The BMW Group and the Chilean copper mining company Codelco have signed an agreement to cooperate on a sustainable and transparent supply of copper. From the mining of the metal to installation in the automobile, Codelco and the BMW Group will form the start and end point in the copper supply chain and thus create the preconditions for new standards in sustainable copper processing.
“Copper is and remains a very important raw material in the automotive industry. Therefore, we are very pleased to have the opportunity together with Codelco to be able to advocate sustainable standards in the copper supply chain. From the BMW Group’s viewpoint, this is a further significant milestone in our strategy for sustainability in the supply chain,” says Thomas Thym, head of BMW Group Strategy, Purchasing and Supplier Network.
"We appreciate the importance of working together with BMW Group’s value chain and believe that this agreement will be a powerful driver for Codelco and the mining industry to continue to strengthen our social license to operate. It is an inspiration to advance towards a future in which our products will be valued not only for their intrinsic mineral qualities, but also for a production process that promotes environmental protection, gender equality, the generation of shared value, ethical business practices, transparency, fairness and local job creation, among others”, says Patricio Chávez, Codelco Vice President of Corporate Affairs & Sustainability.
The aim of the Responsible Copper Initiative is to achieve a commitment to ecological and social responsibility in the copper industry. Further objectives of the cooperation are the development of core indicators, which measure advancements in sustainability activities, as well as a productive collaboration with stakeholders – including NGOs and regulating authorities. In this way, faith in our copper products is to be strengthened.
In the agreement, Codelco confirms its leadership in the introduction of the Responsible Copper Initiative according to ISEAL guidelines. This includes the promotion and coordination of the global copper industry (from mining to manufacture and processing) as well as other stakeholders such as associations, NGOs, producers and end users in the Responsible Copper Initiative. Within the framework of the Responsible Copper Initiative, Codelco will ensure that the developed standards and tools meet the demands of end users and the BMW Group.
In 2017, the BMW Group purchased 42,000 tons of copper with a value of more than 200 million Euros. As one of the world’s leading manufacturers of electric vehicles the BMW Group will be offering 25 electrified models in 2025. The company’s copper demand will have increased by 20,000 additional tons by this time. This shows that copper will play an even greater role in the future. Therefore, it is of crucial importance that the BMW Group secure a sustainable supply chain for electric mobility, including raw materials.
For the BMW Group, the establishment of the “Responsible Copper Initiative” is a further step towards transparency in the supply chain: The BMW Group is a founding member of the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative, supporter of the Responsible Steel Initiative and a member of the Responsible Cobalt Initiative.