A critical approach to sustainability

  • April 27, 2012
  • Sustainability
  • Press releases

press release

Franz Fehrenbach, chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH, emphasized the importance of sustainable corporate governance at Bosch at both the German CSR Forum and an event to mark the launch of the new sustainability strategy of the state government of Baden-Württemberg. With the help of a recently launched project, Bosch plans to further develop its supplier development program and offer its suppliers in China targeted training on CSR, environmental protection, and energy and material efficiency issues. With support from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the project “Increase of the Resource efficiency in value added networks of German enterprises by sustainable Qualification and development of the Chinese supply chain” (ResQ) will be carried out by Bosch China in conjunction with four other companies.

Working with selected suppliers over a period of three years, resource efficiency analyses will be conducted, weaknesses and development activities identified, and a training program completed. The lessons learned from the project will be fed into the Bosch supplier development program, thus ensuring that other suppliers in China and around the world can benefit from training in sustainable corporate governance in future. The pilot project is therefore helping train suppliers and build up expertise in China. Earlier assessments had shown that, in many companies in emerging markets, CSR did not enjoy the same status as Bosch has come to expect from its suppliers and that there was still a great need for training.

For Bosch, embedding sustainable management in the supply chain is just as challenging and important as for example the development of electromobility. At the German CSR Forum in Stuttgart, Franz Fehrenbach, chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH, announced that 240 additional social and environmental audits will be carried out at suppliers, with a special focus on risk-prone countries. These will be completed by 2014 to obtain a representative overview of the level of maturity of CSR at suppliers. Fehrenbach thus reaffirmed the two-pronged strategy to ensure sustainability in the Bosch business sectors – i.e. developing future technologies while improving the efficiency of tried-and-tested technologies. In terms of consumer goods and building technology, this means harnessing renewable energies using solar collectors and heat pumps on the one hand, and reducing consumption of electricity, oil, and gas through energy-efficient household appliances and condensing boilers on the other. Like many other companies, Franz Fehrenbach believes that sustainable corporate governance has many advantages, but warned against resting on laurels: “We need to adopt a critical approach to sustainable management rather than see it as a mission already accomplished.”

NACH-049 - April 27, 2012

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