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There Can Be No "Either-Or" When it Comes to Mobility Concepts - Interview With Monika Dernai, BMW

Dernai Badge2 © Copyright: Monika Dernai/BMW
06 October 2022

As Lead Sustainability Employees in the BMW Group's Corporate Strategy department, Monika Dernai supports BMW employees and supply chain stakeholders worldwide in actively pursuing the company's sustainability goals. Her team is also accountable for mobility data analysis and smart city projects, and works closely with the Digital Hub Mobility.

"The network partnership with the Digital Hub Mobility is precious for the BMW Group in this regard: It offers us an exchange platform to discuss and classify trends with other companies. Pilot projects at citizen mobility or in the Digital Project School provide us with valuable practical insights," says Monika Dernai.

We spoke with her about how BMW envisions sustainable mobility in the future.

By 2030, BMW wants to reduce the CO2 emissions of its vehicles by at least 40 percent across the entire value chain. Where does BMW currently stand, and how realistic is this target?

The biggest lever in CO2 reduction is the use phase of the vehicles. By 2030, these CO2 emissions are to be reduced by 50% per kilometer driven. And the BMW Group is on the right track here: we also exceeded the CO2 emission targets in the European Union in 2021.

We are also systematically continuing the electrification of our product range, driven by growing customer demand and regulatory requirements. By 2025, the share of electrified cars in total deliveries is already set to rise to at least 30%.

By 2030, at least half of the BMW Group's global vehicle deliveries are to be fully electric vehicles. Over the next ten years, we plan to put around 10 million fully electric cars on the road.

When it comes to reducing CO2 emissions in the supply chain, green power plays the most significant role. We have already contractually agreed to more than 20 million metric tons of CO2 savings with our suppliers by 2030. A concrete example is that aluminum produced with green electricity will avoid 2.5 million tons of CO2 by 2030.

In production, we plan to reduce CO2 by 80% by 2030. We are already purchasing 100% green electricity. Furthermore, as of the 2021 reporting year, we will make the remaining CO2 emissions of our plants and sites CO2-neutral in balance sheet terms through voluntary offset certificates. The Debrecen plant will even produce completely CO2-free from 2025.

What other opportunities does an automotive group like BMW see for its future?

The BMW Group aims to be the most successful and sustainable premium manufacturer for individual mobility. We are establishing more comprehensive sustainability solutions to achieve this ambitious goal. At the same time, we want to live up to our responsibility for social and ethical standards. It is goals like these that the Board of Management and top management measure themselves against. Because for the BMW Group, one thing is clear: We have the ambition to lead the way regarding sustainability.

Our approach to climate change and limited resources will determine the future of society - and thus also the future of the BMW Group as a profitable company. We see a clear trend toward sustainable mobility in society and among our customers. Our goal here is to provide the best offer. Premium and sustainability are inseparable.

Our research and data show that many urban residents and commuters still rely on their vehicles and need access to cities.

Monika Dernai, Lead Sustainability Employees, Mobility

How does BMW deal with the fact that individual motorized transport is to play a minor role in the future?

Our conviction: There can be no "either-or" when it comes to mobility concepts. People don't just want one or the other. Preferences differ depending on the situation. Our research and data show that many urban residents and commuters still rely on their vehicles and need access to cities. Vehicles are, therefore, an indispensable part of the urban landscape. And that is why we are convinced: individual mobility continues to have a future - even in urban areas. All the more so with electrified offerings, not just on four wheels but also on two.

What is BMW's position on car-free city centers?

The BMW Group welcomes and supports more livable city centers but rejects bans. With intelligent incentive systems and digital traffic management based on the networking of infrastructure and vehicles, the volume of traffic in cities can be significantly reduced. For a few years now, the BMW Group has therefore been engaged in a constructive exchange with metropolises worldwide - to create solutions for more sustainable urban mobility jointly.

From BMW's perspective, what ideas and concepts are needed for sustainable mobility, and how can we contribute?

We firmly believe that climate protection and quality of life in cities can be achieved through innovations, not bans. What will make the difference are questions like: How can we make vehicles as low-emission as possible - in the production and use phases? How can we use urban living space wisely and efficiently, so traffic flows smoothly and safely while providing enough recreational areas? What multimodal transportation services can we offer our clientele to make their daily lives easier and improve traffic flow and air quality? We want to provide answers to all these questions. That's why we are committed to developing intelligent, holistic solutions in cities that offer the freedom of individual mobility for all while minimizing the impact on the climate.

Thank you very much for the interview!