For the first time in its history, the BMW Group now sources over half of its electricity worldwide from renewable energy infrastructure according to company representatives at the recent 2015 Annual Account Press Conference. When considering the position of forward-thinking BMW amongst its peers, this is definitely an achievement to be proud of.
Renewable energy set to be BMW’s sole source of electricity
Based on reports, BMW is endeavoring to source 100% of its electricity through renewable energy infrastructure within the next few years. If this goal is achieved, it would easily place BMW among the ranks of other forward-thinking companies such as IKEA.
BMW plans to get to that goal by using a step-by-step process that will enable the company to significantly improve its energy efficiency in all of its facilities across the world.
When this initial stage is successfully completed, BMW plans to oversee a renewable energy generation build-out. The final step seeing the company purchasing the remaining required electricity from different clean energy supply companies.
BMW’s worldwide renewable energy program a step ahead of others in the automotive industry
“We have a clear objective and a concrete plan for the transition to renewable energy,” says Ursula Mathar, head of Sustainability & Environmental Protection at the BMW Group.
“However, economic viability is essential for implementation. Only under the right framework conditions can we put our plans into action step by step in individual markets worldwide,” she explains.
BMW Group outlines their renewable energy programin a recent press release;
“Some 51% of the electricity supplied to the BMW Group worldwide is already being drawn from renewable energy sources. In Leipzig, Germany, the BMW Group is using wind power. In mid-2013, four wind turbines started operation on the premises of the plant, with 100% of the power produced going into the production of the BMW i3 and BMW i8.”
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“At the Spartanburg plant in South Carolina, USA, a methane gas system provides around 50% of the energy required for production. At the Rosslyn plant in South Africa, the foundation stone for a combined heat and power unit fired by biogas was laid at the end of 2014.”
“The gas used is sourced from the waste products created on cattle and chicken farms. Commissioning of this system will already enable the company to cover over 25% of the energy required by the production plant this year.”
Sustainability a major focus within the global luxury auto company
The direction of the BMW Group is to take an integrated approach to sustainability along the entire value chain. Furthermore, the company continues its effort of reducing CO2 emissions, encouraging group-wide environmental protection, emphasizing sustainability in the supply chain, and focusing employees on their corporate social responsibility. These activities are all integral parts of the strategy.
To encourage every employee to do their part, the company publishes key performance indicators and objectives in its annual Sustainable Value Report. For the first time, BMW Group’s latest Sustainable Value Report 2014 was published on the same date as the Annual Report– March 18, 2015.
Photo courtesy of Mark Straatman on Flickr