Corporate Responsibility - Sustainability and Compliance

"We want to be the world's best sustainable and independent provider of technical services for testing, inspection, certification, consulting, and training." Our mission statement documents both our claim and philosophy. Sustainability is a core topic for us and determines our actions. We work profit-oriented with respect to our social and environmental responsibility. We truly believe companies will only be successful in the long term if they incorporate sustainability in their philosophy and in the way they manage their business.

What do we understand by corporate responsibility? To us, it means responding to our customers’ future needs and contributing to their success with the services we offer. We help our clients make their products and processes more efficient and more sustainable. You could also say: Fit for the future. On the other hand, we face the responsibility we have as a company for people, society, and the environment. We are committed to making a contribution to a future that meets both human and environmental needs on a sustainable basis.

In this context, our compliance management system forms the foundation of our corporate sustainability. Compliance - the adherence to applicable laws and internal regulations is of paramount importance for a testing and certification body. Our most important asset is therefore the trust our customers invest in the quality and integrity of our services.

Those topics that are seen as specially relevant for the future viability of TÜV Rheinland from our internal as well as from our stakeholder perspective are the foundation of our sustainability strategy.

We have defined key areas of activity in the following five dimensions:

We act with integrity.

To TÜV Rheinland, compliance means operating and working in accordance with the respective legal frameworks, internal rules and voluntary commitments. For a certification body like TÜV Rheinland compliance is of paramount importance. Customers and the public invest great trust in the quality of our services, independence, and integrity.

Our daily operations are guided by the values laid down in our mission statement: competence, reliability, incorruptibility, independence and openness. By means of our Compliance Management System we ensure the Group-wide implementation and monitoring of our compliance understanding.

We are reliable.

We can honestly say that inspecting the effects of products and services on health, safety, and the environment is our core area of expertise. In some of the testing services offered by TÜV Rheinland, we have more than a century of experience. This has allowed us to perfect these services when it comes to adhering to standards to protect health and safety.

As a significant multiplier, we consequently use our services to provide support to our customers throughout the world, helping to make their products and processes more efficient, more sustainable, and thereby ultimately more viable for the future – thus we become their valuable partner.

Sustainability Services

Within the framework of “Green Products” TÜV Rheinland inspects products with regards to energy efficiency and guides companies in a resource conserving and economical direction. Beside the inspection and participation in the development of energy efficient products, TÜV Rheinland also offers a variety of services in the areas of renewable energies, energy efficient and sustainable real estate, sustainability testing, environmental certifications and sustainable traffic.

We value our employees.

With our sustainable human resources management, we are securing and reinforcing the most important success factor of all: the motivation and health of our employees. Our work in this context focuses on two fields of activity derived from our sustainability strategy:

  • Diversity
  • Occupational health and safety

The first of those areas also reflects, in no small measure, two basic goals of our sustainability strategy: increasing the international setup of our management ranks and raising the share of female managers.

Our specific goals for 2020 are:

  • An increase of the proportion of international managers to 20 %, and
  • A rise in the share of female managers to 15 % Group-wide.

We act consciously.

Environmental protection and resource efficiency play a major role in the context of our sustainability strategy – and they actually do so in two respects. With an internal focus, we work intensively to identify ways to minimize the negative impact of our operations and maximize the efficiency of our corresponding management processes.

By organizing our consumption of energy and resources more efficiently, we are not only helping to protect the environment, but also making the Group more efficient, and therefore more profitable. This is particularly clearly expressed in the following concrete objectives:

  • By 2020, we aim to reduce our CO2 emissions per employee across the Group by 25 % relative to 2010.
  • We also want the energy consumption per employee to be 20 % below the 2010 level by 2020.

Both across the Group and at the local level, we are implementing a large number of measures and projects designed to enable us to improve our energy efficiency and cut our greenhouse gas emissions.

With an external focus – and with disproportionately greater »leverage« – we apply our extensive technological knowledge in a close dialog with partners all over the world from the domains of science, politics, civil society, and industry to help develop solutions that minimize adverse effects on the environment, or offer an approach to make them more manageable.

HSE Management

Our activities in the area of environmental protection as well as occupational health and safety are controlled and managed within our HSE (health, safety and environment) management system. The HSE management system is an essential component for the integration of a Group-wide steering of occupational health and safety and environmental protection. An HSE guideline establishes a common basis of understanding throughout the entire organization and sets uniform worldwide standards for handling occupational health and safety and environmental protection issues. An HSE manager network consisting of regional and German Operations representatives is entrusted with the Group-wide implementation. We expect that the continued harmonization of our quality management systems will facilitate collaboration across national borders, thereby resulting in significantly greater process efficiency.


To achieve our environmental goals we have identified a set of measures. They focus primarily on

  • using more efficient energy technology to serve our buildings,
  • reducing the number of business trips through increased use of video conference technology,
  • reducing fuel consumption and emissions through the use of more fuel-efficient company cars, and
  • using state-of-the-art technologies to operate our data centers, test labs, and facilities.

We give back.

There are many aspects in which we, as a company, benefit from social services and circumstances: state-sponsored educational institutions provide some extremely well-trained and talented young professionals, in many places our activities can rely on well-developed infrastructure, and policymakers and the judicial system maintain reliable conditions for the sustainable development of our business.

Mindful of this, it is only natural that we give something back to society through our own commitments. When selecting activities to pursue, we follow clear criteria: A project must be a good match – i.e. it must embody the values we represent, be closely linked to our business activities, or be established in our locations’ local environment or markets.

Our strategic focus is on projects and activities which

  • advance education and science,
  • protect people and the environment, or
  • support the principles of the UN Global Compact.

We usually cooperate with charitable organizations and in doing so concentrate the strengths of several partners. Due to the similar field, we have a close relationship with the organization Engineers Without Borders, which we have supported financially for many years. This organization plans its own technical aid projects and carries them out locally, and supports other aid organizations and those in need by providing knowledge to overcome problems of an engineering nature. They also conduct research and explanatory work in the field of sustainable technological development.

Voluntary Commitment

As a corporate citizen, we also feel a responsibility to contribute to our local community. Thus, we help and support our employees volunteer in social and environmental projects.

The Cologne Volunteer Days have been a fixture in the calendar of our headquarters for many years. With this activity, employees donate one day of their work to a social project closely linked with the company's business. There’s a wide range of projects: From shared projects with persons with disabilities to the beautification and care of a park. In other TÜV Rheinland Group locations, volunteer days are also de rigueur for our corporate responsibility.

On top of that, in 2009, we started an interactive online platform on our corporate intranet for employees who want to volunteer time and skills. Here, they can share their project experiences with like-minded people, present new projects, or simply find inspiration for their own volunteer work. Concerts for the community, child sponsorships in a variety of countries, actions against forced prostitution – on the interactive volunteer platform volunteers can exchange experiences and people interested in volunteering can find inspiration and contacts.

Charitable projects worldwide

TÜV Rheinland's commitment to responsible action is also reflected in our social involvement. This commitment is palpable in the many initiatives and projects we run in the company's individual locations. With company-wide fundraisers, we support affected disaster areas and take on long-term sponsorships in emerging markets.