BMW Electromobility BMW Sustainability Environment Climate Protection


With a systematic sustainability strategy, the BMW Group is setting new benchmarks in the automotive industry.

LEADER IN CLIMATE PROTECTION.With a systematic sustainability strategy, the BMW Group is setting new benchmarks in the automotive industry.

For the BMW Group, sheer driving pleasure extends far beyond mobility. This is because the topic of sustainability is a key issue for us, and one in which we make no concessions. On the contrary, we are entering the future with a completely new and consistent strategy that not only extends beyond our direct sphere of influence but also raises the topic of sustainability to an entirely new level.

In order to achieve effective climate protection, we have been working on the life cycle assessment of our vehicles for decades – starting with the resources used, via energy consumption, through to recycling. This is one reason why no competitor today is anywhere near being able to compare with us on the number of different electrified models in its range and with half a million vehicles delivered to our customers. And in order to ensure even greater flexibility in terms of alternative drivetrains, we are also focusing on the development of propulsion systems using hydrogen fuel cells. Step by step, therefore, we are pursuing new paths towards an environmentally friendly and emission-free future.

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Oliver Zipse – Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG
BMW Electromobility BMW Sustainability green production value chain


We know how to think of sustainability holistically. This is why we apply leverage during the development of our vehicles. Our ‘Design for recycling’ approach takes effect right from the stage of product development and lays down the requirements for the development and engineering design of our vehicles optimised with a view to recycling. Our set of principles here dictate that, whenever it makes technical, ecological and economic sense and is feasible, we use recycled and renewable raw materials. Our goal is a sustainable value chain that covers its own needs with recyclates and renewable raw materials – including energy supply. Admittedly, we have not arrived there yet – but have already achieved pioneering successes on the way.


BMW Electromobility BMW Sustainability green production recycling

On the way to sustainable, resource-saving and future-proof production, the recycling of materials is an essential factor, which we use as leverage. With the BMW i3, we have created a vehicle that probably best illustrates our strategy thanks to its recycling rate of 95%. Accordingly, its interior consists to 30% of kenaf, a material that is obtained from the regenerative hibiscus plant. In order to produce the textile materials, we use a special and innovative yarn manufactured from granulate made of recycled PET bottles. Alongside the intelligent planning of our products, the reuse of materials in the form of recycled substances is also firmly anchored in our value-added chain. We also give vehicle batteries, for example, a “second life” in stationary storage systems, where we use them for supplying clean energy. All in all, we can now already recycle the waste generated in our internal production to a level of 99%.


BMW Electromobility BMW Sustainability green production recycling used cars

Even when the journey is over for a BMW, it still remains an important constituent of the value-added chain. After all, we do not regard our end-of-life vehicles as waste to be disposed of, but as an essential source of secondary raw materials. By returning end-of-life vehicles, individual components and materials to the raw materials cycle, the recycling of our products represents one of the most important levers for our target of environmentally friendly and resource-conserving production. In 30 countries and together with their national sales companies, we have already introduced rules for the return of end-of-life vehicles and offer environmentally compatible reutilisation at more than 2,800 collection points. In Munich, for instance, our customers thus have the opportunity to surrender their vehicle at the Recycling and Dismantling Centre (RDZ). In addition to receiving end-of-life vehicles, we are constantly working on new concepts and measures so that we can continue to raise our recycling rate.

BMW Electromobility BMW Sustainability green production


We don’t merely wish to be part of a sustainable future – but, instead, be the driving force towards it. In order to meet this challenge, we signed the International Declaration on Cleaner Production from the United Nations Environmental Programme in 2001. This means that we have undertaken to maintain the environmental impacts and use of resources in our global production at as low a level as possible. However, this is by no means enough for us, which is why our even more stringent sustainability strategy extends much farther still. In order to monitor and analyse the measures, we have introduced environmental management systems for this purpose at all production sites, and these are continuously undergoing further development and optimisation. Only in this way can we fulfil our ambition of being able to demonstrate the efficacy of our standards and regulations.

Alongside the continuous expansion and use of renewable energies and regenerative raw materials in our production, we are also setting an important course with our recycling operations. Since 2006, we have also been able to reduce waste and CO2 emissions per vehicle produced by over 70 per cent. And we are constantly working on raising this bar still higher. It is therefore by no means a coincidence that our figures for the CO2 emissions per vehicle produced, for example, lie significantly below those of the rest of the German automobile industry.


BMW Electromobility BMW Sustainability green production plant Leipzig

BMW Group Plant Leipzig.

This air is full of efficiency – the BMW Group plant in Leipzig is one of the most modern and sustainable vehicle production sites in the world. Since 2013, automobiles with an electric drivetrain and CFRP lightweight chassis have been rolling off the production lines here. The plant is the first car factory in the whole of Germany to be working to a considerable extent with electricity from four purpose-built wind turbines on site. With the innovative battery farm comprising about 700 BMW i3 high-voltage batteries, we are pursuing a number of measures at once in order to achieve efficient resource and energy management in production. Firstly, we are constantly working on extending the life of batteries. Secondly, the battery farm stores surplus energy from the wind turbines when supply exceeds demand and can then feed in this surplus when the electricity supply is too low. In this way, we are contributing to the stability of the public power grid.

BMW Electromobility BMW Sustainability green production plant Dingolfing

BMW Group Plant Dingolfing.

A front-runner thanks to radical measures: as the largest vehicle plant of the BMW Group in Europe, the Dingolfing plant has been able to record a fall of one third both in resource consumption and in emissions within the last ten years, thanks to the use of innovative production technologies and production equipment. In these endeavours, the new energy centre is relying on the highly efficient generation of electricity and heat with the aid of a combined heat and power plant (CHP). It converts gas into electricity and exploits the heat resulting from the process as a source of energy. Thanks to the CHP station and one of the largest photovoltaic rooftop systems in Germany, the plant now produces almost half of its own electricity demand. It covers the remaining demand exclusively with green electricity from external energy providers. In waste and disposal management, in particular, the aspiration for a company-wide sustainability strategy is high. Here too the Dingolfing plant achieves top values thanks to efficient recycling measures such as the innovative pressing plant with an impressive recycling rate of 99.8%.

BMW Electromobility BMW Sustainability green production plant Shenyang

BMW Group Plant Shenyang.

More innovations, fewer emissions. Alongside our production locations in Europe and Brazil, for which we already purchase electricity exclusively from renewable sources, our works in Shenyang has the most efficient photovoltaic plant of the BMW Group to date with a peak output of 15.1 megawatts.

BMW Electromobility BMW Sustainability project


With projects like ‘Cobalt For Development’ we are bringing our sustainability strategy into our surroundings step by step and hence into all stages of our value-added chain. Through our guidelines, but also through support and promotion, we can ensure that our partners in the supply chain also systematically meet our high social and environmental standards.


BMW Electromobility BMW Sustainability battery

Reusing our battery cells.

Efficient down to the last volt: during their “second life” our vehicle batteries are put to use in stationary storage systems, with which we are successively equipping our locations around the world. In this way, we are integrating renewable energies into the electricity grid, increasing its stability and lowering the energy costs for consumers. And we are progressing further towards the target of locally CO2-free production. The best example of this is our BMW Group plant in Leipzig with a storage farm consisting of about 700 BMW i3 batteries. As buffer storage for renewable energies, they are helping to store surplus wind energy and then integrate it back into the electricity grid. In addition, they are also decreasing the energy costs for production.

BMW Electromobility BMW Sustainability battery recycling

Recycling our battery cells.

In the case of batteries that have exceeded their useful life as stationary storage, too, we are achieving a constantly rising recycling rate for the valuable resources. This yields particularly high-quality recycled materials for the production of our new lithium-ion batteries. Jointly with our partners in the year 2020, we achieved a recycling rate of 96% at cell level.

BMW Electromobility BMW Sustainability battery supplier

Resource efficiency of our suppliers.

Trendsetting even before production: As a pioneer in sustainability, our word also carries a lot of weight with our suppliers - and we make use of it. As a participant in the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), we support our suppliers in taking measures to reduce CO2 emissions and increase the share of renewable energies. We have also contractually agreed with our cell manufacturers that only green electricity will be used in the external production of our fifth generation of battery cells.

BMW Electromobility BMW Sustainability mobility


Our aspiration is to give 100% at all times – particularly when it concerns sustainable sheer driving pleasure. This is why we are pursuing new paths in the automotive industry with our corporate objectives and their implementation – paths that we are also opening up to our customers with the world’s largest fleet of electrified models.

Yet that is not enough for us: with the BMW eDrive Zones, we are supporting the gradual implementation of areas with zero and low emissions in European cities and urban areas. BMW eDrive Zones is a digital service for BMW plug-in hybrids that automatically recognises these environment zones – and takes action. When the vehicle enters the area, it automatically switches over to the purely electric drive and thus travels through the zone free of local emissions. And there is even a reward for this with BMW, too. Through the BMW Points programme, points are accumulated for every kilometre travelled electrically – and these points are actually doubled in environmental zones. The points can then, for example, be exchanged for free allocations of charging electricity from BMW Charging.

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