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Bosch Diesel Systems nominated for German Sustainability Prize
On November 27, the German Sustainability Prize’s award ceremony was held at the Maritim Hotel in Düsseldorf. Bosch Diesel Systems was among the finalists in the special “Resource Efficiency” category. Since 2008, the prize has been awarded to companies, municipalities, and research institutes for their special achievements in the area of sustainability. With over 800 applicants and 2,000 guests at the final event, the German Sustainability Prize is one of the biggest competitions of its kind in Europe.
Uwe Gackstatter (Bosch Diesel Systems) congratulates Margret Suckale (BASF) on winning the award for resource efficiency
Bosch Diesel Systems was nominated as a result of its lasting commitment to making diesel systems more eco-friendly and energy efficient. This includes responsible use of resources in production. For instance, with its eXchange program, Bosch refurbished around 60,000 used components in 2014. In so doing, the company was able to reduce energy consumption by around 90 percent compared with production of new components, and used 50 to 90 percent less material. Moreover, Bosch uses fuel injection and exhaust gas treatment systems as well as sensor technology to continuously increase the fuel efficiency of diesel engines, all the while reducing emissions. As a result, the fuel consumption of diesels has decreased by 30 percent over the past 20 years, while CO2 emissions have dropped 25 percent. At the same time, particle and nitric oxide emissions have decreased by 97 and 84 percent, respectively.
In order to achieve the EU’s 2020 CO2 fleet targets of 95 g/km, companies like Bosch are working to push powertrain electrification forward. At the same time, the company places great importance on making further improvements to the diesel engine. “Well into the next decade, both the internal combustion engine and electric drives will be developed in parallel,” says Dr. Volkmar Denner, chairman of the Bosch board of management. This is because especially fuel-efficient diesels make the European Union’s climate protection targets realistic. By 2020, the efficiency of diesels is expected to increase by another 15 percent. “A greater share of diesel means less CO2. We mustn’t lose sight of this in the current debate on urban air quality.” What is more, modern particle filters are so efficient that they even remove particles from the ambient air. Nitric oxide emissions can also be further reduced: “Bosch has the technology required to reduce the nitric oxide emissions of diesel vehicles to a minimum in real traffic conditions.”
Bosch North America is encouraging associates to do more exercise
Doing enough exercise on a regular basis can be a challenge for people who spend their days working at a desk. But Bosch North America has decided to do something about it: with its “Walk this Way Challenge”, the company is encouraging associates to take 10,000 steps each day for a period of three months. Set to begin on May 4, the initiative is part of the “Be Well” program, which aims to support associates’ health with a broad range of fitness and preventative measures. Associates who commit to participating can win several prizes, such as contributions to health accounts or gift certificates.
Dan Ploeg, Group Manager Diesel Systems at Bosch in Kentwood, Michigan, is taking part in the program. In 2012, he was hospitalized following a heart attack. “If I had started doing something like ‘Be Well’ 25 years ago, I probably wouldn’t have ended up in the hospital with heart problems,” he says. Today, Dan Ploeg uses his breaks to take a walk with his colleagues around the Kentwood site. In so doing, they walk almost a mile each day. Ploeg tells his colleagues to start taking preventative measures at an early stage. “I tell everyone do to sports and do the right thing for their bodies.”
With programs such as “Be Well,” which are run at locations around the world, Bosch offers its associates opportunities to actively take control of their health. The program includes annual screenings, flu shots, and professional support in the event of chronic illness or doctor-recommended weight loss. Associates can also take advantage of wellness or fitness offers.
More information on Bosch North America’s health programs can be found here
What can companies do to make social innovations possible?
The Bosch Diesel Systems management team recently addressed this question at its annual meeting. To discuss possible answers, the senior executives invited a prominent speaker to their gathering: Olivier Kayser, the founder and managing director of Hystra, a global management consultancy that specializes in social entrepreneurship. The former McKinsey senior partner’s keynote speech highlighted the fact that stakeholders in today’s business community are now taking a more active role with regard to social responsibility. “The public debate is no longer focusing only on avoiding negative impacts on the environment and society. Today, companies are expected to take advantage of opportunities to tackle social problems,” said Kayser.
The seasoned consultant provided a number of practical examples to illustrate his argument. He spoke, for instance, about a cement manufacturer that revamped its product portfolio with the aim of providing more affordable housing while at the same time attracting a greater number of customers with lower income and raising its revenue. In addition to its core product, the company now also offers technical advice and financing for the construction of makeshift houses. The approach also pays off for the customers, as approximately 40 percent of the acquired cement has ended up as discard due to a lack of knowledge or financing. Another example his talk addressed was that of a pharmaceutical company that has joined forces with Ashoka, a non-profit organization, to provide up-and-coming executives with insights into the work of social entrepreneurs. As a result of this program, young executives learn to see social innovation as potential drivers of growth at an early stage.
“Be the change you want to see in the world.” With this Mahatma Gandhi quote Olivier Kayser encouraged the Bosch Diesel Systems managers to commit to social change over the course of their careers, for instance by cooperating with social entrepreneurs in the areas of security, transport, or recycling – all of which are Bosch fields of business. To do this, a corporate culture is required that is, much like Bosch’s, based on innovative spirit, openness, and cross-sectoral cooperation. At the same time, “changemakers” must be willing and able to accept mistakes and learn from them. According to Kayser, executives that take this risk are often rewarded with growth, innovation, and a greater sense of purpose; one that the words “Invented for life”, the Bosch strategic imperative, reflect perfectly.