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Group-wide environmental protection: climate neutrality since 2020

Bosch Signet carbon neutrality from 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.

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

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.

Dr. Volkmar Denner

When it comes to climate change, words are not enough. We have to take action.

Dr. Volkmar Denner, chairman of the board of management

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.

Energy mangement at the Bosch plant Homburg, Germany

Energy efficiency

Improvement of energy efficiency

Energy efficiency

Improvement of energy efficiency

By 2030, we aim to save 1.7 terawatt-hours (TWh) of energy by making energy-efficiency improvements at our locations. In order to finance corresponding measures, the board of management has approved an annual budget of 100 million euros through 2030. Since 2019, we have initiated more than 2,000 projects worldwide, with around 1,000 new projects added in 2020 alone. They have allowed us to capture savings potential of 0.38 TWh.

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New clean power

Investment in new clean power

New clean power

Investment in new clean power

Under the banner of new clean power, Bosch aims to drive renewable energy generation — both through in-house generation at its company locations and through long-term supply contracts that will ultimately enable the construction of new photovoltaic plants and wind farms. By 2030, the aim is to generate 0.4 TWh of the energy we need annually in-house at our company locations from renewable sources. With 69 GWh, we were already able to reach 17 percent of the target capacity by the end of 2020.

In parallel, in 2020 we entered into long-term supply agreements with three energy suppliers in Germany, thus enabling the construction of new renewable energy plants. RWE, Statkraft, and Vattenfall will each supply Bosch exclusively with electricity from subsidy-free photovoltaic parks: in total, more than 100,000 MWh of electricity will flow through the public grid to Bosch locations in Germany every year. Similar projects are currently under consideration in various regions.

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Green electricity

Purchasing green electricity

Green electricity

Purchasing green electricity

In order to reach carbon neutrality as quickly as possible, Bosch is concentrating on the purchase of green electricity from existing plants and has been greatly expanding its purchase volume from renewable sources with corresponding guarantees of origin since 2019. In 2020, for example, the Bosch Group was already able to cover roughly 83 percent of its electricity consumption worldwide with green electricity. We want to increase this share further in the coming years. Our policy for purchasing green electricity also observes the principle of initially concentrating our attention where we can make the fastest and most significant contribution to climate action. Accordingly, our efforts initially centered on countries where Bosch consumes a particularly large amount of energy. Going forward, we intend to gradually expand the scope of countries.

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Carbon offsets

Carbon offsetting as a bridging solution

Carbon offsets

Carbon offsetting as a bridging solution

We intend to reduce the use of carbon credits to a minimum in the coming years. However, they will be necessary on a transitional basis to offset unavoidable CO₂ emissions from combustion processes (heating, process heat) and to offset electricity sourced in countries with only limited availability of green electricity.

In 2020, we offset a total of 0.9 million metric tons of CO₂ with carbon credits, significantly less than originally planned. When selecting carbon offset projects, we continue to use as guidance internationally recognized and independent certifications such as the Gold Standard as we want to take advantage of the projects to promote social development in addition to environmental action. At the same time, we are working to reduce emissions that are currently still unavoidable. To this end, we are examining the possibilities of electrification and the use of biogas or hydrogen, for instance. In terms of carbon neutrality, for example, we want to reduce the share of carbon offsets even further to no more than 15 percent in 2030 (relative to the 2018 baseline).

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Torsten Kallweit, Head of EHS and Sustainability at Bosch

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.

Torsten Kallweit, Head of EHS and Sustainability

Climate action across the entire value chain

Logo of the Science Based Targets intiative

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.

Areas of activity

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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.

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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.

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Product use

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

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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.

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