Following last year’s announcement that it’ll source Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified tyres, BMW has now announced that the Group will up its sustainability game by using cast aluminium wheels produced with 100% green power for BMW and MINI brands starting 2024. The transition applies, in particular, to the energy-intensive electrolysis used in producing aluminium and to the wheel-casting process. BMW said that corresponding agreements have been reached with all its wheel suppliers.
Up until now, wheels have accounted for about 5% of supply chain CO2 emissions. The company hopes that transitioning to a 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% of these are made from cast aluminium.
“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,” said Joachim Post, member of the Board of Management of BMW, 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. The new generation Mini Countryman is expected to get the first light-alloy cast wheels made from 70% secondary aluminium. The combination of 100% green power for production and 70% secondary raw material content can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 80% compared with conventional manufacturing processes, BMW added.