Stefanie Wurst, Head of the MINI brand at the BMW Group since the beginning of February 2022 and former Managing Director of BMW Netherlands, talks about pragmatic measures and some real WOW moments.
MINI sustainabiity – head of mini, stefanie wurst – MINI stategies MINI sustainabiity – head of mini, stefanie wurst – MINI stategies

Stefanie Wurst, in a recent interview you said that transparency and measurability are particularly important for customers when it comes to sustainability. Only then are they able to make eco-conscious decisions. Is that what you want to achieve with your work?

Stefanie Wurst: My goal is to get to really know and understand the sustainability strategy of the BMW Group, to make my own contribution to it and then pass on this message – internally and externally. My aim is to empower every member of staff in our organisation and our dealer network to talk to customers about this vital and complex issue. Our common goal must be to use facts to convince our customers that the BMW Group leads the way in sustainability and is making its own contribution to this major social issue.

Is there any particular reason or trigger for your involvement in sustainability issues? What was your personal “Aha” moment?

Stefanie Wurst: Exactly 30 years ago, I wrote my diploma thesis on “ecology-oriented marketing”. Among other things, it was about the circular product, although the terms “circularity” and “sustainability” were not commonplace at the time. I came of age in the 80s when the environmental movement was emerging in Germany. At some point in that era, it dawned on me that this issue was important. A recent “Aha” moment for me was indeed the signing of the Sustainability Commitment of all Dutch Dealer Principles in the presence of Pieter Nota and Jean-Philippe Parain. That’s when I thought: “WOW, this is really happening. What I am doing is really having an effect!”

The successes in the megacity of Rotterdam and their impact on many other major cities in Europe are very exciting. Let’s say you meet Oliver Zipse, the Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, in the lift. You start talking about projects and he asks: “What direct support can I give you?” You have one minute to answer. What do you say?

Stefanie Wurst: The first circular MINI would be a brilliant project ... a MINI made from 100% recycled materials or 100% recyclability.

MINI sustainabiity – stefanie wurst – big love for the planet MINI sustainabiity – stefanie wurst – big love for the planet

In your new role as Head of MINI, how much of a major role do sustainability and urban mobility play?

Stefanie Wurst: The MINI team and my predecessors have done a great job. I am already looking forward to further developing the “BIG LOVE FOR THE PLANET” theme, underpinning it more and communicating it along with the markets. MINI is also making a coherent statement with its all-electric offer from 2030. The MINI Cooper SE is already hugely important in our product portfolio and it accounts for a growing share of our vehicles sold year by year, which in turn is hugely important for the BMW Group. Another beautiful MINI statement that fits the theme of sustainability: “MINI was born from a crisis.” MINI’s original ethos was the economical use of resources and available space. What’s more, MINI is completely at home in the city. This is where CO2 emissions and sustainability are such a huge concern, as many people live in a confined space. Everything comes together with MINI and sustainability: brand fit, social development and the coherent product experience. A sentence I remember my predecessor saying sums it up so well: “The world becomes a bit more MINI every day.”