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News | Increasing agricultural yield in nutrient-poor soils

News | Classrooms for cancer patients

At Chinese hospitals, Bosch supports school classes for children with leukemia

For children, leukemia means no playgrounds, no school, and practically no contact with other kids their age. Despite good chances of remission, children with leukemia must undergo intensive treatment over a period of one to two years. This keeps them isolated during an important phase in their socialization. To give these children access to education in a child-friendly atmosphere, a hospital in the city of Kunming in southern China offers classes directly at the ward. The Bosch China Charity Center (BCCC) supports the project in the capital of Yunnan Province.

A ray of light on the path to education

The initiative is managed by the New Sunshine Charity Foundation, a non-governmental organization with headquarters in Beijing. The foundation builds special classrooms at hospitals that are tailored to the children’s needs. Since 2015, 25 classrooms have been built in 12 Chinese provinces. “The New Sunshine Hospital School fills the gap that is created when children have to stay in hospital for extended periods of time,” says Michelle Gao, BCCC manager for the project in Kunming. “They should gradually get used to life at the hospital, while at the same time being able to continue taking part in school life during their treatment.”

Together with their teachers and volunteer helpers, twelve students between the ages of 5 and 8 learn about different subjects in their classes. The Bosch China Charity Center finances the required school supplies. Bosch wants to keep building on this commitment. The BCCC is thus planning to support New Sunshine’s work with around 1,000,000 yuan (approx. 137,000 euros) over the next two years.

Better prospects, less poverty

Founded in 2011, the Bosch China Charity Center supports activities that benefit poor or disadvantaged children. By 2016, more than 10.5 million euros had been spent on over 70 projects around the world. With an annual budget of 3.4 million euros, funding focuses mainly on educational initiatives for children and young people, as well as on projects that aim to fight poverty in central and western China. To drive projects such as classes at the Kunming hospital forward, the BCCC works closely with several partners, including private and public foundations.

More information on the Bosch China Charity Center can be found here

News | Making safety a top priority

Bosch Jaipur wins two National Safety Awards

The National Safety Award is biggest award of its kind in India. It honors a company’s commitment for achieving two things: an accident-free year and the lowest accident rate. On September 17, the Ministry of Labour and Employment honored this year’s winners in New Delhi. Pravin Saraf, Vice President Technical Head at the Bosch Jaipur location, accepted the prizes in both categories on behalf of the company.  

Shri Santosh Gangwar, India’s Minister of Labour and Employment, honoured achievements that companies realized in 2015. The National Safety Award thus indirectly acknowledges efforts that Bosch has been making in Jaipur since 2011. It was at this point that the location developed its vision in terms of safety: the aim was nothing less than to achieve an accident-free workplace.

Accident free for five years already

The Bosch “Zero accident Approach” in Jaipur began at the highest hierarchical level, and has been very effective from the start. Lessons learnt from 2 accidents in 2011/2012, JaP foremost focus was on Engineering control and behavioural aspect of employees. JaP middle management, associates and contract workmen were involved extensively in this approach. Just two years after the project was launched, the Bosch Jaipur location was accident free, and has been ever since. To firmly establish this high level of occupational safety in the long term, in 2016 those in charge of the initiative also began addressing the families of associates with the “Safety 360° drive” project.

With these activities, the Jaipur location made a major contribution for further reducing the “number of accidents per million hours worked” at Bosch in 2016. Today, the figure is 2.7 compared with 6.8 in 2007.

More information about the company’s progress in terms of occupational safety can be found here.

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.

News | The race for global life quality – The SDG Index

Almost two years after the Sustainability Development Goals were launched, experts are now taking stock of progress.

Achieving equality for all, ending poverty, and minimizing climate change are just three of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that the governments of 157 United Nations member states agreed on in 2015. The SDG Index now offers insights into how far we have made it on the road toward achieving these goals. Based on 99 indicators, the ranking shows which countries have come the closest. This year, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland have taken the top spots. The Democratic Republic of Congo, Chad, and the Central African Republic are at the bottom of the ranking. Germany is in sixth place, scoring points for its low poverty rate and high standing in terms of education and industrial progress. In contrast, Germany showed room for improvement in the areas of climate and ocean protection, as well as in the realm is sustainable production and consumption.

In the most recent edition of the SDG index, spill-over effects were considered for the first time. These refer to the negative impact the industrialized nations have on poorer countries, for instance because of the exploitation of resources and weapons exports.

The SDGs as a guideline

As a member of the United Nations Global Compact, Bosch has committed to pursuing 11 of the 17 SDGs. “Thanks to these development goals, we can measure our activities based on their relevance for society and ask ourselves how our innovations contribute to sustainable social change,” says Dr. Volkmar Denner, the chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH. In 2016, the company spent 55 percent of its R&D budget on technologies related to the environment and safety. For instance, Bosch is committed to developing innovations that cut CO2 emissions in the areas of e-mobility and automated driving.

Moreover, the company cooperates with Robert Bosch Stiftung on projects that support health and social well-being. In 2016, the Robert Bosch Center for Tumor Diseases was opened. “We need to continuously assess our position, allow for a change of perspective, and be ready to forge new paths. I strongly believe that, with the right definition of innovation, business can make a significant contribution to solving the challenges society faces,” says Volkmar Denner.

More information and details on the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals can be found in the SDG Index.

To find more about what Bosch is doing to help achieve the SDGs, please consult the Sustainability Report.

News | Freedom is the first choice

Bosch gives a forum journalists in exile

Developments at Robert Bosch Stiftung

For journalists in exile who have fled from dictatorships and warzones, the right to free elections is an important accomplishment in the fight for freedom and against repression. Ahead of the German federal election on September 24, Robert Bosch Stiftung, the German daily newspaper Tagesspiegel, and Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung cooperated to organize a special lecture series that focused on freedom. Over the course of workshops, journalists who fled from Syria, Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, and Azerbaijan discussed the topics of freedom, democracy, and self-determination. Their contributions were subsequently published in a special section of the Tagesspiegel entitled “We Choose Freedom”.

Jamal Ali (Foto: Doris Klaas)

 

"I am free when I don’t have to justify who I am. When I came to Germany, I felt totally free; I was euphoric. I came straight from prison straight to Berlin. Sometimes I feel that my freedom is compromised because I have to justify why I am here. I want to feel accepted, or at the very least tolerated."

Jamal Ali (30, Azerbaijan, in Germany since 2012) works for Meydan TV, the broadcaster by Azerbaijanis in exile. He is also a trainee at ALEX Berlin. In his article, he describes the status of journalists in his home country and the influence of oil imports on European foreign policy.

 

Negin Behkam (Foto: Doris Klaas)


"What does freedom mean to me? That I am no longer obliged to wear the hijab in public. Or that I don’t need to worry about going to jail for expressing my opinion. Of course, I have more freedom in Germany than in Iran. But my fight for freedom continues here. I would like this society to perceive me as an individual one day, and not only as a representative of the country I fled from, and of a religion that I was oppressed by."

Negin Behkam (33, Iran) has been in Berlin since 2011, where she works for the “Amal, Berlin!” news platform. Her article addresses the political system in Iran and the debate about the dominant German culture.

Mustafa Aldabbas (Foto: Kitty Kleist-Heinrich)


"For me, freedom means having the possibility of writing freely as a journalist, and of openly expressing criticism without running the risk of being censored or placed on a black list. As a gay man, freedom means being able to be open about my sexuality without worrying that I could be discriminated against, tortured, or even killed. Freedom is about being protected by laws that provide me with the same rights and responsibilities as any other citizen. Ultimately, everyone defines freedom differently, and yet we must all be committed to defending it."

Mustafa Ahmad Aldabbas (30, Syria) came to Germany in 2015. A freelance journalist, his article focuses on the way in which homosexuality is viewed in Arab countries and in Germany.

 

The “We Choose Freedom” project is part of Robert Bosch Stiftung’s Migration, Integration, Participation initiative, which aims to actively promote and shape cultural and religious diversity in Germany. 

More information about the “We Choose Freedom” project and all the corresponding articles can be found here: Link