For the BMW Group, sustainability is paramount. Our commitment can be clearly seen in the recent years and decades with the implementation of significant standards in the life cycle assessment of BMW vehicles - starting with the resources used, through energy consumption, to the recycling rate.
However, climate neutrality and emission-free mobility can only be achieved through a variety of electrified drive technologies. For this reason, and also to provide greater flexibility of choice for our customers, we continue to drive the development of hydrogen fuel cells in a technology-neutral approach. We have already presented the BMW i Hydrogen NEXT – next will be a small production series of the BMW i Hydrogen NEXT in 2022.
Our goal is a sustainable value chain that covers its own needs with recycled materials and renewable raw materials - including energy supply. What we have learned, is that it is not only the handling of resources, but also the reduction of CO2 emissions. Because we're building more electric and plug-in hybrid models and making high-voltage batteries with intensive uses of energy, we have to integrate particularly far-reaching measures for reducing CO2. This is why the BMW Group will be establishing the CO2 footprint for the material supply chain when awarding contracts to suppliers. If we failed to do this, the increasing electrification would result in a sharp increase in CO2 emissions in the supply chain.
With the signing of the United Nations Environment Programme, the "International Declaration on Cleaner Production", in 2001, we committed ourselves to keeping environmental impacts and resource consumption in our worldwide production as low as possible. In order to monitor and analyse our far-reaching measures, we have introduced environmental management systems at all our existing production sites, which are constantly being developed and optimised. We are also setting an important course with our recycling operations.
Key to the recycling process of end-of-life vehicles is the recovery of valuable materials which are placed back into the production cycle. In 30 countries and together with their national sales companies, we have already regulated the take-back of end-of-life vehicles for this purpose and offer environmentally compatible recycling at more than 3,000 take-back points worldwide.
We are systematically investing in the energy efficiency of our locations. Our explorations cover the use of hydrogen, biogas, biomass or geothermal energy. The use of hydrogen can also play a key role here at suitable locations, and we are currently in the process of examining its efficiency for heat generation in a pilot plant.
At the same time, we are optimising the energy efficiency of our production: we are reducing the demand for heating by reusing more waste heat from processes and securing thermal cycles. The use of digital techniques such as data analytics enables us to reduce electricity consumption through intelligent control and simultaneously minimise the quantity of scrap parts.