Corporate Responsibility

It was in 2018 that the TÜV NORD GROUP first provided comprehensive information on the economic, environmental and social impact of its business activities. As in 2019, we are once again publishing our Corporate Responsibility Progress Report this year. This refers to our Corporate Responsibility Strategy in the areas of responsible value creation, staff orientation, environmental and societal orientation. We also disclose the extent to which we have achieved the objectives of our CR Roadmap 2020.

The present “Corporate Responsibility” chapter consists of excerpts from the 2020 progress report, which is published in a separate document.


Our Corporate Responsibility strategy


Sustainability and responsibility are the driving force behind the entrepreneurial vision of the TÜV NORD GROUP, and these qualities are firmly embedded in our DNA. Our long-term Group-wide Corporate Responsibility Strategy is at the heart of all our activities. It was developed in 2018 and defines how we at the TÜV NORD GROUP seek to understand and fulfil 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 2020. This enabled us to continue to im­plement our strategy step by step at the level of both business units and Group companies. On the following pages, we use extracts to report fully and transparently from our Roadmap 2020. In doing so, we look at what has been done to achieve our objectives and the status quo at the end of the roadmap period from 2018 to 2020. An important success factor in achieving our goals this year was once again the involvement of the six bu­siness units and their companies.


Current challenges and relevant influencing factors will require us to manage our sustainable actions even more effectively and with greater focus in the future. At the beginning of 2020, we further underscored the importance of sustainability in the Group’s mission statement by defining sustainability as one of six guiding values of the TÜV NORD GROUP.


The Group's clear position regarding sustainable value creation is also reflected in the new Group strategy. Sustainability is a major thrust of our “Strategy2025”. In October 2020, the new strategy was presented by members of the Board of Management and the Group Executive Committee at a web conference to which all employees of the Group were invited.


In April 2020, the CR Steering Committee critically assessed the CR Strategy and CR Roadmap 2020 (> see Corporate Responsibility Progress Report 2019) and the self-selected targets and ­confirmed them for 2020 without further adjustments. In May 2020, the CR Steering Committee started to develop a new CR Strategy for 2025 and the first related CR Roadmap (2021 to 2023). A second CR Roadmap will then be introduced to cover the period from 2024 to 2025. This development was at an advanced stage by the end of 2020. The new CR Strategy 2025 and the associated first CR Roadmap 2023 are expected to enter into force in the first quarter of 2021. We will provide detailed information on this process in our next Corporate Responsibility Report.


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 2020, we paid particularly close attention to the transformative potential of the SDGs for our own digitalisation projects, innovations, services and business activities and anchored this potential as an objective for our “Sustainable Product & Service Portfolio” in the new Group strategy.


In 2020, for the first time, we subjected the innovation projects of all the German business units and companies in the Group to a review based on the sustainability criteria. In the process, their impact on the SDGs was also determined in a structured way (> for the ­result see table in the chapter “Our Roadmap in 2020”). From now on, each innovation project will be reviewed at one of the first decision-making points in the innovation process to determine how the innovation will contribute to sustainable development. The members of staff responsible will record which SDG indicators will benefit from an innovation, and how strongly, and to what extent it will support the implementation of the Group’s CR Roadmap.


Starting In 2021, we are also going to roll out the evaluation of our service portfolio and the determination of the impact of our services on the SDGs in a structured way. In this way, we aim to ­ensure that we will contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals with not only our new services but our entire business activities. Based on the results of this extended evaluation process, a structured, semi-quantitative evaluation of the relevant SDG contributions of our value creation will also be carried out in the future. Our further aim will then be to manage the impact of our sustainable actions as a company in a more strategically and operationally targeted manner.



The Group’s CR Steering Committee met eight times in 2020. It includes CR coordinators as representatives of the business units and functional divisions of the TÜV NORD GROUP. These coordinate all CR-related activities in their respective business units or divisions with the management group as well as coordinating the implementation of the CR Roadmap and, in 2020, played a significant part in shaping the new CR Strategy 2025 and the CR Roadmap 2023.


In the 2020 reporting year, we also intensified cooperation on CR topics between all the levels of the hierarchy. We laid the foundation for this intensified cooperation at the beginning of 2020 with a meeting between the Group’s CR manager, the CR coordinators of the business units and the management representatives of the German Group companies. Approaches to effective forms of cooperation were developed to improve the integration and implementation of our strategic CR guidelines into our processes and activities.


In April 2019, we discussed our first Corporate Responsibility Report with selected representatives of client companies, ap­proval-issuing authorities, university agencies and NGOs. In October 2020, we continued this direct dialogue with our stakeholders at a stakeholder event. The online event was held under the banner “Sus­tainability opens up new paths to a common future”. The aim was to present key aspects of our CR Strategy 2025 and to engage in dialogue about them with external experts who have relations with TÜV NORD GROUP. More than 60 decision-makers from companies, organisations and our Group discussed issues such as innovations and services, human rights, supply chain law and climate protection. Courtesy of this dialogue with our stake­holders, we gathered some valuable feedback for our CR Strategy 2025.


In 2020, we also used our various formats, such as management meetings, on-board events and corporate audits, to engage in dialogue with our internal stakeholders on CR topics. In 2020, at international meetings, we also filled In the foreign companies in the TÜV NORD GROUP about our CR topics, for the first time actively involving them in the further development of our CR activities via the International Quality Conference 2020. The Management Conference in December 2020 also played an important role here. Under the headline “Leading and Prevailing in Challenging Times”, 125 top executives from the Group met for a two-day online event. At this themed event, the Chairman of the Board of Management Dr. Dirk Stenkamp addressed the topics of Corporate Responsibility from the perspective of the Group's “Strategy2025”. Prof. Stefan Schaltegger (University of Lüneburg) contributed with a keynote speech under the heading of “Sustainability as Key Driver of Market Transformation – Developing Business Cases for Sustainability”.


“With our Group Strategy 2025, we have set out to focus our services even more fully on sustainability and environmental protection. We are also consistently focusing our internal processes and consumption behaviour on sustainability-oriented value creation, thereby combining our business success with the contribution that we are making to the ­sustainable development of society and the preservation of our environment.”

DR. DIRK STENKAMP, Chairman of the Board of Management of TÜV NORD AG



Materiality of our CR Topics

In our 2018 materiality analysis, we determined the issues which play a major role for the TÜV NORD GROUP and what we should focus on in particular in our CR Strategy. Taking into account the expectations of our stakeholders and our impact, we distilled from this analysis the most essential and important CR issues for the TÜV NORD GROUP. These form the basis of our actions and activities in the context of Corporate Responsibility. More information and a description of the materiality analysis process can be found in our 2018 Corporate Responsibility Report.


Our CR topics are listed in the section "Our CR Topics", broken down by field of action.


In order to review and keep up to date the selection of our key topics, we regularly carry out assessments of trends. In this way, we establish what is currently of particularly high social relevance. In 2020, alongside the coronavirus pandemic and the related issues of health protection and digitalisation, the subject of climate protection once again dominated the societal conversation. The companies were also motivated by the conclusion of the monitoring process for the National Action Plan on Economic Affairs and Human Rights (NAP) and, in tandem with it, the Due Diligence Act which is on course to be enacted in Germany.


At the TÜV NORD GROUP, the CR Steering Committee evaluated the attitude we have adopted to these challenges and the extent to which we want to continue to use our influence to tackle them:


We want to make an even more active contribution to climate protection and, in the second half of the year, we set out a pro­­gramme for climate protection, with the aim of achieving carbon neutrality in the TÜV NORD GROUP by 2030. In the “Environmental Orientation” field of action, we set out the measures that we pushed ahead with this year. In addition to buildings efficiency, we focused on our travel patterns, which account for the majority of our CO₂e emissions. We associate the requirements of the NAP with “Res­pect for human rights”. This year, we significantly inten­sified our ­efforts to integrate human rights considerations into all our existing structures and processes. In the roadmap in the ­“Societal Orientation” field of action, we report on the current state of progress of the issue.




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 CR Roadmap of the TÜV NORD GROUP in a comprehensive process in 2018. At the beginning of the reporting year, we established that it would be possible to continue to use our roadmap as guidance for 2020 without further adjustments. This forms the basis of all our actions and activities relating to Corporate Responsibility and includes an overarching and specific self-determined goal for each of the fields of action that we set out to achieve by the end of 2020.

The objectives and measures of our CR Roadmap with the 2020 timeframe served as guidance for three years for all the employees of the Group in questions of Corporate Responsibility. We are already successfully managing their implementation in Germany through the Group's central CR management team and with the aid of the CR coordinators of the business units and the functional divisions of the holding company.


The TÜV NORD GROUP is also perceived from the outside as a values-oriented and sustainable company: In 2020, we achieved EcoVadis Gold status, placing us in the top five percent of com­panies rated by EcoVadis with regard to sustainability.


At the end of 2020, we assess the extent to which we have achieved our CR Roadmap 2020 targets. Our meta-objectives per field of action and where we are on the path to achieving them at the end of the current roadmap period are set out below.



Field of action KPI Status



Responsible Value Creation
Objective: Perception of the TÜV NORD GROUP as a value-oriented and sustainable enterprise
CR certificate or listings by 2020 in sustainability ratings / rankings achieved We were awarded Gold status in the EcoVadis Corporate Responsibility rating In 2020. This reflected the TÜV NORD GROUP’s record of improvement in the year-on-year comparison and means that the company is now one of the top 5% of enterprises 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 With the help of a wide range of measures, we are working on securing high levels of employee satisfaction. Since the employee survey has been postponed until 2021, an evaluation will not be possible until 2021. We will offer information on the outcome in our 2021 report.
Environmental Orientation
Objective: Commitment to meet the 2-degree climate target
Significant reduction of our CO₂e footprint (total greenhouse gas emissions, expressed 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 achieved Compared to 2017, we were able to significantly reduce our CO₂e emissions by 42.4%. Based on the structures we have developed and so that we can make an even better contribution to climate protection, we committed ourselves in mid-2020 to the 1.5-degree climate target and climate neutrality by 2030. We will provide information on the measures that will lead us to this objective in the 2021 report.
Societal Orientation
Goal: Social engagement through innovation
Our innovations will support the sustainable development of society in 2020 and beyond achieved In 2020, we carried out sustainability assessments for the entire portfolio of innovation projects in the German companies of the TÜV NORD GROUP. This enabled us to demonstrate that all of our innovations support sustainable development and thereby to provide clear evidence of the societal added value of the innovations in the Group. Based on our assessment criteria, which refer to SDGs and their indicators as well as to the requirements of our CR Roadmap, we were able to determine that the Sustainability Index lies between “good” and “excellent” over the entire range of the Group's innovation projects and that not a single innovation project has been assessed negatively.


Responsible Value Creation

“Our achievement of economic success considers the interests of both human beings and nature.”



The positioning of the TÜV NORD GROUP on sustainability-oriented value creation was most clearly demonstrated in 2020 by the inclusion of the sustainability dimension as a key thrust in the new Group strategy. The commitment to sustainability-oriented value creation anchored in the strategy is also reflected in the sub-strate­gies of our six business units, each of which has set its own objectives, to be achieved by 2025, on the subject of the “Sustainable Product & Service Portfolio”. Sustainability is thus deeply rooted at a strategic level in our value creation.


In 2020, we focused intensely on the transformative potential of the SDGs for our own digitalisation projects, innovations, ser­vices and business activities. In the first Group-wide evaluation of innovation projects in the second half of 2020, we recorded which SDG subordinate goals and indicators were benefiting from an ­innovation, and how strongly, and to what extent this innovation was supporting the implementation of the Group’s CR Roadmap.


From 2021, we are also going to roll out the evaluation of our service portfolio and the determination of the impact of our services on the SDGs in a structured way. In this way, we aim to enable a broad and structured evaluation of the specific contributions of our value creation to sustainable development in the short to medium term and also to manage our sustainable impact as a company in a more targeted manner.


The digital transformation within the Group, which was already well advanced in 2019, was able to mitigate some of the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the TÜV NORD GROUP. At the same time, this exceptional situation accelerated, as did the introduction of new digital solutions such as remote audits and online campuses, which are playing their part in securing and even expanding our value creation and thereby increasing the resilience of our company.



Topics and our goals KPI Status



Value-oriented, sustainable corporate management
Our company is perceived by our employees as acting sustainably in accordance with values.

• Perception of our corporate activity to be rated as at least good in the 2020 employee survey

in progress The workshops on the new management guidelines, which were initiated in 2019, continued in 2020 and the Group’s executives continued to work to communicate their content. Initial feedback from our employees on the new Group strategy, which included sustainability as a key thrust, was positive. An employee survey, which could not take place as planned in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic and was postponed until 2021, is expected to confirm this.
To track the progress towards this objective, it will be continued in the next roadmap.
Responsibility in the value chain
Sustainability criteria are inte­grated into the 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 The central purchasing department evaluates newly registered suppliers who meet the predetermined criteria in both technical and sales terms based on clearly defined sustainability criteria and high sustainability standards. These are a binding and important part of the regular supplier evaluation.
In 2020, all newly registered suppliers were assessed for sustainability, and 57% of the purchase volume was realised from suppliers which have undergone a sustainability assessment.
The sustainability assessment is an essential tool for influencing sustainability considerations beyond our own value chain.
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 2020, we carried out sustainability assessments for the first time for the entire portfolio of innovation projects in the German companies of the TÜV NORD GROUP.
Based on our assessment criteria, which refer to SDGs and their indicators as well as to the requirements of our CR Roadmap, we were able to determine that the Sustainability Index lies between “good” and “excellent” over the entire range of the Group’s innovation projects, with a mean score of 4.5, and that not a single innovation project has been assessed negatively.
On the basis of this successful first step, we intend to roll out the evaluation to our services as well in 2021. To this end, we have incorporated the current objective into the next roadmap and further refined it.
Digital means and methods of value creation
Digital Experts ensure that digitalisation knowledge is networked.

• All business units to have digital experts in 2019

achieved A total of 59 digital experts are now active in all six of the Group’s business units.
The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation in the introduction of new solutions with a focus on safeguarding and expanding our business (remote audits, online campuses) and on further training (Masterplan).
Integrity and compliance
A training programme on integrity and compliance is established throughout the Group.

• An e-learning-based target group-oriented training programme to be introduced throughout the Group by 2020

in progress In 2020, an appropriate training programme was designed and roll-out in the Group began. Three different modules are available for the basic training of all employees. The modules have been successfully tested in the business units.

• Basic module (ready for use) for all employees of the Industrial Services, Engineering and Natural Resources, Training and IT business units

• Basic module (ready for use) with specific questions for the Mobility business unit

• Basic module (in use on the unit’s own platform since October 2020) for the Aerospace business unit

With the aim of pursuing the continuation of the roll-out in further organisational units, we have already included an objective to that effect in the next roadmap.
Integration of Group companies
Foreign companies are integrated into the Group’s network and application landscape.

• The degree of integration of the fully consolidated foreign companies to be at least 80% by the end of 2020

in progress Due to the strict travel restrictions triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, only one of the sites planned for 2020 could be converted.
The level of achievement of the target is thus 65%. The integration of further sites can only take place in full once the travel restrictions have been lifted.



SDG 9 has already been identified in the 2019 Progress Report as the key UN global goal in the “Responsible value creation” field of action. Through its business activities (outer part), the TÜV NORD GROUP has a direct impact (inner part) that will in the long term reap benefits for SDG 9 (centre of the circle).



In the “Responsible Value Creation” field of action, our particular focus is on our responsible and sustainable actions as a company. With our services and internal activities, we have the opportunity to make the impact of our company and even our customer companies more sus­tain­able in economic, environmental and societal terms. In particular, we support the path to the following six United Nations Sustainable De­vel­opment Goals (SDGs): We promote Quality Education (SDG 4), Afford­able and Clean Energy (SDG 7), Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG 8), Responsible Consumption and Production (SDG 12) and Climate Action (SDG 13).

However, the biggest contribution we are making to sustainable devel­opment is in respect of SDG 9 “Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure”.
(> see the 2019 Progress Report)


We are having an impact, for example, with our services on the transition to digital business processes. But our products related to a sustainable energy supply or the promotion of environmentally sound innovations are also paving the way to more sustainability in this area.


We made particular progress in 2020 in assessing the sustainability of our innovations.
(> see also roadmap in this chapter)


Highlights of 2020

“Responsible value creation” field of action


Consumers are increasingly paying attention to sustainability, not only in food, but also in smartphones, laptops and electric cars. In the process, they are usually guided by certificates. However, the certification landscape for natural resources is still patchy at present. This is exactly what “CERA 4in1” wants to change: The certification system initiated by the TÜV NORD GROUP is the first process to enable a comprehensive assessment of envi­ron­men­tal, social and economic sustainability along the entire mineral resource value chain.


Since 2017, DMT (the leading company in the Engineering and Natural Resources business unit) has been driving the development in partnership with TÜV NORD CERT, the Dutch University of Leiden, the Austrian University of Leoben as well as the Swedish research institution RISE (“The Research Institute of Sweden”) and LTU Business, with the financial support of EIT. The first standards are currently being tested in international pilot projects. There is already enormous interest in the business community: Siemens, Volkswagen, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and many other companies are actively involved in the development of CERA 4in1.



At the beginning of 2020, DMT carried out a seismic exploration programme to the southeast of Munich. The aim was to find sources and potential for use of environmentally friendly geothermal energy from deep underground strata. The company used a special, environmentally friendly process in which sound waves are generated on the earth's surface and sent down into the ground. The underground rocks reflected the sound waves differently, and the differences were recorded using geophones (underground microphones). A 3D image of the subsoil was then produced, which yielded precise information about its thermal water-bearing formations.



Cities and municipalities are going smart. The cybersecurity and trustworthiness of digitised infrastructures are an essential prerequisite. And these are exactly what the IT business unit sets out to provide. TÜViT SeCom is currently working together with BearingPoint on an order from the Federal Office for Information Security. The commission concerns supporting municipalities in the building of secure and reliable IoT infrastructures to ensure that smart cities and regions are good places to live. The work does not just concern administrative services: areas such as transport, energy supply and education are also increasingly going digital. For this purpose, the colleagues developed a recording methodology that identifies possible security vulnerabilities and forms the basis for recommendations for action.



The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the high pace the TÜV NORD GROUP has already set in the digitalisation of service services. This applies to audits (remote audits), the carrying out of technical inspections and assessments (remote inspections, immediate assessments) and in particular to learning offers. In this way, we have expanded our expertise in the field of digital learning and increasingly used corresponding platforms for customers whom we have previously trained and advised non-digitally – for example, through virtual live training in the Training business unit.

Can a tried-and-tested major event be held during a pan­demic? For TÜV NORD Bildung, the answer is yes, you can! By mid-year, the team had moved its popular job speed dating format into the virtual world. Well over 1,000 participants took the opportunity to talk to more than 100 employers about finding a job. A complete success that opens up new perspectives: further digital concepts for the implementation of major virtual events will follow.

Staff orientation

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



We continued to work in 2020 to provide the best possible working conditions for our staff. In 2020, for example, all executives were called upon to communicate the Group's management guidelines in their area of responsibility and to enter into an active dialogue with their employees.


We have systematically expanded the range of digital training opportunities to further support our most important resource, our employees.

In this way, the TÜV NORD GROUP managed to meet the staff’s learning needs using digital means, the pandemic having reduced classroom trainings to a handful.


In addition, in 2020 we expanded the diversity management of TÜV NORD GROUP by creating a new position and started reporting key figures on diversity in the HR Controlling Standard Report. With this focus and the continuous improvement of the employer brand, the HR division is supporting the entire TÜV NORD GROUP in the fulfilment of its corporate responsibilities.



Topics and our goals KPI Status



Attractive employer
Reputation criteria for TÜV NORD as an employer are defined, systematically collected, analysed and evaluated.
• Evaluation of reputation criteria at Group level from 2020 achieved Our reputation as an employer is recorded annually. The results of this Group report are assigned to four clusters in a systematic survey: Job (characteristics & requirements), Compensation & Promotion, People & Culture and Reputation & Image.
For example, the first results of the reputational surveys show that the TÜV NORD brand enjoys a high reputation in the eyes of scientists. The TÜV NORD GROUP is now also represented in the rankings of the IT industry.
Health and safety
The Occupational Health Management Programme (OHM) promotes the 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 with the pillars of occupational health and safety, corporate integration management and occupational health promotion. In 2020, this process was completed throughout the Group. In addition, we established a separate steering group for the OHM including all the actors relevant to the issue. In the future, the health objectives defined here will form the central basis for all our health-promoting activities. The new structure and the optimised processes are leading to increased transparency and will guarantee a targeted, coordinated and high-quality range of measures. To enhance availability still further for employees away the main locations, we have supplemented the offers with the addition of virtual trainings.
To track the progress towards this objective, it will be continued in the next roadmap.
Value-oriented HR management
The leadership guidelines of the TÜV NORD GROUP have been 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 ratings in the 2020 employee survey in progress Each executive has been called upon in a corresponding target agreement to inform employees in their area of responsibility about the new management guidelines and to enter into an active dialogue with them in this regard. The workshops, which began in 2019, continued in 2020. Since the planned Group-wide employee survey could not take place in 2020, the assessment of their success will have to take place at a later date.
To track the progress towards this objective, it will be continued in the next roadmap.
Individual development
and promotion of employees

Flexible opportunities for the professional development of our employees are put in place.
• Offers for flexible learning formats to be available by 2020 achieved Previous face-to-face training offers have been systematically supplemented by further virtual offers. In 2020, classic e-learning was supplemented by other virtual learning formats as part of the standard range of trainings offered to TÜV NORD GROUP employees. Masterplan, a new learning platform, was actively used by more than 1,700 employees in 2020.
From 2021, classic classroom training courses will also be offered as webinars, live streams or power trainings in a shortened face-to-face phase.
Appropriate working environment
The infrastructure provided ans the working environment will support innovative, creative and healthy work.
• Analysis of the work environment for 80% of employees at German sites to be carried out by 2020 achieved The survey was completed by the end of 2020 and has already been partially incorporated into the HR Strategy. The results were also made available to those responsible at business unit level. They will serve as the basis for future strategic development.
The initial findings include positive assessments of the IT infrastructure and the location-flexible work. The focus of the recorded optimisation potential is on better withdrawal options for concentrated work as well as more workspaces that promote innovation and creativity.
Further evaluations are planned for 2021.
Diversity and inclusion  
Equality of opportunities is provided for all employees.
• Indicators and target values to be defined in 2019
• Evaluation of goal attainment from 2020
achieved Indicators and targets were defined in 2020.
The indicators are continuously reported in the HR Controlling Standard Report.
The first measures were also derived in 2020 and implemented as part of the new human resources strategy. These include measures to support work and family life (e.g. training for executives) and the development of pandemic-age services (e.g. support for home schooling). In addition, from 2021, a position will be created at TÜV NORD AG to deal exclusively with matters of diversity. Moreover, in 2021, we will pilot a programme to support the handover from retiring executives to their freshly appointed successors.
A talent relationship management was also implemented in 2020 for scholarship holders, trainees and students.



SDG 3 has already been identified in the 2019 Progress Report as the central UN global goal in the “Staff orientation” field of action. Through its business activities (outer part), the TÜV NORD GROUP is giving rise to direct effects (inner part) that will pay back into SDG 3 (centre of the circle) in the long term.



Supporting our employees is at the heart of the “Staff orientation” field of action. With our internal activities, we are contributing to Quality Education (SDG 4), Gender Equality (SDG 5), Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG 8) and Reduced Inequalities (SDG 10).


In this field of action, the focus is on the themes in SDG 3, Good Health and Well-being.
(> see the 2019 Progress Report)


We are of course leading the way in the health and safety of our own employees, in particular by implementing an OHM. During the 2020 pandemic, we attached great importance to educational work on health for our employees, service providers and customers.


We are also contributing to the health of the working environment and promoting the cause of safety in our society with a wide range of services, such as our domestic water tests, vehicle safety inspections and the certification of medical devices as well as management systems in the field of occupational health and safety, including for our customers.


Highlights of 2020

“Staff orientation” field of action


To achieve success in a digitalised world of work, TÜV NORD Mobilität is turning to innovative working models that combine existing approaches with new methods. In addition to the training of additional digital experts, a further focus is on the agile management method known as SCRUM. With the help of SCRUM, it was possible to develop a portal for the preparation of claims and value assessments, with which the company can process customer requests and requirements much more quickly. The platform proved to be very helpful especially during the coronavirus crisis, as customers were able to submit their requests digitally. The experience of SCRUM has been consistently positive: Flexible ways of working increase employee and customer satisfaction, facilitate interaction with stakeholders and promote improved value creation.



In order to get an overview of mental health problems in the workplace, the TÜV NORD GROUP carried out an online employee survey in 2020. In a short questionnaire, individual factors such as work content, organisation and social relationships were specifically addressed in terms of their potential for mental health issues. The survey is helping in the development of prevention and occupational safety and health: illnesses can thus proactively be avoided or their severity and consequences reduced. The evaluation was carried out via an independent external service provider; the findings will be used for the future design of the workplace.



The TÜV NORD GROUP has been working for many years to ensure that employees can reconcile work and family life. Executives have a special responsibility in this regard: They act as contact persons for their team and are in the position to offer staff members individual leeway. At the same time, they can themselves exemplify a healthy balance between work and leisure. To allow them to embody this role model even more fully, this year the Group launched a webinar series in the “HR4Business” context. As well as general encouragement, colleagues are shown particularly successful examples from the Group. Together, we considered how to further underpin our family-aware corporate culture. The first three dates took place in 2020 and the seminar series will continue in 2021.



In order for internal education and training measures to work from home, a good culture of trust is needed in addition to a digital infrastructure. With its staff agreement for site-flexible work, the TÜV NORD GROUP had already set the right course in January, before the coronavirus pandemic began. The switch to virtual offers was accordingly rapid. For instance, six months after the launch, the number of e-learning days had increased by an impressive 785% compared to 2019. In addition, TÜV NORD Bildung offered some training courses on the use of new technologies and devices. These offered instruction on how to effectively use a tablet, smartboard or mobile device in the working context; also on the agenda were insights into digital working methods such as blended learning and virtual classrooms. In addition, from mid-2020, all Group employees had access to a video platform which offered learning content on various topics. With the help of the online offer, a collaboration between Masterplan and the TÜV NORD GROUP, employees can develop into key players in the digital transformation of the TÜV NORD GROUP. Already at the end of a two-month pilot phase with more than 1,350 active users from 25 nations, it became clear that the offer was successful and that the employees in the Group wanted to continue using the platform.


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.”



We see the protection of the climate and the environment as the most important challenge of our time. In 2020, we continued to work to enhance our positive influence on the environment and to reduce the negative impact of our business. With the aim of sending an even clearer signal of our intentions in environmental and climate protection, we have committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2030. This means that the CO₂e emissions in the Group which result from business-related travel, the use of real estate (scope 1 and 2) and the consumption of essential resources in the company (Scope 2, paper), will be set to zero throughout the Group. As an intermediate step, we have set ourselves the target of reducing CO₂e emissions by 7.5% per year by 2025, that means, to 55% compared to 2019. In our implementation of this target, we will follow the principle of “Avoid, reduce, offset”:

  • We are avoiding generating emissions within the company, for example, by developing new ways of providing services.
  • We are reducing our own emissions, for example, by increasing the energy efficiency of our buildings.
  • We are offsetting emissions within the company which we cannot avoid or reduce.

We are currently developing further measures, such as a mobility concept, to achieve our new climate target. Various measures are already being implemented. For example, our main sites have been using green electricity for several years. Our energy-efficient new building in Essen will be completed as planned in 2021. In 2020, we also decided to build an extensive charging infrastructure at our main locations in 2021, each of which is to be given 40 charging points for electric and hybrid vehicles belonging to employees and guests. In addition, site-flexible work is now possible for our employees starting this year, which also means that we expect our CO₂e emissions to go down.


Protecting the environment and the climate is a task that we can only solve together. As a service provider, we are also supporting our customers in their efforts to make their companies more energy-efficient and thereby to save CO₂e. In doing so, we are offering them expert assistance with a wide range of environmental protection issues.



Topics and our goals KPI Status



Eco-friendly travel patterns
A process for recording and eva­lu­ating CO₂e emissions generated by business travel is well established in the entire Group.
• CO₂e emissions from business trips to be recorded across the entire Group from 2020 achieved We are now recording CO₂e emissions from business trips throughout Germany. In 2020, we reduced our CO₂e emissions from business trips by 24.2% year on year.
The recording of CO₂e emissions is to be rolled out across the Group in the next few years. Our new climate target has been defined as 2030.
Resource economy and efficiency
A process for recording and evaluating performance in respect of resource economy and efficiency is established.
• Material and energy consumption to be recorded from 2019 achieved We record our material consumption via the central purchasing department in Germany. The essential material that we consume as a service provider is paper. We have reduced paper consumption in Germany by 15% compared to 2019.
Energy efficiency in buildings
A process for recording and a concept for reducing the size of the CO₂e footprint of the real estate used by the TÜV NORD GROUP are established throughout the Group.
• The CO₂e footprint of the real estate to be continuously recorded from 2019, at least for the Group’s main German sites
• Targets for the reduction of the carbon footprint to be pursued from 2021
achieved We record the energy consumption of our main sites in Germany every year. Since 2019, we have been managing the demand in our own database. We use the consumption data to calculate the CO₂e emissions. Reduction targets were set in 2020, and relevant measures are currently being developed. In 2020, CO₂e emissions for the main sites in Germany fell by 13.5%.
Targets for reducing the carbon footprint and achieving carbon neutrality by 2030 are documented in the TÜV NORD GROUP’s climate protection and carbon neutrality programme which was adopted in 2020. We will report on their fulfilment starting in 2021.



SDG 13 has already been identified in the 2019 Progress Report as the central UN global goal in the “Environmental orientation” field of action. Through its business activities (outside), the TÜV NORD GROUP is giving rise to direct effects (inner part of the circle) that will count toward the fulfilment of SDG 13 (centre of the circle) in the long term.



Our services and internal activities in the “Environmental orientation” field of action are contributing to ecological development in many ways. We are helping to make energy affordable and clean (SDG 7) and pro­moting greater sustainability in industry, innovation and infrastructure (SDG 9), in cities and municipalities (SDG 11) and in responsible consumption and production (SDG 12).


At the heart of the field of action is the aspiration to curb the warming of our planet and to limit what will in some places be the catastrophic effects of anthropogenic climate change (SDG 13).
(> see the 2019 Progress Report)

Our diverse services for sustainable energy supply, the consistent detec­tion and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from business trips and the increased use of digitalised business processes have the aim of further significantly increasing our contribution to climate protection.


We made particular progress in our internal climate protection activities in 2020 by adopting a programme on climate protection and carbon neutrality by 2030.
(> see also roadmap in this chapter)


Highlights of 2020

“Environmental orientation” field of action


In 2020, TÜV NORD was one of the world’s first certification bodies to gain the qualification for the evaluation of floating offshore wind farms. These make the use of wind energy possible in locations where the ocean is too deep for wind turbines to be anchored in the seabed. Due to their lack of a solid foundation, floating wind farms will also protect the flora and fauna of coastal areas. The International Energy Agency estimates that the world’s best offshore wind sites could meet almost all of the world’s electricity needs by 2040 on their own. With our accreditation by German accreditation agency DAkkS, we are further expanding our expertise in the field of offshore wind.



Air, water, energy, soil: the responsible use of these resources is of fundamental importance to operational success. A lack of awareness can easily lead to environmental scandals that can damage the reputation and endanger the very existence of companies. The TÜV NORD Akademie offers clarity with its “Environment and Energy” seminar programme. It offers our customers the necessary knowledge to set up an environmental management system for their operations and sets out the current regulations and laws for companies. In 2020, in more than 450 events with almost 5,000 participants, we were able to actively contribute to the promotion of sustainable thinking and action.



In the photovoltaic (PV) laboratory of TÜV NORD China, the sun shines at the push of a button. With a solar simulator, test engi­neers irradiate PV modules to measure their output power. The high-tech modules form the key components in solar power systems and, as they convert solar energy into electricity, are thus an important element for a successful energy transition. In 2020, the team of ten tested 4,846 PV modules – 10% more than in 2019. In addition, the technical facilities of the PV laboratory were ex­panded in 2020, with the effect that larger solar modules can now also be tested. 



With the help of immediate assessments, TÜV NORD Mobilität can record and evaluate online vehicle damage sustained by end customers. Demand for this environmentally conscious service had previously increased significantly in 2019. Therefore, the scope of this service was supplemented by another component at the beginning of 2020: Since then, it has been possible to record damage reported via car dealerships and workshops digitally, flexibly and without personal contact. In total, more than 2,000 online assessments were created in 2020. As a result, even more CO₂e emissions were saved by avoiding business trips, and direct contacts were minimised. Last but not least, TÜV NORD Mobilität is helping the affilia­ted car dealerships and workshops to remain viable during the coronavirus pandemic.

As early as 2018, the TÜV NORD GROUP had committed itself to the greatest possible decarbonisation by 2050 and agreed on targets in its CR Roadmap. As we had been energetically advancing the Group’s digital transformation in recent years, we were able to move quickly to move both internal events and external services for our customers online at the start of the pandemic. This has enabled us to significantly reduce the amount of travelling we do. This rapid change has confirmed the effectiveness and efficiency of our entrepreneurial activities and made a greater contribution to climate protection possible. Based on this, we have revised our original climate target and significantly accelerated the decarbonisation process. We will provide detailed information on our programme for climate protection and carbon neutrality by 2030 in the CR 2021 report.


Societal orientation

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



We at the TÜV NORD GROUP, we see ourselves as an integral part of society. So that we could better understand the expectations of our stakeholder groups and set the course for even closer cooperation, we continued our dialogue with them in the context of an online event. Under the banner “Sustainability opens the way to a common future”, we discussed issues such as innovations and services, human rights and climate protection with more than 60 decision-makers from companies, organisations and our Group. We also gained some valuable feedback on the design of our new CR 2025 strategy, which is expected to come into force in 2021.


In 2020, we placed particular emphasis on respect for and pro­tection of human rights in the corporate context. In a workshop with representatives of all the relevant business areas, we suc­ceeded in raising participant awareness on this issue by swapping ideas and reviewing our internal processes with regard to the recording and evaluation of human rights risks. To meet the requirements of the National Action Plan for Economics and Human Rights (NAP) and a future law of due diligence, we have worked with our colleagues to develop solutions where necessary. For example, we have revised our Code of Conduct and drafted a Declaration of Principles on Respect for Human Rights, to be published in early 2021.



Topics and our goals KPI Status



Societal role in accordance with our vision and mission
Corporate Responsibility is to become part of the Group’s strategy and serves as a guide for the strategies of the business units.
• From 2020 onwards, the CR Strategy is to be a solidly integrated component of the Group’s strategy and the strategies of the business units and functional divisions achieved Sustainability is a key thrust of the Group’s “Strategy2025” and forms one of the six business unit strategies. The top management has communicated this intensively, both internally (worldwide web conference with employees of the Group, intranet, etc.) and externally (stakeholder event, website, etc.).
Reaching out to stakeholders outside the value chain
The integration of stakeholder groups outside the value chain has taken place and the insights gained in the process have informed the management of Corporate Responsibility.
• Internal dialogue with relevant representatives of external stakeholder groups in 2019
• Systematic procedures for dealing with external stakeholders to be place by 2020
achieved Following our stakeholder dialogue in April 2019, we went on to exchange ideas directly with our stakeholders in October 2020 in the context of a stakeholder event. In the framework of this dialogue, we succeeded not only in gaining some valuable feedback on the Group’s position in relation to sustainability but also in jointly developing systematic exchange formats, which we will implement from 2021.
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 honoured in accordance with the 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 defined criteria. achieved In 2020, all the commitments of the Group and its companies were recorded centrally, based on the reporting mechanisms in accordance with the Group’s “Donations and Sponsorship” policy, which encourages all companies to review donations and sponsorship projects for compliance with value creation or local visibility and to declare all spending as a donation / sponsorship. The bulk of the expenditure is spread over a few costly projects. The Donation Commission is aware of these. Also documented are the donations which TÜV NORD AG makes to associations and non-profit organisations. In this respect, we can ensure that 80% of the donation and sponsorship volume meets the established criteria.
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 to be carried out continuously and the resulting measures implemented achieved So that we may incorporate human rights risks into the existing risk assessment, we have reviewed and supplemented our existing risk process. In addition, we have drawn up a Declaration of Principles on Respect for Human Rights, to be adopted at the beginning of 2021.



SDG 17 has already been identified in the 2019 Progress Report as the key UN global goal in the “Societal orientation” field of action. Through its business activities (outer part), the TÜV NORD GROUP is giving rise to direct effects (inner part) that will pay back into SDG 17 (centre of the circle) in the long term.



In the “Societal orientation” field of action, we are pooling those of our activities which have an impact on society. In this way, we are making a positive contribution to Quality Education (SDG 4), Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure (SDG 9), Sustainable Cities and Communities (SDG 11), and to Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions (SDG 16).


In this field of action, we are focusing in particular on our participation in committees and associations and on supporting technology-based environmentally and socially oriented projects and initiatives.
(> see the 2019 Progress Report)

We are using our knowledge and resources to work with selected partners and social actors to promote sustainable development, especially through the opportunities offered by technology. We are in particular making a determined contribution to SDG 17, “Partnerships for the Goals”.


We made particular progress in 2020 on human rights by reviewing and expanding our existing risk process. We also drew up a Declaration of Principles on Respect for Human Rights.
(> see also roadmap in this chapter)


Highlights of 2020

“Social orientation” field of action


Our many years of experience in mining and our expertise in auto­mation and process technology persuaded Germany’s company for radioactive waste disposal, the BGE, to commission DMT with a further step in the process of recovering intermediate radioactive waste from the Asse II mine. After a successful feasibility study in 2009, DMT is now specifying the control technology and the equipment needed for the retrieval. The new design is a major step towards sustainability: Only if the waste is successfully recovered can people and the environment be protected from the consequences of nuclear residues in the long term. DMT is now active worldwide in the disposal of nuclear waste.



Since 2020, sustainably produced textiles have been certified in the Industrial Services business unit in accordance with the ­specifications of the German textile seal known as the “Grüner Knopf”, or “Green Button”. This state-sponsored seal of approval was developed by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the German Society for International Cooperation. TÜV NORD CERT assisted in the development of the criteria and is now one of five bodies offering certification according to the criteria for the award of the Green Button textile seal. The Green Button is seen as a blueprint for a future due diligence law which has already been the subject of much discussion.



In 2020, the TÜV NORD GROUP participated in the “Changing Sides” programme on a trial basis. Under this scheme, executives spend a week working at a social institution, for example a drug counselling centre, a housing group for disabled people, a refugee shelter or a hospice or palliative care unit. The aim is to strengthen social skills and promote personal resilience. Axel Dreckschmidt, Managing Director of the TÜV NORD Akademie, launched the scheme in February 2020 by spending five days helping out with the Caritas homeless charity. The development portfolio for our executives now includes the possibility of getting to grips with our own value system by “changing sides” and, notwithstanding their financial responsibility, getting the chance to view their leadership role also from an unfamiliar perspective for a change.



TÜViT carried out a security-related audit of the German government’s coronavirus warning app to reassure all its users that they could carry on using it without any concerns. The particular focus was on compliance with data protection. The TÜViT audit was intended to increase confidence in the digital application. This is a significant action, especially for this app, because It will only help to significantly stem the tide of the pandemic if it is actively used throughout the country.

On behalf of the Federal Ministry of Health, TÜV NORD CERT and DMT tested protective masks against coronavirus for quality and safety at levels FFP2 and FFP3. Among other things, attention was paid to whether the masks were sufficiently tight-fitting on the face, the level of breathing resistance and whether the mask would safely keep out particles and aerosols. In the samples tested in 2020, up to 30% did not meet the requirements, which illustrates the importance of this audit.

There is often insufficient capacity for testing for the coronavirus. This is something “LabHive” wants to change. Since May 2020, the online platform has been bringing together medically trained volunteers, diagnostic centres and research laboratories to enable more testing for SARS-CoV-2 to take place. To pool the test capacities and compensate for bottlenecks in diagnostic centres, qualified volunteers on the platform make their reagents and laboratory equipment available. Free capacities are flagged up for the diagnostic centres, which can then take advantage of them if necessary. LabHive initiators Philipp Nieting and Kenneth Ruiz Eiro, jobbing students at TÜViT, are working voluntarily with an interdisciplinary team to provide IT security and data protection on the platform, thereby making an important contribution to expanding the testing capacities.