We will be taking sustainability to a whole new level.
In an interview with the BMW Group Media House, BMW AG Management Board Chairman Oliver Zipse explains the BMW Group’s ambitious goals and outlines what aspects of sustainability will be the key focal points in the future.
The coronavirus pandemic has thrown the global economy off course within a very short space of time, and this has also led to significant cutbacks in a number of BMW Group projects. But as I have always made clear: There can be no compromise when it comes to climate and environmental protection. That’s why it is so important to set the right course now in these challenging times.
What does that mean exactly? The BMW Group had set itself targets for emissions reductions by 2020.
Those were for resource consumption and the emissions we generate directly as a company – for example, from production. We were very successful: We lowered energy consumption per vehicle produced by more than 40 percent and were even able to reduce waste and CO2 emissions by over 70 percent. It’s also no coincidence that our CO2 emissions per vehicle produced are much lower than for the rest of the German auto industry, for example.
And what does it look like?
I don’t want to reveal all the details today before the final formal decisions are made, but I can tell you that the approach is radically holistic: We will be taking the topic of sustainability to a whole new level. That’s why we will once again be setting ourselves clear and measurable goals – but, this time, they will extend far beyond our direct sphere of influence.
You’ll have to give us a concrete example.
To contribute effectively to climate protection, we will need to improve our products’ overall environmental balance – from resources to recycling. As e-mobility gains more and more traction, the focus of CO2 reduction will shift to upstream added value – and, especially, the energy-intensive production of high-voltage batteries. Up to 40 percent of a fully-electric vehicle’s CO2 emissions come from battery cell production alone.
How is this supposed to work? The BMW Group doesn’t produce cells itself.
We now have a contractual agreement with our cell manufacturers that they will use only green power to produce our fifth-generation battery cells. Later this year we will launch this technology with the BMW iX3 and then roll it out across our product line-up – including the BMW iNEXT and BMW i4 next year. As volumes increase, the use of green power will save around ten million tonnes of CO2 over the next decade.
Does that mean CO2 reductions will only come from suppliers?
It works best when manufacturers and suppliers work together. The only way we can motivate our partners to take these kinds of steps is by continuing to lead by example. Our partners know we aren’t satisfied with just making announcements for the distant future. We deliver and will continue to do so.
Jun 30, 2020 at 11:24