Management and organization
At Bosch, doing business in a sustainable manner is a cross-sectoral task.
With comprehensive sustainability management and clear responsibilities, Bosch ensures that sustainability is a firmly established part of the company’s approach to doing business. In addressing sustainability-related topics, three bodies cooperate closely with one another.
- 1 The sustainability office is run by the Bosch Group’s sustainability experts. It is in charge of identifying the topics that are relevant for the company and recommending measures accordingly. In addition to this, the office handles internal and external queries and stays in touch with important stakeholders and organizations, such as Transparency International, the econsense CSR Forum, and the Compliance and Integrity Forum.
- 2 The sustainability council addresses the stakeholders’ CSR-related questions and discusses their relevance for Bosch. On this basis, it develops recommendations for the steering committee. In addition to this, it evaluates the sustainability office’s work. The council comprises the heads of corporate departments such as purchasing, production, and environment, as well as the heads of various divisions.
- 3 The chairman of the board of management sits on the sustainability steering committee, as do other members of upper management and permanent members of the sustainability council. The committee ensures that the Bosch Group’s strategic direction maintains the right balance between economic, ecological, and social topics. In addition, it sets sustainability-related focal points and targets for the specialist departments and divisions. During an annual management review, the steering committee assesses whether set targets have been met.
At Bosch, the management units largely handle the monitoring of non-financial targets. These units are divided into four business sectors (Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, Energy and Building Technology), each of which comprises several divisions. Over the course of the planning process, the board of management assigns each of the divisions global business targets, which are then broken down to product and other units, and which are then adopted in cooperation with the relevant stakeholders. This approach is also taken for CO₂ or accident reduction targets, as well as for targets related to increasing the number of women in management positions.
The monitoring department supports the divisions’ management with the planned measures by providing a summary analysis of the opportunities and risks related to target achievement. For instance, when it comes to environmental projects, it makes sure that strategic planning has taken ecological targets into account, and that resources are made available for environmental protection measures in medium-term operational planning. Figures on environmental protection that are published in sustainability reports are largely technical key figures that have been put together and interpreted by environmental and energy specialists, for instance, and not by financial controllers. These figures are based on target values, and progress is monitored on a regular basis. For this reason, they serve as a direct monitoring tool for task management in the area of environmental protection. Thanks to increased transparency, deviation analyses, and target discussions with the operational units, we continuously increase our company’s environmental performance.
We strongly believe that our environmental targets can only be achieved if sustainability-related content and tasks, as well as the related monitoring activities, are a firmly established part of our processes and business activities: from product development to research and development, or from the infrastructure at our locations to a targeted increase of our associates’ environmental awareness. At Bosch, environmental management is a cross-sectional task that affects all hierarchical levels and every function. Every actor at the company is expected to contribute.
Bosch sees the organization of sustainability-related targets as a cross-sectoral task that is carried out in different business sectors.
Putting our “Invented for life” strategic imperative into practice plays a central role. For Bosch, this means offering products that contribute to improving quality of life while at the same time conserving resources. The company thus focuses on making mobility safer, cleaner, and more efficient, and on developing products that conserve resources. At the same time, the company’s leitmotiv serves as a strategic filter for the further expansion of its business with sustainable products. With the help of scenario analyses, Bosch assesses the opportunities and risks of competing concepts and sets focal points accordingly.
Moreover, the company ensures that the eco-friendliness of its products is consistently improved across business sectors. To this end, it applies the “Design for Environment” concept, a systematic approach that begins as early as the product development phase.
The approach that Bosch takes to doing business is also marked by the company’s aim of using resources responsibly and assuming social responsibility. For instance, it has introduced the ISO 14001 environmental management system at all its locations worldwide. To date, almost 200 locations have received certification. Moreover, the Diesel Systems division has appointed CO₂ coordinators at each of its locations. They are responsible for motivating their colleagues to use energy efficiently, as well as for developing measures to reduce emissions. They also serve as contact persons for environment-related questions. These coordinators communicate with one another via the Bosch Connect communication platform to make sure that best practices are implemented across the company.
What is more, an OHSAS 18001 occupational safety management system, a globally recognized standard, has been in place at Bosch locations worldwide since 2007. The system aims to simplify occupational safety at all Bosch manufacturing and development locations around the world, and to reduce the number of accidents in the workplace. It focuses on identifying potential accident and health risks for associates, with the aim of initiating preventive measures at an early stage.
The “Code of Business Conduct” shapes the foundation of values-based behavior at Bosch. It is distributed to all associates and outlines the fundamental behavioral rules they are expected to observe. It also addresses ethical topics, and explains how Bosch expects associates to handle insider information as well as rules relating to gifts.
Bosch has also defined sustainability management rules and processes for its suppliers. All contracts with suppliers make observance of the International Labor Organization’s (ILO) core labor standards and general environmental standards mandatory. These include, for instance, bans on the use of environmentally hazardous substances, and obligations to declare. Bosch monitors whether suppliers are aware of and complying with these requirements through supplier audits. It also expects its 500 preferred suppliers to apply a certified environmental management system.