Our commitment to sustainability
COMMITTED TO SUSTAINABILITY
"Sustainable action involves taking responsibility for the world of tomorrow. At TÜV SÜD, we are very clear about our goal: to live up to our responsibility as a company, and to shape the future in a sustainable manner. We are committed to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and pledge to play our part in achieving their targets."
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Axel Stepken
Chairman of the Board of Management, TÜV SÜD AG
Sustainable, responsible action aimed at protecting people and the environment has been a pillar of TÜV SÜD’s corporate objectives from the onset and has served the company as a guiding principle since its foundation over 150 years ago. From our inception, we have protected people, the environment, and assets against technology-related risks and thus fostered technical progress. We support and shape the march of technological change, constantly adjusting and aligning our services with the aim of ensuring safety and security as we fulfill our task at all times.
One World, our Sustainability Status Report, provides an overview of our activities in 2019 and 2020 and demonstrates how we fulfill our corporate responsibility at TÜV SÜD and proactively embed relevant topics in our business processes. Our social commitment is reflected in the initiatives taken by our employees from embracing diversity to adopting environmentally friendly practices in our day-to-day operations. Through these activities, we aim to ensure safe, secure, and sustainable global development of society and the environment.
TÜV SÜD’s commitment to the common good takes numerous forms, from donations and collaborations to our own project initiatives. A particular area of focus includes promoting training and education for young people in technical and scientific areas. These projects are initiated by the TÜV SÜD Foundation as well as directly by the member companies of the TÜV SÜD Group.
The TÜV SÜD Foundation is one of the two owners of TÜV SÜD AG. The Foundation funds an array of projects throughout Germany focusing on education and training for young people in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) subjects. All activities of the Foundation are directed toward the overarching goal of generating enthusiasm for modern technology and natural sciences among young people. Since its establishment in 2009, the TÜV SÜD Foundation has invested a total of approximately 4.5 million euros in these social projects. The majority of the Foundation’s funding is derived from dividends from TÜV SÜD AG and donations from companies in the TÜV SÜD Group. For more information, visit the TÜV SÜD Foundation website in German here.
Our commitment to the environment and the society is reflected in the initiatives taken by our employees from embracing diversity to adopting environmentally friendly practices in our day-to-day operations. Through our actions, we support the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and is committed to sharing our knowledge and experience to co-design a better and more sustainable future. Our aim is to ensure the safe, secure, and sustainable global development of society and the environment.
TAFELN – Food banks helping those in need in Germany: Every day many tonnes of perfectly edible food are thrown away in Germany—while at the same time many people live in poverty. Die Tafeln, a charitable organisation operating throughout Germany, seeks to counter this deplorable situation. Its volunteers collect top-quality waste food that would otherwise be disposed of and distribute it to people in need. In 2020, TÜV SÜD companies supported the work of Tafel Deutschland as the umbrella organisation as well as the regional Fildertafel food bank in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg.
In the pandemic year of 2020, we stepped up our support of initiatives for improving the situation of sick people in need, and voluntary work. In addition, projects with close links to our role in society as a technical service provider continue to form the central pillar of our social engagement at TÜV SÜD.
Diversity Charter: We believe that diversity greatly contributes to the success of TÜV SÜD and that companies with a diverse workforce are better placed to succeed when dealing with demographic and economic challenges. To show appreciation and support of this diversity, TÜV SÜD has signed the Diversity Charter, joining Germany's largest corporate initiative for promoting diversity. The terms of the charter are aimed at creating a workplace environment that is free from prejudice. All employees are to be respected regardless of their gender, nationality, ethnic background, faith, beliefs, disabilities, age, sexual orientation or identity. More info here.
Women's network: The Women's Network is a grassroots initiative to promote the advancement of female employees within TÜV SÜD. Initiated by a group of women passionate about empowering other women in the organisation and supported by several local ambassadors, the network offers Women and Men throughout the organisation a variety of initiatives, including mentoring, coaching, social networking, trainings and networks with like-minded external women's networks. More info here.
Solar Power: Bringing power generation inhouse and reducing the need for electricity from external sources was the objective of a new photovoltaic system delivering around 94 kW, which went into operation in the summer of 2020 at TÜV SÜD’s electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) laboratory at the Bavarian town of Straubing.
Green power: In 2020, 86% of the power used by TÜV SÜD in Germany was “green” power, accompanied by the appropriate proof of origin certification.
Heating energy, free from fossil fuels: Our heating energy is drawn from environmentally friendly sources wherever possible, particularly district heat. Our Munich headquarters—which is also our largest office building— receives district heat from the local utility company. Our new laboratory in Garching, opened in 2013, is heated using district heat from the local geothermal heat provider.
Our sustainability activities with respect to “Employees” focus on the following areas: recruiting, compensation and benefits, continuing training and development, diversity management, work-life balance, and occupational health and safety.
E-mobility: Various German locations provide electric vehicle charging points for customers and employees. As a pioneer of electric mobility, we aim to shape the future of personal mobility.
Roof Greening: After undergoing refurbishment and extensive greening, the roof of our Group headquarters in Munich is now home to three beehives. Over 30 amateur beekeepers from all over the Group are now actively involved in the project and take care of the bees in their spare time, with the support and expertise of an experienced beekeeper to assist them. The bees produced around 400 jars of honey by the end of 2020. The honey was sold inhouse to employees and the proceeds—plus a top-up donation from the company itself—went to the Munich branch of the nonprofit children’s foundation “Die Arche,” which supports socially disadvantaged children and young people.
Environment: We strive to make our own business activities as eco-friendly as possible and minimize negative environmental impacts. To do so, we aim to systematically track TÜV SÜD’s positive and negative environmental impact, develop goals and actions to foster climate and environmental protection in the company, and implement them successfully in the years to come.
Greenhouse Gas emissions drawn up for all TÜV SÜD companies: As energy consumption and the associated CO2 emissions account for the greater part of our ecological footprint, our climate protection activities likewise focus on this aspect. Our greenhouse gas inventory covers more than half of all employees throughout the world. We collected the appropriate data in line with the GHG Protocol and ISO 14064-1. Collection of international data continues to be our objective.
Efficiency: We began to drive efficiency enhancement and modernization programs for building management many years ago and have implemented measures in these areas consistently and purposefully ever since. Refurbishment measures are taken as opportunities to optimize the energy efficiency and environmental compatibility of our existing buildings. For example, during roof refurbishment at our Group headquarters we installed improved insulation and added extensive greening as an additional contribution to environmental and climate protection.