Corporate Responsibility

For the 2018 reporting period, we offer infor­ma­tion for the first time on the economic, ecological and social impact of our business activities and explain how the TÜV NORD GROUP is integrating Corporate Responsibility into its corporate processes and managing those twin key elements.

The TÜV NORD GROUP has always considered sustainability and responsibility to be the driving force behind its entrepreneurial vision, and these qualities are for that reason firmly embedded in our DNA. On the basis of this keystone concept, two years ago we launched the development of a systematic and Group-wide Cor- porate Responsibility Management. We have amalgamated our previous activities, created organisational structures and developed a Corporate Responsibility Strategy and a related roadmap. In our Corporate Responsibility Roadmap our medium- and long-term objectives are laid down and backed up with actual measures. It is now providing guidance to 13,000 employees around the world, our business partners and other stakeholders. Here are three specific examples:

  • We are pushing ahead with Responsibility and Sustainability Assessments for our innovations and developing a standardised rating system for this purpose.
  • We are using the potential of digitalisation to bring about positive sustainability effects. For instance, remote inspection is significantly reducing the amount of travel on the part of our staff.
  • Our employees will in the future be able to sign up for training at a time and place of their choosing. By 2020, we will be offering flexible digital learning formats.

The Corporate Responsibility chapter of this corporate report offers readers an abridged version of the first Corporate Responsibility Report drafted by the TÜV NORD GROUP. In it, we disclose where we currently stand, which processes we are developing for a structured implementation and the aims we aspire to fulfil. The chapter contains strategic information and statements on the topics which the TÜV NORD GROUP has identified as important. We provide information on our responsibility to act sustainably in respect of value creation, our staff, the environment and society, thereby throwing light on how closely interwoven our financial and non-financial services are. We defined these four fields of action and the associated topics in a process, which also involved key stakeholders, that ranked their relative materiality.

The publication of our 2018 Corporate Responsibility Report to which we refer in this chapter is an important milestone in the context of strategically-oriented Corporate Responsibility Management in our company. The content presented in this report is supplemented by other aspects and details in accordance with GRI Standards, Option: core. The principal focus of the report is on the German companies and sites of all the business units in the TÜV NORD GROUP.

Our Corporate Responsibility Strategy

“We see it as the responsibility of the TÜV NORD GROUP to conduct business with a view to long-term success. We take into account not only the impact of our decisions and actions on our company, but also their effects on society and the environment.”



It is an integral part of our corporate identity to take responsibility for the impacts of our business activities on people and the environment and to act in a sustainable manner. We see the imple- mentation of Corporate Responsibility as a long-term project that will lead us into the future. The destination has been set and the route planned, and the starting pistol has been fired. The challenge we face on this journey is to strive every day for balance between economic, ecological and social concerns in all that we do. The main coordinates for our Corporate Responsibility are our five guiding principles:


The focus is on our customers.

Our employees are the key to success.

Our integrity is the basis of everything we do.

Our diversity opens up new opportunities.

Our culture of innovation is trend-setting.




In 2018, we brought together the various different activities under the umbrella of acting sustainably and responsibly to form one single corporate responsibility strategy. Developed in close relation to our Corporate Strategy, this serves as our overarching route map. In terms of value creation, we consider Corporate Responsi­bility (CR) to be an important success factor for our company. After all, we need sustainable services for our customers, integrity in respect of the environment and society and dedicated employees to make our business fit for the future. Our CR Strategy includes our attitude toward responsibility and sustainability, decisions on the management of Corporate Responsibility, the four main fields of action and a CR Roadmap with objectives, measures and targets.



We identified the four main fields of action of our Corporate Respon- sibility Strategy in the context of a materiality analysis, taking into account our stakeholders (see the chapter entitled “Materiality of our CR Topics”). We are focusing our sustainable actions on the following four themes:


We have combined the route for each of these four fields of action in our Roadmap 2020: this includes goals, measures and implementation activities (see the chapter entitled “Roadmap 2020 for Guidance"). Overarching objectives, such as the reduction of CO₂ emissions, are broken down to the level of business units and Group companies and implemented at that level. On the journey we will remain in regular dialogue with our stakeholders. We will practise full disclosure in relation to our sustainability achievements, both within the Group and externally. In this way we will ensure that key expectations, including those imposed on the TÜV NORD GROUP from outside, are recognised in good time and, where appropriate, taken into account.


Management of Corporate Responsibility



We will implement our long-term Corporate Responsibility Strategy in the context of our integrated management system. The focus of our Corporate Responsibility will be on the strategic and operational benefits for value creation in the TÜV NORD GROUP: covering the whole gamut of topics from attractiveness as an employer and the efficient use of resources through to pioneering innovations. We will work together at the highest management level and in the business units and Group companies to inject life into our Corporate Responsibility Strategy across a whole range of activities. At the same time, the business units and Group companies will set their own priorities for the implementation of the goals according to their specific activities and possibilities. In this way, individual mosaic tiles will combine to form one major work with which we will achieve the Group’s overall objectives.




We consider it important to reveal this mosaic and its objectives in a readily comprehensible way. Our first responsibility and sustainability report is a decisive step in this direction. In the future, we will report annually on the status quo in respect of the economic, eco- logical and social impacts of our business activities. In this context we will consider in detail how far we have already travelled and which obstacles may remain to be overcome. In terms of content, our reports will adhere to the following principles: involvement of stakeholders, sustainability context, materiality and degree of completion. We will report on the basis of clearly defined and implemented data sources which will at all times be freely available and verifiable.




The TÜV NORD GROUP has defined roles and responsibilities on three levels: the Group, the business units and the Group companies. This organisational structure will ensure the proper management of our Corporate Responsibility and the implementation of our objectives.





In the TÜV NORD GROUP, Corporate Responsi­bility is anchored at the highest level of corporate governance: the responsibility lies with the Group Executive Committee. A CR Steering Committee consults internally on all cross-cutting topics and activities. The Group has created the post of CR Manager for the coordination of CR activities and communications.





The board of each business unit is in charge of Corporate Responsibility and nominates a CR coordinator. This member of staff is a member of the CR Steering Committee at Group level and supports the board of the business unit in the strategic coordination of the various activities.





The management board of each of the companies in charge of Corporate Responsibility in that company. A management representative supports the board in its CR planning, implemen­tation and reporting tasks.


Materiality of Our CR Topics


Which are the priority CR topics in the TÜV NORD GROUP? An in-depth answer to this question has been provided by the materiality analysis which we carried out 2018.


In the first step, we assessed the initial position. For this purpose we identified our previous CR activities and the expectations of our various stakeholders and arranged them thematically. With reference to the GRI Standards and the German Sustainability Code (DNK), additional CR topics were included in an overall list of possible topics.

In the second step, all the CR topics thus identified were put to the test: how relevant do our stakeholders consider the various topics to be? And how marked is the economic, environmental and social impact of our business in relation to the respective topics, such as, for example, “Employee health and safety” or “Resource economy and efficiency”?



We used the “materiality analysis” as a tool to precisely define the two factors, relevance and impact. The impact assessment was semi-quantitative. The CR Steering Committee of the TÜV NORD GROUP and the responsible internal experts rated the impact of the topics in accordance with a predetermined scale. We have also had intensive discussions with our stakeholders – for example with over 500 corporate employees – to determine the relevance of CR topics. The results were discussed in detail by the CR Steering Committee.

This has led to the emergence of a clear overall picture which maps our journey. Eleven key CR topics have emerged for the TÜV NORD GROUP which are also the focus of the present report. The other eight major topics are mentioned in passing for the sake of completeness.



Last revised 16.2.2018

Responsible Value Creation

1 Value-oriented, sustainable corporate management
2 Responsibility in the value chain
3 Sustainable innovations and services
4 Digital means and methods of value creation
5 Integrity and compliance
6 Integration on an equal footing of the foreign companies

Staff Orientation

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

Environmental Orientation

13 Eco-friendly travel patterns
14 Resource economy and efficiency
15 Energy efficiency of rented or fully-owned buildings

Societal Orientation

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


Roadmap 2020 for Guidance


The CR Roadmap 2020 offers us guidance on our journey to the systematic integration of responsibility and sustainability in all the business units. It contains an overarching long-term goal for each of the four fields of action. Objectives have also been defined for the key CR topics and the routes planned by which we aim to achieve these goals by 2020. Key performance indicators and measures have been set as guides. We aim to use specific targets to evaluate the degree of implementation.

The roadmap was developed by the CR Steering Committee. The kick-off event was a workshop held in July 2018 to define the roadmap, at which the long-term CR objectives were identified and discussed. Divided into working groups, representatives from the CR Steering Committee then discussed specific targets, indicators and measures in various workshops. Between October and November 2018, the CR Steering Committee carried out the last critical analyses before finally releasing the draft roadmap. The CR Roadmap 2020 was adopted by the Group Executive Committee at the end of 2018.




Our expectation of ourselves

Our goal


Responsible Value Creation

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

Perception of the TÜV NORD GROUP as a value-oriented and sustainable enterprise

• CR certificate or listings by 2020 in sustainability ratings / rankings

Staff Orientation

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

Satisfaction of our employees

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

Environmental Orientation

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

Obligation to meet 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 of our GHG emissions in line with the triad “Avoid, Reduce, Offset” and in that order

Societal Orientation

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

Societally committed through innovation

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

The presentation of expectations, objectives and key performance indicators (KPI) in the individual fields of action is an excerpt from the CR Roadmap 2020 of the TÜV NORD GROUP.

Responsible Value Creation

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

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


You and your team are developing innovative services for the customers. What does innovation mean for the TÜV NORD GROUP?

Carsten Becker (CB) For us, being innovative means using modern methods to serve customers faster, less expen­sively and more effectively. We also want to ­offer the customers new services that will enhance their security or, for example, effec­tively respond to new threats, for instance through IT security. But innovations in the TÜV NORD GROUP also need to be sustainable in terms of their ecological and economic impact.


In other words, sustainability has a key role to play in the development of innovative services?

CB When we develop new products, we start by focusing on what the customers actually want. And, for many customers, sustainability is of major importance. By offering sustainable services, we’ll also be complying with the demands of the law. And I think it’s foreseeable that new political framework conditions will also have a sustainability component. And, last but not least, any innovation which doesn’t contribute to sustainability is worth less than one which does.


Innovation and digitalisation are drivers of the TÜV NORD GROUP’s sustainable development strategy. Which issues from this area are you currently looking at?

CB Virtual Reality training and remote ­audits have a particularly important role to play in sustainability. After all, these technologies are making a significant contribution to the reduction of our carbon footprint. At the same time, we’re increasing the value of the service to the customer.


Let’s take a look into the future now. Where is the service journey going to lead us?

CB Issues like Artificial Intelligence, Industry 4.0 and Virtual and Augmented Reality are increasingly going to impinge on our daily lives. At the same time, the demand for sustainable services is increasing. Meaning that we’re ideally set up for the next ten years.


The CR Roadmap formulates specific goals until 2020. What will be next for the Innovation Center?

CB The quest to be the first to do something never ends. So innovations are always going to be important. Although current issues like digitalisation will eventually be fully resolved, we’ll then be confronted with new challenges.


What are your personal goals as director of the Innovation Center?

CB If, in ten years’ time, I can see that more people are working for the TÜV NORD GROUP than is the case now and that we’re seizing our opportunities and identifying a lot of mistakes early on, then I will have achieved my goal. It would be ideal if our efforts to be sustainable were to be compatible with the wishes of the customers.



In conversation with
Carsten Becker
Head of Innovation Management
at TÜV NORD Systems

“Sustainability increases the (added) value of innovations.”


Management Approach, Topics and Control


We bear the responsibility for future-proofing the business of the TÜV NORD GROUP. This requires us to think in the long term and to know what impact our actions have: not just on our company and its employees, but also on society and the environment.


“Responsible Value Creation” is thus the key field of action in our CR strategy. It also serves as a foundation for all the others. This is because our goals are to ensure that our value creation is always responsible and sustainable and to avoid risks. Our business might adversely affect our reputation, along with society at large and the environment, if we were to maintain business relationships with entities lacking in integrity and to fail to make our products and services sustainable. It therefore follows that integrity and compliance, alongside sustainably designed and pioneering services, are of great importance when it comes to the prevention of risks. Because we take a holistic view of value creation in our company, we also include suppliers and service providers in our commitment. This amplifies the effects of our actions in the supply chain and with our customers.

In our “Responsible Value Creation” field of action, we accord particular significance to six thematic areas. The first five of these we have identified as essential. Another important topic is the “Integration on an equal footing of foreign companies”.

Value-oriented, sustainable corporate management

Our management culture is characterised by values, trust and responsibility. This culture calls for prudent and sustainable action throughout the whole company.

Responsibility in the value chain

The TÜV NORD GROUP has links with many industries. This allows us to promote sustainability across corporate boundaries. For instance, we require our suppliers to act sustainably.

Sustainable innovations and services

The future viability of our company will depend on the extent to which we design our product and service portfolio in accordance with important ecological, economic and social concerns and generate innovations that create value added for society at large.

Digital means and methods of value creation

The use of modern, digital means of value creation is highly relevant for us. If we want to ensure that our core business remains market­able in the future, then it is of existential importance for us to switch to digital business models and technologies.

Integrity and compliance

Integrity and compliance are essential conditions for the maintenance of trust in our brand and its perception as being safe, credible and reliable – today and in the future.

Integration on an equal footing of the foreign companies

The integration on an equal footing of the foreign subsidiaries of the TÜV NORD GROUP is an important factor in our success in the domestic and international environments.



“Responsible Value Creation” is at the heart of our Corporate Responsibility, and all other fields of action arise from it. It is for this reason that the general control and management approaches (see the chapter entitled “Management of Corporate Responsibility”) apply also to this topic. It is in the context of the above that the CR Principals, CR Strategy and CR Roadmap set the overall direction. The business units and Group companies are free to implement all the overarching CR objectives according to their actual priorities; the same also applies to the “Responsible Value Creation” field of action. The implementation must in all cases feed in to the overall objective.


We are committed to meeting the requirements of the Global Reporting Initiative and the German Sustainability Code (DNK). At the international level, we are aligned with the ILO Labour Standards, the UN Global Compact and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Companies.




Our goal


Value-oriented, sustainable corporate management

Our company is perceived by employees as acting sustainably and in accordance with values

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

Responsibility in the value chain

Sustainability criteria are integrated into the

procurement process

• Review of 100% of newly registered suppliers with technical and sales relevance

• Overall share of purchase volume with this supplier to be at least 25% in 2020

Sustainable innovations and services

Responsibility and sustainability are established as evaluation criteria for our innovations and services

• Start of the evaluation of innovations and services

Digital means and methods of value creation

In 2020, Digital Experts ensure digitalisation

knowledge is networked

• All business units have Digital Experts in 2018

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

Integration on an equal footing of the foreign companies

Foreign companies are integrated into the Group’s network and application landscape

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

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 above average for the sector in Germany in 2017. The intention for 2020 is to keep this high score of over 70%.


What does employer attractiveness mean for the TÜV NORD GROUP?

Triin Tint (TT) As a technical service provider, it’s particularly important for us to have suitable talents on board. This is the only way to be and remain competitive, ­especially in the era of digital transformation


Employee satisfaction is a barometer of whether an employer is attractive. What does this mean for recruiting?

TT What employees say or write about their employers has a greater effect than any planned and paid advertising campaign. That’s why employer rating platforms like KUNUNU, Glassdoor and the like are so important. On these sites you find em­ployees as brand ambassadors, and applicants look for authenticity when they’re looking for work.


How do you as an employer manage to be attractive?

TT If we’re going to stay attractive, we constantly need to work on ourselves. We need to know what expectations people have of us and how best to meet them. What makes us attractive, for instance, is our corporate culture: how managers and employees put our values into practice and what benefits we offer our employees. What distinguishes us is collegiality and trust. And the activities of the TÜV NORD GROUP are as diverse as our customers.


What are applicants particularly asking for these days?

TT In the critical talent segments in particular, they’re asking for flexible working hours and models. We have quite a lot to offer here. Employees get paid overtime or time off in lieu. And hardly any other employers offer as many training days as we do. But there are some working models like job sharing that the TÜV NORD GROUP doesn’t consider practical, for instance for auditors (in the IT field).


What is needed to further increase employer attractiveness?

TT We need to take the needs of our talents seriously, offer them advice on their career paths and always keep staff satisfaction in view. This much has become apparent from situations like the annual guidance interviews and staff surveys.


What do you yourself as an employee of the TÜV NORD GROUP appreciate about your employer?

TT I’ve been working for the TÜV NORD GROUP for more than eleven years and am still really enjoying it. I particularly ­appreciate the freedom I have and the confidence shown in my work. My superiors have ­always given me opportunities to develop. And I always find the range of activities in the TÜV NORD GROUP exciting. Impossible is nothing here, you might say. I’m particularly proud of the fact that our HR Board Member signed the diversity charter in December 2018 – this is a voluntary commitment to put even more effort into promoting diversity.




In conversation with
Triin Tint
Teamlead Employer
Branding & Sourcing
in the Talent Management Corporate Center, TÜV NORD AG

“We can only be competitive with a competent crew.”

Management Approach, Topics and Control


The employees of the TÜV NORD GROUP are the key to our long-term business success. They are the face of our Group to the customer; they carry out inspections and announce successful certifications; they develop new products and innovations – in short: they are the crew that will steer the ship of TÜV NORD GROUP into the future. Without their raw power, no helmsman would ever make it to shore.

This is why it’s so critical for us to bring on board and retain highly trained, reliable, forward-thinking, motivated, team-oriented and innovative employees for the TÜV NORD GROUP. If we are going to succeed in this, we as an employer need to both support and challenge our staff: in a healthy and appealing work environment and under conditions that motivate them and communicate our appreciation of them.


It’s for this reason that we are focusing on the following six topics in the “Staff Orientation” field of action. The first four of these we have identified as essential. Other important topics include an “Appropriate working environment” and “Diversity and inclusion”.


Attractive employer

We want our employees to be happy to work for us in the long term and to act responsibly. For this we offer attractive working conditions and a rich diversity of tasks and are supporting the emergence of new forms of work and a good work-life balance. By polishing our employer image to the outside world, we are drawing in new talents and have every chance of filling all our vacancies.

Value-oriented HR management

Good cooperation between everyone in the company is a key success factor for a smoothly functioning business. We are laying the foundations for this kind of cooperation with a values-based work environment that promotes fairness in our dealings with each other and independent action.

Appropriate working environment

We are designing the working environment for our employees to enable them to work efficiently, effectively and healthily.

Health and safety

We see occupational health and safety as important aspects of the integrated management system of the TÜV NORD GROUP; after all, healthy employees are a key precondition for value creation. ­Within the framework of our corporate health management scheme, we are designing a work environment that promotes both health and performance and, at the same time, enhances our attractiveness.

Individual development and promotion of employees

We support our employees individually, develop them in accordance with their strengths, interests and skills and get them ready for future challenges. In doing so, we are contributing to their satisfaction, ensuring their loyalty to our company and meeting the expectations that clients have of professional experts.

Diversity and inclusion

We use our social, ethnic and cultural diversity as a source of creativity and innovation.



How satisfied are our employees with the TÜV NORD GROUP as an employer? The employee engagement index in our employee survey provides us with an answer to this question. In 2017, this index was above average for the sector in Germany. We are proud of this, and our intention for 2020 is to maintain this high score of over 70%. It’s for this reason that we are not restricting ourselves to standalone measures but but are instead proceeding in a holistic fashion. We have developed a new, group-wide programme called HR4Business and revised our HR Strategy, taking into account the CR Strategy. Five focus projects are planned, starting in 2019.

In this way, we want to reset our sails and prepare our crew effectively for future challenges. For control purposes, we are build- ing on existing guidelines such as the Group Regulation “Personnel Development” and the Leadership Principles. Responsibility for issuing guidelines rests with TÜV NORD AG, whereas their implementation takes place in the decentralised HR divisions and the HR Shared Service unit. The Board of Management and the Group Executive Committee are the decision-making bodies, and the advisory committee consists of human resources managers. The effectiveness of the management approaches is evaluated within the framework of “Beruf und Familie” (“Work and Family”) certification as well as other HR audit programmes and the annual Group audit.




Our goal


Attractive employer

Reputational criteria for TÜV NORD as an employer are defined, systematically collected, analysed and evaluated

• Evaluation of reputational criteria at Group level by 2020

Health and safety

The Occupational Health Management (OHM) programme promotes the health and increases the satisfaction of our employees

• Basic requirements for OHM complied with by 2020

Value-oriented HR management

The Leadership Principles of the TÜV NORD GROUP are established and executive development programmes introduced to promote our culture of values

• Perception of management guidelines and culture of values is rated at least “good” in the 2020 employee survey

Individual development and promotion of employees

Flexible options for the professional development

of our employees are established

• Offers for flexible learning formats available by 2020

Appropriate working environment

The infrastructure provided and the working environment support innovative, creative and healthy work

• Analyses of the working environment for 80% of employees at German sites by 2020

Diversity and inclusion

Equality of opportunity is provided for all employees

• Indicators and target values defined in 2019

• Evaluation of goal attainment from 2020

Environmental Orientation

“Climate protection and the preservation of the natural basis 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 decarbonise as fully as possible by 2050.

In the face of climate change, many people associate the sustainability issue particularly with emissions and responsibility for the environment. How do you perceive this responsibility?

Tanja Klar (TK) Taking environmental responsibility is one of our values and part of our company’s development. As a service provider, we may not be a particularly big emitter, but there is nonetheless some potential for savings that we want to achieve in line with the threefold principle of avoid, reduce and offset.


And how are you implementing this principle?

TK Digitalisation is offering us some promising opportunities to connect electronically with our customers, partners and suppliers. As a result, we’re cutting down on journeys and saving valuable resources, not just in our area but throughout the whole TÜV NORD GROUP. Many colleagues are now avoiding business travel by using video conferencing in place of actual face-to-face meetings. With electronic workflows, we’re also saving paper, particularly in the HR field.


Is this already working across the board?

TK You can always make improvements. We management officers in the TÜV NORD GROUP in particular are holding intensive discussions to discover what’s working in the different business units with a view to introducing successful ideas into the other units too. Corporate Responsibility emerges from the personal responsibility of those involved. The more people are involved, the more responsibility we can take by making ongoing positive changes in our dealings with the environment. Environmental and energy seminars are part of the business of the TÜV NORD Akademie.


How can you ensure that the high standards are being adhered to not just by your customers but also by your staff?

TK We’re telling our employees about the measures and also gathering up their ideas. Environmental protection is a high priority for us and is addressed regularly in meetings. Good examples include the climate-neutral production of our printed products and the shipping of our conference documents in the context of the GoGreen environmental protection programme. How environmentally friendly the TÜV NORD GROUP is as a whole and what we can improve is shown by our environment management system, which is evaluated and certified on our behalf by a neutral third party. The more you identify with an issue, the more credible it is for you to be seen to represent it.


What drives you personally in your commitment to environmental protection?

TK Changes to the climate of our Earth won’t be reversible. I want our contribution to be an example for other companies too. When I watch my kids play, I feel really strongly that their children and grandchildren should also have the chance to grow up in a natural environment that’s worth living in. In the TÜV NORD GROUP, we speak in terms of the “suitability for our grandchildren” of our sustainability strategy. I think that’s a very fitting term. To preserve the natural world, we all need to contribute, and there’s no time to waste. I talk to a lot of colleagues who are committed to environmental causes. A major concern for me is for us to work together to effectively implement their ideas for our Group.


In conversation with

Tanja Klar

Management systems officer

at the TÜV NORD Akademie

“Our sustainability strategy must work for our grandchildren.”

Management Approach, Topics and Control


Our daily aspiration and the aim of our work is to guarantee technical safety and reduce risks to people and the environment to the absolute minimum – and this goes for real estate, vehicles and industrial plant alike. We also apply the high standard of our audits and inspections to ourselves. We want to reduce to a minimum the negative impact that our business activities have on the environment. After all, although we neither operate production lines nor trade in goods around the world, our business still uses resources – especially energy. Which is why we are already using renewable energy and working with an environmental management system which is certified in accordance with ISO 14001.

We aim in the future to further reduce our energy consumption and increase our resource and energy efficiency. It’s for this reason that we scrutinise the environmental impact of our business activities very closely and also take the expectations of our stakeholders into account in the process. Our carbon footprint, which provides information on the carbon dioxide emissions we produce, is an essential indicator of the status quo. Our declared objective, which is also consistent with the expectations of our stakeholders, is to significantly reduce this carbon footprint from the 2018 baseline by 2050. This because CO₂ is having a significant impact on global warming and will in the long term destroy our ecological balance.

We have identified “eco-friendly travel patterns” as an effective lever to reduce the environmental impact of our business and recognise this as an essential topic. We also attach a high priority to our use of resources and energy efficiency in our buildings.


Eco-friendly travel patterns

Today Kassel, tomorrow Copenhagen: TÜV NORD GROUP employees travel a lot because audits and inspections mainly take place at customer premises, in no small part due to statutory regulations. To reduce the environmental impact of our travel, we are relying, on the one hand, on the digitalisation of processes. On the other, innovative solutions will allow us to avoid unnecessary journeys. Where travel is necessary, we are working to make our travel patterns more climate-friendly.

Resource economy and efficiency

Where and to what extent we conserve resources is influenced by both procurement procedures and the use of environmentally- friendly technologies. Which is why we have added sustainability criteria to our purchasing policy and developed innovative technologies.

Energy efficiency in buildings

We are constantly working to make our real estate more energy- efficient, for instance through the purchase of carbon-neutral electricity, as a way of contributing to climate protection.


The TÜV NORD GROUP is voluntarily committed to the 2-degree climate target and aspires to the most comprehensive decarbonisation possible by 2050. To achieve this goal, we are following the principle of avoid, reduce, offset. Wherever possible, we are implementing measures for the complete avoidance of greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, we are striving to reduce our CO₂ emissions. In this respect, digitalisation is opening up new opportunities. Only when the best possible balancing of ecological and commercial aspects means that emissions cannot be avoided or reduced do we then turn as an alternative to offsetting.

The overarching management system of the TÜV NORD GROUP includes sustainability management plus elements and objectives of environmental protection. The Group Executive Committee bears responsibility for this management system, which is controlled centrally. In the subsidiaries, the respective general managers are responsible for the implementation of the fundamental principles stipulated by the Group.

The Board of Management has appointed a management represen­tative for the substantive design and coordination of all superordinate quality-, environment- and energy-efficiency-related measures. At the individual company level, the general manager in turn appoints a management representative for the exercise of these functions.

The status of “corporate environmental conservation and the environmental performance of the organisation” is presented in the annual management review of TÜV NORD AG. This includes reports on both Group-wide results and the activities of the indi­vidual companies.




Our goal


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 recorded across the entire Group from 2020

Resource economy and efficiency

A process for the recording and evaluation of

performance in respect of resource economy and efficiency is established for the entire Group

• Material and energy consumption are recorded from 2019

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 is 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 pursued from 2021

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.


You work with “Ingenieure ohne Grenzen e.V.” (Engineers without Borders). What does this charity do?

Simon Piotrowski (SP) “Engineers without Borders” has been collaborating in international development projects since 2003, taking care of basic services infrastructure in crisis areas. We solve acute problems in the water, sanitation and energy supply fields and in hygiene and bridge building.


The TÜV NORD GROUP encourages specific voluntary social commitment initiatives on the part of its employees. How is it supporting your work with “Engineers without Borders”?

SP The TÜV NORD GROUP is helping us first and foremost to fund the projects. In both 2017 and 2018, the company donated €10,000 to a project that I am personally supporting. In 2018, I was also given two days’ special leave for my journey to the project site in Uganda.


What do the donations mean for the project work?

SP Donations are essential for the projects that we carry out in “Engineers without Borders”. Project volumes typically run to several tens of thousands of euros. Without donations it would be impossible for us to offer help.


Where have you helped out most recently?

SP We took on the task of improving food hygiene in a school in Uganda. We built a dining room and a more efficient kitchen. ­Before that, we built two 60-cubic-metre cisterns from what are known as ISSB bricks to supply the school with water. These bricks are not fired but compressed. This saves firewood, thereby conserving resources.


Are there any follow-up projects?

SP We’re currently planning a follow-up project at a neighbouring school with the aim of improving its water supply and sanitation.


Does your work at TÜV NORD have a bearing on your project work at the school in Uganda?

SP The project doesn’t have much to do with my actual work at TÜV NORD. The special challenge of this kind of project lies in intercultural communication and the use of adapted technologies. After all, it’s important for the measures to continue after completion of the project. The local partners need to be able to resolve potential problems, such as repairs, on their own.


What motivates you to get involved in such projects?

SP I started looking for a meaningful way to contribute my engineering knowledge as soon as I left college. Which is one of the reasons why I work at TÜV NORD. In the “Engineers without Borders” projects, it’s possible to make a difference with relatively modest means. This is also a great incentive to work for them. I’m already involved in planning new projects.


In conversation with

Simon Piotrowski

Member of staff at

TÜV NORD Systems

“I want to contribute my engineering knowledge in a meaningful way.”

Management Approach, Topics and Control


Whether we’re involved in mobility, energy or health, in all our business segments, we have one clear aim: we want to make life safer and more secure and develop technological solutions for the important global topics of the future. We use our services and pro- ducts accordingly to generate added value for our customers and society. Outside the immediate bounds of our own work, we’re working on security-related topics in various bodies and promoting future-oriented developments, including innovative IT security methods and climate-friendly transport concepts. We see security as a key prerequisite for sustainable development in our society.

So it follows that we relate “Societal orientation” to our work and the opportunities that arise from ensuring that it takes responsible forms: for our company, society and the environment. With the targeted management of sustainability topics in our company, we can identify possible undesirable developments and proactively address them. We’re demonstrating our commitment outside the company by supporting the voluntary work done by our employees.

In the “Societal orientation” field of action, we’re looking especially at four topics. We’ve identified our “Societal role in accordance with our vision and mission” as a key theme. This is also associated with three other important topics.


Societal role in accordance with our vision and mission

In our vision and mission, we formulate our role in society and the aspiration that guides our actions. In this way, we’re having a positive impact on the activities in our company and generating a direct or indirect effect on our environment. We’re developing solutions in line with the state of the art and contributing our expertise to public discussions in committees and projects.

Involvement of stakeholders beyond the value chain

What is the societal effect of our service portfolio? And what do we need to develop further? We’re getting answers to these questions through the feedback from our stakeholders.

Targeted social engagement consistent with our value creation

The TÜV NORD GROUP encourages social engagement which has a direct bearing on its value creation and / or plays an active role in those local and regional communities where it or its employees are present. In doing so we act in accordance with the binding specifications laid down in our Group Regulation “Donation and Sponsoring within TÜV NORD GROUP”.

Respect for human rights

The TÜV NORD GROUP respects human rights and is committed to the voluntary implementation of important policies, including the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the sustain- able Development Goals and the German CSR Directive Implemen­tation Act. We are also committed to the structured exploration of this subject within the company and in relation to our business partners.



We want to avoid risks and exploit opportunities. To this end, we are systematically focusing on the societal impact of our business decisions. In our actions, we adhere to our vision and mission.

All business units and subsidiaries are contributing to the achievement of the Group-wide objectives in the “Social Orientation” field. They are acting within the framework of the integrated management system and following the overarching CR control instruments (see the chapter entitled  “Management of Corporate Responsibility”). We’re working in all our business units and subsidiaries to ensure that our innovations support the sustainable development of society.

Our guide on this journey is the Roadmap 2020, in which we have set the following objectives for the “Social Orientation” action field:




Our goal


Societal role in accordance with our vision

and mission

Corporate responsibility is part of the Group strategy and serves as a guide for the strategies of the business units

• As of 2020, the CR Strategy is a solidly integrated component of the Group’s strategy and the strategies of the business units and functional areas

Involvement of stakeholders beyond the value chain

The involvement of stakeholders beyond the value chain has taken place and the knowledge gained

in the management of Corporate Responsibility has been taken into account

• Initial dialogue with relevant representatives of external stakeholder groups in 2019

• Systematic procedures for dealing with external stakeholders by 2020

Targeted social engagement consistent with

our value creation

The donations and sponsorship projects in the Group are systematically recorded. The engagement takes place in accordance with our value creation or in association with local or regional projects

• By 2020, the total commitment of the Group and its companies is centrally recorded, and 80% of the volume is consistent with the 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 for Human Rights of the German government

• As of 2020, risk analyses and resulting measures are carried out on a continuous basis and the resulting measures implemented