Group-wide environmental protection: climate neutrality since 2020
Bosch has set ambitious goals in environmental protection. We have been working to reduce our ecological footprint for many years. Our special focus lies on climate action, circular economy and the diligent use of water.
Bosch plays a pioneering role in climate action
Since 2020, the Bosch Group with its more than 400 locations worldwide has been climate neutral (scopes 1 and 2). An independent auditing company has officially confirmed this. But that's not all: We want to shape climate action beyond our immediate sphere of influence and also systematically reduce upstream and downstream emissions (scope 3), which we aim to reduce by 15 percent by 2030.
Climate neutrality refers to the energy we generate ourselves and the volume we purchase for manufacturing, development, 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.
Upstream emissions in the Bosch value chain primarily concern purchased goods and services as well as logistics. Downstream emissions are mainly caused by the use of our products.
When it comes to climate change, words are not enough. We have to take action.
Four levers for climate neutrality
We have defined four levers to enable climate neutrality: 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. In this way, we want to reduce the share of carbon offsets and green electricity from existing plants while further increasing energy efficiency and new clean power.
Having achieved our initial targets for scopes 1 and 2, we are now tackling scope 3 emissions with the same degree of rigor – setting specific targets and milestones for the coming years.
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, logistics and use of our products (scope 3). 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.
Purchased goods and services
To reduce CO₂ emissions from purchased goods and services, we seek to cooperate closely with our suppliers. In 2020, we identified the largest CO₂-emitting supplier groups. In 2021, the figures previously determined using statistical models will be replaced by real data from selected suppliers to assess their performance. In the future, CO₂ emissions are to be taken into account as a relevant criterion when awarding contracts.
In the field of logistics, we will focus on transport. Our priority is to optimize purchasing in the product evolution process and in series manufacturing, while also avoiding airfreight. In addition, by increasingly combining freight, we want to reduce transport, optimize routes and capacity utilization, and thus avoid CO₂ emissions.
Bosch products are already designed for energy efficiency and thus help mitigate climate change during their use. In 2020, we identified additional potential for further reducing CO₂ emissions in the use phase. The corresponding docking points can be clustered into three levers: boosting energy efficiency, shaping the product portfolio, and using the transformation of the energy sector.
Bosch Climate Solutions
Bosch is passing on its experience in achieving climate neutrality with other companies through the Bosch Climate Solutions operating unit.
Based on its own experience, Bosch Climate Solutions provides assistance to other companies as they work toward making their development, manufacturing, and business activities resource efficient and climate neutral. Lessons learned from more than 2,000 energy-efficiency projects and a virtual team of more than 1,000 Bosch experts form the basis of this.
Q&A on climate action at Bosch
What makes the climate neutrality of Bosch so special?
Bosch became the first globally operating industrial enterprise to achieve climate neutrality in 2020. An independent auditing company has officially confirmed this. 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 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 and services, 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.
Our engagement in the fight against water scarcity
Whether as drinking water or for preparing food, as a source of energy, for hygiene, or as a raw material – water is the basis of life for people, fauna, and flora. For the publication of the World Water Development report 2020, the UN writes: “All areas of life depend on the availability of enough freshwater.” Due to its know-how and its own aspiration and as a global technology company that operates sustainably, Bosch has special responsibility. We have an ambitious goal: by 2025, we want to reduce our absolute water withdrawal at the 59 sites in regions with water scarcity by 25 percent.