The BMW Group is stepping up its activities in the field of sustainability and will use cast aluminium wheels produced with 100-percent green power for its BMW and MINI brands from 2024 onwards. For the BMW Group, this is another step towards its goal of creating the most sustainable supply chain in the automotive industry. The transition applies, in particular, to the energy-intensive electrolysis used in producing aluminium and to the wheel-casting process. To this end, corresponding agreements have been reached with all BMW Group wheel suppliers.
Up until now, wheels have accounted for about five percent of supply chain CO2 emissions. Transitioning to more sustainable production that relies on green power will reduce these emissions by more than half. The BMW Group procures about 10 million light-alloy wheels per year; 95 percent of these are made from cast aluminium.
CO2 savings of up to 500,000 tonnes per year
Through independent audits, the BMW Group can ensure conscious and sustainable use of aluminium by its contracted producers, saving up to 500,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. “Green power is one of the biggest levers for reducing CO2 emissions in our supply chain. We have already signed more than 400 contracts with our suppliers, including suppliers of wheels and aluminium, requiring them to use green power,” says Joachim Post, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Purchasing and Supplier Network.
Aluminium has good recycling properties, making it easier to melt down old wheels as part of the circular economy. This eliminates the need for energy-intensive electrolysis to produce the primary raw material. At the same time, the secondary raw material must also meet the BMW Group’s premium requirements for quality, design, safety and mechanical properties.