Unless you’re directly involved in the mining industry you might be surprised to learn that there has been a lot of talk recently about the possibility of mining for metals in some very peculiar places. Deep-sea mining is being discussed at the moment as companies are looking for new ways of sourcing cobalt and nickel among other metals. However, some companies are concerned about the environmental effect this new approach might have and BMW announced today that it will not be using metals sourced using this method.

The German group actually launched an initiative to protect the deep seas in cooperation with WWF Germany. The two companies released a statement saying that deep-sea mined metals need to be further analyzed before being taken into consideration, especially from an environmental and sustainable point of view. BMW will not be using such materials until conclusive research into the impact of deep-sea mining can be conducted and the consequences for the environment are clearly assessed.

“The BMW Group aspires to be one of the most sustainable automotive manufacturers and has built high standards into its supply chains for this purpose. The procurement of raw materials requires particular care. There are currently insufficient scientific findings to be able to assess the environmental risks of deep-sea mining. For this reason, raw materials from deep-sea mining are not an option for the BMW Group at the present time,” said Patrick Hudde, head of Supply Chain Sustainability and Indirect Purchasing Raw Materials Management at BMW.

The growing market for electric cars will lead to an increase in demand for certain metals and materials and BMW doesn’t refute the idea but other solutions must be found if deep-sea mining proves to be harmful to the environment. To this end, the Bavarians have promised to increase the percentage of secondary material used in vehicles. These recycled bits could reduce the need for primary raw materials in the long run. Google and Volvo have also joined the effort to protect the deep seas.