BMW Landshut foundry again ASI-certified
The BMW Group’s light metal foundry in Landshut, Germany, has once again been certified by the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) for the sustainable use of aluminium.
“Sustainable extraction of raw materials and conscious use of resources play a key role for our in-house component production and our global supplier network,” says Joachim Post, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG and responsible for Purchasing and Supplier Network. “Sourcing aluminium produced using solar power for our in-house component production lowers our CO2 emissions significantly. The circular economy is also key to reducing emissions and conserving natural resources. Going forward, the aim is to build our new vehicles with 50 % secondary raw materials.”
Solar and recycling aluminium cover annual demand
The Landshut foundry, BMW’s only production facility for light metal casting in Europe, is among the most advanced, most sustainable foundries in the world. Thanks to its use of inorganic sand cores, the casting process is virtually emission-free. The light metal foundry began sourcing aluminium produced using solar power in 2021. Since producing aluminium is highly energy-intensive, the use of ‘green’ power such as solar electricity offers considerable potential for reducing CO2 emissions. The tens of thousands of tonnes of solar aluminium supplied in this way meet more than a third of annual requirements for the light metal foundry at Plant Landshut.
Along with steel, aluminium accounts for the largest share, by weight, of the materials used in BMW Group vehicles. Around two thirds of the aluminium used in Landshut comes from a recycling loop – with almost two thirds of this from the foundry’s own closed loop. In this way, the BMW Group is consciously reducing its use of more CO2-intensive primary aluminium in favour of a CO2-optimized recycling loop.
For more than ten years, the light metal foundry has been working with local processors to implement a recycling loop for production scrap metal salvaged from the foundry process. The decisive factor here is clean separation of aluminium residues. Residues are collected from all casting and mechanical processing stations according to type, so materials with different compositions are not mixed. This means that, after reconditioning, aluminium waste can be reused to manufacture the same components.
Responsibility for the entire material cycle
The responsibility of the BMW Group extends beyond recycling to the aluminium used. The conditions under which the raw material bauxite is extracted by open cast mining and processed in countries like Australia, Brazil and Guinea are also important to the company. BMW is in direct contact with aluminium suppliers and recycling partners in an effort to gradually expand ASI certification to the entire material cycle – starting with the producing mines.
The light metal foundry has now been certified to the ASI Performance Standard for the second time. The auditing criteria require evidence of material stewardship, such as a holistic lifecycle analysis for the company’s own products and a comprehensive recycling strategy, as well as compliance with standards for transparency, overall management and corporate integrity. The initial successful certification in accordance with the criterion of material stewardship took place in December 2019.
Last year, employees at the light metal foundry produced around 3.3m cast components with a total weight of more than 73,000 t. The scope of production includes engine components such as cylinder heads and crankcases, components for electric drive trains and large-scale structural components for vehicle bodies.
ST Extruded Products Group, Step-G for short, has once again achieved certification to the Iris standard with level silver at its Bonn site.
Sustainable and efficient casting technologies contribute to meeting the continually increasing requirements for productivity, quality and safety of foundry products.