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News | WINners take a sustainable approach to doing business

Bosch publishes WIN-Charter sustainability report 2015

As part of its participation in Baden Württemberg’s Sustainable Business Initiative (WIN), in 2015 Bosch reiterated its commitment to conserving scarce resources and promoting a positive work culture. The company’s aim of doing business in a sustainable manner is based on the 12 principles outlined in the WIN Charter, which describe the elements required to strike a balance between economic, ecological, and social concerns. In the 2015 WIN Charta sustainability report, Bosch set itself measurable targets in the areas of “Energy and Emissions” and “Associate Well-Being”, and defined a broad range of corresponding measures.

 

 

Target 1: Reduce CO2 emissions by 35 percent

During the reporting period, around half of the Bosch research and development budget went toward eco-friendly products that conserve resources. Moreover, the global roll out of an environmental management system that complies with the ISO 14001 standard was also on the agenda. Until now, 235 locations have received external certification, a share of 80 percent. By 2020, Bosch aims to reduce its CO2 emissions relative to value added by 35 percent over the 2007 reference year. The company will do this by systematically improving its environmental performance. This approach is clearly paying off: at the end of 2015, Bosch had already achieved a 29.7 percent reduction.

 

Target 2: 1.7 accidents per million hours worked

Another central WIN Charter topic is occupational safety. To reduce the number of work-related accidents to a minimum, in 2007 Bosch began rolling out occupational safety measures based on the OHSAS 18001 standard. This process has now been completed, with 122 locations certified. As a result, the company has reduced the number of accidents per million hours worked by more than half – from 6.8 to 3.2. By 2020, Bosch aims to reduce this figure to 1.7 accidents per million hours worked.

 

WIN! project: Reducing material losses

Signatories of the WIN Charter have also committed to implementing local sustainability measures. In this spirit, Bosch collaborated on a WIN! project with the Institute for Industrial Ecology at the Pforzheim University of Applied Sciences. The project aims to reduce material losses in production. To this end, the research team monitored and analyzed material and energy flows at Bosch’s location in Waiblingen. The project presented the university with an opportunity to test a material cost calculation method in real-life conditions. Students are taking part in the project in the form of project work and an internship. A bachelor’s thesis is also planned.

 

The Bosch annual WIN Charter report can be downloaded here (only in German available).

News | From guideline to standard

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) discusses the future of CSR reporting

For years, the sustainability report was considered the most important element of CSR reporting. But is that changing in the age of big data? And how can the growing amount of sustainability-related data be used in a useful and transparent manner? These and other confquestions were addressed at the 5th Annual Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Conference in Amsterdam. This time around, the theme of the conference was “Empowering Sustainable Decisions”. Some 1,200 CSR executives from more than 70 countries convened to talk about the future of sustainability reporting.

 

Allen White, co-founder of GRI and CEO of the Global Initiative for Sustainable Ratings (GISR), gave a presentation on statistics authorities and the SDGs (Picture by Bernhard Schwager)

 

One of the central topics of discussion was the wealth of information that can be accessed online at all times in the age of digitization. Against this backdrop, digital reporting is gaining significance. In the future, the GRI’s newly established “Digital Reporting Alliance” will focus on this topic. Above all, the initiative will address the question of how large data volumes can be structured and processed for reporting purposes. By the same token, the initiative aims to increase demand for digital reporting, which is still low.

“Sustainability information from business and government represents a vast amount of data that is currently underutilized. For innovation to take place, this information needs to be liberated and provided in a way that can be analyzed and integrated,” said Michael Meehan, GRI’s Chief Executive. “There is overwhelming public and private sector demand for GRI to provide this data so that these organizations can develop innovative solutions. This was the number one recommendation from the GRI Technology Consortium, and the Digital Reporting Alliance will put this recommendation into practice.”

 

Michael Meehan, managing director of GRI, emphasized the importance of systematic data processing in sustainability reporting (Picture by Bernhard Schwager)

 

Another important topic at this year’s conference were the G4 guidelines for the creation of the GRI report, which are being further developed into the GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards. In addition to three universal standards, organizations can now choose which of another 35 are relevant for them. This will encourage a greater number of companies, governments, and NGOs to draft sustainability reports based on GRI standards. The final standards will be published in the fall of 2016.

The Global Reporting Initiative has been continuously developing its guidelines since 1997. The aim is to create global sustainability reporting standards, thus making it possible to objectively assess the economic, ecological, and social performance of the reporting bodies, and to enable comparisons between them. As one of 5,000 companies, Bosch supports the initiative. The company believes that a globally recognized evaluation system is needed to guarantee transparent reporting. This not only applies to sustainability reports, but also to corporate ratings in general. The Global Initiative for Sustainable Ratings (GISR) has set itself the aim of harmonizing these standards. Founded in 2011, the non-profit organization aims to establish a global standard for doing business in an eco-friendly, socially responsible, and ethical manner. At present, there are 135 organzations offering 568 different rating products. Among other things, a common system would help increase the relevance of sustainability ratings. Bosch is also involved in the process of developing such a system. In fact, the company took part in developing the rating principles that were published in 2013. Allen White, the founder of GISR and a member of GRI, moderated a panel discussion at the conference that addressed the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the data of statistics authorities. 

More information on GRI can be found here.

News | Connected for a sustainable future

Bosch is publishing its Sustainability Report online for the first time

2015 was the year of the global sustainability agreement: world leaders signed a new climate agreement at the world climate summit in Paris. In New York, the United Nations set 17 development goals with its Agenda 2030. In our latest Sustainability Report, which is being published online for the first time, we present what Bosch is doing to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the areas of environment, products, associates, and society. The report includes a conversation between Dr. Volkmar Denner, chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH, and the climate researcher Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber. Among other things, the two discuss the SDGs.

 

 

Connectivity is also in focus in the 2015 Sustainability Report. Examples of connected products at Bosch include mobility technologies that help make driving safer: these systems are based on sensors for predictive driving. With their help, fuel consumption can be reduced, and drivers can detect and avoid hazardous situations. We have also applied our expertise in energy-efficient production to reduce our own carbon footprint. Measures include energy-saving initiatives at individual production sites and the use of renewable sources of energy. As a result of these efforts, Bosch has already reached its goal of reducing CO2 emissions relative to value added – five years ahead of schedule.

More information about Bosch sustainability targets and what we are doing to achieve them can be found here.

News | For a sustainable global economy

Bosch attends the  “Global Compact +15 Europe” conference

For the past 15 years, the United Nations Global Compact initiative has focused on convincing companies to commit to the principles of sustainable business. On the occasion of this anniversary, the Global Compact +15 Europe conference was held in Berlin in mid-October. More than 500 representatives of German companies attended the event, along with stakeholders from politics, business, and society. They talked about the future of sustainability for Europe’s companies, and discussed the future of the Global Compact in the region.

 

Lise Kingo, the new head of the Global Compact in New York, talked about the past and future of the UN initiative in a high-level panel (Picture by Bernhard Schwager).

 

When it comes to responsible management, the UN Global Compact is the biggest and most important initiative. Its members commit to observing ten basic global principles with regard to human rights, labor standards, and environmental protection. Companies that support the Global Compact publish a “Communication on Progress (COP)” report annually. This report documents the targets that companies have reached for each of the ten basic principles, and details the measures implemented to this end.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Participants of the “Business’s contributions to women’s empowerment” breakout session (Picture by DGCN).

 

Bosch has been a member of the Global Compact since 2004, and Bernhard Schwager sits on the steering committee of the German Global Compact Network. Schwager, who is head of the sustainability office at Bosch, spoke at this year’s conference in Berlin. His talk focused on how the business world can contribute to promoting equal opportunity for women. In this regard, Bosch has been moving ahead successfully for many years. The company actively targets female engineering graduates, offers mentoring programs for up-and-coming female executives, and promotes work/life balance with a range of initiatives. In so doing, Bosch has shown a clear commitment to diversity. By 2020, it aims to increase its share of women in management positions to 20 percent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, chairman of the Global Compact Foundation, held a presentation about the role of companies in ensuring sustainable development - in conversation with Bernhard Schwager here (Picture by Thomas Ecke).

 

Other workshops at the conference addressed topics such as sustainable value-added chains, privacy in the digital age, and ways in which companies can contribute to achieving the aim of limiting global warming to two degrees Celsius.

More information on the event can be found here.

More information on Bosch’s membership in the Global Compact can be found here.

News | Transparency is key

Bosch is expanding its sustainability reporting activities

 

At the start of September, Bosch published the German Sustainability Code’s (DNK) declaration of compliance for the first time, thus expanding its sustainability reporting activities. The reporting standard, which was developed based on the recommendations of the Council for Sustainable Development (RNE), aims to achieve a greater level of transparency and comparability in CSR reporting. This standard is in line with the requirements of EU Directive 2014/95/EU, which will require some 6,000 European companies to publish a range of non-financial key performance indicators from 2017 onward. Data to be published will include, for instance, information on energy and resource consumption, measures to maintain employees’ rights, and social responsibility.

Around 20 pages in length, the report provides a detailed description of Bosch’s sustainability strategy, which focuses on process management, the environment, and society. It also addresses the ecological and social challenges of the future, and the ways in which the company plans to address them. What is more, the report describes the Bosch approach to systematically managing and improving its sustainability-related activities. The data are complemented with KPIs and indicators that make it possible to compare Bosch’s CSR activities with those of other global companies.

Robert Bosch GmbH’s DNK declaration of compliance can be found here.

More information on DNK can be found here.