Riding Pleasure With a Future
Sustainability, even more than innovation, will be key to the future development of the motorcycle. The first recordered instance of the concept came from foresters in16th-century Saxony: “you can’t cut down trees if there’s no forest left.” A simple insight, but one which is more relevant today then ever before. Because the principle of sustainability – long-term thinking and a sense of responsibility to the future generations – permeates every area of modern life. There are three distinct aspects to sustainability: economic, environmental and social. And these underpin everything that BMW Motorrad stands for.
- Sustainability is not just a good ethical choice, it makes good business sense too. Which is why BMW Group CEO Norbert Reithofer says: “ Sustainability is part of what defines a premium brand.” Sustainability is one of the corporate objectives of BMW Motorrad, and is seen as being essential to the company’s long-term success. Obviously the sustainable use of natural resources is strongly linked to environmental protection. This is something that every automotive manufacturer must take into account, but the technologies and strategies that BMW Motorrad uses to pursue this objective are quite unique.
- The concept of efficiency is central to BMW Motorrad’s efforts in the area of environmental protection. These days, efficiency is inextricably linked with the BMW brand, and the fuel-efficiency of the company’s vehicles is one part of the whole picture. Efficiency is a principle that is applied to every stage of the value chain. It even extends to the high resale values of BMW Motorrad models – the majority of the bikes we have built in the last 30 years are still on the road. Every component is manufactured in the most environmentally friendly way possible, for example, all the paints we use are water-based. And the motorcycles are designed in such a way that at the end of their service life, all of the operating fluids can easily be removed. As a result, up to 95 per cent of our bikes can be recycled. BMW Motorrad manufacturing and research facilities are likewise designed for maximum efficiency. “Clean Production” is the buzzword here: for instance, the Research and innovation Centre in Munich uses state-of-the-art cogernation technology with an efficiency rate of over 80 per cent. The engine testbeds use the heat and braking energy generated by the engines to produce electricity. In total, this approach cuts the BMW Group’s CO2 emission by 3,500 metric tonnes a year.
- The third aspect of sustainability is the social aspect. People – customers, employees and the wider community – are always the priority at BMW Motorrad. And this is reflected in the way the company does business. Working conditions are designed to attract the best people and ensure their long-term-loyalty. We help our people to grow, and seek to make best use of their abilities. We give them room to develop and express themselves, and offer flexible working arrangements for a good work/life balance. We do all we can to build long-term relationships, because we need skilled and experienced staff to deliver the innovations, ideas and quality that customers expect from BMW Motorrad.
This is what sustainability means at BMW Motorrad.