Carbon neutrality by 2020
We are taking responsibility at Bosch, and making our over 400 locations carbon neutral in 2020. But that's not all: we want to shape climate action and also take a close look at the carbon footprint of our products, purchased goods, and logistics processes.
Bosch plays a pioneering role in climate action
Our climate goal refers to the energy we generate ourselves and the volume we purchase for manufacturing and administration (scopes 1 and 2 of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, GHG). This is where we can directly influence the reduction of greenhouse gases and make a big impact in a short time. We also set ourselves a target for the upstream and downstream stages of the value chain (scope 3) in 2019. In addition to this specific goal, we want to make an active contribution to ensuring that the stages of the value chain that we do not influence alone will also be climate neutral by 2050.
Carbon neutral research, production, and administration
In 2020, we want to make emissions in our direct sphere of influence (scope 1 and 2) carbon neutral worldwide. By 2030, we then want to achieve a further improvement in terms of climate protection on the basis of the quality of the measures applied.
When it comes to the climate, words are not enough. Companies need to aim for carbon neutrality, here and now.
Four levers for climate neutrality
We have defined four levers for the implementation of our climate goal, which we are now consistently using: firstly, to increase energy efficiency; secondly, to expand the supply of renewable energy; thirdly, to purchase more green electricity; and fourthly, to offset unavoidable CO₂ emissions with carbon credits. It is important for us to be climate neutral as early as 2020 and to continuously optimize the use and mix of our four levers by 2030 in order to make a significant contribution to climate action.
Energy efficiency and own generation capacity from renewable sources are major levers to achieve carbon neutrality.
Climate action across the entire value chain
In expanding our climate action further, we are also focussing on our indirect emissions — that is, purchased goods and services, business travel, and also the transportation and use of our products. Here again, we have an ambitious target: we will reduce our indirect emissions by 15 percent by 2030.
We have thus set ourselves climate action targets across the entire value chain – and have had these confirmed externally by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). The SBTi provides an independent assessment of companies’ targets for reducing emissions using science-based best practices as reference points.
Q&A on climate action at Bosch
What makes the Bosch carbon neutral goal so special?
Bosch will be the first major industrial enterprise to achieve complete carbon neutrality by the end of 2020. Both the nature and the scope of our program for carbon neutrality are unprecedented. We’re prioritizing efforts to improve the energy efficiency of our plants and buildings, which will enable us to reduce energy consumption and conserve resources over the long term. Bosch is also stepping up its investments in new clean power, i.e., in renewable in-house generation and the conclusion of exclusive long-term purchase agreements with investors in new renewable energy generation plants that are to be built. This is our contribution to a sustainable energy transition. By 2030, we will achieve a significant increase in the share of energy from renewable energy plants.
When Bosch talks about global carbon neutrality, what exactly is being factored into the equation and what is being left out?
Carbon neutrality covers our manufacturing, administrative and research facilities. It factors in all carbon emissions produced by burning fossil fuels such as gasoline, diesel, heating oil, natural gas, and coal, as well as all the industrial gases that the company uses for processes such as welding (Scope 1). Beyond that, it also includes indirect carbon emissions attributable to energy consumed in the form of electricity, district heating, and steam (Scope 2).
How close is Bosch to achieving the goal of carbon neutrality?
We are making good progress toward our goal of making Bosch and all its locations climate neutral worldwide by the end of 2020. We are the first global industrial enterprise with such an ambitious goal. Our German sites have been carbon neutral since the end of 2019.
How does Bosch plan to achieve the Scope 3 goal?
We have identified three activities that generate by far the most Scope 3 emissions: purchased goods, logistics, and the use of products sold. The divisions have already drawn up their own roadmaps on how they can help achieve the targets for these categories. During product use, which is responsible for roughly 90 percent of Scope 3 emissions, our focus is on the business sector Mobility Solutions and the Thermotechnology, Drive and Control Technology, and BSH Hausgeräte GmbH divisions, which account for most of them. Here again, our approach is always to get involved wherever we can make the greatest contribution to protecting human life and the environment.
Why is Bosch setting only 15 percent of Scope 3 as a goal?
We want to make our own, credible contribution to reducing Scope 3 emissions and, in setting our goal, place emphasis on measures that we are able to control ourselves. Given the scientific facts, we assume that only an absolute target can make an effective contribution to climate action. Depending on the corresponding growth rates, a relative target may cause an increase in absolute global emissions, even if a company has achieved its relative target. As we want to remain successful as a business enterprise in the future, an absolute reduction of 15 percent by 2030 may equate to a relative target of 40 percent if growth forecasts are realistic. Moreover, in numerous markets we depend on demand for climate-friendly products, which we can influence only indirectly. There is a clear difference compared to achieving carbon neutrality at our own locations.