Ladies and Gentlemen,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Sustainability, climate protection, and corporate responsibility are crucial issues for the development of our society, despite somewhat receding from the headlines as the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic has emerged. The way that tomorrow’s generations will live is determined by the actions we take today and the sustainability of our current economic direction and our lifestyle. Companies like ours have a duty to keep this in the forefront of our minds as we play our part in shaping the future.
At TÜV SÜD we have accorded high priority to sustainability in our actions as part of our strategy “The Next Level. Together.” We are convinced that sustainability is a core element of our corporate purpose. We protect, people, the environment, and assets against technology-related risks – and thus pave the way for progress, because people are only willing to accept new technologies that are free from risks.
We have pursued this objective since the earliest beginnings of our company in 1866, when the first inspectors of the “Association for the Inspection and Insurance of Steam Boilers, Mannheim” quite literally went from factory to factory overseeing the safety of the machinery and systems there. By doing so they protected people and the environment from damage while ushering in the first Industrial Revolution – the triumphant advance of steam technology.
This social mandate still shapes our activities today, as our services and certification marks demonstrate with particular clarity. They provide people with safety, security, and guidance; they help to improve products, processes, plants, and systems; and they inspire trust – trust in technology, in products and services, and in business partnerships. For over 150 years our company has been virtually unparalleled in contributing toward enhancing sustainability of the environment, business and industry, and society as a whole.
Our enormously diverse range of services brings with it immense potential for growing sustainability. Many of our services ensure that resources are used with care, people are protected, and the benefits of technology are embraced to the full. A key element of our corporate responsibility is to direct our actions toward bringing sustainability to more areas of life.
The extent of this objective can be seen in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, to which we subscribe. Wherever possible, we aim to contribute as a company to achieving these vital goals throughout the world.
Let me outline just a few examples. TÜV SÜD leads in testing, certification, and approval of medical devices. Our work ensures that medical devices work reliably and benefit the people who trust in them and whose health depends on them.
Our TÜV SÜD Academy supplies high-quality educational and training services. Our experts conduct tests and inspections every day that enable machinery and technology to be operated safely and reliably, from power stations to cars.
Our extensive array of services for sustainable buildings, climate protection, renewable energies, and sustainable transport and infrastructure development make a vital contribution towards careful use of resources, energy efficiency, and climate protection. The more responsibility we devote to constructing buildings and developing infrastructure today, the more people and the environment will benefit tomorrow: every day, for decades to come.
This applies especially to access to clean water and sanitation – an area in which we are making an extremely practical contribution toward improving the lives of around 4.3 billion people all over the world who currently have insufficient access to sanitation. Our activities in this context are based at our Singapore location and receive support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. As a technical service provider, we are supporting development of innovative sanitation technology that functions without connection to a sewage network, by developing a standard to ensure the technology is sustainable and safe for the environment and human health.
“Newton,” our new premises on Ridlerstrasse in Munich, Germany, is a further showcase for the opportunities that are opened up by sustainable construction. In 2018 the building received Platinum certification from the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB) – the Council’s highest distinction. At Newton, heat pumps use groundwater for environmentally friendly cooling and heating while a comprehensive lighting concept saves energy and reduces operating costs. Charging points for electric vehicles show that even underground car parks can be a springboard for the future. In the capable hands of the TÜV SÜD pension fund, the property will also underpin secure old-age provisions for many employees. All in all, a truly sustainable investment.
As these examples show, we take our responsibility as entrepreneurs seriously. But our services are not the only aspects in the spotlight. We are also called upon within our company to constantly scrutinize our actions and to increase the sustainability considerations we apply in our day-to-day decision-making processes. Although we have achieved much in recent years, we believe there is still untapped potential to explore. For example, in environmental issues. A 2019 energy audit documented the current status at our German locations in terms of energy efficiency and climate protection.
We are currently working on honing the systematic approach of our sustainability commitment in every area of the company. As an important review of the current situation, this Sustainability Publication is designed to create the basis for this task. In the coming months we will draw up concrete goals and targets to bolster TÜV SÜD’s main fields of action. In doing so we will focus on transparency and trustworthiness, on honest examination of our entrepreneurial activities and their associated impacts on the environment and society. And we will take any consequences necessary to achieve tangible improvements.
We have the clear objective of helping to shape a future worth living for the generations to come. To achieve this, we contribute our services, the wealth of knowledge and experience of our employees, and all the strength we have within us as a company.
I am delighted that you are interested in the road we are taking!