BMW Group has been a SustainAbility client for half a decade.
During this time we have supported the company’s exploration of the future of mobility, in part through a series of stakeholder events in multiple cities in Europe and North America. BMW Group was also, with SC Johnson, one of two lead sponsors for The Regeneration Roadmap, a project that SustainAbility undertook with GlobeScan to mark the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in 2012.
What characterises a sustainable automaker? Which mobility services will be financially successful in ‘the city of the future?’ What conditions must be met to make electro-mobility sustainable and successful? These are just some of the questions BMW Group has been exploring as it strives to become the world’s leading provider of premium products and services for individual mobility.
BMW Group has a long history of using stakeholder dialogue to help it identify and better understand key trends, identify risks and review performance. SustainAbility has organised and facilitated stakeholder workshops for the company since 2011.
Workshops in New York, Berlin, Washington DC, Toronto and Silicon Valley focused on topics such as sustainability leadership, mobility services and electro-mobility. The workshops provided the company with valuable stakeholder feedback on new innovations, such as its plans to deliver mobility services to the residents of mega-cities.
These are often difficult conversations, but they enable forward-looking companies like BMW Group to get ahead of its peers, gain intelligence that will help shape business strategy and continue to exhibit sustainability leadership.
Designing, facilitating and analysing
In designing the workshops SustainAbility worked closely with internal BMW Group stakeholders to co-create unique and compelling concepts for roundtable discussions. In advance of the workshops, we identified and interviewed relevant external stakeholders, gathering insights and perspectives that could be used to stimulate conversation on the day. Members of the SustainAbility team facilitated the roundtables and captured the key insights which were included in our final analysis and recommendations.
A broad range of perspectives
Several hundred representatives from industry associations, business, capital markets, NGOs and political and academic arenas participated in the workshops, which were also attended by senior leaders from BMW Group. These roundtables informed the company’s decisions on its future strategy, in particular on services like car-sharing, leasing and electric vehicle production.
Moving the conversation
The workshops presented an opportunity for BMW Group to move the conversation beyond reputation management and onto an innovation agenda. These are often difficult conversations, but they enable forward-looking companies like BMW Group to get ahead of peers, gain intelligence that will help shape business strategy and continue to exhibit sustainability leadership.