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BMW Is 2011’s Most Sustainable Auto Manufacturer

Surprise! BMW was named the most sustainable auto manufacturer for 2011 by the SAM Group for the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes. Except that it isn’t really a surprise: BMW has earned top sustainability honors for the past seven years. The maker of the luxurious six-figure 7-series and the cheap and cute Mini is also the only auto maker to be listed on the DJSI every year since the indexes were created in 1999.

BMW points out that it was the first to employ an environmental officer, in 1973. It now has both a Sustainability Board and the Executive Sustainability Committee to steer BMW Group as a whole toward responsible corporate practices. It has made its car and motorcycle production processes and supply chain available in a bulky report for anyone to read -- a report that in 2010 was independently audited to make sure BMW wasn’t fudging its sustainability numbers.

Apparently it passed with flying colors. The SAM Group, which works with the DJSI, specializes in sustainable investing. It has a huge, proprietary database of more than 2000 companies that it analyzes annually to determine which companies are doing their best by the environment, their employees, and at the same time, their bottom line.

There are lots of ways for companies to go green, from building millions of hybrid vehicles like the Toyota Prius to using materials that are kinder to the environment, like Ford’s soy-based seat foam. If you’re looking for an earth-friendlier vehicle from BMW or anyone else, you can use our Research Tools to find the car that makes both you and Mother Nature happy.