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Bosch begins operation of largest solar power plant in the Indian automotive industry
The Bosch location in Nashik, India, has installed 36,000 solar panels at its site. The plant in the Indian city specializes in the production of components for fuel injection systems. To reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions at the plant, the site is now operating the largest solar power plant in India’s automotive industry. In three project phases since 2015, the local project team has had thousands of solar panels installed on rooftops, in parking lots, and in vacant areas.
To ensure that the solar modules operate seamlessly, they need to be thoroughly cleaned. To this end, Bosch experts have developed an inexpensive solution: a sprinkler system with special nozzles that spray the panels with constant water pressure at a 360-degree angle. The smart approach towards renewable solar energy saves energy equivalent to that required by 16,700 households and equivalent water saving 1.4 billion liters/year. With peak performance of 10 MWp, the solar power plant already covers 40 percent of the Nashik location’s day time energy needs. The aim is to increase the figure to 100 percent of day time energy need by 2018.
The new power plant is part of a comprehensive energy management approach that is based on three pillars. First, Bosch Nashik is systematically increasing energy efficiency throughout the value chain. Second, thanks to precise consumption analyses and forecasts, energy costs can be continuously reduced. Third, the Bosch location promotes projects that drive the expansion of renewable sources of energy forward. As a result, Bosch Nashik has reduced its CO2 emissions by 31,000 tons in the past four years, and saved 35 million units (35.000.000 kilowatt hours) of energy.
The project in India reflects the Bosch vision of sustainability: By 2020, the company aims to reduce its CO₂ emissions relative to value added by 35 percent over 2007 levels. More information about individual locations’ current efforts to protect the environment can be found in the Sustainability Report.
The Bosch LGBT network waves its flag at the company and beyond
For 11 years, the Bosch RBg associate network has promoted greater acceptance and appreciation of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues. With two recent initiatives, the company highlighted the importance of this network once again. This past weekend, some 60 Bosch associates took part in Stuttgart’s Christopher Street Day (CSD) festivities, with a truck and group of walkers in the pride parade. Their aim was to raise awareness and encourage more tolerance in the way society deals with sexual orientation. It was the fourth time that RBg took part in the CSD parade, and Bosch sponsored the event for the second time.
A few days earlier, the LGBT Allies network was launched within RBg. In the future, 15 Bosch associates with different functions and from different divisions will serve as ambassadors for LGBT rights. They will help eliminate stereotypes about gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people and promote an open dialog about sexual orientation.
Ambassadors of tolerance: at the end of July, the new LGBT Allies network was launched with 15 associates at Bosch. Christoph Kübel (ninth from the left), the director of industrial relations at Bosch, was on hand for the kickoff.
A climate of tolerance and acceptance
“With our presence at CSD in Stuttgart and our new Bosch ambassadors for LGBT issues, we demonstrated our commitment to diversity, both at the company and beyond,” says Christoph Kübel, member of the board of management and director of industrial relations at Bosch. “A climate of tolerance and acceptance is important for our success. To make the best possible use of our associates’ talents, we need to create a work environment in which all associates can be themselves, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. This is why we actively support the activities of the RBg associate network.”
The Bosch RBg network was founded in 2006 and now counts 290 members. Of these, about 50 are active outside of Germany, in countries such as Hungary, the United States, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Japan, and China.
More information about the network can be found here.
Bosch Global Supplier Award conferred to best suppliers
The award honors fruitful past partnerships as well as partnerships that show promise for the future: on July 12 and 13, the Bosch Group presented 44 suppliers from 11 countries with Bosch Global Supplier Awards. For the 15th time, the award ceremony acknowledged the outstanding performance of suppliers in the production and delivery of products or services. The event, called “Partners in Success”, was held in Fellbach, a suburb of Stuttgart.
Supplier companies have long been much more than mere parts suppliers for Bosch. They have also served as development and innovation partners that give Bosch a competitive edge. With this in mind, Dr. Volkmar Denner, chairman of the Bosch board of management, emphasized that strong relationships between Bosch and its suppliers will remain important in the future. “In the connected world, partnerships will continue to gain importance. Hierarchical value-added chains will become value-added networks. With our open platform technologies, we can make the best possible use of digitization in our partner networks, for instance for data-sharing purposes in Industry 4.0.
Relationships with suppliers a key success factor
As an innovation leader, Bosch is shaping the transformation of the Internet of Things. To this end, the company makes major investments in new technologies and markets, and drives innovative purchasing and logistics strategies forward (see post of July 21). At present, purchasing and logistics volumes amount to 60 percent of total Bosch Group sales. Good relationships with suppliers are thus a key success factor. “Our aim is to achieve supply chain excellence,” says Professor Stefan Asenkerschbaumer, deputy chairman of the Bosch board of management. “This can only work if all partners are intelligently networked and work together closely with the help of automated processes.”
The strong and lasting relationships that Bosch strives to maintain with its suppliers are part of this high standard of quality. The Bosch Group has cooperated with many of its partners for decades: three of the prize-winning companies were among the honorees for the eighth time. Within the framework of these partnerships, Bosch places a great deal of importance on compatible views of corporate social responsibility. For this reason, the company is committed to setting sustainability standards throughout the value-added chain. To ensure the quality of this process, Bosch reviews the environmental and occupational safety performance of its suppliers. Since 2010, the Group has conducted 614 social audits around the world, and aims to reach the 1,000 mark by 2020.
The list with all prize winners can be found here. (The PDF is only available in German)
For efficient logistics: Bosch-led research project develops digital helpers for complex supply chains
Bosch and six partners spent three years working on the ProveIT research project. The consortium has now successfully completed the initiative, which developed digital tools that can help manage and optimize connected supply chains. Flexible and reliable logistics networks are a central part of Industry 4.0. By using ProveIt, companies can improve their transport performance, reduce costs, and cut CO2 emissions.
ProveIT stands for “Production-plan based recovery of vehicle routing plans within integrated transport networks”, and is primarily an IT platform. It pools all of the data required to monitor a supply chain and makes it available to a company’s materials and transport planners. What is more, ProveIt recommends the ideal transport route to logistics providers, one that takes the best possible use of all transport routes into account. In the event of an error in the logistics process, the integrated deviation function kicks in and the platform calculates which solution is the most efficient. For instance, if a truck is stuck in traffic, it calculates whether continuing on the route makes sense despite the delay. It also assesses whether a second truck should make its way to a supplier whose supplies are most urgently needed for production.
“The logistics provider can rely on the digital helper to monitor the trip. A warning is issued only when physical intervention is required,” says Dr. Markus Bauer, program manager for logistics IT at Bosch and head of the research project. The ProveIt platform also allows truck drivers to provide status updates with an app, for instance on start and arrival times, the beginning and end of a loading process, their departure from their destination, and delays along the way.
The German Federal Ministry of the Economy and Energy funded the project. Besides Bosch, six other companies and institutes were involved: ZF, an industrial company; the software developers PTV and LOCOM; the logistics company Geis; the FZI IT research center, and the Institute for Material Handling and Logistics Systems (IFL) of the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology.
Once the project was completed, Bosch entered a cooperation with FZI. Among other things, both partners intend to develop additional application functions such as digital freight documents with the aim of adding them to Bosch transport processes.
More information about ProveIt can also be found on the project website, which is only available in german.
An Interview with Christof Bosch, grandson of Robert Bosch
Developments at Robert Bosch Stiftung
Dr. Christof Bosch, 58, grandson of Robert Bosch, chairman of the Robert Bosch Foundation board of trustees and forester, manages a farm with approximately a hundred cattle in the alpine foothills of Bavaria. In an interview with Julia Rommel he explains that sustainability is a matter of our priorities – and why it is essential for health, education and peace.
In view of major global challenges such as war and terror worldwide, it seems almost a luxury to address the problem of sustainability. Is the subject a luxury in your opinion?
Christof Bosch: It is a fact that we are increasingly reaching the limits of our natural resources for meeting people’s needs. Sustainable use of our resources is therefore of existential importance. However, we often take only an interest in ‘soft factors’ of sustainability, such as the aesthetics of the landscape, once we meet our basic needs. But securing those basic needs in the long term is precisely the main goal of sustainability. Only from our relatively comfortable vantage point can it look as if sustainability is a luxury problem.
What role does technology play in sustainability?
C. Bosch: The question of sustainability first arises due to technological progress. The subject only arose once people started to interfere with nature, for example, by farming or developing weapons that could be used to exterminate animals. And the process continues at an increasingly rapid pace. As interference with the biosphere increases due to technical progress and technology, it becomes more and more important to consider the sustainability of that interference. Technology is only useful when it does not destroy our livelihoods. However, every land usage system is technical, whether traditional or ultramodern, which is why each sustainability problem can only be solved with the help of technology.
Sustainability is often set in opposition to technology ...
C. Bosch: It is a common misunderstanding that sustainability is synonymous with maintaining the status quo. This cannot be the case, because we live in an evolving world in which the only constant is change. As a result, sustainability has to adapt to evolving conditions. If we were to attempt to bring technological progress to a halt, global population growth would nevertheless remain extremely unsustainable for many years to come. The goal is therefore to shape development rather than impede it. It is true that our use of the biosphere is changing faster and faster, but change has been the case ever since human development began. Even hunter-gatherers did not really have a sustainable lifestyle, because they lost their nutritional resources in many areas due to overhunting.
Many people have the feeling that sustainable behavior primarily means giving things up, for example, driving cars less often or eating less meat. How can this impression be overcome?
C. Bosch: This is obviously only the case for a society that lives in abundance. And upon closer examination it becomes clear that this way of thinking concerns individual purchasing decisions. If I want to take a trip around the world and can afford it, then I will actually take the trip. By contrast, there are other goods that can only be owned collectively. If, for example, I buy a new heater that causes less air pollution rather than traveling the world, I do not automatically receive the clean air I helped make possible. I only get it when other people do the same thing. It’s only because we fail to consider how our decisions affect society as a whole that we get the impression that sustainable behavior is a question of giving things up. The real question is what is more important to me.
Read the rest of the interview in the sustainability magazine of the Robert Bosch Foundation. For the online magazine and PDF version click here.