BMW becomes second auto maker to join Leather Working Group to support environmental, social standards in global leather supply chain; new BMW iX uses certified leather made with environmentally-friendly process and is exploring leather alternatives

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WOODCLIFF LAKE, New Jersey , January 31, 2022 (press release) –

  • Membership underlines environmental and corporate responsibility
  • BMW Group becomes second automotive manufacturer to join initiative
  • Natural leather from certified suppliers already available in the all-new BMW iX

The BMW Group is underlining its corporate responsibility in the field of sustainability, by becoming the second automotive manufacturer worldwide to join the Leather Working Group. The aim of the not-for-profit, multi-stakeholder organization is to ensure uniform environmental and social standards for leather supply chains worldwide and to certify manufacturers. The Leather Working Group represents about a quarter of the world’s leather producers – from tanneries to leather-processing industries and associations to retailers and buyers.


“As a leader in supply chain sustainability, joining the Leather Working Group is the next logical step for us,” says Nadine Philipp, BMW Group’s head of Sustainability in the Supply Chain, Energy. She emphasized that: “Leather is still in demand from our customers – depending on the model and region – and is very important in the premium segment. That is why supporting sustainable production and processing of leather at our suppliers is a priority for us. At the same time, we still want all our customers worldwide to be able to choose the optimal product, so we also offer leather-free vehicle equipment options.”

The decision to join the Leather Working Group ties in directly with the BMW Group’s business alignment, with its focus on sustainability and resource efficiency. One of the BMW Group’s objectives is to create the most sustainable supply chain across the entire automotive industry. Sourcing leather from certified facilities is an important step on the road to achieving this ambitious goal.
 
As well as leather from certified suppliers, BMW Group also offers customers alternative interior materials
 
The BMW Group already sources all leather in the BMW iX from a certified manufacturer. The natural leather used is tanned in an especially environmentally-friendly process that relies on olive leaf extract. The BMW Group already offers leather-free alternatives, including textile options, Alcantara® and SensaTec. The company is also conducting research into resource-efficient leather alternatives, such as Deserttex®, which is made from cactus fibers, and the durable and fully recyclable plant-based Mirum®, from the startup Natural Fiber Welding, in which BMW i Ventures acquired a stake in 2021.

 
BMW Group In America
BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975.  Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003.  The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars; Designworks, a strategic design consultancy based in California;  a technology office in Silicon Valley, and various other operations throughout the country.  BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is the BMW Group global center of competence for BMW X models and manufactures the X3, X4, X5, X6 and X7 Sports Activity Vehicles. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 351 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 144 BMW motorcycle retailers, 105 MINI passenger car dealers, and 38 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers.  BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group’s sales headquarters for North America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.

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