BMW in pole position on sustainability

16 September 2011
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16 September 2011 | Adam Leach

German car manufacturer BMW is leading the way with sustainability in the auto sector and ahead of many others in the wider corporate world.

The Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI), which invites the world’s top 2,500 companies to submit their sustainability performance for analysis, said BMW was the sector leader for ‘automobiles and parts’. In addition, the Carbon Disclosure Project rated it as the top car company and one of the top 10 sustainable businesses in its annual global 500 report.

The main focus of the company’s sustainability efforts relate to its development of BMW i, a sustainability-focused brand of cars, including the battery powered BMW i3 and the BMW i8, a turbo diesel plug-in hybrid.

Norbert Reithofer, chairman of BMW’s board of management, said on Tuesday: “For the first time, we set sustainability targets right from the start of development through to recycling. The result is that the BMW i3 will have a significantly reduced CO2 footprint. In fact, it’s 50 per cent less over the product lifecycle compared to a highly efficient combustion engine car today. This is a first for the auto industry. That’s what it is about: A sustainable value chain without exploiting our natural resources. This is what I call revolution.”

The Carbon Disclosure Project Global 500 report, published on Wednesday, identified a correlation between sustainability performance and overall profitability. CEO Paul Simpson said: “The improved financial performance of companies with high carbon performance is a clear indicator that it makes good business sense to manage and reduce carbon emissions.”

The report also revealed that companies in consumer-driven markets, such as food, beverages and homecare products, are looking to work with suppliers to increase sustainability as a result of growing concern about scarce resources.

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