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Environment

Environmental protection along the entire value chain

Torsten Kallweit

We pursue concrete strategies for climate action, to save water, and to establish a reliable circular economy.

Torsten Kallweit, head of Sustainability and EHS

Bosch plays a pioneering role in climate action

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing humanity: stopping it is a task for society as a whole.

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. We now aim to optimize the mix of measures and thus further reduce climate impact. At the same time, we are broadening the focus of our activities to also reduce emissions produced outside Bosch’s direct sphere of influence – for example, at suppliers, in logistics, or when our products are used, known as scope 3. We want to reduce these upstream and downstream emissions by 15 percent in absolute terms by 2030. In 2021, we agreed specific CO₂ reduction targets for the product use phase with our divisions. And when selecting our suppliers, we also factor in their climate action activities as a criterion for awarding contracts.

Bosch climate goals in scopes 1-3: climate neutrality as of 2020 in scopes 1 and 2; -15% by 2030 in scope 3
Bosch climate goals

Four levers for climate neutrality

To achieve climate neutrality, we have defined four levers: improving energy efficiency, generating more energy from renewable sources, expanding the purchase of green electricity, and – as a last resort – offsetting unavoidable CO₂ emissions with carbon credits. From the very beginning, it was important to us to achieve climate neutrality as early as 2020 and thus reduce our climate impact as quickly as possible. We now want to continuously optimize the 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.

Climate action across the entire value chain

We want to shape climate action beyond our immediate sphere of influence (scopes 1 and 2) and, where possible, also systematically reduce upstream and downstream emissions (scope 3), which we aim to reduce by 15 percent by 2030 compared with the baseline year 2018. This target was confirmed by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), as were the targets for scopes 1 and 2. Bosch has thus widened its coverage with science-based climate targets across the entire value chain – from purchasing to the product use phase. 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.

Purchased goods and services

To reduce CO₂ emissions from purchased goods and services, we seek to engage in close dialogue with our suppliers. In 2020, we identified the supplier groups with the largest purchasing volumes and the largest CO₂ emissions. In 2021, we contacted around 1,000 suppliers directly to obtain real data on their CO₂ emissions. For this purpose, we used the platform provided by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) as well as our own queries. This way, we have now created transparency on the status of carbon accounting and corresponding activities of our suppliers for around a quarter of our purchasing volume.

Logistics

In the field of logistics, we will focus on transport. In addition to reducing air transport and pooling freight, we also focus on the consistent application of the total cost of ownership (TCO) approach, which factors in key cost components such as freight costs or customs duties. The proximity of potential suppliers to our sites is therefore an important selection criterion. In this way, we are optimizing the number of transports and their capacity utilization and keeping CO₂ emissions as low as possible.

Product use

Bosch products are 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, which we can influence in different ways in the individual divisions: boosting energy efficiency, shaping the product portfolio, and using the transformation of the energy sector.

Q&A on climate action at Bosch

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.

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).

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.

“We are focusing our efforts on areas where water is particularly scarce – and are using specific solutions to create the greatest possible benefit there.”
Andreas Siegle, water expert at Bosch

Conscientious use of water

Conscientious use of water is one of Bosch’s major priorities worldwide. Here, too, we have been pursuing a clear strategy for many years to counteract the scarcity of water.

WWF Water Risk Filter results: 56 Bosch sites are located in regions with water scarcity.
WWF Water Risk Filter results: 56 Bosch sites are located in regions with water scarcity.

Back in 2018, we analyzed our company locations using the WWF’s Water Risk Filter. Based on the findings, we know that 56 of our sites are located in areas of severest or severe water scarcity. Our focus is on these sites, where we aim to reduce our absolute water withdrawal by 25 percent by 2025. In that way, we can quickly achieve significant improvements in regions where water is a particularly valuable resource. To support the corresponding measures, an annual budget of 10 million euros is available until 2025.

Bosch has reduced water withdrawal in water-scarce regions by 21.5 percent since 2017. The more than 200 projects we have launched since 2019 alone will save up to 500,000 m³ of water annually.

Water treatment system at the Wuxi site, China
Water treatment system at the Wuxi site, China

Three starting points for conservative water use

Bosch needs water for cooling systems, sanitary facilities, and technical processes. In areas with a strained water situation, we already use recycled water wherever possible by re-using water several times in a cycle. We will further expand this measure. In addition, we focus on process improvements and the use of rainwater in order to further reduce water withdrawal at our locations.

Improve processes so that less water is needed

Improve circulation to reuse the water consumed

Use rainwater instead of fresh water

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