There is a lot of energy and willingness amongst my colleagues to step up and everyone is eager to change this business for the better.
Specialist Sustainability Interieur
What is your job about? What area are you working in?
As already implied, my job is about the materials used in the interior of a car. Basically, all the materials that you can see and feel – the textiles, the carpet material, the boot, etc. And in doing so, I focus on sustainability, on recycled materials and on improving the parts/ materials in order to become more circular in terms of circular economy.
How is sustainability linked with your role?
Sustainability is linked to my role in a way that every time we develop a new material, we have to think whether it is sustainable. What is the carbon footprint? Is it recyclable at the end of the life? There is a huge push inside the company to investigate every material and every part to make it more sustainable.
In what regard do you and your work contribute to the sustainability targets of the BMW Group?
My work contributes to the sustainability targets of the BMW Group as we are analysing all parts. With regards to the interior, we calculate carbon footprints and we see which materials reduce the footprint and to which extend. Thus, which material mixtures could be used in order to provide a circular economy approach.
How does it make you feel to be part of this transformation?
I am very happy that BMW is committed to the climate agreement and I really feel that a great push is coming from the board. Further, there is a lot of energy and willingness amongst my colleagues to step up and everyone is eager to change this company and the world for the better.
Where do you see your topic go in the future?
I hope that what I am doing right now becomes a standard within the entire development process. Further, I am looking forward to intensifying our focus on sustainability in our predevelopment projects.
Are you proud of being involved in this topic?
I am excited that this transformation is happening and that I can be part of it. It really gives my work and my daily life a purpose and I think purpose is what the younger generations are especially looking for at work. I think, it is very normal to question if what we are doing in our everyday life has a positive impact on the world. I realised that even if I change something super small, the impact is pretty big because you can multiply it by two million cars. And if you sum that up, that is impressive. It is very encouraging to calculate the carbon dioxide numbers, the energy numbers, because then I can see if I really manage to change something and whether it can have an impact.
What does sustainability mean to you?
On a personal level, sustainability is very important to me. I am driven by the issue of climate change and I try to continuously reduce my footprint in my daily life. I eat vegan, I travel less, I bike everywhere, I use public transport, I try to not waste any food, and I speak about it. I think that I have already impacted quite some people with facts about climate change. Sustainability is a huge area, and everyone can tackle what they think has the greatest impact and that is what I try to do, too. And I am glad that this world has a momentum of changing – at least the bubble that I am in.
How relevant do you see sustainability?
Sustainability is incredibly relevant in my everyday life and I think that everyone who reads and learns about climate change, and about where this world is going, has this inner urge to change and to step up. And therefore, I am committed to this in my everyday life, but I also think, as we spend so much time at work every week, we can make a difference there as well. If everyone drives change in the area they are responsible for, then the world could change pretty quickly to the positive.
What’s your idea of a sustainable world?
For me, a sustainable world is a world where we do not exploit resources, where we can say that we have left enough for future generations to live on, and where we have tried everything to keep the emissions in a corridor where the world is not going down.
Have you always been paying attention to sustainability?
I grew up in a family where sustainability was always an issue in terms of buying local, buying fresh and lots of vegetables. But in general, I think I only came to this topic during my studies when I was learning about climate change. I studied materials engineering which was all about material resources, the management of those resources and sustainability was always a topic throughout my studies.
Last year I attended the One Young World event in London. It is a huge conference where young people from all over the world come together to discuss the issues that are off in this world. And this really left a mark in me as it impacted me in terms of really wanting to do more and not accepting what the status quo is.