As it continues to pursue its sustainability strategy, Bosch has decided to recognize commitment to sustainability among its roughly 23,000 suppliers worldwide. For the first time, this year’s international Bosch Supplier Awards include an honour in this category. Announcing the award winners, Prof. Stefan Asenkerschbaumer, CFO and deputy chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH, said: “With a current purchasing volume of 35 billion euros, Bosch’s responsibility in the global supply chain extends far beyond the factory gates. Together with our suppliers, we assume social responsibility, which also means striving to achieve a high level of sustainability.” For Bosch, the award is also an expression of partnership and long-term cooperation with its suppliers and service providers.
Forty-six companies from 16 countries received one of the coveted Bosch Global Supplier Awards for their exceptional performance in various categories. The jury recognized Infineon, Salesforce, and Steelcase for their climate action programs.
Sustainable supply chains: spotlight on climate action
With its 400 locations worldwide, Bosch has been climate neutral since the first quarter of 2020. In close cooperation with its global supplier network, Bosch wants to go one step further, and aims for a 15 percent reduction in its upstream and downstream CO2 emissions along its entire value chain by 2030. “Climate action is a collective task shared by industry, politics, and society,” Asenkerschbaumer says. “Climate-conscious action is a common bond between Bosch and its suppliers.” In the future, the company will make aspects such as CO2 emissions or CO2 ratings a criterion for awarding new contracts. “We plan to put some initial ideas into practice more broadly as of 2022,” the CFO says.
Electrification and green hydrogen: opportunities for suppliers
Bosch is focusing above all on electrification and hydrogen technology, for example in mobility and heating, in order to turn technological and environmental upheaval into new business opportunities. “Global efforts to combat climate change are boosting electrification and green hydrogen,” Asenkerschbaumer says. As for the associated business opportunities, he sees suppliers as important partners for Bosch: “Our suppliers and service providers play a crucial role in many technical innovations that ultimately help improve quality of life and conserve natural resources.”
Robustness: disruptions also affecting supply chains
At Bosch, partnering with regional and local suppliers ensures a high degree of robustness and availability in the supply chain. According to Asenkerschbaumer, this strategy has once again proved invaluable in crises such as the coronavirus pandemic and the current market bottlenecks. Nevertheless, companies and their suppliers worldwide need to prepare early for changes in the event of ongoing supply chain disruptions. “At Bosch, we’re well prepared for this. We essentially take a decentralized approach by manufacturing locally in our customers’ countries and relying on a standardized global manufacturing network.” In light of the challenging business year, the CFO expects purchasing volumes in 2021 to be only slightly above the previous year’s level.
Sustainability: award winners in the new category
In this new category, Bosch honours its suppliers’ endeavours to promote sustainability. The criteria it applies are strict. “To kick things off, we focused on climate action programs,” said Dr. Arne Flemming, head of supply chain management at Bosch. “To make the shortlist, our suppliers had to demonstrate excellent overall performance as well as an A or B rating in the prestigious Carbon Disclosure Project.” Next, a jury of procurement and sustainability experts evaluated criteria such as the transparency of a company’s carbon emissions, its reduction targets for the years up to 2030, and its contribution to Bosch’s CO2 targets.
This year, the semiconductor manufacturer Infineon, the software company Salesforce, and the office furniture manufacturer Steelcase are the recipients of the first-ever Bosch Sustainability Award. Infineon qualified through its many years of voluntary activities to reduce CO2 in production as well as its comprehensive corporate strategy with ambitious sustainability goals. Salesforce impressed with its exclusive use of renewable energy starting in 2022 as well as with the CO2 reduction targets it has set its own supplier base. Among other things, Steelcase won over the jury with its integrated approach to CO2 reduction – from the selection of sustainable materials to their reuse.
17th Bosch Global Supplier Awards: honouring the best suppliers
Across the globe, some 37,000 Bosch associates work in purchasing and logistics; they keep around 240 manufacturing plants supplied with parts and raw materials every day. The supplier of technology and services regularly honours the best of its suppliers from around the world with the Bosch Global Supplier Award. Award winners are recognized for outstanding performance in the manufacture and supply of raw materials, products, and services. A panel of judges evaluated the finalists in the categories of Purchasing of indirect materials and services, Raw materials and components, Purchasing of direct materials (by business sector), and a special Sustainability category. Bosch has been presenting these awards to honour supplier excellence every two years since 1987, and they are highly regarded in the industry. This year, due to the pandemic, the awards will be given individually.