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Social entrepreneurs are developing employment concepts for southern Europe
New developments at Robert Bosch Stiftung
Sandra Schürmann, the founder of JobAct, hopes to promote the strengths of unemployed youth while at the same time help them find a job. Her company offers a special drama program for job seekers that enables participants to develop their own plays. At the same time, those taking part in the program receive intensive job application training that is closely related to their theater work. Schürmann is one of twenty social entrepreneurs that receive funding from the “This Works!” initiative. On June 29, Schürmann and her counterparts presented their ideas to the public in Brussels.
The Robert Bosch Stiftung launched the initiative in 2014 in cooperation with Ashoka, a non-profit organization. The aim is to apply successful employment concepts in southern European countries, where youth unemployment is high, and to provide young job seekers in Spain, Italy, and Greece with new prospects for the future. The initiative is based on the idea that Ashoka Europe and Ashoka national offices help social entrepreneurs find local partners who can then implement the concepts in their communities. The Robert Bosch Stiftung has spent almost one million euros on the “This Works!” initiative.
At the event in Brussels, which was attended by politicians and members of civil society, social entrepreneurs showed how many young people they have been able to help find work. Until now, more than 3,000 people have taken part in “This Works!” training seminars, and about 1,500 have found jobs. To conclude the event, participants discussed what is needed to successfully transfer ideas that promote social entrepreneurship to other countries. Factors include selecting the right partners abroad, taking local needs into account, and promoting knowledge sharing between companies and partners.
In the future, additional countries will also benefit from “This Works!”. Market studies are currently underway to assess whether the project could be rolled out in Portugal and Croatia to help fight youth unemployment in these two countries.
More information on the “This Works!” project can be found here.
More information on the Bosch apprenticeship program in southern Europe can be found here.
Bosch hydraulics are being used to build the world’s longest tunnel
It is 57 kilometers long and will make a major contribution to decongesting roads in the Alps: the Gotthard Base Tunnel – the world’s longest tunnel – was opened in June of this year. The new high-speed route is part of the large-scale AlpTransit project, which also meets a broader political aim. In the future, traffic in the region will move from the roads to the rails, and routes to and from northern to southern Europe will be much shorter. Particularly when it comes to cargo transport, the port cities of Rotterdam and Genoa will benefit from the new tunnel. What is more, the tunnel will reduce truck traffic in the Alps. In the region from southern Germany to northern Italy, more than 20 million people will benefit from the new tunnel.
A greater number of trains can now pass through the tunnel than was previously possible. The gradient is minimal, which means than even particularly long and heavy trains can travel through without additional locomotives. Moreover, the tunnel reduces travel times. As a result, annual transport capacity will increase from 20 million to some 50 million tons. At present, 260 trains travel through the tunnel each day – considerably more than the maximum of 180 that used the mountain route daily in the past.
This major project was made possible in part by Sissi, Heidi, Gabi I, and Gabi II. From 2003 to 2010, the four tunnel boring machines drilled through a total of 152 kilometers of sediment layers. The 2800-ton Herrenknecht hard stone grippers were equipped with Bosch components. Bosch Rexroth supplied the hydraulics for the heavyweights. This reflects the Bosch aim of developing technology “Invented for life” that contributes to improving quality of life and conserving resources.
More information on the world’s longest tunnel can be found here.
Copyrights: Bosch Rexroth and AlpTransit Gotthard Ltd
Bosch and Primavera e.V. are supporting projects for refugees
No one expected such outstanding results: at the end of 2015, Bosch called for donations for its “Bosch hilft” project. The aim was to collect funds for refugees. From the outset, it was clear that associates were eager to help. By the beginning of 2016, associates in Germany and abroad had donated 410,000 euros to the Primavera e.V. charitable initiative, which is run by Bosch associates. The company pledged to double the total. As a result, 820,000 euros have now gone toward refugee aid projects. Associates were invited to suggest which projects they wished to support.
A committee comprising representatives of Primavera e.V., the group works council, the group advisory board, the group committee of executive representatives, coordinators for refugee aid projects, and the corporate citizenship department, selected 113 our of 185 suggestions, and these projects have since received financial support. Selection criteria included project sustainability, the volunteer involvement of Bosch associates, and regional distribution. “We spent six days discussing each submission in an open and constructive manner. In the end, the decisions were unanimous,” said Sabine Lutz, head of the corporate citizenship department.
Most of the selected projects aim to help people who have fled war and poverty become part of German society: with language lessons, sports, leisure activities, or support with bureaucracy. Organizations that provide local emergency aid have also received funding. One of them is an outpatient clinic run by Hassan Naggar, a German surgeon with Syrian roots. For the past three years, he has provided free medical treatment to refugees in Antakya, near the Syrian border. His team includes specialist physicians, a dentist, a pharmacist, a lab technician, and nurses. Just like their patients, all of them fled Syria. The clinical team treats up to 500 patients each day, among them children, pregnant women, and older people. Thanks to the Bosch donation, the hospital can now cover the cost of medication for a period of six months.
At the end of 2015, before the call for donations was made, Bosch had already made 500,000 euros available to create additional internship spots at some 30 Bosch locations for 400 young refugees, among other things. One of them is Ebrima, a young man from Gambia who has lived in Germany for two years. He is completing an internship in Waiblingen, where Bosch has created ten additional internship spots. His daily work includes gaining insights into production and assembly processes, and learning about filing, millilng, and drilling. “We want to help young people gain skills for the labor market,” says Nico Wachter, a department head at Bosch in Waiblingen. This is precisely what Ebrima is doing: he hopes to begin an apprenticeship as an industrial mechanic as soon as possible.
More information on Primavera e.V.’s call for donations can be found here.
More information on how Bosch and its associates are supporting refugee aid projects can be found here.
Germany’s environment minister presented the B.A.U.M. award during Environment Week in Berlin
What do an engineer from the municipal cleaning department, a former Viva VJ, and a cultural studies expert and food specialist have in common? Each of them has made an outstanding contribution to eco-friendly and socially responsible business. Germany’s environment minister Dr. Barbara Hendricks honored their achievements at an event held on June 6, on the eve of Environment Week in Berlin. Dr. Hendricks presented the environment prize of the Bundesdeutschen Arbeitskreises für Umweltbewusstes Management e.V. (B.A.U.M.). With 550 members, the German environmental management initiative is Europe’s largest corporate network for sustainable business.
The recipients of the 2016 B.A.U.M. environment prize with Dr. Barbara Hendricks, Germany’s environment minister
Since 1984, the initiative has awarded the prize to individuals for their commitment to promoting sustainability and protecting the environment. This year, the television and radio host Tobias Schlegl was among the award recipients. He was honored for his successful approach to making environmental and sustainability-related topics interesting to younger people. The photographer Nomi Baumgartl also took home a prize for her art projects, which raise awareness on the impact of modern lifestyles on the environment and climate. In the large companies category, B.A.U.M. acknowledged the achievements of Kristian Kijewski. Kijewski is in charge of environmental management at Berlin’s city cleaning department. When it comes to protecting the environment, he has successfully made his department a role model and multiplier.
At Environment Week, the B.A.U.M. jury members (from left to right) Fritz Lietsch, Ulrich Walter, Dieter Brübach (B.A.U.M. chairman), and Bernhard Schwager seized the opportunity to chat with German President Joachim Gauck
A Bosch executive is among past winners of the prize. In 2009, Franz Fehrenbach, at the time chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH, received the B.A.U.M. environment prize for his company’s consistent commitment to sustainability. During his tenure, the Bosch Group introduced a global management program for climate protection, among other things. The aim was to reduce CO2 emissions relative to value-added by 20 percent by 2020 over 2007 levels. This target was reached in 2015, and Bosch has since raised the target to 35 percent.
More information on the B.A.U.M. environment prize and a list of winners can be found here (only in German available).
Photographis: Bernhard Schwager
Several thousand experts convened at Schloss Bellevue for Environment Week
On June 7 and 8, the fifth annual “Environment Week” took place at Schloss Bellevue, the German president’s residence. In cooperation with the German Federal Environment Foundation, German President Joachim Gauck invited several thousand experts from the worlds of science, business, politics, and media, as well as representatives of civil society. The aim was to discuss current environmental topics.
German President Joachim Gauck welcomed guests to the Schloss Bellevue grounds
At the same time, the 4,000 square meter exhibit on the castle grounds served to present a selection of 200 innovations for environmental protection. Almost 12,000 visitors took advantage of the opportunity to get informed about innovative products, services, and concepts.
Around 200 exhibitors presented their projects over the course of Environment Week
Bosch was also one of the exhibitors. At the company’s booth, associates used an intelligent reproduction of the Mona Lisa to show how environmental sensors in a connected environment can ensure a healthy ambient climate. A 3x3 mm Bosch sensor was used that can monitor air pressure, humidity, room temperature, and air quality simultaneously. If the figures deviated too strongly from the norm, the painting responded. If air quality was bad, the Mona Lisa’s skin turned green. If it was too dry, the portrait cracked. In the future, environmental sensors will be suitable for use especially in the realm of intelligent building and logistics applications.
Dr. Werner Struth, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH, at the company’s exhibit.
In addition to the exhibit, there were a total of six main forums and 80 specialist forums in which experts addressed current sustainability-related topics. At the “Current status and outlook: the tools of sustainable business for the implementation of the UN’s Agenda 2030 – management systems and reporting“ forum, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were discussed, which have been in force since the start of 2016. Bernhard Schwager, the head of sustainability at Bosch, explained the approach the company has taken to prioritize 17 of the 169 sub-goals of Agenda 2030. In so doing, Bosch has drawn a link to its own sustainability activities.
Bernhard Schwager on a panel with Annette Schmidt-Räntsch (German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety) and Holger Robrecht (ICLEI)
Dr. Werner Struth, member of the board of management at Robert Bosch GmbH, emphasized the relevance of energy efficiency and a decentralized energy supply at the “Energy turnaround and climate protection: what needs to be done?” forum. Particularly in production, there is a great deal of room for improvement. According to Struth, more than 80 percent of process heat generation systems do not meet current technical standards and thus cause high costs and emissions. At the “energy efficiency table”, visitors had the opportunity to familiarize themselves with efficient Bosch technologies. For instance, heat recovery and decentralized power generation contribute to significantly reducing CO2 emissions, and this also helps protect the environment and achieve EU climate targets. By 2030, greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced by 20 percent, and energy efficiency increased by 20 percent.
More information on the fifth annual Environment Week can be found here (only in German available).
More information on a decentralized energy supply with Bosch technologies can be found here.
More information on Bosch MEMS sensors can be found here.
All pictures by Bernhard Schwager