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International committee develops ISO environmental standards further
For ten days, Seoul was the environmental management capital of the world. At the beginning of September, the South Korean metropolis hosted the annual ISO/TC 207 Technical Committee meeting. The international group of experts aims to create global environmental management standards for organizations. To this end, 250 delegates, experts, representatives of partner organizations, and observers from 40 countries travelled to Asia for the committee’s 23rd plenary meeting. Nine participants from Germany attended the event to represent their national interests in sub-committees and working groups. Bosch was among them, and played an active role.
L.T.R. Christoph Töpfer (UBA), Dr. Joachim Nibbe (Koordinierungsbüro Normungsarbeit der Umweltverbände Berlin), Bernhard Schwager, Martina Prox (IFU Hamburg), Reiner Hager (DIN Berlin), Volker Gehr (Steinbeis Glückstadt) and Peter Saling (BASF)
The event focused on the further development of the ISO 14000fff series of environmental norms. The norm provides organizations around the world with guidelines on how to implement environmental management systems; carry out audits, inspections, and environmental performance assessments; and perform eco-labeling processes.
ISO 14001 – the most well known norm – was revised in 2015. Since then, ISO 14004 has also been introduced. It serves as a guide on the principles, systems, and methods of environmental management. In the future, it will help organizations make environmental protection an integral part of all their processes more easily. Around the world, some 300,000 organizations have already received ISO 14001 certification. Of these, 8,000 are in Germany. Environmental management systems have been introduced at all Bosch locations. Some 80 percent of locations have received external certification, and the remaining locations are set to follow.
In order to promote the introduction of environmental management systems at small and medium-sized companies, the technical committee also began revising the ISO 14005 norm, which includes instructions on the gradual introduction of an environmental management system. In the future, the norm will be simpler and more flexible. What is more, the current version will make it possible for organizations to integrate environmental management in their core business. The changes are scheduled to be implemented by the fall of 2018.
For the first time, the experts addressed the topic of the monetary assessment of environmental issues. To this end, the ISO 14007 and 14008 standards will specify suitable processes in the future. The new focus aims to make environmental concerns a more important part of decision-making processes in politics and business. Germany will play in active role in the development of the new norm.
An interview of the "Forum Nachhaltig Wirtschaften" magazine with Bernhard Schwager on the ISO standards can be found here.
More information on environmental management at Bosch can be found here.
Bosch receives the “Green Controlling Prize”
In a traditionally sustainable company such as Bosch controlling takes on a key role. As “green” consultant of the board of management it ensures that a balance is struck between economic interests and environmental concerns. For this approach to manage sustainability targets, Bosch was honored with the “Green Controlling Prize”, an award of 10,000 euros, at the end of September. The prize was established by the Péter-Horváth Stiftung in cooperation with the International Controllers Association (ICV). Each year, the prize honors best practical solutions for the effective management of ecological programs, projects, or measures.
LTR: Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Péter Horváth, Dr. Richard Watterott, Bernhard Schwager, Dr. Stefan Asenkerschbaumer and Siegfried Gänßlen
Dr. Stefan Asenkerschbaumer, deputy CEO of Robert Bosch GmbH, gave a presentation about the basic principles of the “System for strategic and operational environmental controlling,” which Bosch has established in all of its business processes. The company’s e-mobility activities are one example of how Bosch has done this. By developing electric motors, the corresponding power electronics, and components, the company aims to drive powertrain electrification forward. This poses a challenge for controlling, as it is not yet clear when and with which technology a market breakthrough will take place. This is why Bosch relies on scenario analysis, the results of which its financing measures are based on.
In his presentation, Dr. Stefan Asenkerschbaumer, deputy CEO of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH, addressed the basic principles of the controlling approach
The company’s sustainability targets are characterized by operational controlling, which is carried out in a decentralized manner. The divisions receive targets for their global business activities, which are broken down to the product unit or site level. Responsibilities are then distributed accordingly. In this way, Bosch aims to reduce its CO2 emissions relative to value-added by 35 percent by 2020 over 2007 levels.
“The Bosch solution is a shining example of how ecological concerns are addressed across the board around the world. It shows how associates take the environment into account in their everyday work, and especially illustrates the active role that controllers play as ‘green’ business partners,” said Professor Péter Horváth, who conferred the prize.
The prize money will go toward supporting the Primavera e.V. charitable initiative. Founded by current and former Bosch associates in 1990, the organization supports children in need. Today, it is active in 15 countries and helps provide opportunities for children living in slums.
More information about the “Green Controlling Prize" can be found here (only in German available).
More information on the Primavera e.V. charitable initiative can be found here.
Picture source: Horváth & Partners / konferenzfotografie.de
German Chancellor invites integration network to knowledge-sharing event
What does successful integration look like and how can companies create opportunities for refugees? On September 14, German Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed these two questions with members of the “Wir zusammen” (“Us together”) platform in Berlin. The head of government used the meeting at the Federal Chancellery to gain insights into the activities of the participating companies – among them Bosch, Daimler, and Thyssenkrupp – with regard to the training and employment of refugees. A study that “Wir zusammen” conducted in cooperation with the Roland Berger management consultancy served as the basis for discussion. The study highlighted the opportunities that refugees create for the German economy. At the same time, experts argue that the professional qualifications of immigrants should be further improved, and hiring processes simplified – for instance by reducing administrative hurdles.
Against this backdrop, the aim of “Wir zusammen” is to help refugees become part of German society, and to enable them to access training and work opportunities. To this end, since February 2016 the platform has pooled the integration projects of more than 120 companies from different sectors. The members have already created about 3,800 internships and 750 apprenticeship opportunities. Until now, 490 refugees have been taken on as employees. Almost 16,500 members are active at the companies and serve as mentors for the newly arrived.
At the beginning of September, German Federal President Joachim Gauck visited “Wir zusammen” event in Essen to gain insights into the network’s activities. In his welcoming address, the German Federal President commended the commitment of those who actively help people who have sought asylum in Germany. After his speech, the head of state spoke with representatives of the network – among them Dieter Lochbihler of the Robert Bosch GmbH works council – about the opportunities and challenges of integration. Moreover, guests had the opportunity to find out more about the alliance thanks to an exhibit about five sample projects.
As a member of “Wir zusammen”, Bosch helps young refugees prepare to live and work in their new environment. The company’s sponsorship of a project in Immenstadt in Germany’s Allgäu region reflects its commitment. The state-of-the-art manufacturing location has created three rotating internship spots for 24 young refugees who are living in the town. The aim is to help them enter the labor market more easily. The internships are run in cooperation with the Immenstadt vocational school and last six weeks each. Mentoring programs with Bosch associates as well as supporting German lessons help participants with the process of integration. Thanks to the highly motivated young interns, the first round of internships was a huge success.
More information on the work of “Wir zusammen” can be found here (only in German available).
Origin of photo material: Federal Government (Hans-Christian Plambeck) and wir zusammen.
An innovative Bosch water injection system saves fuel and CO2
With the WaterBoost system, Bosch is the first and only automotive supplier to offer a water injection system for gasoline engines. The aim is to promote fuel savings, as even modern internal combustion systems consume up to a fifth of their fuel for engine cooling purposes. By injecting water, gas consumption can be noticeably reduced, especially in driving situations with high rpms. The trailblazing technology helps saves fuel especially in mid-sized vehicles with downsized engines. The BMW M4 GTS is the first series-produced vehicle to be equipped with the WaterBoost system.
The water injection technology is based on a simple principle. To ensure that the engine does not overheat, a fine water mist is sprayed into the intake passage before injection, which evaporates and ensures effective cooling. Water demand is low: a small additional tank filled with five liters of distilled water suffices for 3,000 kilometers. As a result, even when the car accelerates rapidly or is travelling on the highway, fuel consumption decreases by as much as 13 percent.
The new technology not only makes vehicles more eco-friendly, it also improves their performance. The ignition time occurs earlier and the optimized center of gravity leads to greater efficiency . As a result, the engine operates more efficiently and its performance is up to five percent better – for more horsepower with the same engine displacement and boost pressure. At the same time, the use of water protects the components in the engine’s interior and reduces knocking, which can damage the engine. Ultimately, the H2O engine promotes better performance and lower fuel consumption. For this reason, it definitely has a bright future.
More information on waterpower for gasoline engines can be found here.