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The sustainable cities of the future
By 2050, about two-thirds of the world population will be living in cities. Today, urban conurbations already account for around 75 percent of global energy consumption. Traffic density in urban areas will triple by 2050, which will also increase the need to protect the climate. For this reason, in 2017 Bosch decided to focus its efforts on the sustainable development of cities, which promotes the achievement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 11. “The city of 2050 will use renewable sources of energy. It will combine modes of transport intelligently and conserve resources,” said Dr. Volkmar Denner, chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH. In brief: “The city of tomorrow is connected, sustainable, and livable.” In the Bosch Sustainability Report 2017, the company presents the broad range of solutions it offers for the cities of the future.
Five approaches to transforming cities
Bosch has come up with five approaches to rethinking cities. With “New types of space”, the company is focusing on ways of reducing energy consumption in urban buildings. At the same time, Bosch is driving “New forms of mobility” forward with the aim of making the road traffic of the future emissions-free, stress-free, and accident-free with climate-friendly technologies and connected infrastructure solutions. The new iDisc brake disc is one example of how the company is doing this. Compared with conventional brake discs, the iDisc reduces brake dust by as much as 90 percent.
With “New types of work”, Bosch is developing innovations that make day-to-day work more agile, more efficient, and safer. In the area of “New means of production”, the company is focusing on resource-friendly applications. For instance, the GoGreen program has saved more than 150,000 tons of CO₂ since 2011. And with “New forms of social interaction”, Bosch is cooperating with its regional foundations to fulfill its commitment to social responsibility. Supporting young people is one aspect of this commitment. The aim is to give young people better opportunities for the future, regardless of their background.
One result of this broad range of measures is that Bosch had reduced its CO2 emissions by a third in 2017 over the 2007 reference year. Water consumption has been cut by 10 percent in the past two years alone, and the volume of waste has decreased four percent. What is more, Bosch has conducted 740 environmental audits of its suppliers since 2010. The number of accidents per million hours worked has decreased by about two-thirds since 2007. The company has also made progress in terms of gender equality: in 2017, women held more than one in six management positions at Bosch.
The Bosch Sustainability Report 2017 can be found here.
Stories on the five Bosch approaches to sustainable cities can be found here.
Bosch Diversity Day emphasizes the importance of diversity
On April 26, more than 400,000 associates at 125 Bosch locations around the world took part in the fifth annual international Bosch Diversity Day festivities over a period of 24 hours. The event aims to showcase the Bosch Group’s diversity with a broad range of initiatives, workshops, and dialogs. All associates around the globe were invited to participate at their respective locations, and to contribute their ideas. Many of them took the opportunity to learn more about colleagues with different cultural backgrounds, lifestyles, and world views. They also became more aware of the importance of diversity for the company’s success.
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The “You made my Day” initiative was held at seven locations in Germany and Poland. Bosch associates were asked to write about “Who makes your day and why?” on postcards and send them to their colleagues around the world to express their appreciation. The cards were then distributed on Diversity Day. “We are all different, and these differences matter,” said Dr. Volkmar Denner, the chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH. “Being aware of and appreciating our differences can benefit our day-to-day work, and is increasingly a decisive success factor. We thus need everyone’s commitment in this regard.”
Bosch associates celebrate the diversity day in Dubai.
Gaining a better understanding of ourselves
Another Diversity Day highlight was the “Unconscious Bias“ workshop that was held at locations around the world, where participants learned more about their own unconscious thought patterns. While these patterns help people make quick decisions in their everyday lives, they can also be based on stereotypes and clichés. By becoming aware of one’s own thought patterns, interactions with colleagues and peers can be improved. In the Czech Republic, Bosch associates wrote down their own unconscious bias on cards and then attached them to balloons to symbolically send them off forever. This was just one of many Diversity Day events that took place around the globe
New Bosch diesel technology minimizes nitrogen oxide emissions
Reducing nitrogen oxide emissions protects the climate, and a new Bosch diesel technology helps achieve this. At the annual Bosch press conference on April 25, Dr. Volkmar Denner, chairman of the board of management, presented a breakthrough in diesel research. The Bosch innovations have made it possible to significantly reduce the nitrogen oxide emissions of vehicles, to the point that real driving emissions (RDE) are well below current limits as well as target limits for 2020. To achieve this, Bosch engineers fine-tuned existing technologies. Additional components that would result in higher costs are not required. “We have pushed the boundaries of what is technically possible,” said Volkmar Denner.
A record in lowering emissions
Since 2017, European legislation has required that new vehicle models emit a maximum of 168 milligrams of nitrogen oxide per kilometer travelled. This limit takes into account an RDE-compliant mix of urban, long-haul, and highway driving. From 2020, emissions limits will decrease to a maximum of 120 milligrams. Bosch technology already achieves a record value of 13 milligrams per kilometer – about a tenth of the future limit. Even with challenging urban drives, Bosch test vehicles have achieved an average of 40 milligrams per kilometer. This has been made possible by a combination of sophisticated fuel injection technology, a newly developed air system, and intelligent temperature management.
Smart and transparent
In addition to these latest innovations, Bosch continues to improve the diesel engine, now also with the help of artificial intelligence. The aim is to develop an internal combustion engine that runs practically without producing nitrogen oxide and particulate emissions. “We still believe that diesel will play an important role in the mobility mix of the future. Until we see a breakthrough with e-mobility, we need a highly efficient internal combustion engine,” said Denner. Another important step will be achieving a transparent carbon footprint for road traffic that also takes emissions from fuel production and power generation into account.
More information on innovative Bosch diesel technologies can be found here
Bosch associates in Austria support refugees in their everyday lives
In 2015, more than one million people filed for asylum in Europe. This was one of the biggest migration movements in the continent’s history, and it was met with an unprecedented willingness to help. Bosch was among those who offered support, and it has since kept up its commitment to helping refugees in the process of integration. In 2015, Bosch associates donated some 400,000 euros, and the company more than doubled the total sum. The funds have gone toward supporting over 100 refugee aid initiatives. One of them is the “Support vor Ort: Bosch-MitarbeiterInnen helfen!” (Local support: Bosch associates are helping out). The project was launched at the Vienna location at the end of 2015. It is based on the idea that successful integration requires a lasting commitment. For two years now, Bosch associates have helped people who have been granted refugee status navigate the challenges of daily life in Austria.
Today, 25 volunteers support 40 children and their families with visits to the authorities. They also act as confidants and help refugees build new friendships in their host community. Ultimately, the initiative aims to help participants help themselves, enabling them to lead an independent life in a new country. At the first meeting in wintery Vienna, most of the participants were “still very shy and didn’t speak much,” says Joanna Hummelbrunner, head of HR at Bosch Austria and the project’s initiator. One of the first steps was to find a German teacher for the Vienna location.
Since then, language barriers have largely been overcome. What is more, the project inspired Bosch associates to offer extra help in other subjects as well. Their efforts have borne fruit: some of the project participants have found permanent jobs in Austria at ÖBB, Eurest, Fond Soziales Wien, amongst others. In fact, 6 of them now work at Bosch. Project participants often engage in activities beyond job-related initiatives: the project has been a guest at coffee houses, and participants have organized an Afghan dinner, played in a soccer tournament, and spent an evening at Vienna’s Prater amusement park. Johanna Hummelbrunner is pleased with the results of the project: “The people we supported have really developed and been able to integrate on an educational and professional level. In so doing, they have not only learned a great deal, they have also made friends that they may keep for life.”
More information about the project can be found here
Bosch is continuing its training initiative in southern Europe with a second cohort
Marc del Arco Jassans and Juan Manuel Cañadas Torres proudly hold up their certificates from the International Chamber of Commerce. Following three years of training in Germany, they can now call themselves mechatronics engineers. Jassans und Cañadas Torres are two of 38 young men and women from Spain who have successfully completed an apprenticeship at Bosch in Germany.
Marc del Arco Jassans and Juan Manuel Cañadas Torres receive their certificates from the International Chamber of Commerce.
To help fight high youth unemployment in southern Europe, in 2013 Bosch launched a training initiative for the region. At the time, 45 young people in Spain began preparing for an apprenticeship at Bosch in Germany. All of them shared a common aim: “to learn something that is fun and provides good prospects for the future,” says Cañadas Torres. Prior to starting their apprenticeships, the young people completed several months of language lessons in their home country and an internship in Germany.
Number of apprenticeship spots increased
In light of the program’s initial success, Bosch has decided to continue with a second cohort. Youth unemployment in southern Europe is still high. In Spain, for instance, it currently stands at 36 percent. To help counter this, Bosch has added another 75 apprenticeship spots. “A qualified apprenticeship improves the employment prospects of many boys and girls. Without adequate training, entering the labor market is very difficult,” says Christoph Kübel, member of the board of management and director of industrial relations at Robert Bosch GmbH.
Christoph Kübel, member of the Bosch board of management, with the Spanish apprentices Ana Maria San Andres Gonzalez and Juan Manuel Cañadas Torres.
In the first cycle of the apprenticeship program, Bosch made 14 million euros available over a period of four years. The funds went toward creating 175 apprenticeship spots for young people from Spain, Portugal, and Italy. Around 85 percent of the program participants successfully completed their training, and many have stayed at Bosch. Of 38 former Spanish apprentices, 30 have accepted positions at the company in Germany or Spain.
Learn more about what Bosch is doing to fight youth unemployment in Italy here