Talks around sustainable mobility and transportation have significantly risen since the last decade. This is also due to many large corporations making efforts to work towards advancements and newer innovations in this sector. BMW Group has introduced the iX, an example of its drive towards lowering emissions in its supply chain and setting up a complete segment of hybrid and all-electric vehicles within the next decade.
One of the biggest players in the automobile arena, the BMW Group has been in the process of expanding its electric line-up for quite a while. In addition to electrifying its vehicles, the company also seeks to transform its supply-chain network into an efficient and ecologically conscious set up. This project takes the effects of electrification as a whole and aims at making the entire process and not just the final product- ‘sustainable’.
As a result, BMW has also rethought its raw-material sourcing and purchasing process to make it more viable. One of the ways to do this is by using multiple suppliers for a single product; BMW has four suppliers of its fifth gen battery cells. This helps in reducing pressure from a single supplier and increases purchase flexibility. The Group has certainly benefitted from innovative solutions like this, which are not only cost-effective but also add to the sustainability factor of production.
Dr Andreas Wendt, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Purchasing and Supplier Network said, “We believe sustainability is an integral part of all purchasing activities. So, as we accommodate the planned growth in electrified vehicles in the supplier network, we are at the same time integrating our sustainability requirements into all contract awards. In this way, we are taking sustainable development to the next level. Particularly as a premium manufacturer, we aspire to lead the way in sustainability and take responsibility.”
With an upsurge in the electric vehicle market, BMW has constantly progressed as well. The latest BMW iX has been created on this premise itself. A vehicle that was created with the means of renewable energy and upcycled material, it boasts a 17% reduction in its production process as compared to any other average vehicle. In addition to these measures, it has stopped the use of rare materials and reduced the amounts of cobalt and nickel used in its battery cells.
A socially responsible corporate body, BMW has been pushing forward on the agenda of creating a contractor and supplier circle that respects human rights, is responsible towards the environment and adheres to all the social parameters of a safe workplace. Contracts are a means to do so, as are periodic checks and questionnaires for all suppliers around the world by BMW Group Purchasing.
Human rights are a common issue in a long automobile supply chain. To tackle this problem, the Group has chosen to purchase important raw materials directly from the mines, hopefully skipping the step of underpaid workers and child labour. Until, a worker friendly supply network of raw materials is set up through initiatives like ‘Cobalt for Development’ in Congo, BMW will continue to purchase its raw materials from the mines. Its collaboration with such initiatives also displays BMW’s aim at speeding up the process and setting a sustainable sourcing link.
Purchasing only from internationally certified mines, holding the value of natural resources in high regard and increasing the usage of recycled materials have increased the company’s environmental and social reliability to a large extent. Currently at 17% reduction in emission with the iX, BMW aims at taking it up a notch by the year 2030 and reducing supply-chain emissions up to 20%. The car maker is highly likely to achieve its goals, taking into account its recent success with the battery cells created using green energy and lesser critical raw material.
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