One of Germany’s biggest and oldest companies wants to become carbon neutral by next year, starting a race to tap more green power, ramp up energy savings and offset emissions.
Robert Bosch GmbH announced the sweeping plan that will impact 400 sites worldwide. It puts the 133-year-old company at the forefront German blue chips moving to eliminate emissions as new costs loom for greenhouse gas pollution. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has been cracking down on the carbon dioxide emitted by Europe’s biggest economy in order to meet obligations under the Paris climate accord.
The Stuttgart-based company intends to cut 3.3 million tonnes of carbon emissions ne-xt year, said Chief Executive Officer Volkmar Denner in a spe- ech. Companies in Germany ha-ve no choice but to grasp nettle and make the cuts, he said.
“Climate change is not science fiction,” according to the CEO, a trained physicist who said global warming is beginning to take a dramatic hold on societies. “Driving bans, diesel protests, yellow vests, and Friday climate strikes — all this shows that companies need to take climate action.” Denner didn’t say how much Bosch’s initiative would cost. The clo-sely-held company’s strategy has seen growing sales of go-ods and services that boost energy efficiencies and curb emi- ssions. Bosch spends about ha-lf of its $8 billion research and development budget on environment-linked technologies.
Merkel’s government is compelled to follow the European Commission’s so-called Effort Sharing Directive that targets carbon dioxide reductions in energy, transport, heating and cooling, industry and farming. The policy is intended to help countries meet their 2030 pledges tied to the Paris Agreement. Pollution costs are already borne by some 2,000 of the Germany’s most energy-intensive companies via certificates purchased as members of the EU’s Emissions Trading System. That leaves about 3.6 million German companies that aren’t enrolled in carbon trades and who may soon face extra costs on emissions from factories to car fleets.