“In the long term, an honest and fair approach to doing business will be the most profitable.”
This statement of our company founder Robert Bosch continues to influence the way we do business today.
The aim of our globally applicable rules of business conduct is to protect our associates and company as well as our customers and partners. As our “We are Bosch” mission statement says, “We promise only what we can deliver, accept agreements as binding, and respect and observe the law in all our business transactions.” To underscore the importance of this principle, we have summed up our position with regard to legal requirements and ethical issues in our globally applicable Code of Business Conduct. The Code of Business Conduct serves as a guideline for how to do business.
Bosch has a global compliance system headed by a chief compliance officer who reports directly to the board of management. There is also a corporate compliance department and compliance officers in all divisions and regions. Prevention and inspection measures including the dual-control principle, job rotation in sensitive areas, as well as regular audits are designed to support our values-based compliance system. We also have a mandatory compliance training program for our associates. In addition, we have established a “Compliance Dialog,” which allows compliance-related topics and experience to be discussed among our executives, associates, and compliance officers.
The compliance system also includes a reporting hotline, which associates, business partners, and third parties can use to report irregularities at any time. Responsible and legally compliant behavior does not stop at company boundaries. With this in mind, we have established a Code of Conduct for suppliers, which defines the principles and requirements for collaborating with Bosch. We conduct regular audits to ensure that our suppliers comply with these principles. In such a fast moving environment, we continuously review our compliance system to be able to quickly adapt our rules and processes to new legal and technical developments.
The responsibility towards our society has a valuable tradition at Bosch and starts with the fair treatment of our employees. In our “Guidelines of corporate social responsibility at Bosch” our management and employee representatives acknowledge human rights, equal opportunities, fair working conditions and worldwide standards in occupational health and safety. These eleven guidelines are oriented towards core labour standards of the International Labour Organization and are also obligatory for all of our suppliers.
In tradition of our founder Robert Bosch our corporate social responsibility goes far beyond our company borders. We are committed to common good, especially equalizing opportunities through education. In 2019, the Bosch Group donated a total of 22.7 million euros worldwide for charitable purposes. Our social commitment in the form of donations is carried out by the respective companies and, in some countries, through dedicated institutions.
Some Bosch regional companies have established their own charitable institutions for their social commitment:
Responsible supply chain management
By joining the United Nations Global Compact Initiative in 2004, the Bosch Group emphasized the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). For Bosch, CSR includes, especially, the protection of human rights and the environment, compliance with health standards and labor laws, as well as ethical business conduct. In this context, we promote the procurement of materials with consideration of their impact on environmental and social factors.
For the development of effective countermeasures against existing social issues in the supply chain, we believe cooperation amongst industries using conflict raw materials is important. Amongst other initiatives, Bosch joined the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI) in 2014 to support an industry-wide approach for mineral reporting and supplier education activities.
Bosch is founding member of “value balancing alliance e.V.”
Bosch is founding member of “value balancing alliance e.V.”
Which values do companies create for society – in environmental, social, and financial terms? And how can these contributions be measured and compared? The recently founded “value balancing alliance e.V.”, based in Frankfurt am Main, gets to the bottom of these questions.
Together with seven international companies, Bosch intends to establish a global standard for measuring and disclosing the real value that companies provide to society.
The guiding principle and main goal of the alliance is to take impacts on the environment, the society and the economy into account.
The alliance focuses on defining a global standard that will allow social impact and dependencies along the value chain, as well as their impact on company value, to be evaluated in a common currency unit. The aim is to standardize calculations, ensure comparability of methods, create pilot management accounting schemes, and make outcomes publicly available.
The transformation of business processes requires a concerted effort by all players in the business environment. Bosch believes that, as a company, it shares responsibility for creating sustainable value. “Our ‘Invented for life’ ethos includes taking responsibility for society and the environment. The value balancing alliance is a great opportunity to make this commitment transparent,” says Torsten Kallweit, Head of Health, Safety, Environmental and Fire Protection as well as Sustainability in the Bosch Group.
Over the next three years, the value balancing alliance will translate theoretical findings into a pragmatic, user-oriented model. With the support of independent external bodies such as the OECD and the universities of Oxford, Harvard, Hamburg, and Mannheim, the value balancing alliance will develop and extend transparency and disclosure.
With the foundation of the value balancing alliance, the members have taken a decisive step toward increasing transparency about business decisions, value creation, and loss of value.