Mr. Bodo Donauer Managing Director of BMW South Africa BMW Group Sustainable Future Conference COP 17 Durban, 29 November 2011
Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, The Honourable Edna Molewa;
Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Dr. Zweli Mkhize;
Executive Mayor of the City of Tshwane, Councillor Kgosientso Ramakgopa;
Other representatives of national, provincial and local government;
Members of the diplomatic corps; South African and foreign media;
Ladies and Gentlemen; All protocol observed;
I hope we have given you some insight over the past few hours into what sustainability means at the BMW Group.
Personally, I would like to thank Dr. Feurer, Dr. Becker, Mr. Schmidt, Professor Krems and our MINI E users for their contributions today.
These speakers travelled half-way around the world to share their experiences with you.
I am sure these insights have helped you to see why the BMW Group was voted as the World’s Most Sustainable Carmaker, for the 7th year in a row, by the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes in 2011.
Clearly, our company’s achievement in the reduction of global fleet emissions has been one of the main contributing factors to this accolade.
But, as Dr. Feurer explained to you, the BMW Group takes a three-level approach to sustainability: economic, environmental and social.
More importantly, we take the same approach in each of our locations around the planet.
Our company has signed the Global Compact of the United Nations and we are committed to implementing its ten principles at all locations worldwide.
The same holds true in South Africa.
For the past three years, despite the limitations of the local fuel quality, the BMW Group has been rolling out the full range of BMW EfficientDynamics technologies locally.
When we launch the new BMW 3 Series in March next year, we will have more than 25 local models which emit less than 140g of CO2 per kilometre.
However, as you have heard today, the BMW Group is also working in parallel on totally new drive and mobility concepts.
The leaps in efficiency demanded by climate change require both evolutionary improvements to vehicles and a radical new approach.
With BMW i we believe we have found the perfect solution for this challenge.
In this regard, I am proud to announce that the BMW Group will reinforce its position as the world’s most sustainable automaker by becoming the first manufacturer to bring e-mobility to South African roads in 2012.
We will give real customers the opportunity to experience the MINI E during a series of countrywide road shows in the first half of 2012.
Not only will these road shows provide the BMW Group with important information about local customer’s e-mobility requirements.
They will also highlight some of the infrastructural hurdles South Africa needs to overcome to adopt e-mobility as a viable means of reducing CO2 emissions.
This information will help us put strategies in place which will help the BMW Group introduce the full range of BMW i models to the local market as soon as possible.
Tonight, you will be among the very first South Africans to drive an electric vehicle under local conditions.
I’m sure you will agree with us that e-mobility and South Africa should not be mutually exclusive terms.
But, as you already know, making a contribution towards climate change is not just about reducing vehicle emissions.
The BMW Group has already accomplished a great deal by implementing sustainable measures throughout the value chain.
We realised some time ago that the BMW Group needs to keep a firm hand on its consumption of energy, as well as the impact that consumption has on the environment, in order to continue contributing to South African society.
Because of this approach, I’m pleased to say we have reduced energy usage and emissions by more than 30% at BMW Plant Rosslyn in Pretoria, saving more than Fifty million Rand in energy costs since 2006.
In fact, our approach has been so comprehensive that we have managed to halve our base load requirements over the same period.
However, we believe we can still do more.
At the end of 2010, we conducted a Renewable Energy Project investigating the technical and economic feasibility of supplying Plant Rosslyn solely by means of renewable energy, or in combination with the existing power supply.
I’m delighted to say that we will take further steps in this regard by partnering with the City of Tshwane on a waste-to-energy project next year.
The project is similar to a landfill gas programme which is responsible for providing BMW Plant Spartanburg in South Carolina, USA with around half of its energy requirements.
Methane gas – converted from unusable organic waste at a landfill site in Onderstepoort – will be piped approximately 8km to BMW Plant Rosslyn.
Depending on the quantity supplied, the gas will be used to either produce electricity via gas generators or supplement the usage of natural gas in the production process.
Initial conservative indications are that there is enough green waste at the site to cater for approximately 40% of Plant Rosslyn’s gas requirements.
This is a vital step in a process which will see all of Plant Rosslyn’s energy requirements supplied from renewable resources in the future.
The BMW Group has had a home in the City of Tshwane for more than 38 years. We are delighted that you and your team have shared our passion and our vision to make this bold step in our development.
Your leadership has played an integral part and I look forward to working with you in the future.
The commitment of the BMW Group to the City Tshwane and the country is one of the reasons why BMW has become an integral part of the social fibre of South Africa.
And, in this regard, we have a responsibility to take action for the sustainability of local communities as well.
We are already a committed and engaged corporate citizen supporting more than 100 individual Corporate Social Investment projects across the country.
Importantly, we place the emphasis on social investment; not charity. The BMW Group does not adopt a cheque book approach.
Instead we contribute to sustainable development, working with employees, their families, the local community and society at large to improve quality of life.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am delighted to announce that the company’s highly successful BMW Maths, Science and Technology Excellence Project will be implemented in two high- and three primary schools in the Nyavini district south of Durban.
These schools will also be incorporated into the BMW SEED Programme, which teaches learners about sustainable farming techniques, taking care of the environment and entrepreneurial skills.
Finally, in a Public-Private Partnership with the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health, the BMW Group will construct a clinic – focussing on HIV/Aids testing, counselling, treatment and mitigation – in the Nyavini district.
This clinic, modelled on the clinic built by the BMW Group in Soshanguve in 2005, will also provide fundamental health care to the community, which is situated some 50km from the nearest hospital.
Premier Mkhize, I’m glad to see the fruits of our meeting earlier this year are ready to be harvested.
Thank you for your team’s commitment to this project and for their approachability. Together, I truly believe we will be able to make a meaningful change in the lives of the people of Nyavini district.
The BMW Group’s extensive engagements across all three fields of sustainability demonstrate that the BMW Group is pro-actively shaping its future.
Clearly, all three of these projects will help assist South Africa in meeting its environmental responsibilities.
Honourable Minister Molewa, the BMW Group is taking local action to help achieve a global goal in terms of climate change mitigation.
The next 10 days ahead will be extremely busy ones for you and your team.
However, I am sure that the outcomes will be positive for and I hope our announcements set the right tone for a highly successful COP17.
I also hope you agree with me that by becoming the first manufacturer to bring e-mobility to South African roads the BMW Group is reconfirming that we represent the future of individual mobility both internationally and in South Africa.
I look forward to joining you a little later when you drive the MINI E. I’m sure, after this experience, you will be as excited as we are about the prospects of true e-mobility on South African roads.
Thank you kindly for your attention.