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In February 2022, Ethical Consumer searched the Bosch global website for information on the Bosch Group and Bosch’s Sustainability Report 2020: Factbook was found.

It gave information on its main impacts including climate impacts, product design, packaging, manufacturing, transportation (including avoiding airfreight), end of life, use of toxic chemicals, carbon reduction at supplier level, energy consumption and renewable energy generation, waste and wastewater, use of raw materials and recycling. However, as the company received Ethical Consumer's worst rating for toxic chemicals, it was not considered to have adequate understanding overall.

It stated the following dated and quantified targets:
- "The goal is thus to lower CO2 emissions generated in the upstream and downstream stages of the value chain (scope 3) by 15 percent by 2030."
- "By 2030, Bosch aims to make energy efficiency improvements at its company locations that will lower the energy consumption by 1.7 terawatt­hours (TWh)."
- 0.4 TWh of in-house renewable power generation at Bosch locations by 2030
- 100% green electricity by 2030

Some data in the Bosch' report was externally verified such as carbon and energy figures, but much environmental reporting data did not appear to have been verified, for example water and waste figures.

Bosch Group therefore received a middle rating for Environmental Reporting and lost half a mark in this category.


Sustainability Factbook 2020 (15 February 2022)

On 15/02/2022 Ethical Consumer viewed the website of Robert Bosch GmbH, looking for information on what the company was doing to tackle climate change.

Ethical Consumer was looking for the company to satisfy the following criteria in its public statements and reports:

1.a For the company to discuss its areas of climate impact, and to discuss plausible ways it has cut them in the past, and ways that it will cut them in the future.

1.b For the company to not be involved in any particularly damaging projects like tar sands, oil or aviation, to not be subject to damning secondary criticism regarding it’s climate actions, and to have a policy to avoid investing in fossil fuels.

2. For the company to report annually on its scope 1&2 greenhouse gas emissions (direct emissions by the company).

3. For the company to go some way towards reporting its scope 3 emissions (emissions from the supply chain, investments and sold products).

4. For the company to have a target to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions in line with international agreements (counted as the equivalent of at least 2.5% cut per year in scope 1&2 emissions), and to not count offsetting towards this target.

If a company met all of these criteria it would receive a best rating. If it met parts 1&2 (impacts and annual reporting CO2e) it would receive a middle rating. Otherwise it would receive a worst rating.
Small companies (annual turnover below £10.2 million) were only required to meet part 1 in order to receive a best rating. Small companies that did not directly meet any criteria would receive a middle rating if they were offering a lower carbon alternative for its sector.
Companies of any size whose core focus was related to climate change mitigation were also only required to meet part 1 for a best rating and would receive a middle rating even if they did not directly meet any criteria.

The company discussed carbon emissions
This was considered to constitute an adequate discussion of its climate impacts.

1.b An article on the Reuters website was found, which stated: "Privately-held Bosch, the world’s biggest automotive supplier, delivered around 17 million technical devices equipped with engine management software." The article was titled 'Prosecutors fine Bosch 90 million euros for emissions cheating role' and dated to May 2019. It stated that the company had been fined for its role in the VW emissions cheating scandal, and that supply of Bosch parts had allowed the scandal to take place. Bosch had also been fined in the US in 2017.
Due to its role as "the world's biggest automotive supplier" and in the emissions scandal, it was considered to be involved in damaging projects.

2. The company reported its annual scope 1 and 2 emissions to be: 485,000 and 453,000 tons CO2e respectively.

3. The company reported on some scope 3 emissions broken down by upstream and downstream source for the year 2018. Total figures added up t 451.33million tons CO2e. However, as the figures were more than two years out of date, this was not considered adequate reporting.

4. The company stated: "We want to shape climate action beyond our immediate sphere of influence (scopes 1 and 2) and also systematically reduce upstream and downstream emissions (scope 3), which we aim to reduce by 15 percent by 2030. This target was also confirmed by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), as were the targets for scopes 1 and 2." This target was considered adequate, as it exceeded the equiavlent of a 2.5% cut in scope 1 and 2 targets per year.

Overall, Robert Bosch GmbH received a worst Ethical Consumer rating for carbon management and reporting and lost a full mark in the Climate Change category.


Sustainability Factbook 2020 (15 February 2022)

In February 2022 Ethical Consumer searched the Bosch website and its Sustainability Report 2020 for the company's policy on the use of potentially hazardous chemicals such as PVC, BFR and phthalates.

The company had published several documents under 'Prohibition and Declaration of Substances', in its supplier section, which mentioned prohibited chemicals. However, a list of these chemicals could not be found.

A toxics policy was deemed necessary for all companies manufacturing electronic appliances, as these substances were widely used in this sector and had a significant negative environmental impact when released after disposal. A strong policy on toxics would include publicly disclosed data on the use of hazardous chemicals such as PVC, BFR and phthalates; as well as clear, dated targets for ending their use.

Robert Bosch GmbH had no policy and therefore received Ethical Consumer's worst rating in this category and lost a whole mark under Pollution and Toxics.


Bosch’s Sustainability Report 2019: Factbook (13 January 2021)

In February 2022 Ethical Consumer viewed Robert Bosch GmbH website, in search of the company's conflict minerals policy. The Bosch Group Policy for Conflict Raw Materials, dated May 2019, was found and downloaded.

It stated:
* Bosch joined the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI) in 2014
* We demand from our suppliers respect and compliance with existing legal requirements concerning the mining of raw materials in conflict and high-risk territories
* Bosch does not directly source any of these minerals from mines in the high-risk territories or elsewhere
* Bosch supports the approach of validating smelters and refiners for 3TG as they play a key role in the supply chain from the mining site to the final product.
* Bosch respects the OECD’s “Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas.”
* We ask our respective suppliers to report the origin and the certification status of the smelters and refiners involved. We regularly report the outcome of our data collection and analysis of the certification status.
* Relevant suppliers and sub-suppliers are asked to collaborate with smelters and refiners that are conformant with the Responsible Minerals Assurance Process (RMAP) by RMI. The RMAP identifies smelters and refiners that can verify that their raw materials do not originate from suppliers contributing to conflicts in the high-risk areas. We also highly encourage our suppliers to participate in the RMI or similar relevant industry initiatives with the intention to improve the conditions in the extractive industry.

Conflict minerals are minerals mined in conditions of armed conflict and human rights abuses, notably in the eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The minerals in question are Tantalum, Tin, Tungsten and Gold (3TG for short) and are key components of electronic devices, from mobile phones to televisions.

Ethical Consumer deemed it necessary for any company manufacturing electronics to have a policy on the sourcing of conflict minerals. Such a policy would articulate the company's commitment to conflict free sourcing of 3TG minerals and its commitment to continue ensuring due diligence on the issue. The policy should also state that it intends to continue sourcing from the DRC region in order to avoid an embargo, which would hurt local workers even more.

A company should also:
- support conflict free initiatives in the region
- require conflict minerals policies throughout its supply chain
- explain its due diligence procedures
- use established conflict minerals reporting templates
- commit to only using 3TG minerals from smelters that have been audited and verified as conflict free, ideally listing them

Since Robert Bosch GmbH had some of these things but did not state its commitment to continue to source from the DRC region, it received Ethical Consumer's worst rating for conflict minerals and lost a full mark under Human Rights and Habitats and Resources.

Reference: (15 February 2022)