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Axel Stepken,
Chairman of the Board of Management of TÜV SÜD
Foreword by the Chairman of the Board of Management

Dear Readers,

“ONE Challenge“ is the banner over all of TÜV SÜD's corporate publications on the challenging past year of 2021. Climate change, military conflict, pandemic, social cohesion: these are problems that currently beset us all, and can only be solved by an alliance of state, society, and business. Coordinated action is needed to deliver innovative approaches, intelligent ideas, and commitment to guaranteeing a future worth living – also for the generations to come.

We must find the courage to take decisive action today to benefit the world of tomorrow. At TÜV SÜD, we are very clear in our mission to confront the challenges of our time and contribute to developing future-proof solutions. To do so, we focus on the sustainability of our actions. Our objective is clear-cut: for TÜV SÜD to become the most sustainable company in its sector of industry, and the impartial and independent partner of choice for all issues related to sustainability and future-facing solutions.

For TÜV SÜD, this perspective is nothing new. We have been fulfilling our social responsibility to protect people, the environment, and assets from technology-related risks for over 150 years, creating the conditions necessary for technological progress to flourish. By purposefully focusing on sustainability, we are taking this objective and our associated social responsibility into the future, preparing the ground for sustainable action in the spheres of business and society. In short, we are accepting responsibility today for the world of tomorrow.

Our methods and processes are set out in this year's Sustainability Report, our first to be produced on the basis of the GRI Standards' “Core“ option issued by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). By adopting these standards, we improve the quality of our reporting, establish comparability in our approach, and thus lay the foundations for the perpetual driver of our success from the outset: people's trust in our services, in the quality of our certificates and certification marks, and – first and foremost – in the integrity of our employees throughout the world.

Our portfolio of services reflects this objective. Climate change and renewable energy sources, sustainable building, reliable supply chains, sustainable transport and infrastructure – day by day, our experts at TÜV SÜD help make the world more future-proof, more sustainable. We are currently engaged in further expanding this broadly based portfolio and will thus become the partner of choice for our customers in all sustainability-related issues.

In parallel, we are determined to continue along our own path toward improving resource conservation as a company. Here, our areas of focus include climate protection, where we have the target of net-zero operation by 2025. We are working with dedication on creating energy savings and avoiding emissions. In this process the full range of our processes and activities are under scrutiny, from the vehicle models in our company vehicle fleet to our consistent use of energy from renewable sources. The advancement of digitalization is key in paving the way to achieving our goals; today many tasks that once involved time-consuming on-site testing and inspection can be completed remotely, saving our customers time and money, and benefiting the environment by cutting down on travel and the associated carbon emissions.

Our commitment is also demonstrated by our construction projects in Munich and Singapore, which fulfill the strictest standards of sustainability and energy efficiency in buildings. We have good reason for setting ourselves ambitious goals in this respect: by reflecting the most advanced and sustainable standards and the state of the art, the buildings we complete today will effectively minimize the environmental impact of their operation for many decades to come.

We create an attractive working environment for our employees, in which mutual respect and appreciation reign and prejudice has no place. We ensure the integrity of our actions with an extensive compliance management system. The TÜV SÜD Trust Channel, a whistleblower platform, enables concerned individuals to share even the slightest doubts or information around the clock in 17 languages.

Our business partners and suppliers also become part of our commitment to sustainability in the form of our new TÜV SÜD Supplier Code of Conduct. We expect them to make their own contribution to increasing sustainability. When it comes to shaping the future, there can be no spectators – only active players.

All these aspects demonstrate the seriousness with which we take our commitment as we pursue a clear drive to lead. It is vital for us to master this ONE Challenge, which concerns us all: the creation of a future worth living, here and now!

TÜV SÜD is ready to tackle this challenge. And I welcome your interest in accompanying us on our journey.

Kind regards,

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Axel Stepken
Chairman of the Board of Management