Sustainability at the Robert Bosch Stiftung

The Robert Bosch Stiftung aims to help preserve our natural resources and contribute to a sustainable living environment. Sustainability means meeting the needs of the present in a way that does not limit opportunities for future generations.   

Text
Silke Breimaier
Graphics
Pia Bublies
Date
June 28, 2023

Our support in the area of climate change

The climate crisis is increasingly threatening our livelihoods, and its effects often impact particularly those who have hardly contributed to its emergence. Since 2020, we have established a dedicated Climate Change funding topic. We focus on contributing to sustainable and climate-resilient land use in Europe and selected countries in West and East Africa. From our work in the Global Issues funding area, we are conscious of the multiple interactions between climate change and, for example, migration, inequality, or peace.  

Our mission: Becoming a net-zero organization

To become more sustainable as an organization, we at the Robert Bosch Stiftung have decided to focus on the ecological dimension of sustainability in our own actions and to reduce the Foundation's carbon footprint to a minimum. Our goal is to become a net-zero organization by 2050. This means that, with the exception of unavoidable residuals, we will avoid, reduce or offset all emissions – in that order of mitigation (avoid first, then reduce, then compensate). And we will reduce our offsets more and more over time. A first important step for us is to achieve climate neutrality (including offsets) by 2025.

To determine our emissions, we have been compiling a corporate carbon footprint (CCF) for our business activities in accordance with the global standard Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol since 2019. We have derived measures based on the results and developed a roadmap for achieving targets. In this context, the CCF 2019 represents our base year for formulating targets and measuring the progress of our CO2 reduction. 

Nachhaltigkeitsseite_Footprint_EN

Our corporate carbon footprint at a glance (2019-2021)

We determined greenhouse gas emissions (CO2 equivalents, abbreviated CO2e) in all three scopes of the GHG Protocol. The scopes distinguish between direct and indirect emission sources. Direct emissions (Scope 1) occur directly at the organization level (e.g. buildings). Indirect emissions (Scopes 2 and 3) are those that arise from the organization's activities but are not directly owned or controlled by the Foundation. 

Our emissions from Scopes 1-3 amounted to 998 tons of CO2 in 2019. The majority were in Scope 3 and were mainly a result of business trips and overnight stays. 

In 2020, there was a significant decrease in CO2e to 357 tons, mainly due to a sharp reduction in travel and event activities of the Robert Bosch Stiftung during the pandemic. 

In 2021, we experienced a slight increase in emissions of 7% to 382 tons of CO2e compared to 2020. The main reason was a rise in travel and on-site work at our locations as pandemic restrictions were eased. For 2022, we expect a temporary increase in our emissions due to renewed mobility. However, our goal is to reduce this footprint continuously and permanently. 

Grafik zum CO2-Fußabdruck der Stiftung 2019-2021

First measures implemented

The foundation now only uses green electricity with a certificate of origin. For business trips, we follow a "train first" policy for travel time up to 6 hours. Since the beginning of 2022, we have offered purely vegetarian days in our canteen in Stuttgart. We have increased the number of e-charging stations at our Stuttgart site and encourage our employees to switch to using bicycles. We have offset emissions generated on business trips by air since January 2020 through suitable environmental projects, including Gold Standard projects. We are also working on a comprehensive compensation strategy for previously unavoidable emissions. At the same time, we know that further efforts and significant measures are necessary to reduce our emissions in the long term. 

It is important for us to actively involve all employees of the Robert Bosch Stiftung so they can contribute ideas on how to make the Foundation more sustainable and also pursue their own activities in this area. This inspires a lively culture of debate around the topic of sustainability at the Foundation.

We learn together and from others

To firmly anchor sustainability in our own organization and in the philanthropic sector, we also seek exchange with others. The Robert Bosch Stiftung was one of the first German foundations to sign the "International Philanthropy Commitment on Climate Change." Together with philanthropic organizations from around the world, we are publicly signaling our commitment to greater engagement in tackling the climate crisis.

 

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