BMW makes the most-efficient use of economic and environmental resources in its manufacturing processes, according to a European study published today.
However, Asian companies were generally found to use their resources most effectively. The study, carried out by researchers at Queen's University Belfast, analysed 17 car manufacturers over the period 1999-2007.
How were the companies compared?
Measuring the impact of car production included assessing factors such as greenhouse gas emissions, water use and waste generation by factories, the number of employee work accidents, and the profit – or loss – generated by each company.
Comparing the profit generated with the resources used allowed the study's authors to rate efficiency.
Professor Frank Figge of Queen's University Belfast, said: 'Sustainable value is created wherever companies employ their set of economic, environmental and social resources in a more efficient way than their competitors.'
Toyota and BMW are the industry's leaders and use their resources to generate far more profit than their competitors. Since splitting from Chrysler, Daimler has jumped up the rankings to third place.
Asian companies dominate the top of the table, with Honda, Nissan and Isuzu consistently doing well.
It's a different story for the North American car makers, Ford and General Motors (GM), which regularly feature in the bottom spots. Fiat is the worst-performing European manufacturer.
Ralf Barkemeyer, from Queen's University said: 'GM's value contributions from carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide and sodium oxide emissions as well as waste generation were very negative during the period 1999 to 2007. Its sodium oxide value contributions show the worst level of resource efficiency in the entire study.'
Several companies were criticised by the report for failing to supply sufficient sustainability data to allow their inclusion in the table. These included Mazda, Porsche and Kia.
2007 Manufacturers' rankings
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