The light metal foundry of the BMW Group plant in Landshut has been certified for its sustainable use of aluminum. It meets the standards of the Aluminum Stewardship Initiative (ASI), an international organization that is supported by environmental and industrial associations, aluminum producers and manufacturing companies.
ASI has defined sustainability criteria for an ecologically and socially responsible aluminum value chain. Through this initiative, the BMW Group received confirmation from an independent third party that the light metal foundry is consciously and responsibly handling aluminum.
The ASI sustainability standard (Material Stewardship) criterion includes the implementation of a holistic life cycle analysis for products as well as a comprehensive recycling strategy. The latter starts with production residues and extends to the vehicles at the end of their useful life.
Responsible use of aluminum has a long tradition at the Landshut plant: the light metal foundry, together with local processors, has been implementing a recycling cycle for production scrap from the foundry process for ten years.
The decisive factor here is the separation of aluminum residues by type: the residues of the various components are collected in every casting system and at various mechanical processing stations so that the materials do not mix with their individual compositions. The aluminum scrap can then be reused for the production of the same components.
Around half of the aluminum used in Landshut comes from a recycling cycle. The BMW Group has consciously reduced the use of CO2-intensive primary aluminum in favor of a CO2-optimized recycling cycle.
The BMW Group sees its responsibility extending beyond recycling to the primary aluminum used. It is important to the company under what conditions the raw material bauxite is extracted and processed in opencast mines in countries such as Australia, Brazil and Africa.
The BMW Group is also in direct contact with aluminum suppliers and recycling partners in order to extend gradually the ASI certification to the entire recycling cycle—starting with the mine.
Steel and aluminum make up the largest proportion of the weight of materials used in BMW Group vehicles. The use of aluminum components is crucial for electromobility: Ultimately, lightweight materials compensate for the higher weight of the batteries in electric vehicles.