Questions and answers

Future vision: a look at where we are heading

Why are we here? How can we RE:IMAGINE today? How can we move mountains? As the BMW Group gears up for a shift towards a circular economy, these questions become increasingly important to consider. Read on as we explain our future vision and how we plan to get there.

Why are we here?

Our success shows that we offer something customers truly want. But, today, people expect more. They expect that we invent solutions to today’s most pressing questions and bring these solutions to life in the form of premium products.

Sustainability is a topic everybody is concerned about. Humanity faces a great challenge; climate change and resource depletion are real and have consequences. So, our obligation is to ask ourselves: what is our contribution to stop climate change? And how can we do this, and still pass on the joy and freedom of mobility we stand for as a company? 

We understand the scale of this challenge, and how urgent it is. As a company, we’ve always been at our best when met with a challenge. We have a track record of more than 100 years of tackling challenges with groundbreaking engineering. And we’ve reinvented ourselves more than once. We will use this ingenuity to become the most sustainable car and motorcycle company of them all. Because we believe this is the right future for us.  

How are we going to achieve this? We are convinced that technological innovation and progress hold the key. That ideas and creativity are our most important resource. So, we will leverage every single breakthrough at our disposal, from software to material sciences, from digitalized production and supply chain management to artificial intelligence and blockchain technology. 

Bringing all this together will allow us to create new and sustainable forms of mobility. 

Circularity is one big topic in this challenge. Working in harmony with circular economic principles will allow us to accelerate our efforts when it comes to CO2-reduction. We’re now committed to avoiding over 200 million tonnes of CO2 by 2030, more than 20 times the annual CO2 emissions of a city the size of Munich. By that same year, we will also have reduced supply chain CO2 emissions per vehicle by 20 per cent, when comparing to 2019 figures. We are committed to recycling 99 per cent of our annual production waste, too. We’ve reduced energy consumption per vehicle produced by 55 per cent since 2006 and rely on renewable energy sources like green electricity. In addition, by 2030, we aim to halve CO2 emissions for every mile driven by our cars. 

Social sustainability is another important aspect. By succeeding in a competitive environment, we retain our ability to create growth and that in turn enables us to provide stable employment across the world. Social sustainability extends to our suppliers, too. For example, we go to great lengths to ensure that the lithium and cobalt we buy for our batteries has been mined adhering to international labor standards from conflict-free zones. Finally, our focus on sustainability sends a strong signal to our investors and stakeholders on the continued long-term viability of this company. 

This isn’t new to us. We were the first carmaker to appoint an Environmental Protection Officer back in 1973. We’ve also been pioneers of electromobility for over ten years, launching the groundbreaking BMW i3 and building on this success ever since.

Now, as another step, we are the first German carmaker to commit to the Business Ambition for 1.5 degrees of the Science Based Targets Initiative. And overall, our business ambition is to become CO2 neutral, seen across the entire value, chain by 2050.  

The BMW i Vision Circular is a cue of what a circular future for the BMW Group could look like. It is the embodiment of the four key principles of circular design: RE:THINKING the car from scratch, including how it’s produced and how it will be used, RE:DUCING primary raw materials significantly, RE:USING components and materials wherever possible, and RE:CYCLING close to 100 per cent at end-of-life. As a concept, it embodies our circular vision. 

At the heart of everything we do is our passion for mobility. Mobility brings us together. It is a deep-seated need within us. And mobility drives prosperity.2 And we’re determined to offer the very best mobility solutions there are for our customers. Solutions that are not only sustainable in an environmental and business sense, but every bit as thrilling and emotional as the products that have made the BMW Group synonymous with driving pleasure for almost a century.  

So, why are we here? We are here because we are on a journey of re:imagination, using among other  the principles of the circular economy to achieve an overall goal of CO2 neutrality. In getting there, technology is the key. It is our strength and our contribution. And it is what will allow us to combine an ambitious sustainability target with our trademark premium mobility solutions, to future-proof our business and contribute as best we can. 

At IAA Mobility 2021, we invite you to join us and see for yourself what that future will look like.

How can we RE:IMAGINE today?

As we begin to think about how the future of mobility will look like and how we best equip ourselves for that future, it is important not to lose sight of where we are, here and now.  

To us, real transformation is not something that happens sometime in the future. Transformation is always the way we operate – it’s in the DNA of the BMW Group. The actions we take now will lead us on the right path to a more sustainable tomorrow. So, we find ourselves asking how can we re-imagine today? That is, how can we make sure that we are taking the right steps and shifting our mindset the right way, already now?  

An important step in this process is to critically review and understand the status quo, and then develop specific measures for improvement, with concrete and documentable targets, both long and short-term.  

One such target that illustrates where we are heading is committing to reduce CO2 emissions for the entire life cycle of BMW Group vehicles, including production, recycling process and the entire value chain, by 40 per cent by 2030.

These measurements build on progress that has already been made. Already by 2020, based on our efforts to integrate sustainability measures into our entire value chain, we managed to reduce CO2 emissions per produced vehicle by 78 per cent, compared to 2006 figures. This gave us an indication that our sustainability strategy is working and has prompted us to set new targets. 

Another key topic is electrification. The future, as we and many others see it, is electric, and part of reimagining of the current status quo is therefore also our ambitious electrification roadmap. This shows our commitment to a shared, greener future altogether, and here too, we have made significant progress. 

Already now, we have a fleet of innovative, premium battery-electric vehicles on the road in multiple segments, and by 2025 that will have expanded significantly as we commit to deliver 25 per cent of all BMWs as electric vehicles. We have a strong electric heritage already with almost a decade of delivering premium, fully electric vehicles to drivers all over the world, and will build on this as we enter the next phases. We’re also far advanced when it comes to developing hydrogen powered vehicles. Our premium Sports Activity Vehicle, the BMW iX5 Hydrogen, will make a special guest appearance at the IAA. Shuttling between Munich’s town center and the IAA Summit, visitors will be able to experience what driving a hydrogen powered car feels like. We’re convinced that hydrogen created using renewables will be yet another pillar of zero local emissions mobility within the BMW Group. It will be particularly attractive to customers who don’t have an extensive electric charging network infrastructure at their disposal, and who frequently travel long distances.  

Real change, however, starts with oneself. To truly reimagine today, we will also need to make the right choices for our plants and employees, and not just the products we have to offer. One major milestone came in 2020 when the BMW Group plants as a whole made the leap to exclusively purchasing green electricity. 

These steps help us bridge today and the future; through critically assessing and understanding our own role, we can make the right choices already now. This is path which starts now, and that we will continue for the decades to come.  

How can we move mountains?

The challenges we face are by no means small. Our commitment to an overall healthier climate for our planet is genuine and comes from the acknowledgement that climate knows no timings and recognizes no borders. So, we need to ask ourselves how we can do better – like we’ve done in the past, too.  

The transformation of our company towards the full-scale implementation of circular economic principles is part of how we feel we can contribute the best. By embedding circularity into our business and the way we conduct it, we believe that we can achieve real environmental progress. This is what we stand for, and what we believe is how we can deliver the biggest positive impact possible.  

But we can’t do this alone. The most sustainable electric car will come from BMW, but to achieve this, we need to reduce CO2 emissions across the entire value chain. From the materials used and their extraction to the energy we use to produce our vehicles and all the way down to who we work with, and even how we power our own offices; if we are to succeed and deliver on our promise of a completely climate neutral business model by 2050, we need a truly holistic approach that covers all angles of our business. That’s why we are reviewing how we have operated in the past, to see where we can do better. 

We’ve already come far with a portfolio that offers solutions, and much more to come. With the BMW i3, we made the first crucial steps almost a decade ago, and since then we have expanded our portfolio to include several Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle options, a fully electric MINI Cooper SE, and three fully electric premium BMWs; the iX, the iX3 and the i4. By 2023, our company will have 13 fully electric vehicles available, meaning that we will be on track to delivering more than 25 per cent of BMW Group cars as electric vehicles by 2025 – a number which is projected to grow to 50 per cent by 2030. At the same time, MINI will be fully electrified by 2030.

All this will allow us to build 10 million electric vehicles over the next 10 years. In addition to this, we will also have built nearly 2.5 million PHEVs, also by 2030. As a solution that suits many daily needs for millions of people worldwide, our PHEV technology will remain important, and we will have a PHEV available for every existing BMW model.  

Moving mountains is no easy task. It takes a vision, and surely, no one can do this alone. We still want to build the most desirable cars in the world, with a portfolio that suits your every need. But we are investing heavily already now, so that we can soon say – without hesitation – the most desirable and sustainable car, that’s from the BMW Group. 

Dive in for more highlights

Discover how the BMW Group is re:imagining the future of mobility at the 2021 IAA Mobility with new ideas about electrification, digitalization, circularity and more!

BMW i Vision Circular

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