In addition to further developing electromobility, the BMW Group is also systematically implementing its sustainability strategy throughout the entire value chain. Since 2006, for instance, resource consumption and emissions per vehicle produced have decreased by more than 50%. When it comes to lowering water consumption in car production, the BMW Group is the industry benchmark. All plants operated by the BMW Group worldwide obtain their energy from renewable sources, guaranteeing a 100% carbon-free power supply.
As part of its corporate due diligence, the BMW Group is actively taking responsibility and participating in local projects, based on the principle of “empowerment before withdrawal”.
In 2018, the BMW Group joined forces with other partners to create the cross-sector “Cobalt for Development” initiative in Congo. The aim of the project, which is implemented by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) is to develop and professionalise artisanal mining in the region.
Batteries are a valuable source of raw materials. That is why the BMW Group is working with Swedish battery manufacturer Northvolt and Umicore, a Belgian developer of battery materials, to create an end-to-end sustainable value chain for battery cells – from development to production to recycling. Recycling of battery components like nickel, cobalt and copper plays an important role in closing the materials loop in a way that is environmentally and economically sustainable. Battery recycling and second-life applications also help reduce consumption and CO2 numbers throughout the vehicle’s lifecycle. Experts refer to this as the environmental balance or Life Cycle Assessment – LCA, for short. The LCA divides a vehicle lifecycle into four stages, all the way to the end of its useful life: supply chain, production, use phase and recycling. The LCA allows CO2-intensive processes to be identified and modified. However, before batteries can be recycled in larger numbers, there is still a long phase of primary usage in vehicles and then second-life applications as stationary storage devices.