Sustainable investments with the know-how of the BMW Group.
In a world where people and cultures are increasingly connected and, as a result, face new social challenges, it is more important than ever that global companies recognise and embrace their social responsibility. Targeted, sustainable commitment is an integral part of the BMW Group’s identity as a company. Intercultural understanding and education, especially for children and young people, are vital to a healthy society and a competitive economy. That is why we are actively committed at our locations around the world, to improving these factors, serving as a co-initiator and focusing on areas where we can leverage our core expertise to achieve the greatest long-term impact. As well as contributing financial resources, we also share our know-how and provide access to our network. We work closely with strong partners to develop possible solutions for more equal job opportunities, to create open forums for non-formal education and honour, guide and support innovative projects to promote cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue.
We have selected five focus Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) reflecting our company’s responsibility and best possible impact:
- Quality education (SDG number 4)
- Gender equality (SDG number 5)
- Clean water and sanitation (SDG number 6)
- Reduced inequalities (SDG number 10)
- Sustainable cities and communities (SDG number 11)
The projects presented here provide a brief insight into the BMW Group’s wide and diverse range of social commitment activities.
Learn more about our programmes and partners:
Intercultural understanding is part of our DNA: The BMW Group operates 30 production and assembly facilities around the globe and conducts business in 140 countries. Our partnership with the United Nations Alliance of Civilisations (UNAOC) gives us the opportunity to enable and support social organisations and innovative ideas worldwide.
Through the Intercultural Innovation Award, established in 2011 with the UN Alliance of Civilizations, the BMW Group has been supporting worldwide grassroots organizations (70% of them led by women) engaged in promoting gender equality and intercultural dialogue.
Particular focus is on:
- Women empowerment
- Access to quality education for marginalized children (girls, the indigenous population, refugees)
- Reducing inequalities within and among countries through intercultural dialogue.
In seven years of partnership, 51 grassroots organizations have been empowered, 2.58 million people have benefited and 109 countries have been impacted.
If you want to learn more about the initiative and its impact, please click here.
The LIFE materials encourage the development and dissemination of international, intercultural learning, aimed at overcoming prejudices and helping people perceive foreign cultures and language differences not as a barrier, but as an enrichment. Positive confrontation with other languages and cultures broadens individual horizons and promotes constant reflection on established habits and ways of thinking. Click here for an overview of the LIFE materials available for download.
The LIFE concept was developed under the direction of Petra Hölscher in collaboration with the Bavarian State Institute for School Quality and Educational Research and the BMW Group.
Since 2001, BMW Group plants in Germany – and since 2004 those in the UK – have organized a Girls’ Day aimed to introduce schoolgirls to a wide range of different occupations they may not otherwise consider.
Every year, around 150 girls enjoyed a hand-on experience: using a breadboard to simulate vehicle lighting, creating individualized objects with a 3D printer and programming robots with various sensors.
Accompanied by apprentices at the site, they also gain practical insights into various aspects of everyday working life.
Entrepreneurship is a critical tool for promoting economic growth and job creation, and BMW recognizes the millions of female entrepreneurs who pursue their passion of entrepreneurship and financial independence every day.
Increasing women’s economic empowerment is a key element of BMW’s commitment to gender equality. The BMW Supplier Diversity Conference provides woman-, minority- and veteran-owned businesses with access to business networks and global markets. The event creates opportunities for entrepreneurs to grow their business and drive innovation.
In 2019, more than 2,000 woman-, minority- and veteran-owned businesses participated in the annual BMW Supplier Diversity Conference. If you want to learn more, please click here or see the videos:
Inspiring the next generation of engineers.
Investing in future employees is an important pillar of the BMW Group’s philosophy as a company. The initiatives described below are designed to encourage our future engineers technicians and engineers. It is especially important for MINT students to combine theoretical and practical knowledge to succeed in the world of work.
Through this program carried out by BWM Korea Future Fund, BMW and MINI engineers in Korea share their knowledge and experience with technical upper-school students and serve as mentors to help them develop life goals and career plans.
The year-long program includes meetings with mentors, monthly one-day workshops, basic training at the BMW Group Korea Training Academy, a visit to a car exhibition and even a trip to a BMW Group Headquarters in Germany. Since its inception in 2013, over 60 associates have supported 162 students as mentors. In total, over 40 students now work as technicians for BMW Group Korea.
The BMW Group Thailand Dual Excellence in Education programs provide training for high-vocational students in order to enable them to acquire specialized skills and knowledge in automotive technology and innovation. BMW Group Manufacturing Thailand plant in Rayong offers training programs in conjunction to train high vocational students in mechatronics, whereas BMW Group Thailand in Bangkok offers The BMW Service Apprentice Program to train and develop students to become skilled mechanics in the automotive industry.
The programs enable BMW Group Thailand to develop up-and-coming vocational talent in the automotive industry through both theoretical and hands-on training – directly from BMW experts at the BMW Group Manufacturing plant in Rayong for training in mechatronics and at BMW authorized dealerships for the mechanical service trainings. The students receive valuable training in a wide range of professional capabilities that serve them well in the workplace and throughout their working careers.
Since the start of the program in 2012, 259 students have been trained and over 85% now work for BMW Group Thailand.
The BMW Group plants in Landshut, Munich and Regensburg offer primary-school children the chance to learn more about mechanical engineering and sustainable production. At five workshops held throughout the school year, children learn how to work with tools, as well as other skills. The highlight is building their first car out of wood. The program gives third and fourth-graders practical access to the sciences and awakens their interest in technical professions. Since the start of the project at the plant Regensburg in 2015 until the end of 2018, around 400 pupils across the three plants were able to participate.
Since 2017, the BMW Group plant in San Luis Potosì and CONALEP (National College of Technical Education) have provided 800 students per year with quality education supported by BMW associates through regular technical workshops. The school was also equipped with a BMW library including a research area and in the future a study and a reading area.
In addition to that, BMW is working with a local NGO on a program aimed at reinforcing the communication between the students and their parents and reducing the risk of school desertion.
BMW US Manufacturing first announced the Scholars program in 2011. In 2018, it announced an expansion of the number of apprentices in the program to 200 scholars. BMW currently partners with four area technical colleges: Spartanburg Community College, Greenville Technical College, Tri-County Technical College and Piedmont Technical College. In the program, students attend class full-time and work at the BMW plant for 20 – 25 hours per week. BMW covers the cost of tuition and books, provides healthcare benefits and pays students for their work at BMW.
Since the Scholars program began, there have been seven graduating classes and 180 BMW Scholar graduates. Every scholar has been offered a full-time position at BMW.
In 2008, The Boston Consulting Group GmbH and the Eberhard von Kuenheim Foundation of BMW AG launched the JOBLINGE initiative - a joint commitment of the economy, state and society for low-skilled unemployed youth. In a six-month program, young people learn important key skills on the job, train their social skills and develop their training or employment. They are supported by JOBLINGE employees and mentors, trained volunteers with life and work experience. At the end is the placement of each JOBLING - in a regular education or employment that suits him. BMW AG has been involved in many different ways within the initiative since the start of the project. By the end of 2018, 190 JOBLINGE participants had undergone internships while around 50 had completed their vocational training at BMW. In total, there were already 72 BMW employees who accompanied Joblinge as mentors. Many were involved several times.
The BMW Group has been committed to youth development for years by providing vehicles free of charge to educational institutions in Germany and abroad.
This gives apprentices, technicians and engineers the opportunity to acquire, expand and consolidate their knowledge by working with current models.
The vehicles provided are fitted with a wide range of different drive concepts, from current petrol and diesel models to hybrids to pure-electric vehicles like the BMW i3. Motorcycles are also made available.
Through this commitment, the BMW Group helps ensure that education and research at vocational training institutions and colleges is always up-to-date with the latest technical innovations and, at the same time, promotes education in the field of electromobility.
More than 1600 vehicles worldwide are deployed “in the service of education”.
BMW sales partners
Eleven years ago, the BMW Group opened its first plant on the Indian subcontinent, in Chennai. Associates marked the facility's latest anniversary by launching an extensive educational initiative.
The BMW Group India's SKILL NEXT>> initiative donated 365 engines and transmissions to students to support active, hands-on learning on cutting-edge technologies.
The engines and transmissions donated to the students had been damaged by last year's heavy monsoon rains.
To mark the plant's eleventh anniversary, cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar and students from the Anna University College of Engineering were invited to launch SKILL NEXT>> by assembling a BMW engine on the production line.
Different universities in India
Contributing to social mobility and inclusion.
We believe that young people need a sound education to be able to make their way in the world. That is why we promote education in mathematics, IT, natural sciences and technology – the so-called MINT subjects – around the world, focusing on countries and regions with limited access to schooling. All children should have the opportunity for a proper education – regardless of where they live and grow up. Our supplementary programmes help children discover the sciences and pave the way for a promising career. The BMW Group programmes support quality education in schools and help boys and girls improve their individual skills:
The initiative “WORK HERE!” was launched at the end of 2015. It is a collaboration between the BMW Group, the German Federal Employment Agency and the local job centers that offers motivated refugees the opportunity to take part in a six- to nine-week course of practical training in various departments. The program helps refugees find their way in the German labor market. The participants are mentored by BMW Group employees and also receive daily German language lessons and integration training. For younger refugees, there is a program offering a six-month “starter qualification” preparing them for the job of a production mechanic.
Since 2016, over 500 refugees have participated in the program “WORK HERE!”, which has been implemented in the BMW Group plants Munich, Dingolfing, Landshut, Leipzig, Regensburg and Berlin.
Since 2017, the BMW Group plant in San Louis Potosi has been supporting Club de Ninos & Ninas, which provides extracurricular activities for around 250 children and teenagers per year. BMW associates support the programs in their free time. The Club promotes quality education by supporting teachers from primary schools to upgrade their professional skills through tailor-made trainings in reading skills. The main objective of the initiative is to create a safe place where children learn, play and develop social relationship with the community.
Colonia Juvenil, on the other hand, provides the teachers with the necessary competences to increase their teaching skills in math, English and IT.
BMW Group plant San Luis Potosi provides 22 scholarships and the continuity of a training program for the teachers that will improve their skills. A science lab was also implemented.
Around 50,000 children from rural areas benefit from BMW Joy Home. The project is geared towards socially-disadvantaged children who are unable to live with their parents working in remote regions. BMW Joy Home provides them with a safe home and access to an extensive school education. Working with BMW Group employees and dealers in China, the initiative also organizes various activities to support the children’s healthy psychological and physical development.
BBA (BMW Brilliance)
BMW Group India partnered with Magic Bus, for a focused skill development program to provide livelihood opportunities to youth. The program was a logical extension of the previous “Sports for Development” engagement with Magic Bus. The project focuses on training disadvantaged youths and supports them in achieving their personal and professional goals by successfully moving into sustained employment or job-based training.
Multiple centers are successfully running across key metropolitan cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad, impacting the lives of approximately 2000 youths every year.
The social and recreation center located close to the BMW Group plant in Araquari guides and supports children from their first year of primary school through to the third year of high school, on top of their classes at state schools. Around 100 children are taught in morning and afternoon groups. Between breakfast, lunch and dinner, children up to the age of nine receive tutoring in reading and writing, while older children are tutored in math. The 1,220 square-meter site also offers sports, culture and art activities, partly organized by BMW associates.
The BMW Group has joined forces with the ‘Kick ins Leben' (‘Kickstart for Life') Foundation to support children and young people in the vicinity of the headquarters and the Munich plant.
The goal is to establish an open forum for extra-curricular education. Designed to help build equal opportunities for young people launching their careers, the forum is expected to attract around 500 children and young people.
From pre-school to pre-vocational training or college, a range of workshops and training courses will help them to improve not only their language skills but also a wide variety of social and vocational skills. This will help the young to develop their full potential.
As part of the cooperation, the BMW Group is also opening its doors for children and young people to experience vehicle production close up or join mentoring programs with BMW associates.
Experiencing mobility and sustainability.
From electromobility to autonomous driving, we are on the verge of the next major transition in the history of mobility. At the BMW Group Junior Campus, children and teenagers learn about traffic, road safety, and sustainability and explore safe, environmentally-friendly solutions for future mobility.
We are actively involved with various projects worldwide in this area:
The BMW Group Junior Campus in Germany offers children and adolescents interactive places to learn in two locations (Munich and Berlin) and is an integral part of the BMW Group’s social commitment. Workshops tailored to different age groups provide young participants with the most useful and relevant information regarding road safety, sustainability, technology, and mobility – promoting technical understanding and global thinking in the process.
Since 2007, children between the ages of five and eight have been able to discover mobility in the BMW World using all their senses. In the Campus Portal, young visitors can explore the topic of sustainability. The Campus Laboratory likewise explores the interplay of mobility, sustainability, and globalization – one can even build their own car in the Campus Workshop. As of the end of 2018, there are two additional workshops for different age groups on the topic of Programming and Robotics. Children and teenagers can playfully learn where robots are implemented in industry and society, and how they have shaped and changed our modern world. In a practical component, the children can even program a robot to carry out different tasks.
In partnership with the German Museum of Technology, a Junior Campus has been in operation in Berlin since 2012. The campus engages people of all ages: children aged three and up are exposed through playful learning to the topic of traffic safety, while older children (aged 5-15 years) learn about mobility, sustainability, science, and math. Twelve to fifteen-year-olds, for example, have the chance to learn about electric powertrain systems, environmentally-friendly electricity production, and connectivity in urban spaces, allowing them to “playfully” deal with the largest challenges of our time.
Mobile Junior Campus Version:
A mobile version of the Junior Campus has also been in operation since 2015. Under teacher supervision, schoolchildren aged eleven to fourteen run through the entire car making process under the motto “Mobile Mission: Develop. Build. Test.” From the development of the initial idea to the assembly of their own Go-karts, the adolescents are exposed to the theoretical foundations of mobility, sustainability, and technology, and are able to put them into practice as they build the Go-kart. Afterwards, the children can even test their self-designed Go-kart on a driving course.
2018 concluded with over 273,000 children and adolescents having participated in the Junior Campus Workshops in Germany.
Junior Campus Korea holds workshops for small groups of students on how to make eco-friendly model cars. Additionally, the campus has its own “laboratory,” where students learn basic scientific theories through various experiential learning methods. The Junior Campus, located at the BMW Driving Center, was launched in August 2014 and is targeted toward elementary school students.
The Mobile Junior Campus, an 11-ton truck remodeled as a lab-based learning facility, was launched in 2012. It visits rural schools and welfare centers to provide children with the opportunity to learn about scientific fundamentals, the automotive world, and the intersection of the two. Students are encouraged to explore their curiosity, thereby fostering their creativity and problem-solving skills as well as increasing their interest in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) fields.
By the end of 2018, a cumulative total of over 118,000 students had taken part in Junior Campus Korea. In 2018 alone, over 23,000 participated.
Junior Campus Russia has been present in Moscow since 2013. The initiative focuses on car manufacturing, sustainability, and road safety, through both class-based lessons and a mobile lab.
The educational program is developed in close cooperation with Moscow Polytechnic University, which has expertise in projects for the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation. Classes are held together at the venue of Junior Campus’ partner, Experimentanium, a leading science museum for children.
During Junior Campus classes, schoolchildren take on the role of engineers, starting by learning about car production basics, vehicle parts and functions, and car bodies’ differences. They then assemble their first plastic or remote-controlled car and have the chance to discover alternative fuels. Finally, they team up with other students to develop and present their own ideas for future mobility. Additionally, there are workshops for 5 to 10 year olds on how to behave in a safe and responsible manner on the roads
In 2017, in addition to its permanent class-based lessons, Junior Campus introduced a mobile lab educating schoolchildren aged 6 to 14 years old in Moscow and other regions. The mobile lab, with its interactive simulators, travels to schools and kindergartens daily as well as participates in various city events, conducting road safety master classes under the supervision of Moscow Polytechnic University.
By the end of 2018, over 33,000 children had participated in Junior Campus programs in Russia.
For over twenty years, BMW Group UK has provided youth with educational programmes. Under the motto “Inspire, Engage & Teach,” the BMW Education programme in England provides young people with a glimpse of what sustainable mobility might look like in the future. From interactive learning and quiz materials to job openings, the programme offers different educational and support options for mobility and vehicle construction.
Children aged 7-11 learn essential road safety knowledge through Safe on the Streets (SoTS), the flagship road safety resource of the BMW Group Education programme. It is an award-winning programme designed to teach pupils valuable road safety lessons, building their road safety knowledge and supporting them as they move towards independent travel.
Intelligent Living (i-Living) is an interactive resource for older students aged 11-16, covering in depth the topics of global development, urban mobility, and sustainable design and mobility. The programme, which likewise includes educational materials for both teachers and students, promotes an understanding of sustainable living and its effects at a local and global scale.
Over 12,000 teachers and students visit the BMW Group UK Education site yearly.
To learn more about the BMW Group UK educational programmes, please click here.
In Japan, BMW Group partners with Miraikan, The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, to provide youth workshops on autonomous vehicles. This program, in implementation since 2017, combines the scientific and educational expertise of Miraikan and the technical and practical experiences of BMW Group.
This workshop gives children aged 8-14 a chance to learn about the role of programming in automated driving. Participants learn how such cars operate, as well as how the vehicles should be programmed to stop in front of obstacles, make turns, and follow signals. Furthermore, participants are encouraged to think about not only the merits, but also the concerns and uncertainties that might present themselves in a future world of automated driving.
Each year, four science museums in Japan are selected to receive workshop contents and know-how; the museums consequently run the workshops for several years. By the end of 2018 – the second year of project implementation – approximately 650 children had already participated in the workshop.
TEACHING ROAD SAFETY.
Around 1.3 million people worldwide are killed in car accidents every year. It is therefore extremely important to teach children road-safety rules at an early age, so they know how to behave on the roads. The special programmes we have developed for this purpose also educate parents in detail about safety requirements, such as the use of child seats and seat belts. The programmes are designed to address all road users – from drivers to cyclists to pedestrians
BMW China’s traffic safety programme provides children with a fun, interactive introduction to the topic of road safety. Simulations for children and adults are designed to improve safety for all road users. The Children’s Traffic Safety Education programme, established in 2004, is one of the longest-running, most successful programmes of its kind.
BBA (BMW Brilliance)
Kids’ urge to explore can sometimes lead them into danger.
The aim of the “Be Safe, Be Smart” initiative is to teach schoolchildren how to behave properly on the roads. As well as providing teaching materials, BMW India also sponsors a film and provides miniature cars and motorcycles, so that pupils attending the Global Indian International School can try driving for themselves in a simulation.
Global Indian International School (GIIS), Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Limited
Being socially responsible forms an integral part of how many BMW Group employees see themselves. They take societal challenges seriously and act on their own initiative, voluntarily and outside of working hours. They do this in many ways. For example, there are team activities during our ‘Social Days’. Other employees dedicate their time to long-term projects, with some putting their professional skills to use or even developing social business ideas.
BMW Financial Services, searching for a program that allowed for employees to give back to their local
communities in close proximity to dealerships and manufacturing plants in emerging markets, reached
out to W4W and jointly developed the Care4Water Campaign.
The goal of this partnership was to engage each of the more than 8,000 worldwide employees to support dedicated projects in developing countries that BMW operates in. In 2015, the pilot project was launched in Thailand. Since then, it has been reproduced in Mexico, India, South Africa, Brazil, and Indonesia as well as in Mongolia with BMW Motorrad.
A total of 4,620 filtration systems were distributed and 462,000 people impacted globally.
Over 300 BMW Group associates at the plants in India, Mexico and Thailand have been engaged in the distribution of the filters to the communities where they live.
The motto ‘We love what you do!’ not only applies to the work that the BMW Group’s almost 135,000 employees worldwide do on a daily basis, it also takes on a special significance once a year. Since 2011, the company has presented the ‘BMW Group Award for Social Responsibility’ to employees who have made a valuable contribution through their volunteer work.
Under the auspices of the BMW Group’s Chief Human Resources Officer, each year the BMW Group distinguishes employees who are exceptional in their commitment to social responsibility and make an important contribution to society. A special prize for particularly committed younger employees is awarded by the Doppelfeld Foundation of former BMW executive and Chairman of the Supervisory Board Volker Doppelfeld. The winners each receive an earmarked cash prize of €5,000 for their efforts.
A BMW Group leadership development programme called “Ready for Leading the Global Organisation”, i.e. Ready GO develops high potential candidates for their roles and challenges of senior management in a global corporate.
One main focus of this annual programme is Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability. To this effect, the programme has encouraged collaboration between senior executives and social entrepreneurs since 2017. Thanks to the alliance with the BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt a broad range of topics and projects from “Skill development of youth, livelihood improvements, Education and child protection, Natural Resource Management, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, Climate Change Adaptation to Urban Infrastructure Management” are introduced to the Ready GO participants.
These senior leaders partner with social projects to advance learning, transformation and commitment for a just, equitable, and sustainable world by sharing knowledge and experience, and questioning one’s assumptions as well as biases. Project groups with multinational, interdisciplinary, diverse socio-political-ethnical and cultural backgrounds promote openness, broader thinking and global impact.
A total of 30 social entrepreneurship projects have partnered with the Ready GO programme over the last three years. Here are some remarkable examples: