BMW goes circular at IAA Mobility in Munich
The BMW Group is increasing the pace of its efforts to combat climate change. Looking ahead to introducing the ‘Neue Klasse’ (the new class), the company is further strengthening its self-defined objectives to reduce CO2 emissions significantly.
It is committing itself to a clear course that supports the 1,5-degree target for the limitation of global warming. The ‘Neue Klasse’ will also see the BMW Group hugely increase its use of secondary materials with a firm focus on the circular economy principles while promoting better framework conditions for establishing a market for secondary materials.
To achieve a further reduction in CO2 emissions, the focus is on the utilization phase of vehicles, which account for 70% of the BMW Group’s CO2 footprint. As a result, by 2030, the CO2 emissions per vehicle and kilometer driven will be at least halved from 2019 levels.
The manufacturers’ commitment to combatting climate change can best be compared when looking at the entire life cycle of a vehicle, including production and upstream supply chain. Here, the BMW Group is planning to reduce CO2 emission per vehicle by at least 40%.
“How companies are dealing with CO2 emissions has become a major factor when it comes to judging corporate action. The decisive factor in the fight against global warming is how strongly we can improve the carbon footprint of vehicles over their entire life span,” said Oliver Zipse, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, on Thursday.
“This is why we are setting ourselves transparent and ambitious goals for the substantial reduction of CO2 emissions; these are validated by the Science-Based Targets Initiative and will deliver an effective and measurable contribution,” he added.
“With the ‘Neue Klasse’, we are significantly sharpening our commitment, and also committing ourselves to a clear course for achieving the 1,5-degree target.”
The BMW Group is the first German carmaker to join the ‘Business Ambition for 1,5°C’ of the Science-Based Targets Initiative. It is committed to full climate neutrality over the entire value-added chain by 2050 at the latest. The company is convinced that innovation can achieve this rather than any overall ban on individual technologies.
According to BMW, the most powerful driver on this path to climate neutrality is electric mobility, with the BMW Group’s ‘Neue Klasse’ set to provide significant further momentum to the market.
The company will be putting around ten million all-electric vehicles on the road during the next ten years. As early as 2030, at least half of global BMW Group sales will be all-electric vehicles, with the MINI brand offering exclusively all-electric vehicles from 2030.
The BMW Group continues to comply with the stringent criteria of the Science-Based Targets Initiative when measuring the reduction of worldwide CO2 emissions of the company’s vehicles while they are on the road.
For example, fuel or electricity production emissions are included in the calculation, and consumption is based on the WLTP cycle plus ten percent. With its current product and electrification strategy, the company will meet the EU fleet target for 2030.
Use of resources
For the BMW Group, it is clear that simply increasing the number of electric vehicles on the road does not automatically lead to climate-friendly mobility. The company understands that it is also crucial to reduce the use of primary material and the related environmentally harmful exploitation of resources and their often CO2-intensive processing – especially when it comes to car manufacturing, one of the most resource-intensive industries.
“This is a strategic issue, concerning not only ecological but also economic sustainability; the current development of commodity prices demonstrates the impact an industry that is dependent on limited resources must expect,” Zipse pointed out.
According to BMW, there is great potential for the reuse of materials in the sense of a circular economy, and together with specialist partners, the BMW Group has already demonstrated that it’s technologically feasible to achieve a recycling efficiency of over 90 percent.
In addition to the increasing scare availability of primary materials and resulting commodity price increases, there are many sustainability reasons to use more secondary materials and move toward a circular economy.
The supply of secondary materials is considerably less CO2-intensive than is the case with primary materials and can significantly improve the CO2 footprint, especially within the supply chain.
BMW states that the mining and trading of conflict materials like cobalt, nickel, and aluminum carries the possible risk of associated infringements of environmental and social standards.
That’s why it has established numerous measures to counteract this risk, including membership of the Responsible Minerals Initiative. However, the most efficient strategy for avoiding risks is “to minimize the mining of such primary materials”.
As part of its approach to sustainability, the BMW Group aims to increase the percentage of secondary materials in its vehicles significantly. On average, current vehicles are manufactured using almost 30% recycled and reusable materials. BMW Group plans to raise this figure to 50% successively with the’ Secondary First’ approach.
Based on the four principles Re:think, Re:duce, Re:use, Re:cycle, the BMW Group is trying to boost its activities in the field of the circular economy. For instance, vehicle production now involves the increased separation and recycling of crucial material groups so that the industry can reuse these within the framework of ‘closed loops’.
One example is the company’s pilot project with BASF and the ALBA Group to increase the recycling of plastics used in cars. The project aims to reduce the use of primary plastics through a comprehensive recycling system.
To achieve higher recycling rates and guarantee the high quality of secondary materials, they must be extracted in their purest form as early as possible during the recycling process.
To achieve this, the BMW Group is now focusing on a ‘Circular Design’ concept, which is designed to guarantee the economic dismantling capacity of vehicles. It is essential that the disassembly of the vehicle and its individual components is fast and cost-efficient to ensure that the prices of secondary materials are competitive.
It all starts with the construction of the vehicle must be done to allow materials to be removed at the end of the vehicle’s service life without different types of material being mixed.
The BMW Group puts the circular economy at the center of its presence at the IAA Mobility 2021 in Munich. The company will offer a visionary outlook on the potentials of a circular economy and sustainable mobility.
The BMW i Vision Circular embodies the company’s ambitious claim to be the most sustainable manufacturer for individual premium mobility. It’s a visionary vehicle that wants to show how individual, sustainable, and luxurious urban mobility could look in 2040.
The BMW i Vision Circular is manufactured from 100 percent secondary materials or renewable raw materials and is 100 percent recyclable.