Every year, car manufacturers work towards promoting a cleaner future. We see the trend in the introduction and popularity of electric cars and hybrid models that offer cleaner alternatives to a long tradition of gas-guzzling cars. But, fuel consumption is only a part of the footprint that the automotive industry leaves on the environment, and that’s why so many companies are now turning to cleaner production options and focusing on better sourcing of materials. With BMW making the leap forward toward solar-powered aluminum sourcing and processing, it says more about the state of the car industry than you might realize.
A brighter future
BMW has announced that they will be sourcing its aluminum as it is produced using solar electricity. This isn’t in terms of the future either, as the company has made it clear that this major change will begin now, and it’s a big step forward for the company. This means that not only is the brand appeasing the market for cleaner cars, but also taking a genuine step forward to a more sustainable future in its production.
The luxury car manufacturer has been sourcing aluminum through Emirates Global Aluminum (EGA) for years now, so nothing major has changed. What is significant is that EGA has now become the first company ever to use solar energy to produce aluminum on a commercial scale. The company sources solar power from the world’s largest solar park located in the desert just outside of Dubai.
“In EGA, we have found a strong partner who values sustainable development just as much as we do”Dr. Andreas Wendt, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Purchasing and Supplier Network
The Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park just outside of Dubai is controlled by the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, and uses third parties to certify the electricity. This not only means that the energy used for production of the aluminum is cleaner than fossil fuels, it also means that it is ethically sourced, and can be traced.
The future of BMW
More and more major car manufactures are stepping up to improve the sustainability of their production lines and find more efficient and ethical sources of materials. Along with increasing production of electric cars and hybrid vehicles, we are headed towards a future of a cleaner automotive industry.
Along with the immediate use of solar-energy produced aluminum, BMW sets its sights towards continuing to reduce their environmental impact. This will include increasing the use of recycled raw materials by 2030. While it make take some time to see the true effects these steps will have on the environment, any step towards a more sustainable future means we are going in the right direction.