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BMW to begin sourcing ‘solar aluminium’

Credit: BMW
Credit: BMW

‘We will be able to meet over 50 per cent of our CO2 targets for the supplier network, just by using green power’

BMW Group has announced it is to begin sourcing aluminium produced using solar electricity with immediate effect in a move that could deliver significant reductions to its supply chain emissions.

The German auto giant confirmed the first delivery of aluminium produced at plants that source solar power was the first step in a plan to scale up the use of green power across its aluminium supply chain that it estimates could allow it to avoid approximately 2.5 million tonnes of CO2 emissions over the next 10 years.

The company has a target to cut emissions from its supplier network by 20 per cent by 2030 and it expects sourcing green aluminium alone could deliver emission reductions of around three per cent.

“We aspire to lead the way in sustainability and implement our sustainability goals in a systematic manner,” said said Dr. Andreas Wendt, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Purchasing and Supplier Network. “We will be able to meet over 50 per cent of our CO2 targets for the supplier network, just by using green power. The use of solar electricity for producing aluminium is a major step in this direction.”

The company said the initial deliveries of solar aluminium are to be provided by Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA), which has become the first company in the world to use solar electricity for commercial production of aluminium and has signed an exclusive supply deal with BMW Group.

The aluminium id produced using power from the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in the desert outside of Dubai, which is set to become the world’s largest solar park.

“We are delighted to have the BMW Group as our first customer for low-carbon CelestiAL aluminium from EGA,” said Abdulnasser Bin Kalban, chief executive of EGA. “Aluminium is light, strong and infinitely recyclable. That is why it plays such an important role in the development of a more sustainable society and in making modern life possible. But how sustainably the aluminium is produced is also important. Solar aluminium is a step in the right direction – it uses a natural and abundant source of energy in our desert environment to produce a metal that is vital to the future of our planet.”

The solar aluminium is to be shipped to the light metal foundry at BMW Group Plant Landshut where it will be used to manufacture body and drive train components, including those needed for electric drive trains. Sourcing 43,000 tonnes of solar aluminium “valued in the three-digit million euros” will supply nearly half the annual requirements of the facility, BMW said, adding that the plant has also been certified for its sustainability credentials by the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI).

The company said the new milestone is part of wider efforts to curb emissions from its supply chain, including a recent agreement with suppliers of its fifth-generation battery cells that they will only use green power for production.

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