Oxford University and BMW join forces to rev up sustainable development efforts


The University of Oxford and the BMW Group have announced a new joint research programme based at the MINI Plant Oxford, which will be dedicated to supporting the manufacturing giant’s efforts to deliver on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The new 2023 Plant Oxford Programme will bring together 15 Oxford SDG Impact Lab Fellows, who are all graduate students from across Oxford University, to work with the MINI Plant Oxford on projects designed to reduce the plant’s impact on the environment, while also improving wellbeing for employees and across the local community.

Andres Kindler, chief financial officer of MINI Plant Oxford, welcomed the venture hailing it as an “exciting” initiative which will provide skills for the graduates as well as giving the company a “fresh perspective” on how to tackle sustainability challenges. 

“The plant takes sustainability very seriously, from installing photovoltaic roofs on our production buildings to implementing innovative ideas such as using recycled tyres in our new internal road surfaces,” he added.

The Oxford plant has been operational in the city for more than 100 years and today produces a range of cars, including the MINI Electric.

BMW Group said that it has already set CO2 reduction targets across the lifecycle of its vehicles, but added that the company is “constantly seeking” new ways to cut emissions.

The manufacturer said it hopes that by 2030, the CO2 emissions per vehicle will be at least half those of 2019 levels. The company also stated that it was the first German carmaker to join the Business Ambition for 1.5C group and was part of the UN-backed Race to Zero initiative having adopted a “robust commitment to the goal of full climate neutrality over the entire value-added chain by 2050 at the latest”.

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