Between high-voltage batteries and electric cars: BMW Brilliance Automotive grows peanuts in China

BMW:Between high-voltage batteries and electric cars: BMW Brilliance Automotive grows peanuts in China

Shenyang. The southern side of the new Battery Center
of BMW Brilliance Automotive (BBA) in China offers a rather unusual
sight: against the backdrop of the cutting-edge newbuild lies an area
of around 13,000 m2, where BBA associates in factory
clothing and straw hats are tending to a field. They are growing peanuts.

The idea for this unique project was born two years ago, when
construction of the new Battery Center II began. Flora Zhu, a Senior
Manager with Utility & Facility Management, explains: “We wanted
to create a more diverse, greener and more natural environment for our
associates and at the same time make sensible use of existing land.”
The idea of peanuts immediately took hold, as the hot summers and high
humidity in Shenyang provide ideal climatic conditions.

“So when we celebrated the official groundbreaking for the new
Battery Center in 2018, we had lots of other smaller groundbreakings
for the peanut plantation as well, where we planted the first peanut
kernels in long rows. As our new Battery Center grew and took shape,
so did the first peanut plants. They flourished – as did the sense of
community among associates.”

The associates are involved in planting, watering and harvesting
throughout the peanut season, which runs from May to September. The
first harvest, back in 2018, already produced 2,000 kg of peanuts from
a plantation almost the size of two football fields. This year’s
harvest was a staggering 3,200 kg.

Besides helping associates to bond with each other and with the
company, a primary focus of the project is to make a sustainable
contribution to the society. Every October, associates organise
charity events at BBA’s three plants, where the homegrown peanuts are
among the goods on sale to colleagues. The proceeds go to local
communities to support infrastructure projects.

“We are convinced that a company can only be successful if it
recognizes the importance of long-term, high-quality development. With
more major construction projects ongoing, our team is focused on
creating a sustainable working environment that is good for our
associates and good for the community,” Flora Zhu adds in conclusion.

Original Press Release