“ZEIT” Sustainability Conference Franz Fehrenbach, Chairman of the Bosch Supervisory Board: More energy efficiency is possible here and now “It’s time to make the move to alternative forms of energy happen”

  • Buildings and industrial facilities offer major potential for energy savings
  • Bosch moving closer to efficiency targets at its own locations
  • Environmental protection requires more and better technology
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  • February 27, 2014
  • Business/economy
  • Press releases

press release

"The aim of energy efficiency must be pursued here and now with the policy instruments already available," said Franz Fehrenbach, the Chairman of the Bosch Supervisory Board, during his talk at the Sustainability Conference organized by “Die ZEIT,” the German weekly. Fehrenbach bemoaned that commitment to energy efficiency had abated at all levels. The European Union, for instance, is not likely to meet its 2020 target of increasing energy efficiency by 20 percent. In Germany, tax incentives for improving buildings’ energy efficiency were ditched in the new government's coalition agreement. According to Fehrenbach, there are many long-term goals for the move toward alternative forms of energy. However, “if we keep waiting, we will not achieve any of them,” he said. “When it comes to alternative forms of energy, Germany must get moving once and for all.”

Energy management alone can cut consumption by 20 percent
Fehrenbach warned that this move is at risk of turning into empty rhetoric. While the entire political spectrum is in favor of alternative forms of energy, energy prices continue to rise and the brown-coal economy, which is hardly eco-friendly, persists. The fastest way to act, in Fehrenbach’s view, is by improving energy efficiency; doing so does not even require a solution to the conflict on new power grids and the allocation of the cost of renewables. The modernization of old heating systems would already enable significant energy savings. “Houses,” said Fehrenbach, “are the number one consumers of energy.”

The Chairman of the Bosch Supervisory Board also noted the significant potential for energy savings in industry. However, to reduce the energy consumption of large and complex facilities, systematic energy management is required. Bosch can offer the services needed for this, both in capital goods and commercial buildings. Improved energy management alone can reduce their energy consumption by an average of 20 percent.

Bosch grows with less energy and lower CO2 emissions
Fehrenbach emphasized that Bosch’s protestations of sustainability will only be taken seriously if resource conservation starts with its own production activities. By 2020, the Bosch Board of Management aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions at its locations around the world by at least 20 percent over 2007 levels. According to Fehrenbach, as early as 2012 the company has already achieved a relative reduction of 13 percent. In absolute terms, the company’s CO2 emissions have decreased five percent within five years. During this time, Bosch sales have increased 13 percent, while the company's global energy needs have decreased by 7.7 percent.

More growth, lower energy consumption – in Fehrenbach’s view, this can only be achieved with modern technology. For this reason, the Chairman of the Bosch Supervisory Board is critical of anti-growth and anti-technology attitudes, which remain widespread. “Our engineers work hard for every percentage point of fuel and energy savings, for every gram of carbon dioxide that can be reduced,” said Fehrenbach, who argued that protecting the environment calls for more and better technology. This is a central tenet of the way Bosch sees itself, he said: “Especially because we don’t want to compromise our standard of living, we strive to come up with eco-friendly innovations.”

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 375,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2015). The company generated sales of 70.6 billion euros in 2015. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 440 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing and sales network covers some 150 countries. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. Bosch employs 55,800 associates in research and development at 118 locations across the globe. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to deliver innovations for a connected life. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.”

The company was set up in Stuttgart in 1886 by Robert Bosch (1861-1942) as “Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering.” The special ownership structure of Robert Bosch GmbH guarantees the entrepreneurial freedom of the Bosch Group, making it possible for the company to plan over the long term and to undertake significant up-front investments in the safeguarding of its future. Ninety-two percent of the share capital of Robert Bosch GmbH is held by Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, a charitable foundation. The majority of voting rights are held by Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG, an industrial trust. The entrepreneurial ownership functions are carried out by the trust. The remaining shares are held by the Bosch family and by Robert Bosch GmbH.

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PI8429 - February 27, 2014

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