Letter from the Chairman of the Board of Management

Dear clients and partners,
dear colleagues,

We are currently all deeply affected by the military onslaught on a sovereign European state. An onslaught that is causing great suffering and whose effects will be felt across the world for a long time to come. The employees of the TÜV NORD GROUP have committed themselves unhesitatingly to providing humanitarian aid in the crisis zone and securing Germany’s energy supply. In our day-to-day work in more than 100 countries, we are actively committed to the cause of peaceful, democratic and respectful coexistence between people and states and exemplify the values of our diverse and multifaceted corporate culture.

The rapid changes in economic and social conditions worldwide are underscoring the common human need for a safe and sustainable world. A particular focus must be on managing the finite resources of our earth, cybersecurity in the digital world, the exploitation of outer space and the effects of environmental risks on future generations. We in the TÜV NORD GROUP and our customers have recognised that the state of our planet calls for urgent action.

The urgently needed changes can only be implemented through technological innovations, digitalisation and digital connectivity, coupled with resolute and decisive action. New mobility, the energy transition, and the protection of the environment and health are all key pillars of sustainable action. Our initial focus is on our own business as we increasingly turn to digitally supported remote technologies to provide more and more services, which in turn no longer always require the physical presence of members of staff. Following on from our great success with certification audits using remote technology in the first year of the pandemic, 2020, in 2021 we significantly increased the number of remote inspections carried out with digital video support in the Industrial Services business unit. Other business segments are also turning to remote digital technologies: since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, TÜV NORD Bildung has been organising online job fairs at which up to 500 jobseekers at a time can present themselves to potential employers in virtual rooms.

When it comes to energy-efficient conversions and new buildings at our sites, building materials that cannot be preserved are consistently recycled in line with the principles of the circular economy. This applies to the TÜV NORD CAMPUS ESSEN for 1,500 employees, which was ceremonially opened in autumn 2021, and to our food laboratory in Pune, India. There, new solar modules on the roofs are saving about 130 tons of CO2 per year. We have set ourselves some ambitious goals: by the end of this decade, we aim to make our company carbon-neutral. The results achieved so far are encouraging.

Our daily commitment to the safety of people and technology and to effective environmental protection once again motivated many people to join the TÜV NORD GROUP in 2021. The overall number of employees grew to a total of 14,253. At which point we would like to offer a warm welcome to all new members of the TÜV NORD family worldwide!

The demands on vehicle and IT inspection engineers posed by the requirements of the mobility of the future and, in particular, automated driving increased once again in 2021. In the future, vehicle manufacturers will have to provide evidence of a cybersecurity and a software update management system if they wish to be granted type approval. TÜV NORD Mobilität has been accredited for these tasks and is involved in the practical Berlin-based project for autonomous driving which goes by the name of BeIntelli and whose aim is to illustrate the implementation of complex technologies in “smart” vehicles and infrastructures. For the international umbrella organisation for the automotive sector, the FIA, TÜViT has investigated ways in which a highly secure cybersecurity architecture can be put in place in the vehicles of the future to ensure protection against cyberattacks when in self-driving mode.

Hydrogen will play a decisive role in the mobility and industry of the future. Three business units have been paying highly specialised attention to this technology for years. To allow them to offer integrated customer solutions from a single source as quickly as possible, the strengths of the individual specialist areas have been pooled in a cross-divisional HydroHub. The objectives of this new HydroHub are to offer expert advice for tested hydrogen production alongside confidence-building, compatible hydrogen infrastructures and support for ambitious lighthouse projects involving hydrogen, all from a single source. We are also participating in the implementation of a pan-European hydrogen certification system, which the new German government intends to put in place domestically. You can read more about the hydrogen-related activities of the TÜV NORD GROUP in this annual report.

One priority of the Group’s activities is the international expansion of our market presence in the area of testing, inspection and certification (TIC). ALTER TECHNOLOGY is the first and, so far, only Notified Body in Europe to be allowed to certify unmanned aerial vehicles. Two sites in Croatia developed into customer-oriented hubs for the entire Balkan region in 2021. Under the TÜV NORD ADRIATIC label, branches have already opened in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia, with more to follow shortly in Slovenia and the Croatian metropolis of Split. In Qatar, TÜV NORD Gulf has commenced operations for TIC services throughout the region.

Overall, the international units made a more significant contribution to the business success of the TÜV NORD GROUP in 2021 than ever before. In a year that was once again marked by severe travel and contact restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, the TÜV NORD GROUP was able to improve its relevant key financial ratios and achieve the highest revenue in its history, at 1.37 billion euro. Operating profit before special items (EBIT) rose by 52.9 percent year on year. On behalf of the Board of Management and the Group Executive Committee, I would like to thank all our employees for their outstanding performance. My heartfelt thanks also go out to our customers and suppliers for the trust they have shown in us and to our shareholders and the supervisory bodies and staff councils.

I wish every one of you the best of health and success in 2022; may we all live and work together in peace.

Kind regards,

Dr. Dirk Stenkamp

Chairman of the Board of Management