As the world economy is rapidly moving away from an oil and consumption driven model to a green, sustainable way of doing business, we would like you to share with our readers the projects and ideas for a better world of leading sustainability, environment, and CSR professionals from top Romanian companies.
Today, Business Review brings you the third installment of the new #GreenRestart interview series, featuring an exclusive one-on-one talk with Mihai Boldijar, the General Manager of ROBERT BOSCH Romania, and the representative of the Bosch Group, a German multinational engineering and technology company, in Romania.
- What are Bosch’s main directions in terms of environment?
When referring to environment, our organization’s goals are very clear: taking actions for the climate is the path we chose to follow. On a global level, Bosch took the responsibility of becoming carbon neutral and started putting all of the company’s efforts into bringing its carbon footprint down to zero. Many of the over 400 Bosch locations worldwide have become carbon neutral this year, or are to become by the end of December. Furthermore, the company also desires to shape climate action by taking a close look at the carbon footprint of its products, purchased goods, and logistics processes. Bosch’s climate goals concern both the energy it generates itself, as well as the volumes it purchases for manufacturing and administration. This is where the organization can directly influence the reduction of greenhouse gases and make a big impact in a short period. By 2030, the Bosch Group would like to achieve a further improvement in terms of climate protection based on the quality of the measures applied.
- What environment projects have you concentrated on in the past year?
Although 2020 was not an easy year, the Bosch Group in Romania remained loyal to its plans and its beliefs and continued its actions and projects in the environmental sphere. Our production sites in Blaj and Cluj, as well as our R&D facility in Cluj-Napoca have also engaged in the implementation of CO2-free policies, and the emissions in their direct sphere of influence are now closer to achieve neutrality. Energy efficiency is also one of our objects of interest, thus we have inaugurated this year the new office building of our Engineering Center in Cluj – a class A, state-of-the-art facility. Likewise, in expanding our climate action further, we are also focusing on our indirect emissions such as purchased goods and services, business travel, and also the transportation and use of our products. Our local divisions have already drawn up their own roadmaps on how they can help achieve the targets for these categories.
- What can you tell us about involving our communities, together with Bosch, in protecting the environment, as a collective effort for a better future?
It sure sounds as a cliché, but we have only one planet and we are facing more and more environmental issues every day. The inefficient use of resources that leads to their shortage, harmful emissions adding-up to global warming, water and air pollution due to the mass consumption and lack of appropriate recycling policies are just a few of them. This is the reason why Bosch is focusing not only on its profits, but also on their sustainability. By addressing environmental concerns, communities can work towards creating a more sustainable future and I am positive collective efforts are key ingredients of healthy ecosystems.
- What are the most efficient methods to educate the population in having a more responsible behavior towards the environment, in the long term?
I believe in the power of education itself and I believe that it increases not only awareness, but also people’s concern for the environment, encouraging them to protect it. By increasing awareness and concern, we can support people to reduce their impact on the environment through more efficient use of energy and water supplies, especially in areas of resource scarcity. Nevertheless, education must cover individuals of all ages, industry sectors and activity domains, and people should be called upon to modify their consumption habits and take other measures that limit environmental harm. Education, however, is not a silver bullet. It must be supported with global policies and leadership.
- What are your future plans for Bosch’s environment strategy?
By 2030, the Bosch Group aims to achieve a further improvement in terms of climate protection based on the quality of the measures applied. Likewise, in terms of climate action across the entire value chains, the Group’s goal is to reduce its indirect emissions by 15 percent.
- Which are the main pillars of Bosch’s CSR strategy at this moment?
This year, as will the years to come, is an extension of the CSR strategy we started many years ago. Our projects are developed having at base the needs we identified within the local systems and our efforts focus on supporting five main categories: children, youth and elders, education, health, habitat and environment.
- What CSR projects have you implemented so far at Bosch?
Over the years, we have conducted many social responsibility projects. Between 2017-2019 only we carried out more than 130 initiatives with the participation of over 1,500 volunteers from all five local Bosch locations, addressing issues related to environment, education and health. This year, albeit the fact that the medical crisis and the uncertain economic climate tested our agility and adaptability, all Bosch divisions present in Romania got involved in the fight against Covid-19, lending a helping hand to our first line heroes, and, implicitly to the patients in need. We donated both medical devices and equipment, as well as Bosch products, while our employees conducted independent donations campaigns.
- What can you tell us about the internal CSR projects carried out for Bosch employees?
At Bosch, social responsibility campaigns and initiatives focus mainly on our employees. One of our yearly internal campaign is the “Charity Market” which sees to offer support for people living in less advantaged environments. A good example in the context is “Masa pe roți”, a project dedicated to help elderly people in need and other vulnerable groups. We are talking about people and teams who donate their team buildings to renovate schools or to lend a hand to small communities in need. Internal CSR activities are a constant to us, and experience has shown us that employee loyalty programs and social responsibility are always a good mix.
- What are the directions you see for CSR initiatives in Romania for the next years?
I see a bright future for all initiatives concerning education. As mentioned before, education has the power to shape strong, cultivated and responsible individuals. Communities alike. Education is also one of our main CSR pillars, and for the next years, we intend to amplify our initiatives in this field as well.
- How much do you think the current pandemic crisis has changed the solidarity concept in Romanian society – both for companies, as well as at individual level – considering the fact that in the first months of the pandemic, many companies have joined forces to fight against Covid-19?
I think that this year taught us many things, and one of these things is that together we are stronger. The pandemic changed not only the solidarity concept as perceived by the Romanian society, but also mentalities. Today, we see companies and individuals as a whole and we realize that in times of tempest, we must stand as one.