or the right to use bus lanes. “We can’t simply close off the market and only sell electric vehicles”, says Bret.

But there is no doubt that the carbon footprint of electric vehicles in Norway is exemplary. Today 98 percent of the country’s energy comes from hydropower. This puts the Norwegians streets ahead of other European countries, which still generate much of their electricity from lignite. 

The BMW Group and the “Joblinge” initiative have developed an app that helps even math-averse teenagers qualify for technical vocations.

Maths lessons were never really his thing. “Just plain school,” says Nasir. But the maths app turned out to be something completely different. Hardly surprising, because “instead of having young people solve equations or fractions, the app concentrates on rough calculations, three-dimensional thinking and x equations [N1] – basically, things they actually need in real life working with us,” explains Johannes Weiss, who is responsible for training production mechatronic engineers at the BMW Group and played a big part in deciding the content of the maths app.

The aim of the “Maths as a Mission” app is to qualify young people for the demands of technical vocations – in the fastest time possible, in a fun and effective way. Because the target audience is an important aspect of the Joblinge initiative: The six-month programme prepares disadvantaged, unemployed youth for the world of work, so that they can go on to find themselves a job or an apprenticeship at one of the organisation’s partner companies. The award-winning Joblinge initiative was founded in 2008 by The Boston Consulting Group and BMW AG’s Eberhad von Kuenheim Foundation and has already helped more than 6,500 young people across Germany enter the workforce.

Nasir likes the maths app BMW Group developed in conjunction with Joblinge participants, because it is flexible and fun: “You can use it on the go, or work as a team to help each other.” Nasir was one of the first to try out the new app last year – and is now well on his way to becoming a chemical technician at Provadis.

At the LERNTEC education fair in Karlsruhe, the “Maths as a Mission” app, under the patronage of Federal Minister Prof. Dr. Johanna Wanka, won the “delina” innovation award for digital education in the category “society and lifelong learning”.

The idea of teaching content in a way learners feel comfortable with could also inspire other educational institutions. Joblinge certainly already has new plans. “The next step will be to develop a digital learning concept for our target audience to ensure that our Joblinge participants are even better prepared for the changes from digitalisation in the job market,” explains Kadim Tas, managing director of the Joblinge umbrella organisation.

While the advantages of electric mobility are still being debated in many a place, Munich is already totally electrified. In 2017, the BMW Group brought more than 100,000 electric vehicles onto the roads – securing a pioneering position in the field that the Group now plans to build on intensively.

For the Munich-based car manufacturer, there is no doubt: “The future is electric”. This message was at the heart of the spectacular light installation designed by Hamburg-based creative agency Jung von Matt, which briefly transformed the world-famous “four-cylinder” into a battery.

This future has long since begun for BMW. Since the market launch of the BMW i3 in 2013, the automaker has already delivered over 200,000 electric vehicles. In 2017 alone, the BMW Group sold more than 100,000 electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles – and has established itself as the undisputed market leader in a broader competitive environment with a share of 21 percent in Europe. (POLK/ IHS Report dated 07.12.2017).

“We don’t just make claims, we also deliver,” says Harald Krüger, Chief Executive of BMW AG. “100,000 electric vehicles sold in one year is a significant milestone and yet this is only the beginning for us. In 2025, we plan to offer 25 electric models. Electric mobility is the gauge of our success.”

The next stage of this expansion is now underway. The market launch of the BMW i8 Roadster has already been planned for 2018. This will be followed by the battery-powered electric MINI in 2019 and the electric version of the BMW X3 in 2020. As of 2021, it will be possible for all model series with any drive types to be equipped with the 5th generation electric drive and battery technology, thanks to scalable electric modules. The name rights for BMWi1 to BMWi9 have already been secured as well as the rights for BMW iX1 to BMW iX9.  

The target that has been set in Munich for the near future – that is, for 2018 – is the sale of 140,000 electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. The plan is to bring a total of 500,000 electric vehicles onto the roads by 2019. If this should succeed, electric mobility could soon become a matter of course. At the BMW headquarters in Munich, nobody doubts that anyway.

Harald Krüger, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, hands over the keys to the new owner of the 100,000th electrified BMW Group vehicle sold in 2017 (Wilhelm Schulten, Germany). 18 December 2017, BMW Welt, Munich. (12/2017)

100 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer and seven BMW i3 were delivered to Russian premium car sharing company YouDrive.

For several weeks now a car sharing fleet of 100 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer and seven BMW i3 has been spotted on the streets of Moscow, St. Petersburg and its suburbs.

YouDrive – a Russian premium car sharing company - has leased BMW vehicles for their fleet for 4 years via BMW Financial Services in Russia. By doing so YouDrive the first electric cars in this field.

This has the positive effect that the Muscovite charging infrastructure started to get a stronger focus and will be extended by local authorities. Moscow is the fastest developing car sharing market worldwide. With only 20 months of age car sharing is a relatively new mobility concept in Moscow. Every day 4,000 new user registrations are recorded and the number of trips has increased fivefold in 2017. One trip takes ca. 40 minutes on average and 8 persons make use of one and the same car per day.

Sven Gruetzmacher

Streetscooter to use BMW i3 battery modules. BMW i's holistic sustainability concepts opens up more and more areas of use.

BMW i battery modules now also drive some of Deutsche Post's fully electric delivery vans, built by Streetscooter GmbH, a 100 per cent subsidiary of Deutsche Post.

The batteries in the vehicles are identical to those used in the current BMW i3 model and help letters and parcels being delivered by the Streetscooters all day long without needing to be recharged during that time. The battery modules for the Streetscooter vehicles are produced in BMW Group's competence centre for electric mobility in Dingolfing.

Earlier in 2017 BMW i had already announced a cooperation with Torqeedo, the worldwide leading manufacturer of electric boat engines. The company also uses BMW i3's high-voltage batteries.

BMW i battery technology thus provides ever more walks of life with environmentally friendly and silent electric drives. "We see the decision to use BMW i battery modules for the Streetscooter as further evidence that we can build the drive systems of the future without any need for compromise on robustness, innovation and sustainability", explains Dr Alexander Kotouc, Head of Product Management BMW i. "This successful transfer of cutting-edge automotive technology to the demanding environment of letter and parcel delivery is testament to the vision and multi-purpose approach of the BMW i concept."

Professor Achim Kampker, CEO of Streetscooter GmbH, adds: "The BMW i3 high-voltage modules are renowned for their exceptional reliability and performance in electric cars. They enable us to use the latest electric drive technology and integrated energy management systems in the demanding delivery and distribution sector."

The BMW Group develops and assembles high-voltage batteries for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in-house. The lithium-ion battery created for the BMW i3 comprises eight modules, each containing 12 cells and has a total capacity of 33 kilowatt hours; the modules are compact and light. The battery management system, including connectors, cables, sensors and the heating and cooling system have also been developed specifically for BMW i.

New technologies could soon dramatically shake up the work processes at the BMW Group.  A visit to the Virtual Reality Lab of the BMW Group demonstrates what this could mean. This is where a young, international team is recreating virtual spaces and scenarios for the logistics division with which different storage, planning and training processes can be sustainably optimised today.

Something unusual is going on in the team of Jimmy Nassif. The employees are computer scientists, industrial designers, architects as well as electrical and games engineers. They come from Australia, America, India, China, Lebanon and Germany. Hardly anyone is older than 25. A young, strikingly colourful unit which could soon alter many a work process at the BMW Group. In the Virtual Reality Lab based in the research and development centre of the BMW Group (FIZ), virtual spaces and scenarios are currently being developed for the logistics division which can be realistically experienced with virtual reality glasses. Jimmy and his team can reproduce entire warehouses true to the original in this way. Even complete work sequences can be reconstructed within a radius of seven square metres. The individual tool components are still moved with a controller in the virtual space, however, sensors which can be applied to the fingers will soon make this process even more realistic. “With the sensors, the employees can lift up, move and carry the items, for instance, for the installation of an axle attachment,” says Jimmy.

The BMW Group is already using the technologies developed by Jimmy and his team in order to develop optimal volume algorithms for the loading of lorries and pallets. Entire warehouse constructions are tested with regard to their safety using precise 3D data. The planned micro zinc facility in Dingolfing has already been recreated down to the millimetre in order to rule out accident risks – for example – due to protruding pipes or steel rods. “With the virtual reality glasses, we can virtually reach every corner of the hall and therefore avoid 20 to 30 percent of risks beforehand,” says Jimmy.

It will also be exciting for employees, who will soon no longer have to be trained on-site for new tasks, since training can be provided for many processes with virtual reality glasses anywhere in the world. The first to benefit from these will be the employees of the new BMW Group plant in Mexico, which will be opened in 2019. The BMW Group is also benefiting from the storage, planning and training processes optimised in the Virtual Reality Lab – and not only for cost reasons. For example, the Munich-based company specifically invest in their sustainability strategy with the conscious use of materials and reduced travel – and this is just the beginning. “The opportunities which involve new technologies like this for the environment are immense,” says Jimmy. It will be interesting to watch.

BMW Group Team Virtual Reality Lab

The BMW Group has been involved with the Formula E series since its very first season. In 2019, the Munich-based BMW Group will be entering a works team in the electric racing series, and in the process sending out a clear signal: the future is electric. But that’s not the only message.

An interview with BMW’s Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt, who is also in charge of the Formula E project.

Last summer the first electric racing cars streaked through the urban canyons of New York. It seems that electric vehicles are now unstoppable.

It was indeed quite a spectacle, even though the race wasn’t in Manhattan itself but in the industrial port area of Brooklyn. Hong Kong has a similarly impressive backdrop. The track runs through the port and past the city’s famous skyscrapers. This would be unthinkable for a Formula 1 race.

Too much noise?

Definitely. A racing car with an 8-cylinder engine has up to 20,000 revolutions. The noise it creates is brutal! But even in Formula 1 this now in the past.

But Formula E doesn’t attract big crowds.

I see it differently. Formula E has only been going for three years. We had 3,500 spectators at the first race, and now on average we are attracting 20,000. It’s heading in the right direction. The stands in New York and Hong Kong are much smaller and can’t hold any more spectators. Perhaps the next thing will be night races. That’s one idea. But one thing is sure – the atmosphere is fantastic. People are realising that electric cars can be just as exciting as conventional cars with combustion engines.

In what way?

Both types of racing – Formula 1 and Formula E – deliver top-quality motorsport. In both, the drivers have to make split-second decisions under great pressure. And in Formula E they also have to think tactically about how to make best use of their energy. I can assure you that emotions run high.

But that isn’t the only reason why the BMW Group is involved?

We are in a very exciting phase with both motorsport and production vehicles. There is an ever-increasing emphasis on sustainability. This was already an important focus at the finale of the 2009 Formula 1 season. Our commitment to electric racing doesn’t mean we are turning away from motorsport, but rather making a shift towards greater sustainability – including on the racetrack.

So you’re using Formula E to develop production vehicle technology?

Developing technology that can be adapted for production vehicles is the driving force behind BMW i motorsport. It’s interesting that the boundaries between production and motor racing development are more blurred than ever before. The same engineers who develop the powertrains for the BMW i series are working on our Formula E powertrain for season 5 and beyond. Technology transfer is all-pervasive.

So apart from the engine, how is an electric racing car different from a conventional electric vehicle?

As is always the case in motorsport, the Formula E racing cars are designed to be driven at the limit of what is permitted. The engineers have an additional adjustment screw for tuning the vehicle. And of course the driver is also very important in Formula E. Over the next few years we will certainly see some exciting developments in Formula E racing car design. The spectators will love it.

How sustainable are the vehicles?

Formula E provides the perfect platform for promoting the development of forward-looking technologies in the areas of renewable energy, sustainable energy supply and e-mobility. During the race, Formula E cars produce no carbon emissions, and the charging process is also emission-free. The charging stations for the vehicle batteries are operated using a combination of solar cells and Aquafuel glycerine. It is not yet possible for the whole of Formula E to be totally emission-free, but the race series is definitely on the right track.

When the BMW Group sent the first electric truck out onto the streets two years ago, the silent 40-tonne vehicle was still a pilot project. Three fully electric trucks are now on the go in Munich, saving the company CO2 emissions amounting to around 82 tonnes per year.

In 2015, as Ulf Frenzel drove off his employer’s yard in the first electric truck, he was a local sensation in Munich. “People took photos and videos”, says the 45-year-old. By now, the city has got used to the silent 40-tonne truck, although it still gets looks at traffic lights. Frenzel drives the environmentally friendly electric giant 16 times a day at 40 kilometres an hour between the Scherm logistics centre and the BMW Group factory in Munich, loaded up with shock absorbers, springs and steering gears.

Electric 40-tonne trucks will soon become even more common in the area around the BMW Group main factory. Another two electric trucks are already out and about on public roads on behalf of the automobile manufacturer from Munich: as well as the SCHERM Group, which serves a distribution centre in Karlsfeld with a second truck, logistics provider ARS Altmann AG transports new vehicles from Garching to the BMW world for customer delivery. On the return journey, the truck loads up with new vehicles just coming off the production line in the main plant and transports them to Garching, from where the cars are delivered across Europe.

All three 40-tonne vehicles are not only quiet, but due to electricity from renewable sources, they emit virtually no particulate matter into the environment. This means that they save the BMW Group up to 82 tonnes in CO2 emissions annually in city traffic, compared to trucks with diesel engines. Munich is not the only city to benefit: another four of these environmentally friendly electric trucks are now in use on behalf of the BMW Group in Landshut and Leipzig.

With its Strategy NUMBER ONE > NEXT, the BMW Group has prioritized e-mobility, digitalization and autonomous driving as the technologies of the future. In doing so, and based on its sustainable profitability, the company strengthens Germany as a driving force of the mobility and technologies of tomorrow. Urban mobility – and for the BMW Group this also includes urban logistics and transport — is a topic with great future potential. Since late 2013, the BMW i brand represents visionary vehicle concepts, connected mobility services and a new understanding of premium that is strongly focused on sustainability.

 

What a dream: simply zooming away above the traffic chaos on your electric scooter or bike. ‘BMW Vision E³ Way’, an elevated highway concept developed in China, demonstrates what this vision could look like.

What happens if nothing moves any more in our cities, once conventional mobility concepts and public transport reach their limits, and there is almost no space left even for agile, environmentally friendly electric two-wheelers? Quite simple: this requires other, less conventional solutions – such as ‘BMW Vision E³ Way’, an elevated highway concept developed in Shanghai, the Chinese metropolis of many millions, in cooperation between Tongji University and the BMW Technology Office.

There are three main ideas behind the complicated-sounding vision, as signified by the three ‘E’s, which stand for ‘elevated’, ‘electric’ and ‘efficient’. In other words, the project creates additional traffic capacities by using highways ‘elevated’ above the current streets. These elevated highways, or ‘Skyways’, are explicitly reserved only for two-wheelers with electric engines (‘electric’). The elevated highways are simple, modular, and therefore inexpensive to build, and create fast and direct connections between major transport junctions, making them the perfect alternative for commuters on journeys of up to 15 kilometres. And that makes using the Skyways very ‘efficient’, not just in terms of costs, but also with regard to travel time.

Zero emissions and safe.

The visionary concept has very little in common with the cycle paths of today, however: the roadways are covered, so that they can also be used in inclement weather. The roofs could be equipped with solar panels and additionally collect rain water, which could then cool down the highways during the day in hot cities like Shanghai.

Those without their own means of transport that are permitted to use the Skyway can borrow a vehicle along the route. And it’s worth it: the elevated highways are connected via a system of ramps and entrances to the conventional road network, underground train stations and other transport modalities, making the daily commute not only faster, but also safer. An automatic speed limit of up to 25 kilometres an hour will decrease the risk of accidents even further.

The special feature of the proposed concept is that the two-wheel mobility solutions intended for use on it, such as e-bikes and the BMW X2 motorbike, already exist. The only thing left to do is to implement the new traffic level – and this does not even require additional real estate. The flow of traffic could additionally be optimised permanently through the use of automated traffic monitoring systems, artificial intelligence and integration into Smart City ecosystems.

For Markus Seidel, who leads the BMW Group Technology Office in China, the advantage of the concept is that the principle can be applied to any mega-city. “Over a billion people will live in China’s cities by the year 2050”, he says. “The country will become a global incubator for many mobility innovations, and soon.”

“It is our goal to drive forward sustainability and new mobility concepts in cities and to contribute to a higher quality of life there. We utilise new technologies and our creativity to take innovative paths – as we have done with the ‘BMW Vision E³ Way’ concept”, confirms Dr Gerd Schuster, head of Research, New Technologies, Innovations for the BMW Group.

Shanghai can be assured of interest from the other megalopolises of the world, in any case.

Businesses, environmentalists and human rights organisations sent an important message in Vancouver: they addressed the sustainable cultivation of natural rubber, which is used in the manufacture of tyres.                                               

Every three years, the FSC (Forestry Stewardship Council), an international non-profit, invites more than 1,000 companies, environmentalists and human rights organisations to meet for five days and debate current challenges in sustainable forestry. Their joint aim is to preserve the world’s forests. In Vancouver, the FSC initiated the first debate on the sustainable cultivation of natural rubber, which is primarily used in the manufacture of tyres. 

Niels Angel and Vanessa Buchberger, who are responsible for sustainability in the BMW Group’s supplier network, took part in the Vancouver meeting and actively support the initiative. They both agreed: a start has been made.

Why do you care about natural rubber, of all things?

Niels Angel: Natural rubber is a material that is used in the manufacture of tyres, so it falls under our responsibility - as do all other materials in our vehicles. The cultivation of natural rubber is somewhat critical in terms of its sustainability. There are indications that plantations may be violating environmental and social standards, an issue we take very seriously.

As we know, certificates can be meaningless. Why put so much emphasis on having rubber plantations certified by the FSC?

Niels Angel: Environmental organisations like WWF and the Rainforest Alliance attended the Vancouver meeting, as well as companies like Ikea, Apple, Tetra Pak and the BMW Group. Our common aim is saving the rainforest. Everyone takes it very seriously, that was clearly noticeable.

Vanessa Buchberger: We have been working with the FSC for several years. For the interior of the BMW i3, for example, we were the first car manufacturer to launch an FSC-certified eucalyptus wood, which comes from 100 percent certified forestry. Our vision is to achieve a similar standard for rubber plantations as well.

Evidently, not an easy task. Why is that?

Niels Angel: International supply chains are extremely long and opaque.

This starts with the fact that more than 80 percent of rubber is cultivated on very small farms. From there, it is a long, non-transparent path to tyre production, which makes measuring sustainability extremely difficult.

But isn’t sustainable natural rubber really an issue for the tyre industry?

Vanessa Buchberger: That may be the case, but in the end, it is the automotive industry that causes the demand. Each car requires about eight kilos of natural rubber - and this only covers the original fitting, not counting winter tyres or spares. In effect, the tyre industry is responsible for 70 percent of the total demand for natural rubber. As a premium manufacturer, we therefore want to establish a transparent and sustainable supply chain for the benefit of our customers.

Niels Angel: In the last couple of years, we have already used our influence as a tyre industry customer. Now, we actively demand that companies meet their duty of care and minimise risks in their supply chains. That is the first step. The next step will be to set international standards for the suppliers, in cooperation with the FSC as well as other companies and organisations. If we can manage that, we will have achieved much.

The UN Climate Change Conference (COP) and the commitment of the BMW Group can both look back on a long tradition. The BMW Group has taken part in climate conferences since 1992. In 2017, the company provided fresh impetus with the implementation of an ambitious energy and sustainability strategy.

When the countries celebrated the Paris Climate Agreement two years ago, they had defined clear objectives: to keep global warming within a threshold of two degrees and put an abrupt end to harmful CO2 emissions. This year at the 23rd UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, leading global stakeholders from politics, business and society got together to work out concrete solutions and measures to reduce global CO2 emissions. At the Sustainable Innovation Forum (SIF) during the COP, the BMW Group once again took on an active role as the input provider and headline sponsor on 14 and 15 November 2017.

A conversation with Ursula Mathar, Head of Sustainability and Environmental Protection at the BMW Group, about the ambitious energy and sustainability strategy of the Munich-based company.

What is the BMW Group doing as an automobile manufacturer to help reduce CO2 emissions?

Ursula Mathar: The strategy and measures for sustainable economic activity are firmly anchored in the company. Supporting the objectives of the Paris Climate Agreement is part of this. This primarily means that the future of the BMW Group is electric. For this reason, we will push forward with e-mobility at full speed in order to steadily reduce the harmful CO2 emissions in our fleet. We currently offer our customers nine electric models and an electric motorbike and thus have the largest range of electric vehicles among established premium manufacturers. We will increase this range to 25 vehicles by 2025. However, the focus of our work is not only on our products – we also follow an integrated energy and sustainability strategy. This also pertains to our electricity supply: by 2020, 100 percent of the electricity purchased by us will come from renewable energy. 

How do we intend to achieve this with more than two million cars produced every year?

We have gradually reduced CO2 emissions in our production in recent years. To this end, we have not only relied on wind and solar energy but also on biogas and methane gas power plants. We also take advantage of new storage options. In Leipzig, for example, we have just put a storage park made from used BMWi3 batteries into operation. Today, we already obtain 70 percent of purchased electricity from renewable sources. But that’s not all – we aspire to be the most successful and sustainable premium provider of individual mobility. This will be interesting since new technologies and challenges in turn offer innovative, attractive options that we will certainly take advantage of. That could be new business models for the integration of e-mobility into flexible energy systems or even alternative mobility solutions, such as our car-sharing service DriveNow. This is how we will redefine individual mobility.

So the BMW Group will be breaking new ground?

The principles formulated in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations are an integral element of our sustainability strategy. To achieve these, we will press ahead with sustainable technologies and mobility solutions and provide important stimuli. We therefore not only need to pay close attention to the CO2 emissions of our vehicles on the road but also to the resources in the upstream chain. On the basis of the discussions that we had with leading representatives from politics, business and society at the Sustainable Innovation Forums and COP, I am confident that the BMW Group must and can make a positive contribution here.

Cities with millions of inhabitants are now more than ever tasked with the issues of mobility, infrastructure and e-mobility. This was demonstrated at the Sustainability Forum in Mexico City, for which the BMW Group extended invitations at the end of September. The interest of decision-makers was so strong that one thing became very clear: the dialogue will be continued!  

Megacities such as Mexico City are well acquainted with the challenges of urban mobility. Yet, interest in a discussion and communication platform for sustainable mobility solutions exceeded all expectations. Nearly 450 attendees turned up at the invitation of the BMW Group, Siemens AG and the German embassy to gather ideas on alternative sustainable solutions. The versatile and informed decision-makers from business, politics, media and science were not only given important stimuli by the sustainability experts from the BMW Group and Siemens AG, but also suggestions for management and improvement specifically developed for the cities with millions of inhabitants. These were compiled in a ‘2020 Agenda’ for Mexico City which was supposed to be handed over to the representatives of the Mexican government in a special ceremony. “This did not happen, however, as the hotel had to be vacated because of the earthquake and the event cancelled,” says Oliver Rosenthal, who was responsible for the forum as the Head of BMW i for Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean. “There are already ideas for making up for the handover of the ‘2020 Agenda’.”

Alexander W. Wehr, CEO of the BMW Group for Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean: “We are delighted about the level of interest among decision-makers from all areas of society. It has also shown us how important it is to continue the dialogue on the issues of urban mobility, infrastructure and e-mobility at our new location in Mexico, which we will officially open in 2019 with the works in San Luis Potosí.” 

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen (German Council for Sustainable Development) certifies logistics hall of the central spare parts distribution unit at the BMW Group’s Dingolfing plant.

Since recently, the logistics hall 80.0 of the Dynamics Center at the BMW Group’s Dingolfing plant has held the Certificate in Gold for sustainably operated facilities, which is awarded by the DGNB (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen; German Council for Sustainable Development). During a festive ceremony on 3 July 2017, DGNB chairman Dr. Christine Lemaitre presented the coveted plate to Thomas Grupp, head of the BMW Group’s operative spare parts distribution unit and manager of the Dynamics Center. With the distinction of the hall, which has already been in operation since 2005, an existing building has now been certified according to an internationally acknowledged sustainability standard for the very first time in the entire BMW Group network.

This certification is also new to the DGNB, as Dr. Christine Lemaitre emphasised during the presentation of the certificate: “This building is the first sustainably operated logistics hall we have certified in the existing inventory. I thank the BMW Group as pioneers in this sector for their courage to lead the way and, by doing so, to motivate others to follow their example.” As opposed to the certification of a new building, whereby the fulfilment of sustainability criteria naturally focuses on the planning and construction of the building, the certification of a building already in use should be viewed as a tool for the evaluation and improvement of ongoing operational sustainability. “Our motivation for DGNB certification was also to find out where we stand and in which areas we can make further improvements in the sustainable use of the BMW Group’s largest autonomously operated spare parts unit,” explains BMW Group project manager, Dr. Michael Klugherz.

The result of the certification process is thoroughly positive: From the very beginning, the logistics building met the standards required for the DGNB Certificate in Gold – after platinum the second highest level within the DGNB certification system – without any problems. Above all, the technical concept of the hall, which comprises resource-friendly energy management with weather station radio controlled underfloor heating, the use of solar electricity and approximately 80 percent green power, managed to score points. All environment-related consumption data for electricity, heat, water and waste have been documented since the facility was first taken into operation. Moreover, the detailed sustainability guidelines for employees and the established processes for work safety and environmental management were included into the sustainability rating. As a result, the object evaluation by the DGNB reached an overall fulfilment level of 71.6 percent, exceeding by far the 65 percent normally required for the Certificate in Gold. The certificate is now valid for three years.

In order to ensure its future viability, the BMW Group consistently integrates sustainability into its business model and continues to expand this integration. The company sees global sustainability demands as a chance for the development of innovative products and services. In this way, sustainability contributes in the long term towards the economic success of the BMW Group. In addition to products and services, efficiency and production locations also constitute an approach in actively implementing the BMW Group’s sustainability strategy. Facility management is also helpful in achieving corporate efficiency targets. Between 2006 and 2016, it was possible to significantly reduce the energy and water consumption, waste and VOC emissions per vehicle produced within the worldwide BMW Group production network. Thanks to increased resource efficiency, the BMW Group has been able to achieve cost savings amounting to 155.3 million Euros since 2006. 

DriveNow, the joint venture of the BMW Group and SIXT SE, is bringing art to the streets of Berlin. Within the framework of a cooperative venture with URBAN NATION, an international institution for artists and neighborhood projects, nine DriveNow vehicles have been embellished with urban art motives. These were taken from already-existing artworks from a number of building facades in Berlin. Under the slogan "We share the city", which characterizes the non-commercial project, urban art - or street art - will be mobile during a period of several weeks.

To this effect, nine cars with three motives will be out and about in Berlin. These vehicles will be in service in the normal fleet operation and be identifiable for customers in the DriveNow App as "Urban Nation Art Car". The motives have been created by the street art artists Don John, Collin van der Sluijs & Super-A and DotDotDot. The intention is to link up the philosophy of car sharing with the idea behind URBAN NATION: "DriveNow provides the possibility of the common and sustainable use of resources in the mobility area. With URBAN NATION, artists allow the public to share in their art," explains Nico Gabriel, Managing Director of DriveNow.

Exhibition and an Art-Mile

The cooperative project is part of the context of the opening of the Urban Nation Museum for Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin, which took place on September 16. It is the first museum for urban art in Berlin and its concept is internationally unique. In addition to the exhibition itself, visitors were treated to open-air installations on the opening weekend within the framework of an art-mile.

For more information see: drive-now.com.

9/18/17 By Claudia Schulte zur Hausen 

DriveNow, the joint venture of the BMW Group and SIXT SE, is now offering its car sharing service in Lisbon starting today. To this effect, the car sharer will be cooperating with a franchise partner for the third time: The Brisa Group is Portugal's largest private transport infrastructure company.

With the start in Lisbon, DriveNow is launching its thirteenth location and thereby broadening its services in southern Europe. The initial fleet in Lisbon encompasses 211 BMW and MINI models: the MINI Cooper as 3- and 5-door model, the MINI Clubman, the BMW 1 Series and the electric BMW i3. To begin with, the DriveNow business area will extend over an area of 48 square kilometers.

"As is the situation in many European cities, Lisbon is faced with the challenge of easing the traffic situation and reducing emissions at the same time. This is why there's a lot going on in the city in reference to sharing. With DriveNow, the mobility options will now also encompass a flexible automobile component," says Nico Gabriel, DriveNow Managing Director.

With the cooperative venture with the Brisa Group and its subsidiary Via Verde DriveNow has opted for a franchise model for the third time. The transport infrastructure company manages highways in Portugal and, thanks to its toll system, also provides innovative technology solutions in the area of traffic management. According to Nico Gabriel: "Brisa also has extensive expertise in fleet management and a longstanding familiarity in the local mobility sphere. This facilitates our start in Lisbon enormously." Vasco de Mello, CEO of the Brisa Group, adds: "Brisa has a clear vision for the future of mobility in cities, built on collaborative, multimodal and shared models. Via Verde ecosystem materializes this new strategic positioning as a premium mobility operator. This is the reason why we chose DriveNow as the partner for the implementation of a carsharing solution for Lisbon."

Starting today, customers from other DriveNow countries have also the possibility to use the BMW and MINI models in Lisbon. With already more than 7,000 new customers in Portugal, the total number of customers now stands at over 970,000.

Further information available at https://www.drive-now.com/de/en

9/14/17By Claudia Schulte zur Hausen

The BMW i3 shows the way ahead to a new era of mobility. It is recognised the world over as a symbol of driving pleasure, sustainability and intelligent connectivity in the urban traffic environment, which is why it has become the best-selling electric car in the premium compact segment. The recipe for success of the BMW i3 has now been further improved, thanks also to the addition of a new model variant.

With a higher output, model-specific chassis technology, noticeably more dynamic driving qualities and design features all of its own, it generates a particularly intense blend of the unrivalled sporty driving pleasure associated with electric cars from the BMW Group. By offering a premium-quality, all-electric driving experience, meaning zero local emissions, together with a whole new level of connectivity technology, both models represent the future of urban mobility.

The BMW i3 has reigned as the top-selling premium electric car in its class since 2014, not just in Europe but worldwide too. And in Germany, it has actually been topping the new vehicle registration statistics for the electric car segment as a whole, also since 2014. It's not just the visionary electric vehicles and inspirational design that help to make BMW i so popular, but also its innovative mobility solutions and the revolutionary new form of premium character, with sustainability as a key defining element. By offering such products while also adopting an all-embracing approach that takes into account the complete lifecycle – from raw material production, through the manufacture and operation of the vehicles to their later recycling – the BMW i brand has established itself as a pioneer for forward-thinking mobility.

The driving experience in the BMW i models has played no small part in the growing appeal and popularity of electric mobility. Following systematic refinement, the BMW eDrive technology aboard the new BMW i3 and new BMW i3s enables drivers to enjoy locally emission-free mobility with wonderfully instantaneous power delivery, efficient use of energy and an optimised range for a level of everyday practicality that even extends beyond the demands of purely urban travel. Both models draw their energy from the lithium-ion high-voltage battery developed by the BMW Group with a capacity of 94 ampere hours (Ah) or 33 kilowatt hours (kWh). A range extender engine can be ordered as an option for both the new BMW i3 and the new BMW i3s.

The new BMW i3 and new BMW i3s will celebrate their world premieres at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt/Main in September 2017. The global market launch will begin in November 2017.

Sporty look

The new BMW i3 and new BMW i3s have a remarkably dynamic character by premium compact electric car standards, and a number of design tweaks have been included to express this to particularly striking effect in their visual appearance too. The unmistakable, avant-garde exterior styling has already picked up the iF gold award for product design and the World Car Design of the Year award along with other accolades, and it has now been enhanced by a number of deft design touches that clearly convey the sporty and stirring driving experience on offer.

The trademark BMW i Black Belt running from the bonnet over the roof to the car's rear end is now complemented by A-pillars and roof lines that also sport a black finish. The range of paint finishes for the remaining body elements has been extended to include Melbourne Red metallic and Imperial Blue metallic. Besides these two new additions, customers can also choose from the non-metallic shades Capparis White and Fluid Black as well as Protonic Blue metallic and Mineral Grey metallic.

The new BMW i3 and new BMW i3s come equipped with all-LED headlights as standard, which employ LED bulb units for dipped beam and high beam as well as the daytime running lights. The new turn signal indicators also feature LED technology and are integrated into the front apron in the form of horizontal strips. This means that LEDs are now used for all lighting functions at the front of the vehicle too, as was already the case with the glass-covered rear light assemblies.

The new BMW i3s: a thoroughly dynamic performer

The new BMW i3s incorporates a number of design elements all of its own that underscore its particularly dynamic character. Both the front and rear aprons are notable for their model-specific, powerfully shaped contours. The new BMW i3s comes equipped as standard with sports suspension that includes a 10-millimetre drop in ride height. The additional 40 millimetres of track width compared to the BMW i3 is given added impact by the black wheel arch borders. The new BMW i3s is available with exclusive 20-inch light-alloy wheels in double-spoke design that are 20 millimetres wider than the previously available versions. They can be ordered in the Bicolour and Jet Black colour variants.

Like the exterior design, the interior styling of the new BMW i3 and new BMW i3s is rooted in the novel LifeDrive vehicle architecture. The carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) passenger cell has a wonderfully spacious feel about it and is dominated by a sense of lightness. The design principle of the two four-seater models means there is no need for either fixed B-pillars or a transmission tunnel. Doors that open in opposite directions allow the occupants to get in and out with the greatest of ease.

The Loft, Lodge and Suite equipment lines are available for the new BMW i3 and new BMW i3s as alternatives to the standard Atelier version. The Lodge interior design option includes a new covering for the seat surfaces in Solaric Brown that combines natural leather tanned using an olive leaf extract with a wool-based textile material. The fact that the BMW i3 and BMW i3s also count sustainability among their premium characteristics shines through in the rest of the materials selected for them too, including recycled plastics, renewable raw materials, natural fibres and open-pored, unbleached eucalyptus wood. Over 80 percent of the surfaces visible to the passengers are made from recycled materials or renewable resources. The new blue seat belt option provides a splash of colour in the interior in typical brand style. The BMW i3s supplements all this with special model lettering on the front floor mats as standard.

Emission-free fun at the wheel

The synchronous electric motor powering the new BMW i3 generates a maximum output of 125 kW/170 hp. Its peak torque is 250 Nm (184 lb-ft), all of which is available instantly from a standstill, as is usual with electric motors. This means that stepping on the accelerator pedal immediately unleashes a thrilling burst of speed. The motor smoothly delivers the kind of performance that drivers expect from a BMW via a single-speed automatic transmission, with continuous power delivery that builds up the car's tempo in a characteristically dynamic fashion. 0-100 km/h (62 mph) is achieved by the new BMW i3 in 7.3 seconds. Its top speed is limited to 150 km/h (93 mph).

Located low in the vehicle floor, the lithium-ion high-voltage battery provides a range of 290 to 300 kilometres (180-186 miles) based on the NEDC cycle, 235 to 255 kilometres (146 to 158 miles) as per WLTP and up to 200 kilometres (124 miles) in everyday use. The combined electric power consumption of the new BMW i3 on the NEDC cycle varies between 13.6 and 13.1 kWh for every 100 kilometres.

The agile handling characteristics of the BMW i3 are improved still further by the optimised Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system. This comprehensively revised, faster responding traction control system guarantees confident handling under all driving conditions. The BMW i3 now features a globally unique form of wheel speed limiting that ensures increased directional stability, both under dynamic acceleration and on the overrun with strong regenerative braking. Traction during pull-away on snow and wet roads has also been noticeably improved. DTC (Dynamic Traction Control) mode now boosts agility at higher speeds and during sporty cornering, even allowing mild and safely controllable drifts when grip levels are reduced.

The new BMW i3s provides an even sportier interpretation of silent mobility with zero local emissions and features a high-performance 135 kW/184 hp electric motor that generates peak torque of 270 Nm (199 lb-ft). Its updated drive system includes modified motor control and specific taper roller bearings, which have been utilised to further optimise power delivery and the performance curve at higher rpm. At the limits of the motor speed range, the power and torque of the further developed drive system represent an improvement of up to 40% for the BMW i3.

What's more, the new BMW i3s boasts sports suspension with specially developed springs, dampers and anti-roll bars. Drivers can also select SPORT mode using the Driving Experience Control switch. This initiates more direct accelerator response and tighter steering characteristics to further accentuate the car's sporting edge. Just 6.9 seconds is enough to see the new BMW i3s burst past 100 km/h (62 mph) on its way to a top speed of 160 km/h (99 mph). It returns a combined electric power consumption of 14.3 kWh per 100 kilometres* on the NEDC cycle. Its electric range runs to 280 kilometres (174 miles) based on the NEDC cycle, 235 to 245 kilometres (146 to 152 miles) as per WLTP and up to 200 kilometres (124 miles) in everyday use.

A 28 kW/38 hp two-cylinder range extender petrol engine is available as an option for both the new BMW i3 and the new BMW i3s. The engine drives a generator that produces power as required while driving to maintain a constant level of charge in the high-voltage battery. This extends the car's overall range in everyday use by 150 kilometres (93 miles), increasing it from around 180 kilometres (112 miles) to a maximum of 330 kilometres (205 miles). The all-electric range of the new BMW i3 with range extender is 225 to 235 kilometres (140 – 146 miles) as per NEDC and 190 to 200 kilometres (118 – 124 miles) as per WLTP. The corresponding figures for the new BMW i3s with range extender come in at 220 kilometres (137 miles) on the NEDC and 185 to 195 kilometres (115 to 121 miles) on the WLTP cycle.

On the NEDC cycle, the new BMW i3 with range extender returns combined consumption figures per 100 kilometres of 11.9 to 11.5 kWh of electric power and 0.6 litres of fuel. On the same combined NEDC cycle, the new BMW i3s with range extender consumes 12.5 kWh of electric power per 100 kilometres and 0.7 litres of fuel.

Extensive range of driver assistance systems

The driver assistance systems available for the new BMW i3 and BMW i3s ease the driver's workload and provide support in various traffic situations, as well as helping with longitudinal and lateral vehicle control. The optional Parking Assistance package includes Park Distance Control, a reversing camera and the Parking Assistant. Once a suitable parking space parallel to the road has been selected, the Parking Assistant takes control of acceleration, braking, gear selection and steering.

Driving Assistant Plus, also available as an option, incorporates Collision and Pedestrian Warning with City Braking function, Speed Limit Info, Proactive Driving Assistant, Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function, and the Traffic Jam assistant, which not only maintains a safe distance to the car in front in stop-start traffic at up to 60 km/h (37 mph), but also keeps the car in lane. The system takes its cues from lane markings, the width of the road and vehicles travelling ahead.

Navigation features and On-Street Parking Information specially developed for electric mobility

Both the new BMW i3 and new BMW i3s come with an updated version of the iDrive operating system, which provides an intuitive interface for controlling numerous vehicle, infotainment, communications and navigation functions. In vehicles equipped with the Navigation system Professional, the Control Display has a diagonal of 10.25 inches and an increased resolution of 1,440 × 540 pixels. The main menu is also presented in the form of horizontally arranged tiles with a live mode. The voice recognition system has also been further optimised. With the aid of Natural Language Understanding, spoken instructions can now be executed more quickly and precisely, e.g. when searching for music and phone numbers or dictating e-mails and SMS messages. New to the options list is Apple CarPlay preparation. This allows additional smartphone apps to be integrated seamlessly with the vehicle's operating system.

The further expanded BMW i ConnectedDrive offering – unmatched by any rival – ensures intelligent connectivity through services specially tailored to electric mobility. The digital On-Street Parking Information search service, now available for the first time in the BMW i3, can also be used alongside the Real Time Traffic Information system if the Navigation system Professional is specified. Public charging stations and information about their availability can also be displayed on the navigation system's map. When route guidance is activated, data about the route is also used to calculate the range shown in the instrument cluster as accurately as possible. The range map provides a visual representation of the current operating radius. It is also possible to display the different ranges achievable in each of the Driving Experience Control modes.

BMW i-specific navigation features also include intermodal route guidance. This helps users to quickly and efficiently reach their destination by factoring in local public transport timetables and connections. Regular, automatic updates of the navigation data are now also provided "over the air" in the BMW i3, using a mobile network connection.

A package of new services were introduced in July 2017 under the BMW Connected+ banner which enable a highly personalised and more straightforward display of information inside the car. All of the digital services related to BMW Connected and BMW Connected+ will be available in the BMW i3 and BMW i3s. These span intelligent route planning, including stop-offs at charging stations or petrol stations (Send my Routes to Car), sharing of the car's current location via SMS and live link (Share Live Trip Status), personalised display of relevant in-car information (BMW Onboard), seamless transfer of route instructions to the customer's smartphone or smartwatch once the car is parked (Navigate Door-to-Door) and direct syncing of contacts and addresses to the navigation system (My Destinations).

BMW Digital Charging Service enables intelligent charging

The BMW Digital Charging Service brings customers the future of charging, today. BMW ConnectedDrive and the BMW ConnectedDrive Portal turn charging into a digital experience. As a result, the BMW i3 and BMW i3s are integrated perfectly into the customer's smart ecosystem. This allows BMW customers to optimise charging costs, make best use of self-generated solar energy for charging and even earn money through integration into the smart grid. The service's ease of use – from a smartphone via BMW Connected or from PCs and tablets via the BMW ConnectedDrive Portal – also facilitates fully transparent, sustainable use of renewable energy. With the introduction of its unique BMW Digital Charging Service, BMW becomes the world's first carmaker to integrate electric mobility with its customers' digital worlds.

360° ELECTRIC is a range of products and services that help make electric mobility a convenient, everyday experience. The functionality of the standard charging cable supplied with the new BMW i3s has been optimised and includes a temperature sensor. Charging at home is extremely user-friendly thanks to the BMW i Wallbox which, in its most recent incarnation, can supply 11 kW of power to charge the high-voltage battery. This allows enough energy for an electric range of around 180 kilometres (112 miles) to be transferred in under three hours – five times quicker than with the standard charging cable.

The new BMW i Wallbox Connect also extends the functionality of the globally unique Digital Charging Service to provide intelligent charging for optimal cost efficiency, and allows customers to make best use of self-generated solar energy.

In addition, it is also possible to control the charging process using a smartphone app and manage usage by means of an access card. Drivers with a registered ChargeNow card have unrestricted access to the world's largest network of public charging stations.

8/29/17By Joerg Krampfl

There are still no fully interconnected electric bikes gliding through the urban canyons of megacities. But the BMW Group have already developed a prototype that reflects what is technically feasible today – and that shows Munich’s vision of zero-emission urban mobility on two wheels.

With its unusually flat and stretched silhouette, the new BMW Motorrad Concept Link does indeed look a little futuristic. However, this is intentional, because the interconnected Concept Link treads new paths and moves beyond established conventions both with regard to design and technology. In the way it links functionality and digitalisation it performs both as a means of transport as well as a communication device. “The BMW Motorrad Concept Link stands for a new understanding of urban mobility. It links the digital and analogue world and places the focus on the rider and his mobility needs.” explains Edgar Heinrich, Head of Design of BMW Motorrad.

The new and emphatically function-driven architecture provides a high level of riding pleasure due to the E-drive. The BMW Motorrad Concept Link is ideally suited to meet the requirements of modern urban mobility with fast acceleration and easy handling. A reverse gear ensures that it is easy to manoeuvre, making it ideal to park in tight city spaces.

The model designation “Concept Link” speaks for itself, of course. The vehicle is connected to the rider’s appointment calendar, knows the forthcoming destinations and autonomously recommends the fastest and most picturesque routes. It goes without saying that it also offers the appropriate music if desired. In the case of the Concept Link, the classic instrument panel has long become a thing of the past. Instead, the windshield displays all relevant driving information such as speed, navigation instructions or battery charge status within the rider’s field of vision.  

The rider’s clothing is also becoming increasingly more important. The interaction between vehicle and rider wear holds great potential with regard to rider safety, comfort, functionality and riding experience. On the BMW Motorrad Concept Link, the rider equipment is also connected to the vehicle: A simple stroke of the rider’s hand over the sleeve and a sliding door on the side of the vehicle opens, revealing the helmet compartment below the seat. When the hand moves in the opposite direction, the door closes again.

BMW Group supports apprentices and students with state-of-the-art automotive and e-mobility technology.

The BMW Group is committed to the cause of promoting education and young talent in the automotive industry. Vehicles have been made available for research and teaching purposes for decades, and since early 2017 the company has also provided high-voltage training equipment to be used in research and teaching.

Through the cooperation with universities, colleges, vocational schools, as well as the academies of chambers of crafts and guilds, the BMW Group actively supports the training of young technicians and engineers in Germany and abroad. In 2016, educational institutions received a combined total of over 100 vehicles, ranging from current petrol and diesel models to hybrid and all-electric cars such as the BMW i3 and also motorcycles. About one in four of these vehicles went to an international recipient. This way, the BMW Group makes a contribution to ensuring state-of-the-art training and research in the automotive industry and develops innovations in cooperation with the respective educational institutions.

A new offering is the “High Voltage Trainer” as a next step to support e-mobility technology research and training. The secure, state-of-the-art equipment was specifically developed for the requirements of high-voltage training. Apprentices and students who work with the training device can use the BMW Group’s original high-voltage components to simulate, for instance, measuring and fault diagnosis. By June 2017, the first eight High Voltage Trainers had been handed over to educational institutions.

End of 2017 the BMW High Voltage Simulation Battery, consisting of original BMW components including the modul housing and control units, is set up with the BMW’s vocational training department in Dingolfing. Safe and riskless handling is ensured by the specially developed electronics (no chemicals). This allows the apprentice to identify the errors im­ported by the trainer and to carry out all the necessary steps, such as to exchange a module or control unit, and train them in practice.

In keeping with the motto, “From Apprentices for Apprentices and Students”, these projects are supported by BMW’s training firm “JuniorFirma” and the vocational training department. The BMW Group’s apprentices are tasked with building the hardware for the training equipment.

If you would like to find out more, please email us at

Fahrzeuganfragen-Bildungseinrichtungen@bmw.de

The BMW Group Sustainability Factbook, containing more than 100 facts at a glance.

Would you have thought that 30,000 cows provide a biogas facility with dung for the BMW plant in Rosslyn, South Africa? That police officers in Bavaria and Los Angeles go on patrol in the BMW i3, or that almost a million people worldwide use the BMW Group car sharing service?

To the BMW Group, long-term thinking and responsible action has been the basis of economic success for many years – and along the entire value chain. In this respect, the BMW Group Sustainability Factbook has no claim to completeness. But it does show how multifaceted the issue of sustainability is – and that the Munich car manufacturer has already entered new terrain in order to achieve ambitious goals. But it is not just about figures, because for BMW customers, too, responsibility has a lot to do with passion, of course. For example, three friends from South Africa (fact 039) who travelled 17,000 kilometres from Cape Town to Munich in their 20 year old BMW 318i to hand over old “Percy” to the Munich Recycling and Disassembly Center (RDZ). However, BMW Group employees are also aware of the fact that responsibility must be taken seriously. For this reason, they pedal hard at the Munich location every day for instance, making use of the free bicycles provided – more than 61,000 times in 2016 alone (fact 060). 

You will find many further current facts relating to the issue of sustainability at the BMW Group in our Sustainability Factbook 2016, which we will be pleased to send to you on request. 

Don’t get us wrong. Dr. Carl Friedrich Eckhard, the person responsible for the issue of urban mobility at the BMW Group, does not wish to take anyone’s car away from them. He doesn’t think much of banning diesel-fuelled vehicles from urban areas either. The BMW manager simply wants to convince people to change their ways. 

Congested roads, insufficient parking spaces and excessively high nitric oxide levels are already putting a strain on our cities today. This doesn’t seem to worry you. 

Dr. Carl Friedrich Eckhardt: Despite the most diverse challenges we have to face, urban mobility will still improve significantly. Why? Because we now have the chance to radically modernise the urban mobility system. As a result, quality of life in urban areas will also improve. Our major cities will become greener and the air cleaner.

Aren’t you being rather optimistic?

We have every reason to be optimistic. Digitalisation allows us to offer people new mobility solutions: The offer ranges from various different rental possibilities such as car sharing to the organisation of collaborative travel. We are already able to set the course for this today.

This means that cities have to invest?

It is important to have a vision. What do we want? What should urban mobility look like in the year 2030? This helps us think long-term. Because many investments made by municipalities today seem unprofitable at first, but they pay off in the long run. Apart from that, companies are also prepared to make a contribution and invest. For example, in the development of the charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.

How do you intend to convince people that they do not need their own car in the city?

People of the younger generation already attach little importance to having their own car. Instead of owning one, they prefer just to use one. This also applies to an increasing number of older people. In the discussions or workshops we organise in many cities, residents realise they have a car but rarely use it. If they had an alternative, they would sell it. In fact, car sharing combines the advantages of an own car with those offered by the public network: A vehicle is available if required – even when busses, subways and trams are no longer operating.

That sounds as if a paradigm change is already taking place in society. Are people already prepared to sell their car?

First of all, we must create the preconditions so that these services are actually used. At present, car owners are still given preference due to regulations such as residential parking, whereas it would make far more sense to reserve some of these spaces for car sharing.  Residents must rest assured that a vehicle is always at their disposal when they need it. Then they will feel encouraged to sell their own car.

So which technical achievements are responsible for the new mobility services?

Digitalisation allows us to offer mobility on demand. Without smartphones, for example, we wouldn’t know which routes people use. This helps us adjust our services according to customer needs. Electrification allowing vehicles such as the BMW i3 to hum emission-free through cities is also revolutionary. And, of course, autonomous driving, which allows people to travel from A to B without a driver – flexibly and without operative costs.

How long will it be before we are able to use all of these technologies?  

We are already cooperating with urban municipalities today in order to understand which challenges they, and residents of course, will be faced with in future. For this purpose we have launched several projects to provide people in cities with car sharing services and electric vehicles. We intend to significantly expand collaborations such as these over the next five to seven years. And autonomous driving will soon become reality. I assume during the next 10 years.  

So taxi drivers will soon have to look for new jobs?

Every change opens up new possibilities. So I am convinced that new mobility solutions will in the long term also make new jobs necessary.

But the change also poses challenges for companies such as the BMW Group. If people buy fewer cars, the company will have to make up for financial losses.

I also see this as a chance for the BMW Group to develop new markets. Of course, we will continue to sell cars, but also provide people with vehicles and services.

The more attractive these offers are, the more money we will earn.

Which cities in your opinion are already pursuing a modern mobility strategy today?

Copenhagen is a good example. The city has commissioned E.ON to install charging stations for electric mobility under the condition that the facilities would be used. So the energy company contacted us beforehand, with the result that the car sharing fleet in Copenhagen now has 300 BMW i3s running entirely on electricity. We have been able to agree on a similar model for Hamburg. The city has arranged to provide up to 1,150 charging points by the year 2019, which will also serve as parking spaces for car sharing services. So the Hanseatic city is creating an enormous incentive for electric mobility, from which the air quality on the Elbe and the Alster could soon benefit considerably.

Elon Musk from Tesla has his own plans. He wants to build a tunnel system under the whole of Los Angeles in which people can travel from A to B at a speed of 200 km/h. He promises to reduce travelling time from 45 minutes to as little as 5 minutes. Do you think this is just a pipeline dream or could it soon become reality?

You never know. But one thing is for sure: urban mobility will change dramatically. And I find it very exciting to be a part of this change!

More than 1,000 games during the first week.

Munich. Since 25 June 2017, children and young people visiting the Junior Campus at the BMW Welt can experience a digital highlight. The BMW Group Junior Campus App combines playful learning with the conveyance of contents dealing with the issue of mobility of the future. The new app was first presented within the framework of the family Sunday “Digital with App & Co.” and was used more than 1,000 times during the first week after its launch. 

The Junior Campus App.
The learning app was specially developed by the BMW Group in collaboration with educators and academics to convey to children and young people between the ages of eleven and fourteen contents relating to the topic of mobility of the future, sustainability and design. The objective is also to provide users with access to learning with new media, to arouse their curiosity and imaginative power and to sharpen their awareness of sustainability. The app is exclusively available on permanently installed Tablets as a long-term exhibit at the BMW Welt Junior Campus. 

The virtual laboratory: a major success.
In just one week, the app was used more than 1,000 times by the young visitors to the Junior Campus at the BMW Welt and enjoys great popularity: “The app is quite good fun to use, because I learn a lot of interesting things,” said a happy young “hobby tinkerer” after he had tested the app. The stages of the journey through the virtual laboratory comprise topics such as correct waste separation in everyday life, or recycling, but also contents ranging from CO2 emissions to aerodynamics, bionics and global mobility. After starting the app, children and young people can choose between the two thematic areas “Sustainability” and “Design”. The play areas each contain four action worlds with explanatory texts and videos and offer a total of 45-50 minutes playing time. The next family day entitled “School and Safety” will be held at the BMW Welt on 10 September. The varied programme comprises exciting activities for everybody to join in, interesting workshops, a knowledge rally and informative lectures. The focus will be predominantly on playful and practical exercises related to the issue of safety and school.

 

DriveNow, the car sharing joint venture of the BMW Group and SIXT SE, draws the balance six years after its founding. After its launch on June 9, 2011 in Munich, DriveNow has developed into the biggest carsharing provider in Germany and Europe. With the opening in May 2017 of its new location in Helsinki, DriveNow now offers its service in twelve European cities and can boast over 900,000 customers. Moreover, thanks to its range of electric vehicles at all locations, the carsharing company is a major driving force in the area of electromobility.

"Since our launch six years ago, we have seen steady growth – also in Germany, which is our core market," says DriveNow Managing Director Nico Gabriel. In the five German DriveNow cities, over 600,000 customers are registered by now; this represents around 40 percent of all carsharing members in Germany. "In this way, we have played a major role in establishing carsharing as a broad-based social issue." Sebastian Hofelich, Co-Managing Director, adds: "In the meantime, German lawmakers have acknowledged the alleviating effects on traffic and emissions and have mandated by law the further promotion of carsharing as a whole." In other large European cities, DriveNow's free-floating car sharing is also gaining in importance. "The expansion is continuing - this year, we will be introducing our service in yet another European city."

Six years DriveNow in Munich
As the first DriveNow city, Munich in particular embodies the successful growth of carsharing. It is impossible to imagine the streets of the Bavarian capital without DriveNow. Dr. Martin Schreiner, mobility expert at the Municipal Administration Authority in Munich, says: "Car Sharing, combined with public transportation and bicycle use, provides full mobility without owning a car. This also reduces the need for parking spots and frees up valuable public space for other purposes. For this reason, the Municipal Administration Authority fully supports the new car sharing with full conviction. An example of the integration of car sharing into the full range of transport services covered by the ecomobility alliance is the first communal mobility station at Münchner Freiheit."

From the outset, DriveNow has worked together with the city of Munich to come up with sustainable mobility options and contribute to solving traffic problems. To prove the effects, DriveNow was one of the only carsharers to take part in accompanying scientific research. The results of the "EVA-CS"1 long-term study for Munich show, among other things, that DriveNow plays a significant role in the reduction of private car ownership. According to the study, thanks to the number of private vehicles in Munich that were abolished, the number of kilometers driven each year has already been reduced by 41 million. As a result, last year the city intensely improved the framework conditions for car sharing by, for example, increasing the limit for car sharing parking licenses. "With this decision, the city of Munich has taken on a pioneering role for future-oriented urban mobility," says Sebastian Hofelich. "This enables us to expand our range to meanwhile over 700 vehicles, covering a business area of around 90 km2 and thereby offer a highly-available alternative to owning a car."

Strong driving force for electromobility
In addition, for four years already, DriveNow has integrated electric vehicles into its fleet. "At all our locations, customers have the opportunity to drive electrically - even though the ongoing frequently insufficient charging infrastructure in the cities makes the operation of an electric fleet not always easy for us," according to Nico Gabriel. "The many positive responses confirm our decision to forge ahead with electromobility. Europe-wide, over 280,000 customers have already undertaken their first electric trip with DriveNow, and with these electric vehicles driven far more than ten million kilometers. Thanks to the electric vehicles in the fleet alone, over 1,800 tons of CO2 could be reduced.

Further along the road to success through innovation
Throughout its six-year history, DriveNow has steadily developed and introduced future-oriented innovations in the carsharing market. "One of our most effective innovations is the ‘Handshake' function, which we introduced in Germany last year," Gabriel emphasizes. Thanks to the direct taking over of the vehicle by the next customer, the current driver isspared the search for a parking space and at the same time, the vehicle availability for searching DriveNow customers increased. "In Germany, this has already facilitated many hundred vehicle transfers every month. The function is an important step in solving the parking space problem in dense downtown locations and helps to further reduce the search for a parking spot," says Gabriel. In addition to ‘Handshake', another new feature in the vehicles also eases the search for a parking spot: When necessary, the searching driver is directed to the nearest mobility station with special carsharing parking spots.

Customers in the twelve cities can rely on a vehicle fleet of around 5,700 BMW and MINI models. DriveNow customers have already undertaken well over 24 million trips, at least four million of which were in pilot city Munich. Nico Gabriel, Managing Director of DriveNow: "Our thanks today go to all of our customers who made use of DriveNow during the past six years. In the future, we will be further developing our service to meet the needs of our customers as well as creating the mobility of tomorrow."

This city of more than a million people in the Lombardy region of Italy certainly had a lot to offer the BMW Group Stakeholder Dialogue. Milan is not only a leader in car-sharing, but also boasts a highly-efficient public transport network. The stakeholders and students invited to the event all agreed on one thing: Electric mobility is the city’s future!

The BMW Group has hosted three stakeholder dialogues a year with sustainability experts worldwide since 2011. The 2017 Dialogue in Milan was the first to be held in Italy. The visit of Joschka Fischer, former German Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister, was a particular highlight. In his keynote speech the evening before the event, Fischer also underlined the importance of regular dialogue between companies and representatives from cities to identify trends early and face new challenges.

New mobility solutions are high on the agenda in Milan. With 370,000 users and 2,000 vehicles, the country’s second largest city is already a leader in car-sharing, for example. The public transport system is also so good that the stakeholders present were confident that the municipality will be able to ensure sustainable mobility over the coming years. However, they do not expect there to be sufficient funding to expand public transport to the point where it could meet the city’s mobility needs alone.

A blend of public and individual transportation would therefore appear to be the ideal solution. Top of the list was a combination of public transport, pedestrian traffic and bicycle and car rental models. It is important to use environmentally-friendly, low-emission technology: 67 per cent of those participating favoured a move towards all-electric road traffic by 2025 to improve air quality in the city.

The representatives from the worlds of politics, business and associations also discussed other topics with BMW experts, including autonomous driving, flexible parking fees, additional ride-hailing services and necessary and possible incentives for electro-mobility, as well as data protection, improving road safety and alternative financing concepts.

In summary: The stakeholders found Milan to be a progressive city that is focusing on alternative mobility solutions and will continue to provide inhabitants with an efficient, sustainable transport network with attractive options in the future.

Downloads.

BMW Group - Responsibility

Documentation BMW Group Dialogue Chicago.

BMW Group - Responsibility

Documentation BMW Group Dialogue Milan.

Questions?

Do you have any questions, comments or suggestions that you would like to pass on to the BMW Group team? Please feel free to contact us personally. Your feedback is important to us.

Many of our sustainability goals can only be achieved by working with partners from the political, social, scientific and industrial fields. That’s why a continuous dialogue with our stakeholders is a top priority for us.

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