Message from the Chairman of the Board of Management

Ladies and gentlemen,

Our view of the world continues to be shaped by crises, risks and geopolitical tensions. Prompt, pragmatic action seems to be the order of the day – and to a certain extent that is true. However, a closer look reveals that many of the current challenges are rooted in short-term decisions in the past.

Recognizing this is crucial now more than ever, because in a world full of complexity and tension, it is important to look ahead and drive forward long-term transformation processes – the effects of which may not be felt for years to come. This makes it all the more important to act in a responsible and farsighted manner, and to shape a future that is worth living in for generations to come.

A future worth living in for as many people as possible must be the guiding principle of our actions – and at TÜV SÜD we are unwavering in our pursuit of this aspiration. This may also be due to the fact that we, as a company, have experience with long-term transformation processes, having enabled progress for almost 160 years. We take a holistic approach and focus on protecting people and assets. In this way, many of our services contribute to making the world a safer and better place.

We have the expertise, competency and experience needed to evaluate the complex technologies, issues and processes required to make business and society more sustainable. And we put this expertise to use to shape the future together with our customers, service providers and society.

Whether this relates to the sustainable design of products, processes or facilities, the future of mobility or realizing the energy transition – TÜV SÜD’s experts are always in demand. As trusted partners, they are helping to create future-proof and economically viable solutions when it comes to the framework for the use of artificial intelligence and are paving the way for the hydrogen economy. Our experts are on hand to support companies with knowledge, action and corresponding certifications, helping them to implement plans for greater sustainability and climate change mitigation and to credibly document their activities to customers and the public.

Our latest sustainability report shows just how diverse our range of sustainability-related services is. Most importantly, however, it makes transparent what we ourselves achieved in terms of sustainability in our company in 2023. Because one thing is clear: only if we as a company act in a responsible manner ourselves and are credible in terms of our commitment will we be our customers’ partner of choice when it comes to sustainability, climate protection and corresponding services.

That is why we are relentless in promoting sustainability within TÜV SÜD. We are working on making our business operations climate-friendly and rigorously reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Our construction projects in Munich and Singapore, which meet the highest sustainability standards for buildings, are examples of these efforts. At the same time, a wide range of measures and projects are underway to reduce our carbon footprint as far as possible and from 2025 onwards to fully offset unavoidable greenhouse gas emissions from our own business operations with recognized carbon certificates. In the reporting year, we already offset just over 16,500 tonnes of CO2 in this way.

We are also integrating our sustainability efforts throughout our value chain. As a responsible employer and corporate citizen, we must also respond to the social aspects of sustainability – at a global level and in all of the projects in which we are involved. In this way, in 2023 we issued a declaration of principle on compliance with human rights and environmental due diligence obligations. In this regard, we also involve our suppliers in our commitment and continuously adapt our requirements, for example with regard to reducing emissions, respecting human rights and the circular economy.

The entire company is behind these efforts and awards such as platinum status in the EcoVadis sustainability rating, which we once again achieved in 2023, the Sustainable Supply Award from the Bundesverband Materialwirtschaft, Einkauf und Logistik e.V. (BME) [German Association of Materials Management, Purchasing and Logistics] and reaching the finals of the German Sustainability Award 2023 in the “R&D and Testing Services” category show that the path we have taken is also recognized outside the company.

Of course, we have still some way to go before we reach our goal. This report therefore also focuses on the individual goals we are pursuing and the milestones we still want to achieve. In this regard, this year our reporting once again complies with the standard of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).

At the same time, TÜV SÜD’s financial and sustainability reporting are increasingly converging and this year share the same banner: FORWARD. Under this banner, we are actively addressing the changes we see around us through a whole range of projects within the company.

One of the most important initiatives in this regard is the establishment of our Corporate Sustainability Office (CSO). As part of our own sustainability goals, we will develop specific measures across the entire Group in order to make progress in all areas of environmental, social and corporate governance. In addition, the CSO will work with our divisions to drive forward the pooling and enhancement of sustainable services for our customers and bring these to market maturity.

This once again goes to show: Sustainable action is our way of shaping the future. I am delighted that you are joining us on this journey with your interest and hope you find the report informative!

Kind regards,

Dr. Johannes Bussmann
Chairman of the Board of Management