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15 Apr 2019

BMW Group (Germany)

BMW response

[BMW Group sent the following response to the Resource Centre on 15 April 2019:]

  • We have worked hard to increase efficiency and transparency in our supply chains and ensure that our resource procurement process is environmentally compatible and socially acceptable. The same applies to steel.
  • We have supported the formalisation of the Responsible Steel Initiative (RSI) for many years and are deeply involved in developing a sustainability standard and auditing concept for the entire steel value chain. In 2018, we formally joined the Initiative to shoulder our responsibility in this area.
  • We are working closely with our direct suppliers to ensure compliance with sustainability standards and increase transparency and resource efficiency in all our supply chains. All our suppliers are fully aware that we do not tolerate human rights abuses of any kind. If any such cases in our supply chain became known to us, we would take immediate corrective action – up to and including termination of cooperation. Compliance with social and environmental standards throughout the value chain is an important aspect of our understanding of sustainability and a key demand of our stakeholders.
  • The BMW Group has integrated a survey of sustainability standards at direct suppliers into its tender process and defined compliance with them as a major decision criterion.
  • Vale S.A. is not a direct business partner of the BMW Group. However, Vale S.A. does supply iron ore from Brazil to the BMW Group’s steel suppliers.
  • Following the accident in Brazil, we decided to be proactive and have since been carefully examining our steel supply chains to determine if and when the BMW Group has had any connection with the mine involved.
  • Our investigations so far have confirmed that the Brumadinho mine involved, which is owned by Vale S.A. in Brazil, is not part of our supply chain.
  • Irrespective of this, we are in constant communication with our steel suppliers and following the current investigations to identify the causes closely with them. The BMW Group and many of its stakeholders are eager to clarify the circumstances surrounding the accident.
  • The BMW Group welcomes the fact that the major steel manufacturers are in close contact with Vale S.A. to take joint preventive action to avoid further accidents of this kind in the future.