Bosch Australia taps solar, efficiency as global giant goes “carbon neutral”

rooftop solar system panels up close renters

Bosch Australia is installing a 3,000-panel rooftop solar system at its headquarters in Victoria, as part of the global industrial giant’s newly announced plan to be carbon neutral worldwide by 2020.

The company said on Thursday that all 400 of its locations across the globe would be carbon neutral from next year, via energy efficiency, renewables generation and procurement, and carbon offsets.

“We will be the first major industrial enterprise to achieve the ambitious goal of carbon neutrality in a little over a year,” said Dr. Volkmar Denner, chairman of Robert Bosch GmbH.

In the years to 2030, Bosch said it would progressively increase the amount of solar and wind power that it generated and bought, and would invest more than €1 billion to boost energy efficiency throughout its operations.

In Australia, the company aims to slash its energy demand by 10-15 per cent at its Clayton headquarters in 2020, including through the installation of high-efficiency boilers and LED lighting in all buildings.

Work is underway on the rooftop PV installation, which the company says should begin powering the Clayton site in 2020.

Gavin Smith, the president of Bosch Oceania said it was important for the company to increase its climate efforts in Australia, where the latest bushfire season had struck early this year, and with full force.

“Bosch has always exceeded its previous goals to reduce CO2 emissions, however more can be done and the time is now,” he said.

“We want our customers to have the assurance that the technology and services they are purchasing have been manufactured in a responsible and sustainable manner,” he said.

Smith said that in Australia, energy requirements that exceeded what Bosch could generate would be procured from green electricity sources.

And any unavoidable CO2 emissions would be balanced with local carbon offsets, with a focus on biodiversity projects within Australia.

The commitment to carbon neutrality by Bosch comes as more and more companies join the global RE100 initiative, in which businesses pledge to use only renewable energy across their operations.

A report published Thursday by Greenpeace Australia Pacific found that while Australian companies – and global companies operating in Australia – were joining this movement, much more needed to be done.

The report, called Re-energising Australian Business, projected that if all 80 of the “big-brand” companies it surveyed made the switch to renewables, it would result in 5GW of new wind and solar capacity – enough to replace the Yallourn coal power station.

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