BMW Munich

Fact check.

Companies that claim to operate sustainably should also be able to prove it. The BMW Group has just released the latest facts.

There are dozens of prizes, awards and commendations for sustainability in Germany. Worldwide, there are probably hundreds, if not thousands: for committed individuals, researchers, communities, institutions and – as in the BMW Group’s case – also for companies. As important as it is to honour commitment to improving sustainability, it is just as important to fact-check individual statements from time to time. This applies equally, if not more, to the BMW Group – because the company that stands for ground-breaking premium vehicles has dedicated itself to sustainability more than almost any other.

For instance, back in 2012, the BMW Group set itself ten sustainability targets in three action areas: products and services; production and value creation; and employees and society. These look at individual metrics, such as CO2 emissions, electromobility and mobility patterns, as well as resource consumption, supply chain sustainability and social commitment.

Oliver Zipse, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG summed up the situation as follows: “At the BMW Group, we always look to the future. What the next generation cares about most is climate change.” He reiterated the BMW Group’s commitment to the Paris Agreement and, since 2001, the UN Global Compact. The company focuses on the following question: “Which technologies offer the greatest leverage for reducing global greenhouse gas emissions?”

Some of the results of this approach mark exceptional milestones in the history of sustainability at the BMW Group:   

  1. The BMW Group appointed the automotive industry’s first environmental officer back in 1973.
  2. In 2007, the BMW Group was the first to offer a package of technologies to reduce CO2, with EfficientDynamics.
  3. The BMW Group has continued to lower its consumption of resources in production. Today, the company uses less than half the resources (energy, water and solvents, as well as waste), on average, to produce a vehicle and generates half the CO2 emissions it did in 2006.
  4. The all-electric BMW i3 came onto the market back in 2013 – and has been the market leader in its segment worldwide ever since. 
  5. Today, in 2019, the BMW Group has the broadest electrified line-up of any of its competitors, with no fewer than a dozen models.
  6. The BMW Group is the market leader in new electric vehicle registrations in Germany (total market). In Europe, it is number two (total market), and worldwide number three (premium segment).
  7. Every electrified BMW model must prove it is substantially better than its conventionally powered counterpart overall in terms of CO2 emissions from raw material procurement; supply chain; assembly; use phase and recycling.
  8. Between 1990 and 2019, the BMW Group reduced its fleet CO2 emissions by 42 percent.
  9. By 2021, there will be one million electrified BMW Group vehicles on the roads.
  10. And, by 2023, the BMW Group will be able to offer 25 electrified models.
  11. According to the certificate issued by environmental service provider Interseroh, based on the calculation methodology of the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety, and Energy Technology, the BMW Group recycled around 50,000 tonnes of recoverable materials such as steel, aluminium and plastic in 2018 alone. This avoided emitting almost 7,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases.
  12. The BMW Group has been listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index as one of the most sustainable automobile manufacturers in the world for years. This year, it ranked third and was the only car manufacturer from Germany to make it into the top ten.