The German car maker has signed an agreement to source raw materials from ethical suppliers and mining companies.
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The automotive world might be jumping on the "eco car" bandwagon, but Germay's BMW aims go a step further by signing an agreement to source raw manufacturing materials from environmentally ethical suppliers and mining companies.

BMW claims it is the the first car company to join the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA).

Given that the automotive industry is heavily reliant on mining for its raw materials and, with increasing global awareness around the environmental impact and sustainability of large-scale mining, the IRMA’s stated aim is to “transform the industrial mining sector towards more responsible practices”.

“Sustainability is an important aspect of our corporate strategy and we are fully aware of our responsibility in mineral value chains.” said Dr Andreas Wendt, a member of the board of management of BMW AG. (Note: the group also includes BMW Motorrad, Mini and Rolls-Royce.)

“For the BMW Group and its stakeholders, it is of the utmost importance that environmental and social standards are adhered to throughout the entire value chain. Raw materials form the basis for every industrial production process and our need will continue to grow accordingly.

“We believe that IRMA, with its ambitious certification standard, will contribute to enhancing responsibility in global value chains and improving environmental and social performance.”

IRMA measures mine sites on a raft of areas including health and safety, human rights, pollution control, and land reclamation, amongst others.

“The auto sector is a powerful purchaser of materials that come from mines,” said Aimee Boulanger, Executive Director of IRMA.

“We are happy to have the BMW Group join IRMA and we look forward to supporting their commitment to increasing environmental and social responsibility in their supply chains.”

IRMA’s ‘Standard for Responsible Mining’ is the result of a collaboration between the mining industry, non-profit organisations, organised labour (unions), local communities and businesses.

The Standard aims for more transparency in the supply chain, while also providing options for business – including carmakers – in sourcing responsibly mined materials.