Bosch Home Appliances, the largest manufacturer of home appliances in Europe, has made the circular economy approach its core strategy. Synonymous with German engineering and highest quality standards, BSH is globally renowned for its innovative and futuristic products and solutions sold under its total of 11 global brands. The company’s brand portfolio includes well-known appliance brands such as Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau and Neff as well as the ecosystem brand Home Connect and service brands such as Kitchen Stories. BSH produces at 40 factories and is represented in some 50 countries.
As a leading home appliances manufacturer worldwide, BSH places great value on achieving an ecologically sustainable design for its entire value-added chain. This holds true both for the manufacturing of the appliances and for the continuous improvement of their energy efficiency. The efforts to achieve a recycling economy initiated by BSH are also leading to a considerable overall reduction in the use of resources. The Munich headquartered multinational approaches all areas from production and appliance usage, right through to recycling with environmental sustainability as its key focus.
“We have been particularly successful in two key areas that have an impact on climate and environmental protection:providing energy-saving appliances and making our production more efficient,” says Neeraj Bahl, MD and CEO, Bosch Home Appliances. “In order to have an even more noticeable impact on the climate and the environment, we have recently introduced our global Circular Economy strategy. Thereby, we look at the entire lifecycle of an appliance from development to return and recycling. Thus, we cover all activities that either neutralise or at least significantly reduce BSH’s ecological footprint.”
Environment sustainability for Bosch home appliances starts before production and ends only with the recycling of packaging material. Around 40% of Bosch patent applications relate to environmental protection and the careful use of resources, which is why the company stands by its claim that its home appliances are amongst the most efficient and economical in the world. The most efficient models of Bosch home appliances can be recognised by the ‘Green Technology inside’ signet.
Even the most environment friendly BSH are naturally uncompromisingly powerful. From halving 50% of water consumption compared to what it utilised in the 1990s, the company has been able to develop technology to recycle over 90% of its factory waste – both resource and product wastes.
In the long term, the company has two goals: 1) Return of appliances to BSH should become the rule and no longer remain an exception. 2) The company wants to decouple its carbon footprint from its economic development. In short, eliminate waste and emissions as far as possible. “Our objective is to be the first climate-neutral home appliance manufacturer,” says Bahl. “With our climate neutrality programme, we will set consumption completely to zero in this year. This will be achieved by increasing energy efficiency, more self-generated and purchased green energy and compensation for unavoidable emissions.”
Innovations such as Zeolite technology or the heat pump dryer have helped BSH play a key role in ensuring today’s high level of energy efficiency. For example, between 2001 and 2016, the company was able to reduce the energy consumption of washing machines by 68% and water consumption by 12%. The reduction in energy consumption of cooling appliances and tumble dryers was as much as 75% in the same time span. Between 2010 and 2018, BSH has reduced its water and energy consumption by 35% and has saved 75,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions with the use of renewable energy. All this has been possible because of steady optimisation of the operations with global programs.
To inspire all employees to adopt new business models, the company is striving to re-identify partnerships that are important for the development of circular business models, for example in the recycling industry, and also zero in on consumer groups that choose to live sustainably in their homes.
BSH is also testing circular business models such as leasing for certain products, to gain insights on how to manufacture future products that are even easier to repair, contain more recycled material, and can be reused and recycled easily. This will not only provide BSH access to the resources and materials used, but also create closer ties with the consumers.
BSH aims to improve consumers’ lives worldwide and constantly innovates to reduce the ecological impact of its products and production processes. To protect the finite resources of our planet the company is also driving forward decoupling growth and resource consumption.
This means offering consumers high-quality products that are as sustainable and environmentally friendly as possible. The company strives to save resources on transport, too, by packaging its dishwashers efficiently so that it can dispatch more products at the same time. This not only reduces use of packaging material but also saves on fuel, thereby cutting down on carbon emissions.
When buying a dishwasher, BSH advices consumers to go for the lowest possible water consuming models, for example those that use only 8-10 litres per cycle. For ensuring water efficiency, BSH advices using settings such as ‘half load’ for washing just a few dishes, as that will ensure saving of both energy and money. In line with its philosophy, BSH’s new series of dishwashers, which celebrated its world premiere at the IFA 2020 Special Edition, symbolises this new generation of home appliances. This entirely newly-developed series is a multi-brand platform for a range of different models – from basic to premium. All the dishwashers are fitted with SystemMaster, are internet-capable, and thus can learn to adapt to consumers’ individual routines and receive regular system updates over the air. The appliances are save energy due to Zeolite drying and offer many intelligent solutions such as a completely new interior layout with a third load deck for small kitchen utensils that enlarges the load compartment by up to 25%, or an innovative “glass zone” in which even high-value glasses can be safely put into the dishwasher.
Three of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG2) launched at the beginning of 2016 were no poverty, no hunger and sustainable cities. As part of its support to SDG2, which extends into 2030, Bosch has committed to offering solutions to social challenges and finding answers to environmental and social questions.
One of BSH strengths is guaranteeing customers the highest quality and safe products. The primary intent in the long term is to thus move to a way of living and doing business that conserves resources and has a positive impact on society. At the same time, the company sees itself as an active member of society and is involved in a wide range of activities. Public-benefit institutions in Brazil, China, India, Mexico and the United States that seek to reduce poverty and give people access to education in the respective communities are one of the means by which we put our social responsibility into practice. Bosch donates far in excess of 20 million euros to charitable causes around the world.
Outlook Business Initiative is a brand promotion feature