Was I aware of the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices before this week? Most definitely. Had I forgotten all about it? Certainly. Would I have guessed in my wildest dreams that BMW would be named the auto industry leader of the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices World and Europe (DJSI) in 2020? Definitely not, but that’s what just happened.
Naturally, my main issue with BMW winning the title is that it sells a lot of gas and diesel cars. Also, rather than make a quick switch to full electrics, it is pursuing what I consider to be a super lame small-battery plug-in hybrid approach to cleaning up its fleet that is dirtier than it even seems on the surface. But, hey, the company won 1st place somehow, so let’s have a look at the good side.
The company does use a lot of renewable energy, and is cutting energy use in its factories. It scored 80 out of 100 points in the rating, which is published by the S&P Dow Jones Indices. BMW Group writes that it is “the only automobile manufacturer to be consistently named among the industry leaders since the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices were created.” It beat 38 other automotive companies to win in 2020. “The results showed that the BMW Group has improved in all three areas of evaluation (Governance & Economic, Environmental, Social dimensions).”
BMW Group notes that it has:
- cut energy use per vehicle produced by 40% since 2006
- cut CO2 emissions by 70% since 2006
- switched to 100% renewable electricity at all production facilities
- cut CO2 emissions from vehicles sold in Europe by ~42% between 1995 and 2019.
Additionally, “the company has systematically built high environmental and social standards into its supply chain management and is a leader in this field,” BMW Group writes.
“The company is setting itself clear targets for CO2 reduction up to 2030. What is new is that these goals extend for the first time throughout the entire lifecycle: from the supply chain through production to the end of the use phase. The aim is to reduce CO2 emissions per vehicle by at least one third overall. For the fleet of over 2.5 million vehicles produced by the BMW Group in 2019, this would correspond to a reduction of more than 40 million tonnes of CO2 throughout their lifecycle by 2030.
“The BMW Group is now seeking to reduce its emissions from production (Scope 1+2) by a further 80 percent from 2019 levels by 2030. CO2 emissions will then be less than 10 percent of what they were in 2006.”
Not too bad. I guess that could win you the gold medal. But there’s more!
“The aim is to reduce CO2 emissions from BMW Group vehicles by 40 percent per kilometre driven by 2030. This will be achieved through massive expansion of e-mobility. In ten years, there should be a total of more than seven million electrified BMW Group vehicles on the roads – around two thirds of them with a fully-electric drive train.
“The BMW Group will also reduce its supply chain CO2 emissions per vehicle by 20 percent from 2019 levels. A supplier’s carbon footprint will be established as a decision criterion in the contract award processes going forward. The company leads the way as the first automobile manufacturer to set concrete CO2 targets for its supply chain.”
Sounds good! Though, I still think more weight should be put on fleet electrification.
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