BMW Group accelerates CO2 reduction and focuses consistently on a circular economy with the Neue Klasse

  • Zipse: “We are committed to a clear course to achieve the 1.5
    degree target”
  • 50% reduction in global CO2 use-phase emissions by 2030
  • Over 40% reduction in CO2 emissions during life cycle
  • Ten million all-electric vehicles within ten years
  • Secondary first: Up to 50% use of secondary material planned –
    initiatives to develop the market are required
  • Cooperation with BASF and ALBA on plastic recycling
  • Resource scarcity and social responsibility: BMW Group focussed on
    circular economy for sustainable materials
  • RE:BMW – circular economy at the IAA Mobility in Munich



Munich. The BMW Group is increasing the pace of its
efforts to combat climate change. Looking ahead to the introduction of
the Neue Klasse, the company is further strengthening its self-defined
objectives, announced in summer last year, to significantly
reduce CO2 emissions, whilst also 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
with a firm focus on the principles of the
circular economy, whilst also promoting better
framework conditions for establishing a market for secondary materials.


To achieve a further reduction in CO2 emissions, the
focus is on the utilisation phase of vehicles, which
account for 70% of the BMW Group’s CO2 footprint. By
, the CO2 emissions per vehicle and kilometre driven will
be at least halved from 2019 levels. The commitment
of all manufacturers when it comes to combatting climate change can
best be compared when looking at the entire life
of a vehicle, including production and upstream supply
chain. Here, the BMW Group is planning a reduction of CO2
emission per vehicle of 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. 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,” said Oliver
Zipse, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG,
in Munich on Thursday. “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
and is committed to the goal of
full climate neutrality over the entire value-added chain by 2050 at
the latest. This means that the company is also part of the
international Race to Zero Initiative. The company
is convinced that this can be achieved using innovation, rather than
any overall ban on individual technologies.


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. During the next ten years
or so, the company will be putting around ten million
all-electric vehicles on the road
. 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
from 2030.


The BMW Group continues to comply with the stringent
of the Science Based Targets Initiative, when it
comes to measuring the reduction of worldwide CO2 emissions of the
company’s vehicles whilst they are being driven on the roads. For
example, emissions from the production of fuel or electricity 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 is on track to meet the EU fleet target for 2030.


Beyond green electricity: Stronger focus on use of resources
in future


BMW Group 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.


“2017 was the first time the world’s population consumed more than
100 billion tons of resources within a single year – a trend which we
in the automotive industry must also counteract,” Zipse
demanded. “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.”


With the number of battery-powered vehicles growing, there is
increasing demand for many commodities such as cobalt,
nickel and aluminium
, which are required for the vehicles’
high-voltage batteries. However 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
technological feasible to achieve a recycling efficiency of over 90 percent.


The amount of secondary nickel used for the
high-voltage battery in the BMW iX is already as high
as 50 percent, with the battery housing containing up to 30 percent
secondary aluminium. The BMW Group aims to improve
these figures even further for future product generations.


In addition to the increasingly scare availability of primary
materials and resulting commodity price increases, there are many
sustainability reasons to use more secondary
materials and move towards 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. In the case of secondary aluminium, the CO2 saving
compared with primary material constitutes a factor of approximately 4
to 6, whilst steel and thermoplastics lie between around 2 and 5.


The extraction of resources for primary materials – particularly
through mining – has a significant impact on the basic
regenerative capacity of ecosystems. This impact
can be greatly reduced by increasing the use of secondary materials.


The mining and trading of conflict materials carries
the possible risk of associated infringements of environmental and
social standards. The BMW Group 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 minimise the mining of such primary materials.


Secondary First’: Crucial vehicle materials with high
secondary content


As part of its holistic approach to sustainability, the BMW Group
aims to increase significantly the percentage of secondary materials
in its vehicles. On average, current vehicles are manufactured using
almost 30 percent recycled and reusable materials.
With the
Secondary First’ approach, BMW Group plans to
successively raise this figure to 50 percent.


Of course it’s crucial that the quality, safety and reliability of
the materials comply with the same high standards as those existing
for primary materials – and so it’s essential that the market
availability of such high-quality materials increases considerably. In
order to achieve this, cross-industry approaches and political
initiatives are necessary.


Based on the four principles Re:think, Re:duce, Re:use,
the BMW Group is boosting its activities in the
field of circular economy, an area where it’s carrying out pioneering
work. For instance, vehicle production now involves the increased
separation and recycling of crucial material groups, so these can be
reused by the industry within the framework of ‘closed loops’.


Cooperation with BASF and the ALBA Group


Within the supply chain and depending on market availability,
secondary materials are increasingly being used in BMW Group vehicles.
Moreover, together with its partners, the company is providing
important impetus when it comes to developing secondary materials. One
example is the company’s pilot project with BASF and
the ALBA Group for the increased recycling of
plastics used in cars.


The aim of the project is to reduce the use of primary plastics by
means of a comprehensive recycling system. To this
end, the ALBA Group analyses end-of-life BMW Group vehicles to
establish whether a car-to-car reuse of the plastic is possible. In a
second step, BASF assesses whether chemical recycling
of the pre-sorted waste can be used in order to obtain pyrolysis oil.
This can be then used as a basis for new products made of plastic. In
the future, a new door trim or other components could be manufactured
from a used instrument panel, for example.


Closed loop rather than downcycling: ‘Circular Design’ as the
basis of a circular economy


In order to achieve higher recycling rates and
whilst also guaranteeing the high quality of secondary
, the materials must be extracted in their purest
form as early as possibly during the recycling
. For example, the onboard wiring systems must be easy
to remove, in order to avoid mixing steel with copper from the cable
harnesses in the vehicles. If this mixing does take place, the
secondary steel loses its essential material properties and therefore
no longer meets the high safety requirements of the
automotive industry. To support this early and easy extraction of
materials, the interior of a car must increasingly be made of
monomaterials, so that at the end of the car’s
lifecycle, as much as possible can be transferred back into the usable
material cycle. Basically, reducing the number of materials can help
to improve the quality of recycled materials. Currently, vehicles
consist of about 8,000 to 10,000 different materials.


To achieve this, the BMW Group is now focusing on a ‘Circular
concept, which is designed to guarantee the
economical dismantling capacity of vehicles. It is
essential that disassembly of the vehicle and its individual
components is fast and cost-efficient to ensure that prices of
secondary materials are competitive. It all starts
with the construction of the vehicle, which must be
done in such a way that allows materials to be removed at the end of
the vehicle’s service life without different types of material being
mixed with each other. 


RE:BMW at the IAA Mobility – a visionary outlook on circular


The BMW Group is putting circular economy at the centre of its
presence at the IAA Mobility 2021 in Munich, where 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.


This visionary vehicle, designed according to the four principles of
the circular economy Re:think, Re:duce, Re:use, Re:cycle, shows 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.


This car demonstrates that climate protection and individual mobility
do not necessarily contradict each other. On the contrary, it shows
that using new technologies and innovation, the BMW Group can fulfill
the planet’s requirements for greater sustainability without customers
having to forgo individual mobility.



In case of queries please refer to:


Corporate Commmunications


Max-Morten Borgmann, Communications Corporate

Telephone: +49 89 382-24118,


Kai Zöbelein, Communications Sustainability

Telephone: +49 89 382-21170,


Eckhard Wannieck, Head of Communications Corporate, Finance, Sales

Telephone: +49 89 382-24544,


Bernd Eckstein, Head of Communications Purchasing, Supplier Network, Sustainability

Telephone: +49 89 382-59490,






The BMW Group

With its four brands BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad, the BMW
Group is the world’s leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and
motorcycles and also provides premium financial and mobility services.
The BMW Group production network comprises 31 production and assembly
facilities in 15 countries; the company has a global sales network in
more than 140 countries.

In 2020, the BMW Group sold over 2.3 million passenger vehicles and
more than 169,000 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax in the
financial year 2020 was € 5.222 billion on revenues amounting to
€ 98.990 billion. As of 31 December 2020, the BMW Group had a
workforce of 120,726 employees.

The success of the BMW Group has always been based on long-term
thinking and responsible action. The company set the course for the
future at an early stage and consistently makes sustainability and
efficient resource management central to its strategic direction, from
the supply chain through production to the end of the use phase of all products.