SUSTAINABLE AND RETHOUGHT: PIONEERING MATERIALS.
MINI goes fully electric from 2030 – a move we’re fully behind! We are already pursuing sustainability strategies today that influence our approach to supply chains and materials, electrification, production plants and our startup programme URBAN-X. You can find out what this means in detail in our series around sustainability, "BIG LOVE FOR THE PLANET: This is how MINI is heading into the future." Everything revolves around the topic of sustainability. For this article, we take a look behind the scenes of our MINI design department.
Every day, our research colleagues in the interiors department are looking for sustainable materials to make MINI better – and our designers continue to develop clever solutions. Learn more about these and their approach here:
USING THE POTENTIAL FOR RECYCLING.
All it takes is a little organisation. Especially when it comes to avoiding waste. This applies to each and every one of us, but above all it applies to major companies like MINI. Fortunately, we have our creative interior designers for this, because the job profiles of these colleagues, most of whom work at our head office in Munich, by default include excellent organisational skills as a must-have. Through precise planning, they try to avoid production cut-offs and waste. They eliminate all production process steps that are not strictly necessary. They use materials with the optimum properties but keep their quantities as low as possible. After all, processing single materials offers a better potential for recycling than using mixed-content materials. So our colleagues must employ their curiosity, creativity and innovation every day to bring future-proof ideas onto the road.
POLYESTER FROM PET BOTTLES.
Manufacturing products such as backpacks and trainers from recycled PET bottles is now almost de rigeur. Maybe you're even wearing a pair of shoes made from this material right now. MINI also promotes the reuse of plastics. In practical terms, this means the materials used in the manufacturing process are not made anew every time but are reused. This produces less waste and saves energy, and also reduces our carbon footprint. For example, polyester made from old recycled PET bottles is used to manufacture fabrics which the MINI designers then use in the interior. We are making every effort to increase the proportion of secondary raw materials in the interior to over 50%. Besides numerous other factors we are addressing with our sustainability strategy, this is another important point for us when it comes to resource-saving vehicle manufacturing.
The BMW Group, which MINI also belongs to, has already offered a choice of interior fabrics for many years. Vegan leather alternatives play a special role in this respect. In order to meet this customer requirement, the company is collaborating with innovative startups to look into potential solutions. In 2023, the BMW Group will launch the first vehicles with interior versions made from 100% vegan materials on the market: they will be used in the new MINI family models. Leather alternatives are particularly suitable for areas that are subject to a high level of wear and tear, for example the steering wheel and the seats. However, there's much more to this topic: in our opinion, using alternatives for the steering wheel surfaces alone could produce 85% lower carbon emissions along the value creation chain than using real leather. This is an important, albeit only small, first step in the right direction.
EYES ON THE FUTURE.
For the sake of sustainability, we are constantly working on the development of future-proof materials such as Mirum. This is a textile fabric alternative. This material is completely plant-based and looks just like leather. We are currently researching to what extent it lives up to the original when it comes to durability. Sounds promising, doesn't it? Especially when you consider that in our opinion, the use of Mirum reduces carbon emissions by 50%, compared to other faux-leather alternatives. Also, less water is needed to manufacture it. This could make Mirum the ideal material for the interiors of future MINI generations.
THERE IS NO PLANET B. Each of us is responsible for conserving and protecting our environment. That’s why we here at MINI have set ourselves the ambitious goal of fully electrifying our brand’s entire model range by 2030 onwards. But that’s not all; we also want our supply chains to be fair and transparent, our factories to be low on energy consumption and high on human friendliness, and our materials to be resource-conserving and recyclable. We want to lead the way forward – and get as many people to join us as possible. Why are we doing this? Because it’s in our DNA. Here at MINI we’ve always been about turning something small into something great. The first classic Mini was designed in the late 1950s, at a time when the Suez Crisis had made the industrial nations of the West realise that fossil fuels were not an infinite resource. MINI has been striving ever since to make a brand of mobility possible within the limited confines of urban space, imagining cars which combine that go-kart feeling with deep environmental awareness. This is something we owe to our community and to the generations still to come.
Illustration: Andrew Joyce
MINI COOPER SE: Energy consumption in kWh/100 km combined: 17,6-15,4, fuel consumption in l/100 km combined: 0, CO2 emissions in g/km combined: 0, electric range in km: 203 - 232. All values based on the combined WLTP test cycle. Further information: www.mini.com/disclaimer.
Hinweis (English disclaimers below):
Die offiziellen Angaben zu Kraftstoffverbrauch, CO2-Emissionen und Stromverbrauch wurden nach dem vorgeschriebenen Messverfahren VO (EU) 715/2007 in der jeweils geltenden Fassung ermittelt. Die Angaben berücksichtigen bei Spannbreiten Unterschiede in der gewählten Rad- und Reifengröße. Die Werte der Fahrzeuge basieren bereits auf der neuen WLTP-Verordnung und werden in NEFZ-Äquivalenzwerte zurückgerechnet, um den Vergleich zwischen den Fahrzeugen zu gewährleisten. Bei diesen Fahrzeugen können die CO2-Werte für fahrzeugbezogene Steuern oder andere Abgaben, die (zumindest unter anderem) auf CO2-Emissionen basieren, von den hier angegebenen Werten abweichen. Die CO2-Effizienz-Spezifikationen werden gemäß der Richtlinie 1999/94/EG und der Europäischen Verordnung in der jeweils gültigen Fassung festgelegt. Die angegebenen Werte basieren auf dem Kraftstoffverbrauch, den CO2-Werten und dem Energieverbrauch nach dem NEFZ-Zyklus für die Klassifizierung. Weitere Informationen über den offiziellen Kraftstoffverbrauch und die spezifischen CO2-Emissionen neuer Personenkraftwagen können dem „Handbuch über den Kraftstoffverbrauch, die CO2-Emissionen und den Stromverbrauch neuer Personenkraftwagen“ entnommen werden, das an allen Verkaufsstellen und unter https://www.dat.de/angebote/verlagsprodukte/leitfaden-kraftstoffverbrauch.html erhältlich ist.
The values of fuel consumptions, CO2 emissions and energy consumptions shown were determined according to the European Regulation (EC) 715/2007 in the version applicable at the time of type approval. The figures refer to a vehicle with basic configuration in Germany and the range shown considers optional equipment and the different size of wheels and tires available on the selected model. The values of the vehicles are already based on the new WLTP regulation and are translated back into NEDC-equivalent values in order to ensure the comparison between the vehicles. [With respect to these vehicles, for vehicle related taxes or other duties based (at least inter alia) on CO2-emissions the CO2 values may differ to the values stated here.] The CO2 efficiency specifications are determined according to Directive 1999/94/EC and the European Regulation in its current version applicable. The values shown are based on the fuel consumption, CO2 values and energy consumptions according to the NEDC cycle for the classification. For further information about the official fuel consumption and the specific CO2 emission of new passenger cars can be taken out of the „handbook of fuel consumption, the CO2 emission and power consumption of new passenger cars“, which is available at all selling points and at https://www.dat.de/angebote/verlagsprodukte/leitfaden-kraftstoffverbrauch.html