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Source: BMW Group Munich. The BMW Group continues to consistently implement its claim to sustainable supply chains and has commissioned two renowned American universities to scientifically investigate the water consumption in the production of lithium. The aim of the study by the University of Alaska-Anchorage and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst is to investigate the influence of lithium mining on the local water balance in Latin America.

BASF SE is also helping to finance the study. Both companies – BMW Group and BASF SE – are already working successfully together with other partners in the “Cobalt for Development” project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Lithium is the lightest metal on earth and is used to manufacture batteries, ceramics, glass and aluminum, among other things. This makes lithium a key raw material for the production of lithium-ion batteries and plays a key role in the electrification of vehicles.

Two thirds of the world’s lithium reserves are in Latin America. So far, however, the effects of lithium mining in the region have not been sufficiently scientifically investigated. The study commissioned by the BMW Group is now intended to close this gap.

Patrick Hudde, Head of Indirect Purchasing Raw Materials Management, BMW Group: “Electromobility is only sustainable if the raw materials are obtained in the most sustainable way possible. The new study commissioned by us is intended to help create a scientific basis for identifying the best options for lithium procurement. We are very pleased to have won two such renowned universities for the study and are sure that this study will provide important new insights into the degradation of lithium. “

Professor LeeAnn Munk, University of Alaska-Anchorage, Department of Geological Sciences: “The collaboration with BMW on this groundbreaking lithium sustainability project is extremely exciting for our research group. We look forward to developing an optimal rating system for lithium projects in global comparison. “

David F. Boutt, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Department of Geosciences in the School of Earth & Sustainability: “This project represents a crucial next step in improving the understanding of the hydrological functioning of lithium brine freshwater aquifer systems and the To reduce uncertainty about their environmental impact. “

The final results of the study should be available in the first half of 2022 and include a five-point rating. This rating is intended to provide companies with better orientation for sustainable lithium mining in Latin America.

The BMW Group procures lithium for its high-voltage batteries of the fifth generation itself and makes it available to its battery cell supply chains. These lithium raw materials currently come from Australian mines, which extract the material using the so-called hard rock process.

The prerequisite for the conclusion of supply contracts with other lithium suppliers by the BMW Group is that the lithium production meets the high sustainability standards of the BMW Group. In addition, the companies must be certified according to the standard of the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA). The study commissioned by the company is intended to provide further information in this context.

If you have any questions, please contact: BMW Group Corporate Communications

Kai Zöbelein Press Spokesman Sustainability, Urban Mobility Phone: + 40-89-382-21170 Mail to: Internet:

The BMW Group

With its brands BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad, the BMW Group is the world’s leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles and a provider of premium financial and mobility services. The BMW Group production network comprises 31 production and assembly sites in 15 countries; the company has a global sales network with representatives in over 140 countries.

In 2019, the BMW Group achieved worldwide sales of more than 2.5 million automobiles and over 175,000 motorcycles. Earnings before taxes in fiscal year 2019 amounted to € 7.118 billion and sales to € 104.210 billion. As of December 31, 2019, the company employed 126,016 people worldwide.

Long-term thinking and responsible action have always been the basis of the BMW Group’s economic success. The company has firmly anchored ecological and social sustainability along the entire value chain, comprehensive product stewardship and a clear commitment to conserving resources in its strategy.

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