Corporate Responsibility

It was one year ago that the TÜV NORD GROUP first provided comprehensive information about the economic, ecological and social impact of its business activities. With the 2019 Corporate Responsibility Progress Report, we reveal which targets we are aspiring to meet in accordance with our Roadmap 2020 and exactly where we stand in respect of their implemen­tation as of the end of 2019.

The “Corporate Responsibility” chapter consists of excerpts from the progress report, which is published in a separate document.


(2018: €1,229.5 million).


of GHG emissions per employee released in business travel
(2018: 2.77 t).




from all the business units trained at the TÜV NORD Digital Academy (2018: 24).

25.7 %

total share of procurement volume from SUPPLIERS which have been assessed in accordance with sustainability criteria (2018: 10%).


Responsibility and sustainability are the driving forces behind the entrepreneurial vision of the TÜV NORD GROUP, and these qualities are firmly embedded in our DNA. Three years ago, on the basis of this keystone concept, we launched the development of a systematic and Group-wide Corporate Responsibility Strategy. Having defined our organisational structures, a Corporate Responsibility Strategy and a Roadmap, we set clear priorities in 2019 to take us forward on the path to implementation. A consistent focus on sustainability and social responsibility is now increasingly shaping the strategic development of the TÜV NORD GROUP.

Our CR objectives and measures with the 2020 time horizon now serve as a compass for all employees of the Group. We are already successfully managing their implementation in Germany through the Group’s central Corporate Responsibility management system and with the aid of the CR coordinators of the business units and the functional divisions of the holding company. We are also delighted with our external perception as a values-oriented and sustainable company: The very first time we were included in the EcoVadis Corporate Responsibility Rating in 2019, the Group achieved Silver status, placing the TÜV NORD GROUP in the top 30 percent of the companies rated on that platform.

Here are three specific examples of the progress we made in 2019:

  • We pushed ahead with the sustainability evaluation of innovations and established a standard evaluation system which will go into practical operation in 2020.
  • We intensified our use of the potential of digitalisation to generate positive sustainability effects. To this end, in 2019, we introduced the first batch of digital experts in our Digital Academy to corporate digital responsibility and the impact assessment of digitalisation projects.
  • In 2019, we significantly expanded our range of workplace health promotion offers, which, in 2018, had been limited to our three main sites, extending their use to a total of 15 sites. An extended range of face-to-face options was offered alongside online products.

The Corporate Responsibility chapter of this Corporate Report offers readers an abridged version of this year’s Corporate Responsibility Progress Report drafted by the TÜV NORD GROUP. This year, we once again provide information on our responsibility to act sustainably in respect of value creation, our staff, the environment and society, thereby throwing light on the intimate relationship between our financial and non-financial services. As in the previous year, our CR Roadmap presents our specific objectives until 2020. We were able to fully achieve some of these targets ahead of schedule in 2019.

The publication of our 2019 Corporate Responsibility Progress Report, to which we refer in this chapter, is an important milestone in the context of the strategically oriented development of Corporate Responsibility in our Group. The content presented in this report is supplemented by other detailed presentations and tables of key data in accordance with GRI Standards, Option: core. The principal focus of the 2019 Progress Report is on the German companies and sites of all the business units in the TÜV NORD GROUP.


Our Corporate Responsibility Strategy


Our long-term Corporate Responsibility Strategy is at the heart of all the activities relating to responsibility and sustainability within the TÜV NORD GROUP. It was developed in 2018 and defines how we at the TÜV NORD GROUP seek to understand and fulfill our responsibility. Our integrated management system has proved its worth in the implementation of our CR Strategy, which is why we continued to fully adhere to it in 2019. This enabled us to implement our strategy step by step at the level of both business units and Group companies. Hereafter we make use of extracts to report fully and transparently from our CR Roadmap 2020. In doing so, we look at what has been done to achieve our objectives, the status quo and what plans we have for 2020. One important success factor for this has been the involvement of the business units and the companies.



Our strategic orientation is not limited solely to megatrends: since 2018 we have also been increasingly aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In 2019, we turned our attention to the transformative potential of the SDGs for our own digitalisation projects, innovations, services and business activities, especially with a view to developing the new Group strategy. From 2020, we will also evaluate our innovation projects according to sustainability criteria and determine their impact on the SDGs in a structured manner. In this way, we will use our business activities to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.



The business units are represented by CR coordinators who engage in dialogue with the management groups in the respective business units and work with them to shape the implementation of the CR Roadmap.

Our aim for 2020 is to further improve cooperation on CR issues between all levels in the hierarchy. To this end, we have scheduled a meeting between the CR manager and the CR coordinators and all the management officers of the companies for early 2020. We will incorporate new ideas and the results of workshops into our consideration of effective forms of cooperation for the even more effective integration of our strategic CR guidelines into our processes and activities and their general implementation.



In April 2019, we presented our first Report on Responsibility and Sustainability to selected representatives of client companies, approval-issuing authorities, universities and NGOs. Subsequent dialogue and discussions with our stakeholders gave us valuable feedback on our CR Strategy and the buildup to the first report. In 2020, we aim to expand and systematise the dialogue with our stakeholders on the CR positioning of the TÜV NORD GROUP.

In 2019, we continued to use our various formats, including onboarding events and corporate audits, to engage in dialogue with our internal stakeholders on CR issues. The Management Conference in Athens in December 2019 also played an important role here. Under the banner of “Empowering Sustainability by Innovation”, 125 top executives of the Group met to talk about responsibility and sustainability issues from a wide range of perspectives. In 2020, we will incorporate the results into the further development of our Group and CR strategies, our Roadmap and our services.

Materiality of Our CR Topics

In the context of a materiality analysis, we determined which issues play a major role for the TÜV NORD GROUP and what we should focus on in our CR Strategy. In an extensive process carried out in 2018, we used the expectations of our stakeholders and our impact as a benchmark for assessing the various CR topics. This resulted in the identification of the essential and important CR topics for the TÜV NORD GROUP. These form the basis of our actions and activities in the context of responsibility and sustainability. More information and a description of the materiality analysis process can be found in our 2018 Corporate Responsibility Report.

Last year, in the CR steering committee, we critically assessed our CR Strategy and the goals we had set for ourselves. One particular area we reviewed in this process was the use of language. Our CR topics are listed in the right-hand column, broken down by field of action.

As part of the process of reviewing and scrutinising our key topics, we also regularly carry out trend assessments. In this way, we establish what is currently of particularly high social relevance. In 2019, “climate change” and “plastic” emerged as the major widely discussed topics. In the CR steering committee of the TÜV NORD GROUP, we have also analysed the role we play in the discussion of these challenges and our influence in that discussion:

We address climate change in the “Environmental Orientation” field of action, in which we explain how we can contribute to climate protection. We see our main contribution as consisting in making changes to our travel habits in terms of the choice of means of transport and supporting measures in respect of the vehicle fleet or to encouraging our staff to use public transport.

The plastic-related issues are addressed in our “Resource economy and efficiency” topic. In this context, we will address the use of plastic and the pollution it causes and define our role and influence.



1. Value-oriented, sustainable corporate management

2. Responsibility in the value chain

3. Sustainable innovations and services

4. Digital means of value creation

5. Integrity and compliance

6. Integration of Group companies

7. Attractive employer

8. Health and safety

9. Value-oriented HR management

10. Individual development and promotion of employees

11. Appropriate working environment

12. Diversity and inclusion



13. Eco-friendly travel habits

14. Resource economy and efficiency

15. Energy efficiency in buildings

16. Societal role in accordance with our vision and mission

17. Involvement of stakeholders beyond the value chain

18. Targeted social engagement consistent with our value creation

19. Respect for human rights

Key topics | Major topics

Our Roadmap 2020


We developed and coordinated the Roadmap 2020 in a comprehensive process which took place in 2018. In 2019, it was put to the test once again: are our goals still up to date, our milestones logical and achievable? We were satisfied that, with the exception of some minor linguistic adjustments, we could continue to use the Roadmap as our compass in 2020 with as few changes as possible. After all, it sets the direction in which we wish to proceed as the TÜV NORD GROUP. It forms the basis of all our actions and activities relating to responsibility and sustainability and includes an overarching and specific self-determined goal for each of our fields of action. Our meta-objectives per field of action and where we are on the path to achieving them are set out below. Detailed information on the development of the Roadmap can be found in our 2018 Responsibility and Sustainability Report.



Field of action




Responsible Value Creation

Objective: Perception of the TÜV NORD GROUP as a values-oriented and sustainable enterprise

CR certificate or listings in sustainability ratings / rankings by 2020


We were awarded Silver status in the EcoVadis Corporate Responsibility rating in 2019, thus placing the TÜV NORD GROUP in the top 30 percent of the companies rated by EcoVadis.

Staff Orientation

Objective: Employee satisfaction

Maintenance of the high commitment index score of over 70% in the employee survey of 2020

in progress

As a Group, we are using a wide range of mea­sures to work consistently on achieving this objective. An evaluation will only be possible at the end of 2020, after completion of the employee survey.

Environmental Orientation

Objective: Commitment to the 2-degree climate target

Significant reduction of our carbon footprint (total greenhouse gas emissions as CO₂ equivalent) by 2050, development of measures to reduce our GHG emissions in line with the triad "Avoid, reduce, offset", and in that order

in progress

Reducing CO₂ emissions is of particular importance to us. We are therefore constantly working to develop and implement measures to further reduce our carbon footprint.

Societal Orientation

Objective: Social engagement through innovation

Our innovations will support the sustainable development of society in 2020 and beyond

in progress

Since 2019, we have been defining and optimising criteria and procedures to determine and present the impact of our innovations on sustainable development and the achievement of the SDGs. From 2020 onwards, we also want to demonstrate the societal value added of all the innovations in the Group.


Responsible Value Creation

“The way we set about achieving economic success considers the interests of both people and nature.”

The TÜV NORD GROUP is perceived as a values-oriented and sustainable enterprise and will be officially recognised as such by 2020.


In the “Responsible Value Creation” field of action, we focus particularly on our actions as a company. Through our digitalisation projects, innovations and services in particular, we have the opportunity to enhance the sustainability of our company and even our client companies from an economic, ecological and societal point of view. In particular, we make a clearly visible contribution to sustainable development in the areas of industry, innovation and infrastructure (SDG 9).


   core impact


Security4Safety Reliability of satellite components CR / CSR / Environmental seminar programmes and qualifications Sustainable innovations and services Digital expertise Digitalised business processes Compliance
Identifying and eliminating vulnerabilities in digital processes increases the security of networked products and systems. The functionality of economic and social infrastructure is ensured by testing and confirming the reliability of electronic components. Expert seminars provide knowledge on environmental and sustainability issues such as energy management, waste management and water protection. We are establishing responsibility and sustainability as evaluation parameters for our innovations and services. At the Digital Academy of the TÜV NORD GROUP, we are training digital experts who have expert knowledge of interconnectivity and digitalisation. Business processes such as provision of payroll are being digitalised to save paper. With an efficient and strong compliance management system (CMS), we help our staff to satisfy the conduct guidelines, protect our values and reinforce the confidence of our customers in the TÜV NORD GROUP.

What’s new in our Management Approach, Topics and Control


We see sustainability as an essential element of our actions, which is why we have added the “Sustainability” pillar to both our Group strategy and the sub-strategies of our six business units. Sustainability thus now forms an integral part of all our strategic decisions. We consider our impact on the SDGs and evaluate new products and services according to their sustainable added value.



Field of action KPI Status Explanation
Value-oriented, sustainable corporate management
Our company is perceived by our employees as acting sustainably in accordance with values.
• Perception of corporate activity to be rated as at least good in the 2020 employee survey in progress In 2019, we developed new leadership guidelines and held initial workshops to introduce them. An evaluation will be carried out after the results of the 2020 employee survey have become known.
Responsibility in the value chain
Sustainability criteria are integrated into procurement processes.
• Review of 100% of newly registered suppliers with technical and sales relevance
• Overall share of purchase volume with these suppliers to be at least 25% in 2020
achieved All relevant suppliers are evaluated by the central purchasing department. We even managed to exceed the target set for 2019 of a purchase volume of 15% from the relevant suppliers. The purchase volume from these suppliers was 25.7% in 2019.
Sustainable innovations and services
Responsibility and sustainability are established as evaluation parameters for our innovations and services.
• The evaluation of innovations and services to start in 2020 in progress In 2019, we published a catalogue of criteria for the evaluation of innovations and services. This will be finalised in 2020 and applied to all innovation projects.
Digital means and methods of value creation
Digital experts ensure that digitalisation knowledge is networked.
• All business units have digital experts in 2019 achieved In 2019, we trained more digital experts at the Digital Academy. A total of 41 digital experts are working in all six business units of the Group. They are working effectively together.
Integrity and compliance
A training programme for integrity and compliance is introduced throughout the Group.
• An e-learning-based, target-group-oriented training programme is introduced throughout the Group by 2020 in progress In 2019, we installed a platform for digital training and also carried out the first pilot modules. We will expand this offer in the future.
Integration of Group companies Foreign companies are integrated into the Group’s network and application landscape. • The degree of integration of the fully consolidated companies is to be at least 80% by the end of 2020 in progress We are consistently pursuing this objective. As of the end of 2019, the planned integration projects were on schedule.



Highlights in 2019


Our newly established “HR4Business” programme also includes an approach to knowledge management. We see knowledge management – in all its facets – as an integral part of the company’s processes and aspire to permanently embed it in the TÜV NORD GROUP. We see functioning and successful communication among our employees as an essential prerequisite for knowledge transfer. To promote this, the Training business unit launched its own project (“KOMM MIT”) in 2019. Furthermore, new ways of coexisting and exchanging information were developed and established. The results of the project met with a positive response from the participants and are now being successfully implemented.



In 2019, we undertook a review of our entire innovation process and established an Innovation Council. This body, whose members are taken from all the business units, is now responsible for the continuous development of our innovation portfolio. We have standardised the innovation process in order to enhance transparency, comparability and effectiveness in the development of the best ideas.



Mistakes should be learned from! In 2019, we launched a series of events under the banner of “faiLEARN – Worst Case meets Best Practice”. In this way, we aim to develop an open culture of learning and innovation. In kick-off events in Essen, Hamburg and Hanover, speakers spoke openly about their experience of making mistakes and talked to the participants about how to deal with them. We are currently developing a method to make the content and findings of these events accessible to all employees.



Our products and services are intended to create sustainable added value. If this is to happen, we need an evaluation mechanism for sustainability. In 2019, the TÜV NORD GROUP, with the involvement of the CR coordinators from the business units, outlined a methodology and corresponding sustainability criteria. This process will now be piloted in our business units and further developed by the Innovation Council. From mid-2020, we intend to apply the sustain­ability assessment to all innovations and digitalisation projects in the Digital Academy. We also plan to use these criteria to initiate the evaluation of our service portfolio by the end of 2020.


Digital Experts

In extensive training courses at our Digital Academy, we have since 2017 been training employees and executives as digital experts. Their mandate is to drive the digitalisation of the TÜV NORD GROUP forward from within. The number of digital experts increased from 17 to 41 in 2019. Effectively networked and working in interdisciplinary teams, they are designing trailblazing projects for our company. In 2019, for example, the Training business unit successfully tested a way of saving paper by switching to online-based testing methods. The online examination has also now evolved into a standard methodology for our training products.



Customers and consumers around the world associate values such as reliability, quality and safety with the “TÜV NORD” brand. It is therefore particularly important to us that our conformity marks should not be misused. For this reason, our Conformity Mark Commission has been approving the award of all conformity marks throughout the Group since 2019, thereby contributing to the safety and quality of our testing activities and conformity marks. In this way, we aim to reinforce the confidence of customers and consumers in our company.



Staff Orientation

“Our employees are at the heart of our company and the key to our long-term success.”

The satisfaction of our employees, measured across the Group using the staff commitment index, was already above average for the industrial sector in Germany in 2017. The intention for 2020 is to maintain this high score of over 70%.


The promotion and well-being of our employees is at the heart of the “Staff Orientation” field of action. We want to support our employees in their personal and professional development and offer them a healthy and pleasant working environment. To this end, we are implementing various projects on issues such as health promotion, family friendliness and equality. We are making a positive contribution to SDG 3 through numerous measures that have an impact on maintaining and improving the health and well-being of our employees.


   core impact


“HR4Business” programme Family friendliness Occupational safety and health management system Initial and further training “Diversus” focus project Equal pay for men and women
The “HR4Business” programme realigns the HR strategy of the TÜV NORD GROUP and also takes into account the CR Strategy. The TÜV NORD GROUP is certified as a family-friendly company. All our employees are covered by a management system for occupational health and safety. The need for initial and further training is determined and the training carried out by both internal and external providers. This project combines the themes of working environment suitability, fair and socially acceptable interaction in the workplace and workplace flexibility. In the TÜV NORD GROUP there is no distinction between men and women in terms of pay.



What’s new in our Management Approach, Topics and Control


In the past year, we have continued to work in all areas to support our employees and provide them with a good working environment. The TÜV NORD GROUP is constantly evolving in tandem with the people who work for it. For example, we have developed new management guidelines and refined our occupational health management system. We are particularly pleased that our efforts are also having an impact outside the TÜV NORD GROUP. We are the only technical testing company to have been awarded the accolade of outstanding employer, now for the second time in succession, which places us in the top 1% of employers in Germany.



Field of action KPI Status Explanation
Attractive employer
Reputational criteria for TÜV NORD as an employer are defined, systematically collected, analysed and evaluated.
• Evaluation of reputational criteria at Group level from 2020 achieved Our reputation as an employer is recorded annually, and the results are collated in a report.
Health and safety
An Occupational Health and Safety Management Programme (OHM) is to be put in place to promote health and increases the satisfaction of our employees.
• Basic requirements for OHM complied with by 2020 in progress In 2019, we developed a process for the implementation of an OHM. This includes occupational health and safety, occupational integration management and measures to promote health in the workplace. By the end of 2020, the entire Group will have run through the process once.
Value-oriented HR management
The leadership guidelines of the TÜV NORD GROUP are to be established and executive development programmes introduced to promote our culture of values.
• Perception of leadership guidelines and culture of values to achieve at least good reviews in the 2020 employee survey in progress In 2019, we developed new leadership guidelines and held initial workshops to introduce them. An evaluation will be carried out after the 2020 employee survey in 2020.
Individual development and promotion of employees
Flexible options for the professional development of our employees are put in place.
• Offers for flexible learning formats to be available by 2020 achieved Since 2019, we have been offering flexible digital learning formats. This is to be continued in 2020.
Appropriate working environment
The infrastructure provided and the working environment will support innovative, creative and healthy work.
• Analyses of the working environment for 80% of employees at German sites to be carried out by 2020 in progress In 2019, we created a workplace analysis concept and came up with an accompanying questionnaire. The survey is expected to be carried out by the end of September 2020, and the results will be available after the evaluation and by the end of the year.
Diversity and inclusion  
Equality of opportunity is to be provided for all employees.
• Indicators and target values to be defined in 2019
• Evaluation of goal attainment from 2020
in progress In 2019, we almost completed the process of defining the indicators and target values. These will be finalised and evaluated starting in 2020.



Highlights 2019

“HR4Business” LAUNCHED

Good human resources management is essential for the TÜV NORD GROUP with its total of around 14,000 employees. It’s for this reason that we have further developed our human resources management with the “HR4Business” programme, which was introduced in 2019. We distinguish between tasks relating to human resources development, HR planning, HR service, HR marketing and diversity in HR. We have developed a focus project for each of these areas. In this way, we have positioned our human resources management for a sustainable long-term future.



In 2019, for the second year in a row, we were awarded the accolade of outstanding employer, which is awarded annually by an independent organisation. We are the only technical testing company to have been given this award, which places us in the top 1% of employers in Germany. We also scored highly as an employer in other rankings. According to the Universum ranking, for instance, we are one of the top 100 employers in Germany.



We aim to be on the winning side in the “war for talents” and actively approach potential new employees. In 2019, we introduced “BeeSite” as a new talent relationship management tool to help us on our path to future-oriented recruiting. We are using “BeeSite” to build a community for talents who resonate strongly with our topics or are close to our staff. In the “BeeSite” community, we can communicate with the talents and build a relationship with them before they even apply to us. In this way, we work together to explore whether we are a good match for one another. This platform also helps us to avoid putting the wrong people in the wrong jobs. Moreover, we are making our recruiting processes more transparent throughout the Group.



Until recently, our range of occupational health promotion offers had been limited to our three main sites. Since 2019, however, TÜV NORD GROUP employees have been able to make use of approximately 100 health-promoting measures at a total of 15 sites. An extended range of face-to-face options has been offered alongside online products. We offer selected measures, such as medical check-ups or psycho­logical coaching, across different sites. And we intend to continue to increase the range of offers: we plan to include more sites in 2020.



To prepare our young talents as well as possible to take increasing responsibility in the areas of leadership, project management and sales, TÜV NORD GROUP offers them various development programmes. For example, we introduced the “JUMP” programme for promising junior management staff in 2019. The “TANDEM” programme also went into its second round. A total of 15 young talents were provided with a mentor over a period of twelve months. As both programmes have been very well received, we plan to continue them in 2020.



Diversity and inclusion are particularly important to us. In order to support these twin causes in the TÜV NORD GROUP, we have developed various projects and innovations, such as a gender balance programme. Since the beginning of 2019, all observer trainings of the central orientation and assessment centres have been specifically designed to raise awareness of the need to be gender-neutral in the observation and assessment of participants. In order to reinforce the culture of impartiality that already exists in the selection process for new employees, we have developed an “Unconscious Bias” training for our managers, which will be introduced in early 2020.




Environmental Orientation

“Climate protection and the preservation of the basic support systems for our way of life are among the greatest challenges of our time, and we will either rise to them together or not at all.”

The TÜV NORD GROUP is committed to the 2-degree climate target and aspires to the most comprehensive decarbonisation possible by 2050.


At the heart of the “Environmental Orientation” field of action is the aspiration to curb the warming of our planet and to limit what will in some cases be the catastrophic effects of anthropogenic climate change (SDG 13). A significant number of our services, alongside dedicated internal programmes and measures, aim to make an ever-increasing contribution to climate protection.


   core impact


Services for environmentally friendly and sustainable mobility Energy efficiency and climate protection services Geothermal testing Services in energy technology and renewable energy Consistent recording and reduction of GHG emissions through business travel Consistent recording and reduction of GHG emissions in the real estate sector of the TÜV NORD GROUP
Cities and communities are being given advice on the implementation of sustainable mobility concepts. Low-emission, environmentally friendly vehicles and components are being tested. CO₂ reduction and mitigation are being verified along with climate neutrality, energy audits are being carried out, and energy certificates issued. Potential sites for the exploitation of deep geothermal energy are being explored and evaluated. The geothermal potential is simulated as a basis for geothermal power plants. Products, systems and plants for energy generation, especially renewable energies, are being accompanied throughout their entire life cycle. CO₂ emissions from business travel are being recorded and continuously reduced through digital processes and incentives to use environmentally friendly means of transport. The CO₂ emissions from TÜV NORD properties are being monitored throughout the Group and reduced, for example, through energetic modernisation, contracts with carbon-neutral electricity suppliers, an energy-efficient data centre and the construction of new buildings in line with the standard for sustainable construction.



What’s new in our Management Approach, Topics and Control


We see the protection of the climate and the environment as the most important challenge of our time. It is therefore a matter of course for us to ensure that our business has the most positive impact possible on the environment. To ensure that this happens, we are working consistently to conserve resources and to motivate our employees to act in an environmentally-aware. For example, we are planning to revise our travel policy in 2020. The aim is to introduce greater clarity concerning which means of transport our employees should use for which business trips. Corporate decisions can have not only positive but also negative consequences, particularly when it comes to environmental impacts. In the interests of sustainability, we are therefore striving to assess our decisions as holistically as possible.



Field of action KPI Status Explanation
Eco-friendly travel patterns
A process for the recording and evaluation of carbon emissions from business trips is established for the entire Group.
• The carbon emissions from business travel are to be recorded across the entire Group from 2020 in progress A process for the recording and evaluation of carbon emissions from business trips was established for the entire Group in 2019. Reduction targets will be set in 2020.
Resource economy and efficiency
A process for the recording and evaluation of performance in respect of resource economy and efficiency is established.
• Material and energy consumption are recorded from 2019 achieved We record the energy consumption of the properties we use in Germany on an annual basis. We record our material consumption via central purchasing.
Energy efficiency in buildings
A process for recording and a concept for the reduction of the carbon footprint of the real estate used by the TÜV NORD GROUP are established.
• The carbon footprint of the real estate is continuously recorded from 2019, at least for the main German sites
• Targets to reduce the carbon footprint are to be pursued from 2021
in progress We record the energy consumption of our properties every year. Since 2019, we have been managing the consumption data in our own ­database. We use the consumption data to calculate our CO₂ emissions. Reduction targets and measures will be defined in 2020, following the evaluation of the latest energy audit, and will be pursued from 2021.


Highlights of 2019



We are focusing on increasing sustainability in the make-up of our vehicle fleet. We have decided to set strict requirements for pollution and efficiency classes when making purchases. We have also weighed up the arguments in the public debate on nitrogen oxide emissions from diesel-powered vehicles. In particular with regard to vehicle emissions, we had to weigh up which strategic decision to make with regard to this type of engine, which we consider to be more environmentally friendly in terms of total emissions. In the past year, we have once again increasingly switched over to petrol-driven cars in the small car segment, even if their use results in higher CO₂ emissions. Reducing our emissions of particulates such as those generated by diesel cars was in the first instance a priority in this vehicle class. We are aware that this strategy represents an intermediate step and a short-term response to the nitrogen oxide debate. Our long-term vehicle strategy is geared towards the development of green mobility. We are accordingly continuously expanding our vehicle fleet with the addition of hybrid and electric cars. As we continue along the path to sustainable mobility, we are particularly pleased at the prospect of our first hydrogen-powered vehicle, which will be handed over to us in May 2020.



At our Essen site, we are currently erecting a new office building, replacing several old buildings with poor energy performance which it would no longer have been viable to renovate and improve in terms of energy efficiency. A five-storey building is being built on the 13,000 m² site which will contain offices, conference rooms and laboratories. In the autumn of 2021, some 600 employees from the Industrial Services and IT business units are expected to move in. As with all new buildings, we are also committed in Essen to the standards for sustainable construction. Even in the planning phase, we pay particular attention to high levels of energy efficiency. The office building will, for instance, be supplied with environmentally friendly district heating. This will enable us to achieve a significant CO₂ saving when compared to the use of gas as a heating medium. We are using recyclable aluminium as the material for the facade. The construction is inspired by the Silver standard of the German Sustainable Building Society. In terms of spatial planning, we have placed our faith in open concepts in the spirit of pioneering workplace design.




In Germany, almost 12 million tonnes of unrecycled food are thrown away every year. We see this as an economic, ecological and ethical problem. For this reason, we are committed to more than just providing tasty and healthy food in the four company restaurants at our main sites. Our operator in Hanover and Hamburg, L&D, is a member of the “United Against Waste” association. The company restaurants run by the operator Aramark in Essen have been recording food consumption for years and already meet the association’s requirements: they, too, are now officially in the process of applying for membership. The association has developed practical solutions to reduce food waste, many of which are being implemented by us. All food waste from storage, production, overproduction and crockery returns is recorded and analysed. On the basis of this analysis, targeted measures will be developed in 2020 to reduce the volume of waste we generate. Experience has shown that the approach of United Against Waste results in a reduction in food waste of about 30%. Appropriate training has already taken place in the company restaurants, and the first measurements and surveys are now pending. Another step in the direction of sustainability is the introduction of reusable takeaway packaging.




Societal Orientation

“To be truly meaningful, individual human development must take place in the context of society.”

Our innovations will demonstrably support the sustainable development of society in 2020 and beyond.



In the “Societal Orientation” field of action, we are focusing primarily on our work in committees and associations and on supporting technology-based environmental and socially oriented projects and initiatives. We are thus using our knowledge and resources to promote sustainable development, especially from a technical perspective, in concert with selected partners and social actors. We are in this way making a significant contribution to SDG 17.


   core impact


Auditing services for social compliance Working in standardisation committees Working in committees for mobility concepts Working in committees for IT security Green Award partner Promoting technical education for children and young people Respect for, and promotion of, widely recognised principles and regulations for business, working conditions and human rights
Auditing and certification services in accordance with Social Accountability & Compliance standards such as SA 8000 and BSCI. Commitment to and participation in national, European and global bodies for the development of safety-relevant regulations. Commitment to and participation in national, European and global bodies for the development of sustainable and standardised mobility concepts and on vehicle security. Participation in committees with the aim of enhancing IT security and cybersecurity. TÜV NORD GROUP has been a partner to one of the most important environmental awards for seven years. Participation in the nationwide business network of the Wissensfabrik (Knowledge Factory) for the promotion of technical education and entrepreneurship among children and young people. The ILO’s core labour standards, the UN Guiding Principles on business and human rights and the National Action Plan for Business and Human Rights (NAP).



What’s new in our Management Approach, Topics and Management


In 2019, we implemented sustainability as an integral part of both our strategies at both Group and business unit level. In doing so, we are also showing that we take our societal responsibility seriously and see our company as a permanent fixture in society. It is important for us to know and learn from the expectations of our stakeholders. It is for this reason that we intend to intensify our dialogue and conduct it in a more systematic manner.



Field of action KPI Status Explanation
Societal role in accordance with our vision and mission
Corporate Responsibility is to become part of the Group strategy and serves as a guide for the strategies of the business units.
• As of 2020, the CR strategy is to be a solidly integrated component of the Group’s strategy and the strategies of the business units and functional areas achieved In 2019, we have supplemented both the Group’s strategy and its business unit strategies with the addition of the “Sustainability” sub-strategy. Corporate Responsibility thus now forms an integral part of our strategy.
Reaching out to stakeholders outside the value chain
We aim to reach out to stakeholders outside the value chain and take the knowledge gained in the process into account in our management of corporate responsibility.
• Initial dialogue with relevant representatives of external stakeholder groups in 2019
• Systematic procedures for dealing with external stakeholders to be in place by 2020
in progress In 2019, we entered into initial dialogue with representatives of our stakeholders. In 2020, we will initiate the systematic integration of all our stakeholders using structured formats.
Targeted social engagement consistent with our value creation
Donations and sponsorship projects in the Group are to be systematically recorded. All the associated commitments are to be honoured in accordance with our value creation principles or in association with local or regional projects.
• By 2020, the sum total of the social commitments of the Group and its companies is to be centrally recorded, and 80% of the volume is to be consistent with the criteria in progress Since 2019, all donation and sponsorship projects have been recorded. Their implementation and verification are the responsibility of our Donations Commission. In 2020, we will be working to measure the level of compliance with the above-mentioned commitment criteria and to reach the set benchmark of 80%
Respect for human rights
The processes for the assessment of and adherence to human rights have been implemented in line with the national action plan of the German government.
• As of 2020, risk analyses and resulting measures are carried out on a continuous basis and the resulting measures implemented in progress We will focus in 2020 on the implementation of the elements of the National Action Plan for Business and Human Rights.



Highlights of 2019


In order to promote the targeted further development of guidelines and test procedures, we are contributing our expertise to various committees dedicated to automated and networked driving and to car IT. In 2019, we implemented various projects at our Institute for Vehicle Technology and Mobility in the Mobility business unit. For example, in the “AutoConstruct” research project funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, we analysed new networking technologies for automotive use. The findings were used in the development of appropriate testing methods. We are also working on the “Automotive Technology” DIN standards committee, which developed new ISO safety standards for the automotive industry in 2019.



At the Frankfurt Motor Show, we presented the results of our study on digitalisation in the automotive sector. This shows how digitalised processes at the customer interface in automotive retail and service can help improve customer orientation. The study also includes a checklist for a digitalisation strategy in the automotive trade. It can help in the structured development and expansion of a trader’s online presence.



After an intensive qualification process, an employee from the IT business unit was selected to participate in the International Electrotechnical Commission’s IEC Young Professionals’ Programme in 2019. The aim of the programme is to introduce young talents from the fields of management, engineering or technology to the work of the IEC so that they can actively participate in it. The programme aims to strengthen standardisation work in the electrotechnical field. The employee began her one-year term of office by attending the Young Professionals’ Workshop 2019 in Shanghai; during her term, she represented Germany on the global IEC platform and was involved in the work of the international standardi­sation organisation. Shortly thereafter, she also took the lead role in an IEC working group on cyber security.



We are also contributing our expertise to the Working Committee “Artificial Intelligence” of the German Institute for Standardisation (DIN) and the corresponding international committees (ISO / IEC). Since 2018, we have been shaping the standardisation process in the field of artificial intelligence with all the knowledge and perspective we bring as an independent testing organisation. With all due consideration of the technical and legal framework conditions, we are jointly developing standards and concept definitions that are making an important contribution to the social acceptance of artificial intelligence. With our experience in what has now become the everyday use of artificial intelligence in some of our testing processes, we can offer new ideas and inspiration in important ways.



We are a member of the TIC Council, the global association of the testing, inspection and certification industry, with more than 90 members internationally. The aim of the TIC Council is to develop and disseminate standards and solutions that promote safety and innovation, with the long-term aim of strengthening society. Its members are the byword for the highest standards in the fields of safety, quality, health, ethics and sustainability. In 2019, we were involved, among other areas, in the Strategy Taskforce and helped to develop the Council’s organisational structures.



The publication of the first CR Report in April 2019 was an opportunity for us to exchange views with external stakeholders and to involve them in our sustainability activities. An initial dialogue involved client companies, public authorities, NGOs and universities. The positive feedback on our CR Strategy and reporting is motivating us to take the concerns and expectations of our stakeholders even more systematically into account. In 2020, we intend to initiate a regular dialogue format through another stakeholder event.