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News | B.A.U.M. e.V. presents environmental prize

Germany’s environment minister presented the B.A.U.M. award during Environment Week in Berlin

What do an engineer from the municipal cleaning department, a former Viva VJ, and a cultural studies expert and food specialist have in common? Each of them has made an outstanding contribution to eco-friendly and socially responsible business. Germany’s environment minister Dr. Barbara Hendricks honored their achievements at an event held on June 6, on the eve of Environment Week in BerlinDr. Hendricks presented the environment prize of the Bundesdeutschen Arbeitskreises für Umweltbewusstes Management e.V. (B.A.U.M.). With 550 members, the German environmental management initiative is Europe’s largest corporate network for sustainable business.

 

The recipients of the 2016 B.A.U.M. environment prize with Dr. Barbara Hendricks, Germany’s environment minister

 

Since 1984, the initiative has awarded the prize to individuals for their commitment to promoting sustainability and protecting the environment. This year, the television and radio host Tobias Schlegl was among the award recipients. He was honored for his successful approach to making environmental and sustainability-related topics interesting to younger people. The photographer Nomi Baumgartl also took home a prize for her art projects, which raise awareness on the impact of modern lifestyles on the environment and climate. In the large companies category, B.A.U.M. acknowledged the achievements of Kristian Kijewski. Kijewski is in charge of environmental management at Berlin’s city cleaning department. When it comes to protecting the environment, he has successfully made his department a role model and multiplier.

 

At Environment Week, the B.A.U.M. jury members (from left to right) Fritz Lietsch, Ulrich Walter, Dieter Brübach (B.A.U.M. chairman), and Bernhard Schwager seized the opportunity to chat with German President Joachim Gauck

 

A Bosch executive is among past winners of the prize. In 2009, Franz Fehrenbach, at the time chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH, received the B.A.U.M. environment prize for his company’s consistent commitment to sustainability. During his tenure, the Bosch Group introduced a global management program for climate protection, among other things. The aim was to reduce CO2 emissions relative to value-added by 20 percent by 2020 over 2007 levels. This target was reached in 2015, and Bosch has since raised the target to 35 percent.

More information on the B.A.U.M. environment prize and a list of winners can be found here (only in German available).

 

Photographis: Bernhard Schwager

News | Sustainability summit

Several thousand experts convened at Schloss Bellevue for Environment Week

On June 7 and 8, the fifth annual “Environment Week” took place at Schloss Bellevue, the German president’s residence. In cooperation with the German Federal Environment Foundation, German President Joachim Gauck invited several thousand experts from the worlds of science, business, politics, and media, as well as representatives of civil society. The aim was to discuss current environmental topics.

 

German President Joachim Gauck welcomed guests to the Schloss Bellevue grounds

 

At the same time, the 4,000 square meter exhibit on the castle grounds served to present a selection of 200 innovations for environmental protection. Almost 12,000 visitors took advantage of the opportunity to get informed about innovative products, services, and concepts.

 

Around 200 exhibitors presented their projects over the course of Environment Week

 

Bosch was also one of the exhibitors. At the company’s booth, associates used an intelligent reproduction of the Mona Lisa to show how environmental sensors in a connected environment can ensure a healthy ambient climate. A 3x3 mm Bosch sensor was used that can monitor air pressure, humidity, room temperature, and air quality simultaneously. If the figures deviated too strongly from the norm, the painting responded. If air quality was bad, the Mona Lisa’s skin turned green. If it was too dry, the portrait cracked. In the future, environmental sensors will be suitable for use especially in the realm of intelligent building and logistics applications.

 

Dr. Werner Struth, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH, at the company’s exhibit.

 

In addition to the exhibit, there were a total of six main forums and 80 specialist forums in which experts addressed current sustainability-related topics. At the “Current status and outlook: the tools of sustainable business for the implementation of the UN’s Agenda 2030 – management systems and reporting“ forum, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were discussed, which have been in force since the start of 2016. Bernhard Schwager, the head of sustainability at Bosch, explained the approach the company has taken to prioritize 17 of the 169 sub-goals of Agenda 2030. In so doing, Bosch has drawn a link to its own sustainability activities. 

 

Bernhard Schwager on a panel with Annette Schmidt-Räntsch (German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety) and Holger Robrecht (ICLEI)

 

Dr. Werner Struth, member of the board of management at Robert Bosch GmbH, emphasized the relevance of energy efficiency and a decentralized energy supply at the “Energy turnaround and climate protection: what needs to be done?” forum. Particularly in production, there is a great deal of room for improvement. According to Struth, more than 80 percent of process heat generation systems do not meet current technical standards and thus cause high costs and emissions. At the “energy efficiency table”, visitors had the opportunity to familiarize themselves with efficient Bosch technologies. For instance, heat recovery and decentralized power generation contribute to significantly reducing CO2 emissions, and this also helps protect the environment and achieve EU climate targets. By 2030, greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced by 20 percent, and energy efficiency increased by 20 percent.

More information on the fifth annual Environment Week can be found here (only in German available).

More information on a decentralized energy supply with Bosch technologies can be found here.

More information on Bosch MEMS sensors can be found here.

 

All pictures by Bernhard Schwager

News | Discovering diversity

More than 200 locations around the world took part in the third annual Bosch Diversity Day

Diversity comes in many forms, from gender and age to ethnic and cultural background. Around the world, Bosch is committed to ensuring that associates of all backgrounds and lifestyles cooperate with one another. This is because the company believes that combining different areas of expertise and experiences can bring forth unique ideas and solutions. Against this backdrop, the company celebrated Bosch Diversity Day for the third time on June 7. The slogan of this year’s event was “Discover Diversity – you are a part of it!”. Associates at more than 200 Bosch locations around the world addressed the different aspects of diversity at the company. One thing was clear: Diversity makes Bosch strong and successful all over the world.

Here are a few images of Diversity Day 2016: 

Associates in Vietnam held a photography contest for the most diverse team. Associates either wore traditional clothing, or garments that reflected their hobbies, and talked about it.

 

In Turkey, associates tested their knowledge with a Diversity Day quiz.

 

In Malaysia, associates presented traditional Malaysian dances, among other things.

 

In Abstatt, Germany, associates were invited to have their picture taken as part of the “most diverse team contest”.

 

At the Budapest location, associates took on challenging tasks as part of an Escape Games event. Under time pressure, teams had to play for the parts of a vehicle that they then had to make fit to drive.

More information on the third annual Bosch Diversity Day can be found here (only in German available).

News | Intelligent sensor systems for Industry 4.0

Bosch RoMulus research project will make small and medium-sized companies stronger

Multi-sensor systems are decisive to the success of Industry 4.0 applications. Today, both machines and components are increasingly equipped with intelligent sensor systems, and can thus provide information about their status at all times. On the basis of these data, production can largely organize itself.

 

 

The German sensor technology sector is dominated by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). However, these companies cannot cover all of the elements required for the development and production of multi-sensor systems. For this reason, they depend on cooperation with semi-conductor manufacturers and research and development service providers. To support SMEs and make future cooperation easier, Bosch has entered into a partnership with ten other organizations, including the Fraunhofer Institute and Munich Technical University. Since the fall of 2015, these organizations have pooled their expertise in the “Robust multi-sensor technology for status monitoring in Industry 4.0 applications” (RoMulus) research project. Over the next three years, the project aims to simplify and accelerate the development of intelligent multisensor systems. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is supporting RoMulus with some 4.5 million euros as part of the IKT2020 funding program. This amount represents about 70 percent of the total required investment.

“RoMulus makes it possible to design and produce robust and energy-efficient multi-sensor systems at a low cost, also for small production volumes,” said Dr. Reinhard Neul of Robert Bosch GmbH. “This makes German manufacturers of sensor technologies leaders with regard to establishing an important technical basis for Industry 4.0.” As a driver of innovation, RoMulus is helping ensure that Germany remains competitive. At the same time, the project aims to strengthen the market position of small and medium sized companies in the sensor technology sector. As a result, these companies will in the future be able to offer their industrial customers tailored solutions at a significantly lower price.

With more than 100 Industry 4.0 projects, Bosch is also improving the energy and resource efficiency of its own production at locations around the world. This has had a positive impact on the company’s carbon footprint. Thanks to the real time analysis of production data, sources of error can be detected and eliminated at an early stage. At the same time, precise production ensures that inventory levels remain low. It also reduces the cost of transport, storage, and energy.

More information about RoMulus can be found here.

News | From guideline to standard

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) discusses the future of CSR reporting

For years, the sustainability report was considered the most important element of CSR reporting. But is that changing in the age of big data? And how can the growing amount of sustainability-related data be used in a useful and transparent manner? These and other confquestions were addressed at the 5th Annual Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Conference in Amsterdam. This time around, the theme of the conference was “Empowering Sustainable Decisions”. Some 1,200 CSR executives from more than 70 countries convened to talk about the future of sustainability reporting.

 

Allen White, co-founder of GRI and CEO of the Global Initiative for Sustainable Ratings (GISR), gave a presentation on statistics authorities and the SDGs (Picture by Bernhard Schwager)

 

One of the central topics of discussion was the wealth of information that can be accessed online at all times in the age of digitization. Against this backdrop, digital reporting is gaining significance. In the future, the GRI’s newly established “Digital Reporting Alliance” will focus on this topic. Above all, the initiative will address the question of how large data volumes can be structured and processed for reporting purposes. By the same token, the initiative aims to increase demand for digital reporting, which is still low.

“Sustainability information from business and government represents a vast amount of data that is currently underutilized. For innovation to take place, this information needs to be liberated and provided in a way that can be analyzed and integrated,” said Michael Meehan, GRI’s Chief Executive. “There is overwhelming public and private sector demand for GRI to provide this data so that these organizations can develop innovative solutions. This was the number one recommendation from the GRI Technology Consortium, and the Digital Reporting Alliance will put this recommendation into practice.”

 

Michael Meehan, managing director of GRI, emphasized the importance of systematic data processing in sustainability reporting (Picture by Bernhard Schwager)

 

Another important topic at this year’s conference were the G4 guidelines for the creation of the GRI report, which are being further developed into the GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards. In addition to three universal standards, organizations can now choose which of another 35 are relevant for them. This will encourage a greater number of companies, governments, and NGOs to draft sustainability reports based on GRI standards. The final standards will be published in the fall of 2016.

The Global Reporting Initiative has been continuously developing its guidelines since 1997. The aim is to create global sustainability reporting standards, thus making it possible to objectively assess the economic, ecological, and social performance of the reporting bodies, and to enable comparisons between them. As one of 5,000 companies, Bosch supports the initiative. The company believes that a globally recognized evaluation system is needed to guarantee transparent reporting. This not only applies to sustainability reports, but also to corporate ratings in general. The Global Initiative for Sustainable Ratings (GISR) has set itself the aim of harmonizing these standards. Founded in 2011, the non-profit organization aims to establish a global standard for doing business in an eco-friendly, socially responsible, and ethical manner. At present, there are 135 organzations offering 568 different rating products. Among other things, a common system would help increase the relevance of sustainability ratings. Bosch is also involved in the process of developing such a system. In fact, the company took part in developing the rating principles that were published in 2013. Allen White, the founder of GISR and a member of GRI, moderated a panel discussion at the conference that addressed the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the data of statistics authorities. 

More information on GRI can be found here.