First report on corporate responsibility Bosch: Focus on conservation of environment and resources
2005: nearly 125 million euros expended for environmental protection
· Reduction of total energy consumption and volume of waste produced, further increase of recycling ratio
· BBT Thermotechnik and Bosch Rexroth grow with products for systems that utilize renewable sources of energy
· Bosch supports educational initiatives such as Jugend forscht (research competitions for young people) and “The Knowledge Factory”
STUTTGART – For the first time, the Bosch Group has published a comprehensive report on the issue of “corporate responsibility.” In this 70-page publication, the company provides a close look at its many programs for its associates, society, and the environment. “Corporate responsibility goes far beyond purely business interests. It lies at the intersection of business, society, and the concerns of environmental protection and resource conservation,” said Peter J. Marks, member of the Bosch Board of Management, on the occasion of a press briefing together with “econsense” – the Forum for Sustainable Development of German Industry. Marks went on to say that this gave added impetus to the business operations of companies which, like Bosch, are oriented to the long term. “We look far beyond our own immediate interests – and our business also benefits as a result.”
In the year 2005, worldwide expenditures of the Bosch Group for environmental protection came to nearly 125 million euros. A number of improvements emerged as a result. In 2005, total energy consumption of the Bosch Group sank by some 17 percent as compared to 2004 – largely as a result of the divestment of Buderus’s castings and special steel businesses. Total volume of waste produced was decreased in 2005 by nearly eleven percent. In the same time period, the proportion of waste recycled at Bosch increased from 64 to 77 percent. “Conservation of the environment and of resources pays increasing dividends,” said Marks. Moreover, examples from many Bosch divisions with widely differing portfolios made clear how economy and ecology complement and support each other. “We seek and we find technological answers to ecological questions,” Marks continued. “Responsibility pays.”
Solar heating systems: using solar energy to produce heat
In the year 2005, BBT Thermotechnik generated six percent of its total sales of 2.6 billion euros with systems that utilize renewable energies. In 2004, this figure was only two percent. For the year 2006, BBT Thermotechnik expects a further increase to ten percent. To achieve this increase, the company is counting among other things on solar heating systems, the production of heat from solar energy. As Klaus Huttelmaier, member of the Board of Management of BBT Thermotechnik, stressed, “It is of decisive importance for this technology that it harnesses a virtually infinite source of energy: the sun.” In the year 2005, solar heating systems – as compared to other sources of renewable energy – made the second-greatest contribution to meeting the world’s needs for energy. Only wind energy systems contributed more.
Using wind and sea energy to produce electricity
The world market for wind energy systems is also growing. In the year 2005 Bosch Rexroth generated 75 million euros in sales by equipping wind energy systems with its technology. In the year 2006 these sales are expected to reach more than 100 million euros. Alone in India, the company has equipped nearly 1,000 such systems in the space of only a few years. In the future, the company even expects to help harness sea currents to produce electricity. Bosch Rexroth is already participating in relevant research projects. Initial prototype systems with transmission and hydraulics components from Bosch Rexroth are being tested off the coasts of Norway and Great Britain. According to most recent investigations, some 100 locations across Europe are said to be suited to the harnessing of sea energy.
Recycling programs for automotive equipment
A further contribution of Bosch toward the conservation of environment and resources is product recycling. The Automotive Aftermarket Division offers under the designation “Bosch Exchange” remanufactured automotive equipment, for example starters and alternators. Replacement parts are, as compared to new parts, up to 30 percent cheaper – though their quality is the same. With a volume of some 1.5 million remanufactured automotive parts in the year 2005, Bosch is one of the leading suppliers in the segment worldwide. Through the second-hand utilization of used starters and alternators alone, the company can save more than 2,000 tons of material per year. In the meantime, the Bosch exchange program comprises 21 product groups. As a result of the increased demand, especially among drivers of older cars, Bosch plans to increase its range of such products.
Investments in the future
“Our slogan ’invented for life’ is not only the expression of a quality standard. For us it is also an obligation to develop innovative and beneficial technology that also contributes to the conservation of resources,” said Marks. In order to meet such demands, Bosch spends considerable amounts on research and development each year. In 2005, it was more than three billion euros, or 7.4 percent of total sales of 41.5 billion euros. “Without maintaining the high levels of such investments in our future, sustained innovations like the Electronic Stability Program or our high-pressure diesel-injection systems would not have been possible,” according to Marks.
The company also invests in its associates. Each year, the Bosch Group spends more than 200 million euros on further training, and in special programs it seeks to promote the international experience of its associates. In the past year, more than 1,800 Bosch employees were assigned to jobs outside their home countries. In the year 2006, this number will climb to around 2,200. Some 100 different models for part-time and flextime work help Bosch associates reconcile the demands of family and working life. This leads to a strong identification of the workforce with their company. “Our first worldwide associate survey shows that 75 percent of our workforce are proud to work for Bosch,” Marks pointed out.
A further focal point of the social commitment of the Bosch Group is education. In China, for example, the company has joined forces with the Technical College in Wuxi to develop a special training program. Two annual Bosch study courses will each provide training for 20 students, aimed first and foremost at prospective mechatronics engineers. In Germany, the Bosch Group supports a number of initiatives and institutions that promote young talent such as Jugend forscht (research competitions for young people). In addition, Bosch helped set up “The Knowledge Factory” and in early 2006 initiated six educational partnerships with schools and kindergartens. Over the medium term, this number is meant to increase to fifty. With such partnerships, the company wants to interest young people as early as possible in science, technology, and business.
The Bosch Group is a leading global manufacturer of automotive and industrial technology, consumer goods, and building technology. In fiscal 2005, some 251,000 associates generated sales of 41.5 billion euros. Set up in Stuttgart in 1886 by Robert Bosch (1861-1942) as “Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering,” the Bosch Group today comprises a manufacturing, sales, and after-sales service network of more than 280 subsidiaries and more than 12,000 Bosch service centers in over 140 countries.
The special ownership structure of the Bosch Group guarantees its financial independence and entrepreneurial freedom. It makes it possible for the company to undertake significant up-front investments in the safeguarding of its future, as well as to do justice to its social responsibility in a manner reflective of the spirit and will of its founder. A total of 92 % of the share capital of Robert Bosch GmbH is held by the charitable foundation Robert Bosch Stiftung. The entrepreneurial ownership functions are carried out by Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG.
Additional information can be accessed at www.bosch.com.
PI5576 - August 24, 2006
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