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“Looking at things and taking action”: Winners of the BMW Group Award for Social Responsibility 2021

Four employees receive award for volunteer work +++ Cash prize of 10,000 euros each will benefit service projects worldwide

Awards Corporate
Human Resources

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BMW Group

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Munich. The BMW Group Award for Social Responsibility is all about commitment to society. Presented for the tenth time this year, the award honours associates around the world who volunteer with social and environmental projects. This year’s winning initiatives came from the US, South Africa and Germany. Starting with this anniversary year, the cash prize for each of the dedicated winners has been doubled to 10,000 euros, which will benefit specific service projects directly. All remaining projects that made it into the final 12 will also be recognised and each receive funding of 2,500 euros. Due to the pandemic, the award ceremony on 6 December in Munich was held virtually and livestreamed for employees.

“Our dedicated associates are role models. They are united by their belief in taking action in areas where many people don’t look. The fact that they do all of this in their free time impresses me even more. They don’t just give money; they put all their passion and know-how into making life better for others,” said Ilka Horstmeier, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Human Resources and patron of the award.

Sustainability built in

Social commitment is firmly established among the BMW Group workforce. Over the past ten years, more than 1,000 employees worldwide have submitted applications for consideration for the award. The principle of sustainability as an element of corporate strategy has been even more firmly anchored in the award in its anniversary year, with environmental as well as social initiatives that create long-term opportunities now considered. For the first time, a networking event was also held – entirely virtually, due to the pandemic – to allow award-winners from previous years to connect, share ideas and exploit synergies.

Award-winners support young people and promote inclusion

In its tenth year, the award was presented to three projects that support disadvantaged youth, create educational opportunities and prevent exclusion. A fourth promotes inclusion of people with disabilities in sports. Here are the award-winners:

Peter Demmelmayr, a quality expert at BMW Group Plant Munich, promotes inclusion in club sports in Germany. Under the umbrella of the club “SV Dachau 1925 e.V.”, he is pursuing a goal that is close to his heart: enabling people with disabilities to participate in club sports and competitions on equal terms. With his passion for aquaball, a sport played in the water, he formed an inclusive aquaball team. He reaches out to other clubs and associations for people with disabilities, persuades them to participate and fights for the rules to be changed so people with disabilities can take part in competitions. There are now two inclusive teams competing in the German aquaball championship. He would like to use his prize money, among other things, to set up an inclusive training camp.

Tlabo Ronald Makhutja is a section leader at BMW Group Plant Rosslyn in South Africa who fights exclusion among local children. Through the Majakathata Social Scheme, he makes sure children from disadvantaged families have school clothes and sports equipment. This is a basic requirement for avoiding marginalisation, being able to play sports and pursue meaningful leisure activities. The initiative also donates computers and pays for initial supplies of pens and textbooks for children starting school. Makhutja is a driving force for campaigns and gets in contact with schools and young people to connect them with opportunities. He intends to use the BMW Group prize money to set up soccer fields and pay for additional school uniforms.

Chuck Ford, who works at BMW Group Plant Spartanburg in the US, is committed to ensuring disadvantaged young people in Greenville, South Carolina are able to live a self-determined life. At the Alpha Phi Alpha Greenville Foundation, he works with young people, mostly from African American or Hispanic communities. Preventing teen pregnancies and violence, preparing young people for college, providing educational scholarships and ensuring non-violent communication are the foundation’s core tasks. Ford organises seminars and works closely with churches, schools, parents and lawyers to achieve this. He wants to use the prize money to fund additional scholarships – because he believes education remains the cornerstone of a self-determined life.

The Vera and Volker Doppelfeld Foundation’s special award was presented this year to Hasan Aslan. He is a student in the BMW Group’s dual education programme since 2020, advocates for fair educational opportunities in Munich. He knows only too well that unrestricted access to education is the basis for social mobility and participation in society. Aslan comes from a migrant background himself and understands the hurdles many young people must overcome in their career. At the development agency “Aelius Förderwerk e.V.”, Aslan organises workshops in Munich, coordinates collaboration with school administrators and universities, and connects volunteers who support disadvantaged youth. During the pandemic, he held a crash course preparing teenagers for their school leaving exams. He plans to use the BMW Group prize money to train the agency’s volunteers and further improve the quality and range of services it offers.

The BMW Group Award for Social Responsibility has been presented since 2011. This honour is just one of a diverse range of activities that form part of the “Social Drive” initiative, designed to show appreciation and promote social responsibility at the company.

If you have any questions, please contact:

BMW Group Corporate Communications

Angela Konert, spokesperson Human Resources

Telephone: +49-89-382-50591


Bernd Eckstein, head of Communications Human Resources, Working Environment, Real Estate, Corporate Citizenship

Telephone: +49-89-382-59490


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The BMW Group

With its four brands BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad, the BMW Group is the world’s leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles and also provides premium financial and mobility services. The BMW Group production network comprises 31 production and assembly facilities in 15 countries; the company has a global sales network in more than 140 countries.

In 2020, the BMW Group sold over 2.3 million passenger vehicles and more than 169,000 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax in the financial year 2020 was € 5.222 billion on revenues amounting to € 98.990 billion. As of 31 December 2020, the BMW Group had a workforce of 120,726 employees.

The success of the BMW Group has always been based on long-term thinking and responsible action. The company set its course for the future early on and is making sustainability and resource efficiency the focus of the company’s strategic direction – from the supply chain, through production, to the end of the use phase, for all its products.






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