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News | “Wir zusammen” convenes at Bosch

Network meeting on integration at the Bosch Center in Stuttgart

Representatives of the 210 companies that are part of the “Wir Zusammen” (We, together) network, of which Bosch was a founding member, convened on November 17 at the Bosch Center in Stuttgart to discuss the integration of refugees currently living in Germany. These companies strongly believe that successful integration calls for cooperation between policymakers, society, and business. At presentations and workshops, event participants discussed the challenges and opportunities related to integration.

Organizer Marlies Peine in conversation with representatives of Bosch and a refugee

What is the network’s current status, and where is it headed? To answer this question, companies shared their experiences and were given information on challenging topics. At workshops, participants were given advice on how to deal with trauma or the threat of deportation. The host presented its own integration project as well as personal impressions from trainers, refugees, and associates.

A multifaceted commitment

Bosch has taken a multifaceted approach to helping refugees prepare for their working lives and adapt to their new surroundings in Germany. With internships, the company helps young people prepare for an apprenticeship. In addition to this, Bosch associates help refugees work toward an independent life. Among other things, they look for kindergarten spots, give German lessons, and organize activities such as soccer tournaments and evenings of cooking.

Dr. Gregor Heemann, Senior Vice President HR, introduces the activities of Bosch

A broad-based initiative

The “Wir Zusammen” initiative, which German companies founded in 2016, aims to develop long-term prospects for refugees. While meeting the basic needs of newly arrived refugees was the initial priority, companies are now increasingly focusing their efforts on labor market integration. All of the projects are presented in an online platform, with the aim of honoring the companies’ commitment and encourage others to do the same.

More information on the initiative can be found here. Further details on the Bosch commitment can be found here.

News | COP 23: Cooperating to protect the climate

Bosch contributes to the debate at the UN climate conference

Until this Friday, representatives of the UN climate framework convention from 196 countries and the European Union are convening at the 23rd World Climate Conference in Bonn. The delegates are negotiating how the 2015 Paris Protocol should be put into practice, thus limiting global warming to significantly less than two degrees Celsius. The aim is to draw up a rulebook that will be adopted at the next summit, which is set to take place at the end of 2018 in Kattowitz, Poland. The pressure to take action is high: last year was the hottest on record, and the Arctic ice cap is smaller than at any time since the first satellite images were recorded at the end of the 1970s.

Carbon-neutral at the COP: Bernhard Schwager (left) and Urs Ruth

In parallel to the official negotiations, actors from science, politics, business, religious communities, and environmental groups also discussed ways in which these urgent challenges can be addressed. Bosch took part in these discussions on the “Innovation as a solution for climate protection” panel, at Business and Industry Day (BINGO), and at several other events.

Showing great promise: carbon-neutral fuels

The potential of synthetic fuels, which Bosch is currently researching, was a central focus of the discussions. A recent study that the company commissioned shows that e-fuels can save 2.8 gigatons of carbon dioxide by 2050. Urs Ruth, chief expert for climate and energy at Bosch, said: “In the long run, synthetic fuels will complement e-mobility concepts perfectly. Consumers who do not wish to switch to an electric vehicle will simply be able to modify their cars, and thus make their driving climate neutral. This will benefit the climate enormously. We thus welcome the initiative of the German Federal Ministry for the Economy and Energy, which is promoting promising fuels over the course of the energy turnaround in transport”. Stefan Eppler, Bosch specialist for alternative fuels, says: “Not only is the product itself carbon neutral, so too is its production. With power-to-fuel, in the future it will be possible to produce synthetic fuels with renewable sources of energy.”

Urs Ruth (right) in conversation with Christoph W. Frei, Secretary General of the World Energy Council

Multifaceted: Bosch climate protection activities

Bernhard Schwager, head of the sustainability office at Bosch, presented the company’s climate protection activities. Bosch aims to reduce its own carbon dioxide emissions relative to value added by 35 percent by 2020 over 2007 levels. In 2016, the company had already achieved a 30.6 percent reduction. At the same time, Bosch has already reduced its energy consumption by 35 percent since 2007. The company also continuously reduces its waste production and water consumption. Compared with 2007 levels, in 2016 the company produced 23.7 percent less wastes and consumed 35.9 percent less water.

The German Pavilion at the UN Climate Conference in Bonn

More information on Bosch research in the area of synthetic fuels can be found here.

News | A small box with a big effect

Connected Bosch solution measures urban air quality

An innovative system that measures air quality is the latest Bosch smart city solution. In cooperation with Intel, Bosch has developed a microclimate monitoring system that already contributes to improving the lives of people who live in cities. We spoke to Mahesh Chikodi, the head of business development at Bosch in the U.K., who explained how the system works.

Mr. Chikodi, a system that measures air quality doesn’t seem to be anything new.

In cities, there are often measuring stations for ambient air. These stations are actual laboratories in which experts work and can evaluate data. Our solution is much smaller: our system is about one one-hundredth the size of conventional facilities. It is a small box that is easy to install at about a tenth of the cost.

Does the small box have the same capabilities as the large measuring stations?  

We’ve equipped the system with high-precision miniature sensors that can measure different gases such as carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide, as well as the relative humidity, temperature, and light and noise levels. We can thus reliably record 12 parameters that are relevant for the analysis of air quality. Conventional measuring stations only measure the air at a few locations to determine air quality values for the entire city. Because of its low price, the Bosch solution can measure at ten or twenty locations across the city rather than just two or three.

Where does the climate data that the system gathers end up?

All the data can be recorded, retrieved, and evaluated in real time – around the clock and using different devices. This means I can respond to different situations flexibly: for example, a hybrid city bus can use its electric drive in instances where a city neighborhood’s air quality is bad.

How can this data help make the lives of city dwellers better?

The microclimate monitoring system monitors air quality in a comprehensive manner by measuring and evaluating pollution in a particular region. State organizations and companies can use the data the system has gathered to come up with targeted air pollution reduction measures. With our systems, we create benefits for people and the environment and increase productivity.

Is the solution already in use?

In Pune in India, the system is already measuring air quality at 50 spots across the city. One day, each inhabitant may have access to important data regarding air quality of their own immediate surroundings. – in real time via a smart phone app. Before I go jogging, I can thus check which areas of my city have high levels of air pollution and should be avoided, and where I can breathe easy.

More information on Bosch smart city solutions can be found here.

News | The learning network for energy efficiency

Bosch Mexico connects companies for more energy efficiency

10 organizations have one target in common: smart energy management. To reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions in Mexico, in July 2017 Bosch launched an energy efficiency network there. The first national corporate network of its kind enables actors from different Bosch locations to share knowledge and put joint innovative energy solutions into practice. To this end, Bosch works with several local partners, among them the Mexican energy ministry, the German-Mexican Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as well as the German International Development Agency (GIZ).

More climate protection at a lower cost

Within the framework of the learning network, the participating organizations have taken on different tasks: they promote the development of new energy-saving measures, organize workshops with energy experts, and offer technical support in the implementation of energy management systems, in line with ISO 50001. To this end, experts conducts regular training sessions and webinars at Bosch facilities, and offers advice on the topic of energy efficiency. The company has already invested more than 550,000 Mexican pesos (approx. 24,300 euros) in the learning network and is expected a payback about 2 years. Through energy efficiency projects such as the instalment of efficient frequency inverters and cooling systems at their locations, the network members will be able to reduce their annual energy consumption and get cost savings. Afterwards, the participating companies will decide whether or not they wish to extend their participation in the network.

Smart Bosch energy solutions

The Bosch Group has already implemented energy management systems at 42 locations worldwide, 30 of which have received external certification. In addition to this, the company offers intelligent solutions that allow retailers, suppliers, measuring stations, and network operators to improve their energy efficiency. These include, for instance, the Rollout Process Manager and Meter Gateway Manager software applications, which automate processes and thus reduce process costs. Digital monitoring tools such as the Bosch Energy Platform continuously record and evaluate the energy efficiency of facilities to make recommendations for improvement. Bosch energy solutions are already in use at 250 energy companies around the world, and they continue to be developed further.

More information on Bosch intelligent energy solutions can be found here (available in German language only) .

News | A win-win situation

Bosch Feuerbach offers jobs for people with disabilities

At 8 a.m., Oliver Kroll meets with his colleagues at the team board to discuss the tasks of the day. He then heads to his work bench. Today, he is going to prepare a diesel injection system for an intermediate inspection. Bosch has cooperated with bhz e.V., a Stuttgart NGO, to create the conditions that have allowed Kroll to become a permanent member of the production team at the Feuerbach test workshop. The association is committed to supporting people with disabilities at its own workshop for people with special needs. Oliver Kroll worked there until last June. He then joined Bosch for a trial period of one year.

Mr. Kroll at the endurance test bench for a new DS injection nozzle

A broad range of tasks

The job was created thanks to Andreas Jentsch, the site manager, and his 20 associates. “We didn’t hesitate to hire someone with a disability. Rather, we looked forward to taking on the challenge,” says Andreas Jenstsch. “We had the impression that Mr. Kroll would be a good fit for us”. The team was right. He adapted well to his new environment and is very satisfied with his job: “The tasks are a lot more complex and diverse than I thought they would be,” he says. “I am learning a lot and my colleagues help me try new things.” Mr. Kroll’s supervisor is also pleased with his progress: “He contributes a great deal, and working with Oliver Kroll is a win-win situation.” The aim is to offer the new colleague long-term job prospects at Bosch.

Active support    

Mr. Kroll’s job is just one example of the ways in which Bosh strives to offer equal opportunities to people with disabilities. In 2016, 6.58 percent of associates in Germany had special needs, a share higher than the legal minimum. Bosch aims to make day-to-day work as accessible as possible for people with disabilities, and uses a growing number of its own Industry 4.0 products to this end. The company is currently collaborating with two Fraunhofer Institutes to determine how the APAS Assistant robot can best support people with physical or mental disabilities.

More information on the APAS assistance systems can be found here.