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Up and coming Bosch executives volunteer with social projects
“A desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world.” – John le Carré
What are the characteristics of a good executive? In addition to specialist knowledge and sound judgment, many employers place a great deal of importance on their employees’ social skills and commitment to charitable causes. With its “Talent Pool” program, Bosch also encourages up and coming executives to volunteer. In teams comprising associates from different locations and divisions, young executives have the opportunity to volunteer for social projects.
This year’s Talent Pool participants at an event promoting social commitment at Bosch locations
Participants can decide how much time they spend working on the project and coordinate their work independently within the project team. In most cases, the teams also define targets and distribute roles and responsibilities themselves. “We strongly believe that this type of cooperation is very important,” says Mariana Peters, who works in HR development for Bosch corporate departments. “Often, participants are confronted with tasks that are completely new to them. So they need to be flexible and able to adapt to new situations.”
In 2016, 79 members of the Bosch Talent Pool from corporate departments took part in the program. Divided into eight teams, they supported a selection of charitable projects from the region, among them a local initiative that supports the integration of refugees in the workplace, as well as a project that promotes access for people with disabilities. In recent months, the project team comprising 10 up and coming executives helped create a city map for people with disabilities in Gerlingen, a suburb of Stuttgart. To this end, they scoped the town for barriers to accessibility and spoke with restaurant owners and local clubs about improving offers for people with disabilities.
In October, the participants presented their projects at a local event and talked about their experiences, which were positive across the board. The volunteers stated that the teamwork was decisive to the success of their projects. “For us, volunteering for a social project is an important building block for leadership skills,” says Mariana Peters. “We see how important open communication and responsibility are, and their importance keeps growing every day. With this project, we aim to enable up and coming executives to further sharpen these skills in an unknown environment, reflect on them in a timely manner, and make adjustments wherever necessary.” In the spirit of company founder Robert Bosch, participants make an important contribution to social well-being with their involvement in charitable initiatives. At the same time, they sharpen their leadership skills and set a good example for their future employees.
More information on the Bosch Talent Pool can be found here.
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.