Automotive manufacturer BMW Group announced that it will use cast aluminum wheels produced with 100% green power for its BMW and MINI brands, starting in 2024. The company stated that this transition would save up to 500,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.
The new plan follows BMW’s announcement last year of the expansion of its efforts to combat climate change with new goals to reduce vehicle emissions throughout the lifecycle, focus on the circular economy, and ramp up the use of recycled and reusable materials.
The company stated that the new transition also marks a step towards reaching its target of reducing emissions throughout the supply chain by 20% from 2019 levels by 2030. Wheels account for about 5% of the company’s supply chain emissions, and switching to more sustainable production will cut these emissions by more than half.
Additionally, aluminum has good circular economy properties, with the materials from old wheels more easily melted down, eliminating the need for energy-intensive electrolysis to produce the primary raw material.
The company’s MINI brand will start using light-alloy cast wheels made from 70% secondary aluminium in the new generation of the MINI Countryman in 2023. According to the company, the use of 100% green power for production and 70% secondary raw material content can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 80% compared to conventional manufacturing processes.
Joachim Post, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Purchasing and Supplier Network, said:
“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.”