Sustainability is embedded in BMW Group’s culture and is an important part of its identity & strategy. In 2001, the group committed itself to the United Nations Environment Programme, the UN Global Compact and the Cleaner Production Declaration. It was also the first company in the automotive industry to appoint an environmental officer back in 1973. Currently, the Sustainability Board, comprising all members of the Board of Management, defines the strategic alignment through binding targets.
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The group adopts a holistic approach, implementing sustainability throughout the value chain. In addition to reducing CO2 emissions, its strategy also focuses on achieving continuous progress in areas such as corporate environmental protection, supply chain sustainability, employee orientation and social commitment.
Between 1995 and 2015, the group succeeded in reducing the CO2 emissions of its new vehicles sold in Europe (EU 28) by 40%. In 2015, its average CO2 emission across Europe (EU28) stood at 127 g/km and worldwide 147 g/km. Systematic expansion of alternative drive trains in the BMW fleet, combined with innovative mobility services have made a significant contribution to this progress.
Since July 2016, the BMW line-up has included seven models that are either all-electric, like the i3, or combine a conventional engine with an electric motor as a plug-in hybrid.
The BMW Group also leads in the use of renewable energy in production and value creation. 58% of the electricity purchased by the group worldwide already comes from renewable sources. The company operates four wind turbines at its Leipzig site which exclusively supply energy for production of the i3 and i8. Its American plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, uses methane gas from a landfill to generate up to 50% of the power needed for production.
In 2015, the group became the first automobile manufacturer in Europe to use a 40-ton electric truck for transporting materials on public roads. By 2020, it also aims to significantly increase transparency and resource efficiency throughout its supply chain.
Education and training of employees is another priority area. In 2015, the group invested a total of € 352 million in further education and training programmes. The company also hired more than 1,500 apprentices worldwide. Around 4,700 young people are currently enrolled in vocational training and talent development programmes at the BMW Group, including more than 3,800 in Germany.
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The BMW Group has also been involved in promoting intercultural exchange, both within and outside the company for years. In conjunction with the UN Alliance of Civilisations, the group presents the Intercultural Innovation Award to exemplary projects in this field.
The BMW Group is also promoting exchange between refugees classed as unaccompanied minors, local youth and BMW employees through the neighbourhood project “Lifetalk” at its Munich plant. The aim of the initiative is to give young people a better idea of possible career paths.