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Tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold – 3TG.

Areas of application automotive industry.

  • Main areas of application: Tungsten carbide is a composite material used in brakes, as well as drilling and milling inserts in industrial machines employed in car production (tungsten).
  • Minute quantities: Many components contain very small amounts of 3TG (over 500 component suppliers deliver parts that contain 3TG for this). For example, tungsten carbide is used in minute quantities in the brakes, chassis, engine (crankshaft) or wheels (ball joints and mounts). 

Raw-material-specific risks.

  • Human rights abuses in connection with 3TG extraction, transportation or trade
  • Child and forced labour
  • Direct or indirect support for non-state armed groups or public or private security forces 
  • Human rights abuses by public or private security forces
  • Violation of workers’ rights
  • Discrimination and harassment, including against vulnerable groups
  • Risks to worker health and safety
  • Threats to indigenous peoples and communities
  • Negative environmental impacts

Measures taken by the BMW Group.

  • Comprehensive regular risk assessment carried out for 3TG supply chains; highest risks identified for material originating from the DR Congo. 
  • Raise awareness among Tier 1 suppliers through direct contact, information and training. The aim is to improve the quality of traceability and steadily increase the percentage of certified smelting plants in the supply chain.
  • Create transparency from the mine to the smelting plant. A systematic supplier survey on the status of conflict minerals conducted through a questionnaire process and an audit of suppliers using the Conflict Minerals Reporting Templates (CMRTs) of the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI) form the basis for this. This allows certified smelting plants to be identified that are not supplied by “conflict mines”.
  • Together with its suppliers, the BMW Group has achieved almost complete traceability for the 3TG minerals in components and tools. In 2020, 99% quantitative coverage was achieved for components supplied by 507 component suppliers. 75% of the smelting plants supplying material were classified by the RMI as “conflict-free”. The aim is to continuously increase the percentage of conflict-free smelting plants in our supplier network.
  • Increase the percentage of secondary raw material. By using a closed-loop material cycle, the BMW Group has reduced the amount of primary raw material required for tools by 80% since 2021. The remaining primary raw material comes from a certified conflict-free smelting plant. We collect old drill and screw bits for recycling at our plants in Germany and Austria, then use the secondary raw material obtained from this to make new tools. In addition to reducing consumption of primary raw materials, this also reduces CO2 emissions by up to 60%.

Initiatives.

Recycling BMW Group Werk Steyr