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News | Silver anniversary for environmental norms

Bosch attends the 25th anniversary of the “Töpfer Agreement”

On September 25, the German Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Protection, and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) celebrated 25 years of successful cooperation with the German Institute for Standardization (DIN). A quarter of a century ago, the two signed the “Töpfer Agreement,” which is named after Professor Klaus Töpfer, Germany’s former environment minister. The agreement marked the first time that environmental concerns were considered in standardization processes. Round about 100 guests attended the ceremony, among them Bernhard Schwager, the head of the sustainability office at Bosch and chairman of the DIN committee for environmental management and audit. The event was used as an opportunity to discuss the milestones and challenges of sustainable standardization work.

https://sustainabilityblog.bosch.com/documents/4321687/4322991/KW40_DIN.jpg/5800d6be-fb4b-1467-f489-32aa59e57a81?t=1506073173950

(Photo: Christian Kruppa)

A diverse program

In his opening words at the start of the event, Dietmar Horn, a ministerial director, department head at BMUB, and a member of the DIN board of directors, addressed the significance of the “Töpfer agreement” for environmental protection and standardization. Professor Töpfer’s presentation was a highlight of the evening. His talk focused on the value of standardization tools in reaching political goals such as the United Nations’ Agenda 2030. The agenda aims to strike a balance between scientific progress and social justice, all the while respecting ecological limitations. During the panel discussion that followed Professor Töpfer’s talk, experts from the worlds of business, politics, and trade associations looked back on the highlights of the past 25 years and identified priorities for the future. In his presentation, Bernhard Schwager focused on the success of environmental standardization. The ISO 14001 standard, which is now used in around 300,000 organizations, has succeeded in reaching the second place in the ISO world, right behind the ISO 9001 quality standard. Bosch itself already has 257 locations worldwide, which conform to ISO 14001.

Twenty-five years of environmental expertise

The 1992 “Töpfer Agreement” marked the beginning of the DIN coordination office for environmental protection (KU), as well as the DIN standardization committee for the basic principles of environmental protection (NAGUS). These two bodies make a decisive contribution to ensuring that environmental concerns are an integral part of the daily processes of organizations. The KU supports DIN standardization committees in making environmental aspects part of their work.

NAGUS has played a leading role in developing trailblazing standards such as ISO 14001 for environmental management systems, ISO 14040 for carbon footprint-related assessments, and ISO 50001 for energy management systems. These and other guidelines now make an important contribution to reaching UN sustainability targets around the world.

More information on the 25th anniversary of the “Töpfer Agreement” can be found here.

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