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BMW sets green agenda

BMW Group is relying on the business acumen of its dealers to take the initiative in implementing costly and complicated measures to protect the environment.

Companies of all sizes are expected to do more in disposing of waste properly, recycling where possible and reducing the use of natural resources.

Roger Twiney, BMW GB environmental affairs director, attacked the burden of legislative red tape when he launched the group’s first environment report covering its British operations.

“We have to bear costs of £100,000 a year to cover the unnecessary administrative and bureaucratic burden of environmental legislation,” says Twiney.

“We will do our best to support our dealers, but we will not dictate to them. I believe they will respond, because BMW sees a potential advantage in showing we are willing to do what is necessary. In time, this will support the way our brand is perceived.”

A DTI official who attended the launch in London says: “We know legislation regarding environmental protection is complicated and time-consuming, especially for small to medium companies such as dealers. We are looking at ways of improving the system.”

BMW’s environmental report, set to be published every two years, reviews its UK performance between 2001 and 2004. Twiney says achievements were made despite bureaucratic problems, such as the three control regimes influencing energy efficiency at the Mini plant in Oxford.

He welcomes initiatives by the government and EC to improve regulations, but adds: “We put in time and resource to try to understand new and existing regulations. Many small companies – which make up the vast majority of UK business – simply cannot afford this.”

BMW is committed to the correct handling of waste from dealers and authorised bodyshops. It has a target of no more than 5% going to landfill sites, supported by an increase in recycling.

Listed waste includes oils, brake fluid, antifreeze, oil filters, batteries, tyres, contaminated fuel, paints, paper and wood.

“Regulators are taking climate change seriously but this has not yet been translated into action by car buyers. For BMW, improving our environmental performance is a core principle,” says Twiney.



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