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Home » Transport and Mobility » Making circularity in transport a reality in Ireland

Helen Westby

Managing Director, BMW Group Ireland

In a world of constant change and an increased focus on sustainability, it becomes crucial for every automotive manufacturer to take on responsibility for shaping the future of transport and mobility.

At BMW Group Ireland, we have put sustainability and circularity at the centre of our strategic direction because the future of our business and society depends on it. We aim to be the most sustainable premium manufacturer in the world, and this is being achieved through clear, transparent targets that allow efficiency through innovation.

Electromobility: effort for an electrified future

As the first German automotive manufacturer to join the ‘Business Ambition for 1.5° Celsius’ and because of our commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement, we aim to reduce our CO2 emissions per vehicle by 40% by 2030 to contribute to the goal of complete climate neutrality throughout the entire value chain.

Being a leader in electromobility and assuming responsibility throughout the entire vehicle lifecycle is paramount. So far, we’ve delivered a total of over 1.5 million electrified vehicles to customers around the world. We are also working to expand our offering for convenient charging. Customers should be able to charge anywhere — in public spaces, at work and at home.

Our new generation of cars, called NEUE KLASSE, will be the main driver of electromobility. These cars will be vastly different in terms of vehicle architecture and will set new standards for digitalisation and circularity as we aim to increase the average of fully electric vehicles on the road to 50% per year between 2025 and 2030.

We aim to increase the average of fully
electric vehicles on the road to 50%
per year between 2025 and 2030.

Potential of hydrogen as an alternative fuel

Not only are we innovating our battery technology but we also recognise the role alternative fuel cell technologies, such as hydrogen, could play. Green hydrogen is the energy system of the future, with wide-scale ability, unique long-distance capabilities and fast refuelling.

With over 40 years of experience with hydrogen technology and more than 20 years in hydrogen fuel cell technology, we released the BMW iX5 Hydrogen range early this 2023. Moreover, we aim to promote further expansion of the hydrogen filling station infrastructure and permanently work on the development of alternative fuels.

Sustainability in the community

Our commitment is not only to the cars and motorbikes we produce but also to our employees and across communities. We have partnered with Picker Pals, a school programme delivered across Ireland, which aims to reduce the amount of waste in our communities and create environmental stewards of the future. We are also working closely with Cancer Fund for Ireland as our official charity partner.

Our MINI team in Ireland partnered earlier this year with Earthwatch Europe to bring the Tiny Forest initiative to Ireland, which aims to deliver 600 native trees to a community-based rehabilitation programme. Across our partnerships and initiatives, we demonstrate our commitment to circularity, charity and sustainable mobility.

Circularity throughout the value chain

Circularity means systematically increasing raw material content for all materials and therefore relying on ‘mono-materials’ rather than ‘multi-materials.’ We are committed to making the recycling chain more transparent and extending the value of our products by using fewer resources and returning materials into the production loop — rather than disposing of them.

To us, a circular economy involves modifying design processes, using resources more efficiently and closing material loops. Hence, we aim to increase the percentage of secondary material in our vehicles from just under 30% today to 50% going forward. This is demonstrated in our new communication and experience platform ‘RE:BMW Circular Lab.’

The ‘RE: THINK, RE: USE, RE: CYCLE’ strategy represents a core component of our future product development and sustainability agenda. The most present effort in favour of a circular economy is being demonstrated by the BMW iVision Circular — our ambitious plan to become the most sustainable manufacturer for individual premium mobility.

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