Procurecon 2020

13 - 15 October, 2020

Hyatt Regency Barcelona Tower

44 (0) 207 368 9465

Here’s How BMW Is Integrating Sustainability throughout the Procurement Process Through Drive Sustainability

With the effects of climate change starting to manifest across the globe, the pressure is increasing on governments and industry to take the threat seriously and instigate policy to mitigate its effects.

Recent high-profile protests in London and around the world have brought climate change into keen focus. The UK has taken steps to try and take better care of the environment – such as the move away from plastic straws and towards paper or reusable alternatives or the increased carbon control in the nation’s capital.

However, while individual choices have the power to make a difference, the biggest impact on the environment and thus the greatest responsibility must fall to government and industry.

The car industry has arguably one of the biggest impacts on the environment – both due to the manufacturing and procurement involved and the nature of the products it produces – and BMW is taking its responsibility seriously through Drive Sustainability.

Discover the digital transformations occurring in the procurement industry at the ProcureCon Europe event 2019, held in October, at the NH Tower, Barcelona.

Make sure you don’t miss out, download the agenda today for more information and insights.

BMW’s Sustainability Partnership

Drive Sustainability is an automotive partnership between several leading car brands - BMW Group, Daimler AG, Scania CV AB, Volkswagen Group, Volvo Cars, Volvo Group, Ford, Honda, Jaguar Land Rover, and Toyota Motor Europe.

The partnership is facilitated by CSR Europe and aims to drive sustainability throughout the automotive supply chain by creating and promoting a standardised approach with sustainability running through it for the overall procurement process.

“The Drive Sustainability partnership allows automotive companies to have one common voice towards their supply chains and engage with the relevant stakeholders on topics related to sustainability, said Stefan Crets, Executive Director of CSR Europe, “Together, we look for higher efficiency and – ultimately – impact.”

Sustainability can only be achieved with the close collaboration of all stakeholders, which in turn can only occur if there is engagement and transparency between them.

Drive Sustainability achieves this with annual Stakeholder Consultation Events where all partners are invited to attend and work together to share their ideas and work together to solve some of procurement’s biggest sustainability pain points. Regular updates to company websites and sustainability reports help to keep all stakeholders informed between the events.

Drive Sustainability has established a set of standardised guidelines under which it expects all its partners to operate. The Global Automotive Sustainability Guiding Principles cover several key responsibility issues for car makers to follow including human rights, environment, working conditions, and business ethics.

“Sustainable operations are becoming an increasingly decisive factor for the future of any business,” said Harald Krüger, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG.

“With our products and services, we are a part of the solution. This means that we are shaping the future of mobility. In this way, we create value for our company and society. This is true for Germany and all the countries we are active in.”

BMW’s Electronic Vehicles

In 2018, BMW delivered more than 140,000 electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids worldwide, representing the company’s commitment to moving away from fossil fuel powered vehicles and towards the far more environmentally friendly electric alternatives.

One concern which revolves around the move towards electric cars is the environmental impact of mining cobalt – a key ingredient in the creation of the batteries required by the vehicles.

Cobalt is a rare element, with only about 0.004% of the earth’s crust holding the mineral. Compounding this issue, about two-thirds of the global supply is in Congolese territory, where it’s mined under conditions which raise concerns for both the people (in terms of human rights and child labour) involved and the environment.

This has led to BMW partnering with BASF, Samsung SDI, and Samsung Electronics and establishing a pilot project to create and maintain sustainable and ethical cobalt mining practices in The Democratic Republic of Congo. The three-year project aims to explore solutions to the living and working conditions around cobalt mining operations in the region.

“BMW announced last year that they were looking at improving transparency in the supply chain, as well as evaluating options for pilot projects in the DRC – with an eye on cobalt sourcing,” reports Electrive.

“BMW has also been engaged in the Responsible Cobalt Initiative alongside several other companies and organisations, as well as the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo and the OECD.”

“The goal of the initiative is improving transparency and governance, as well as the implementation of collective measures to combat social and environmental hazards in the cobalt supply chain.”

What the future holds

Drive Sustainability is a great initiative which will almost certainly help the auto industry become more ethical and sustainable in the future. It’s encouraging that BMW is already taking its responsibilities as part of Drive Sustainability seriously, through initiatives such as improving the cobalt mining process.

Sustainability is set to be a hot topic at ProcureCon Europe, being held in October, in the NH Tower, Barcelona.

You can download the agenda today for more information and insights.