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Bosch Rexroth offers internships for young refugees
There are many reasons why people are currently fleeing their home countries, including war, persecution, and poverty. According to Germany’s office for immigration and refugees, more than 690,000 people filed for asylum in the first nine months of last year. Once they arrived in Germany, they faced myriad new challenges: not only did they have to learn a new language, they also had to come to terms with a foreign culture. Both issues have made finding work especially difficult. And yet joining the job market is critical for successful integration.
Young refugees gained an overview of different occupations during their internships at the Bosch Rexroth training workshop
In cooperation with a school for occupational training in Karstadt, Germany, Bosch Rexroth has now launched a project that aims to give young refugees an initiation to work in their new country. With an internship program in Lohr, Bosch Rexroth aims to give refugee youth an overview of different occupations, as well as an opportunity to learn about the processes of a modern industrial enterprise. The offer is open to students in the second year of occupational integration classes in Karstadt. At the end of November, 16 participants were introduced to machining, electronics, mechatronics, foundry technology, and logistics. On a rotating basis, they were able to experience each area equally. The interns received the support of trainers and apprentices in each of the occupational groups.
Egon Birkenmeier, head of industrial and technical apprenticeships at Bosch Rexroth in Rohr, is satisfied with the results of the initiative. “The interns were very motivated, enthusiastic, and grateful learners. They showed a high level of manual skills and mastered the tasks they were given. We were especially surprised about the German skills they had acquired in such a short period of time.”
At locations across Germany, Bosch is committed to helping refugees take their first steps in the local job market. To this end, the company has created 400 internship spots, which range from short practicums that introduce young people to the different occupations to qualification programs that last several months. “We know how important work is in leading an independent life, and we would like to help people who have fled their home countries gain a foothold in the job market,” says Egon Birkenmeier.
More information about Bosch initiatives that aim to support refugees can be found in our Sustainability Report 2015.
When it comes to intelligent building technology, Bosch is expanding its expertise
The home of the future is smart: connected buildings not only make life more comfortable, they also score points for their energy efficiency. By networking technical equipment in commercial buildings and private households with connected building solutions, energy consumption can be reduced by as much as 40 percent. For Bosch, making the most of this potential marks the next major step toward becoming a one-stop shop for connected systems and services. With the takeover of Skyline Automation, an American specialist for building automation, the company is further expanding this promising business segment. Experts predict that the global market for intelligent building technology will grow from almost six billion dollars today to some 25 billion dollars by 2021.
Cutting costs and protecting the environment
Building automation benefits users in a number of ways. In addition to reducing energy consumption, connected homes protect the environment by automatically turning off the heat when a window is open, for instance. With more than 210,000 internet-enabled products sold, Bosch is already the leading provider of smart heating solutions. Via the “HomeCom” portal, installation companies receive information about their customers’ heating systems, including assessments of possible sources of error. End customers benefit from status updates about their systems, data related to energy consumption and individual energy saving tips. The offer has been well received: according to a Bosch and Twitter survey, 59 percent of German consumers considered energy efficiency to be the best argument in favor of a smart home. The respondents also saw improved comfort as a result of automated processes in a positive light. One in every ten respondents had already connected their homes, or were planning to do so in the future.
When it comes to implementing smart technologies, Bosch benefits from its comprehensive expertise in the realms of software and sensor technologies, as well as from its broad sectoral set-up. “We connect cars with houses, and even entire cities. Like no other company, Bosch brings technical expertise for many different types of devices to the table,” says Dr. Stefan Hartung, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH.
More information on intelligent buildings can be found here.
At the world climate conference, Bosch presented best practice examples of CO2 reduction strategies
How can companies contribute to protecting the climate? This was one of the questions discussed at the 22nd world climate conference in Marrakech. From November 7 to November 18, delegates from more than 190 countries convened to talk about the implementation of the Paris climate agreement, which set the aim of limiting global warming to a maximum of two degrees Celsius. Until now, no national plans have been introduced to put the plan into practice.
On November 14, a press conference on “Business Leadership for Global Climate Action”, which was held by the International Chamber of Industry and Commerce on the occasion of COP 22, addressed the question of how companies can contribute to climate protection. Three representatives of global companies, among them Bosch, presented examples from their sustainability programs. Maxime Bureau, 3M’s Director Government Affairs Europe and a member of the company’s EMEA Operating Committee EMEA, talked about the ways in which 3M helps its customers reuse greenhouse gases, among other things. Jorge Soto, Sustainable Development Director of Braskem, the world’s largest producer of biopolymers, presented a three-pillar model that showed the company’s sustainable business practices throughout the supply chain.
Bernhard Schwager, head of sustainability at Bosch, presented the company’s climate protection activities. Internally, Bosch has set itself the aim of reducing its CO2 emissions relative to value-added by 35 percent over 2007 levels. By 2015, the company had already achieved a 29.7 percent reduction. Doing business in a sustainable manner has also paid off in economic terms: between 2007 and 2014, Bosch was able to save some 530 million euros in energy costs as a result of internal measures. Moreover, Bosch uses the expertise it has gained in internal processes to advise other companies.
At Bosch, energy efficiency also plays an important role at the product level. In recent years, Bosch products across business sectors have become more efficient, and their carbon footprint has been reduced. In the realm of mobility, the Bosch strategy is twofold. On the one hand, the company is continuously working to reduce the emissions of the internal combustion engine, and to make it more efficient. On the other, the company is investing in driving e-mobility forward, for instance with research in the area of battery technology.
From left to right: Karsten Sachs (BAMB), Sabine Nallinger (Stiftung 2°) and Dr. Urs Ruth (Bosch)
During the “German Hour – Challenges and Opportunities for companies in the implementation of the Paris Agreement” panel discussion that was held by Stiftung 2° at the German pavilion, panelists discussed the significance of the 2050 climate protection plan that the German business community concluded on November 14. Among other things, topics discussed included the extent to which companies could contribute to achieving the targets of national climate protection plans. During the discussion, Dr. Urs Ruth, Chief Expert Climate Change and Energy Resources at Robert Bosch GmbH, presented the approaches that Bosch has taken. Technical neutrality, he argued, is a central point: change must occur at a transformative rather than at a destructive pace, and e-fuels must be seen as a possible path away from fossil fuels in the transport sector. Other panelists included Dr. Karsten Sach, head of the international development department at the German Ministry of the Environment, and Sabine Nallinger, Managing Director of Stiftung 2°.
The video of the “Business Leadership for Global Climate Action” press conference can be seen here.
The video of the “Marrakech and beyond – a perspective from business” panel discussion, which Bernhard Schwager also took part in, can be found here.
Current examples of climate protection initiatives at Bosch can be found in the Sustainability Report.
At a panel discussion of the International Chamber of Commerce, Bosch discussed climate protection concepts for emerging markets
Last year, the average global temperature was about 1.2 degrees warmer than before industrialization, making 2016 the warmest year on record. During his presentation at the 22nd World Climate Conference (COP 22) in Marrakech, Petteri Taalas, Secretary General of the World Meteorology Organization (WNO), emphasized the urgency of implementing the Paris climate agreement that global leaders signed last year.
One of the biggest challenges of climate protection lies in transforming the economy. The topic was addressed at a panel discussion entitled “On the way to a resilient, low-carbon future”, which was organized by the International Chamber of Commerce during the World Climate Conference. Panelists from academia and business discussed a range of ways in which existing climate protection solutions could be applied in new markets, as well as how sustainable innovations could be made market ready. Markus Thill, President of Bosch Africa, was among the panelists. He argued that emerging markets in Africa offered many opportunities for sustainable economic growth. For instance, smart networking in agriculture could lead to more efficient use of water and help reduce crop losses. In mining, start/stop systems have the potential to reduce the CO2 emissions of work vehicles by up to 20 percent.
Panelists (from left to right): Russell Mills, Vice-Chair Energy and Climate Leadership Group, ICCA; Dr. Markus Thill, President Region Africa, Bosch Group; Mohamed Ourdedi, moderator and Secretary General of Morocco’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry; and Stuart Neil, Senior Executive Director of the World Energy Council.
With its population of more than one billion people, Africa is a major growth market for Bosch. The company has been active on the continent since 1906, and currently employs some 700 associates in ten countries. With its local presence, Bosch is paving the way for the use of sustainable solutions in the areas of mobility, industrial technology, and consumer goods. Not only does the company provide technology, it also invests in infrastructure and individual education and training programs. For instance, Bosch is involved in the “Afrika kommt!” (Africa is coming!) initiative, which offers young executives from sub-Saharan Africa scholarships in Germany.
More information on sustainable Bosch solutions can be found here.
Current information on the 22nd World Climate Conference can be found here.
Image sources: Bosch and COP 22.
Bosch is involved in a number of research projects that focus on developing innovative energy storage concepts
By 2050, renewable sources of energy will cover more than 80 percent of energy needs. For this reason, offsetting the natural fluctuations in power generated by wind, the sun, and water will be decisive. Energy storage systems will play a central role in this regard. In cooperation with partners from business and science, Bosch is working on a number of pilot projects.
The BiLawE project: electric cars as intelligent energy storage systems
Currently a power bank for mobile phones, an electric vehicle’s battery storage system could one day become part of the power grid, receiving energy from renewable sources. In other words, whenever there is a surplus of energy from green energy sources, the batteries of connected vehicles would be charged. At the same time, the energy storage systems of electric vehicles could also feed energy back into the grid. As part of the publicly funded BiLaWe (bidirectional, inductive charging systems as efficient parts of the power grid) project, Bosch is currently collaborating with the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft to find out how this principle can be applied to develop a bidirectional charge system. “In order to master this task, electric vehicles must be connected to the power grid as often as possible and for as long as possible,” explains Philipp Schumann, a project manager at the Bosch research campus in Renningen. The project partners think that this requirement can be met with publicly accessible inductive charging stations. A vehicle that is located at such a station would be charged without contact via a magnetic field. Since it wouldn’t be necessary to connect the vehicle to the charging station with a cable, the vehicles would be more frequently linked to the energy source. The project is financed by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy and is set to run for three years.
More information on inductive charging systems can be found here.
The “Battery Second Life” project: The rebirth of the car battery
A joint project between Vattenfall, BMW, and Bosch is focusing on the topic of stable power grids. To this end, 2,600 functional used batteries from electric vehicles were used in the development phase: they were connected to one another and turned into a large energy storage system. This system, which has been in operation in a test phase since September 2016, can make energy available within seconds, thus offsetting fluctuations in the power grid. Its capacity is sufficient to supply power to a an average two-person household for a period of seven months. The “Battery 2nd Life” project began in 2013 and is set to run for five years. Among other things, the aim is to make the new energy storage system a lasting part of the energy system.
More information on the energy storage project in Hamburg can be found here.
The DESS2020+ project: storing energy with hydrogen
The aim of the “District Energy Storage and Supply System 2020+” is to stop transporting power generated from renewable sources over large distances in the future. Here, too, opportunities for decentralized energy storage are a central focus. More specifically, Bosch and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) are investigating how an enclosed residential area can be supplied with solar energy that is generated, stored, and consumed locally. The aim is to make energy available to some 100 households as well as to the owners of hydrogen-powered vehicles. To achieve this, the researchers are developing a system based on three core components: a proton exchange membrane electrolyzer (PEM electrolyzer), a fuel cell, and several hydrogen storage tanks. The interplay between them works like this: the PEM electrolyzer uses energy from renewable sources of energy to divide water into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen is stored in tanks and can be used at any time to operate the fuel cells. These, in turn, deliver heating energy for the connected building as required. In contrast to other energy sources, large amounts of hydrogen can be stored at a relatively low price, and this is a major advantage. What is more, it can contribute to eco-friendly mobility. A hydrogen dispenser could be installed at a location where fuel-cell powered vehicles could be filled within a few minutes. Set to run until 2018, the research project is part of the German Federal Ministry of the Economy and Energy’s “Research for an eco-friendly, reliable, and affordable energy supply” research project.
More information on new storage technology for green energy can be found here.