Jenny Bofinger-Schuster has been with Siemens for over 12 years, loves the challenge of evolving the company’s sustainability culture and inspiring almost 300,000 employees to keep reaching new environmental milestones.
She spent several years honing her skills at Siemens as a successful management consultant, becoming a respected problem solver and also a company luminary; understanding the history of the organisation and appreciating what is required to lead it in the future.
Sustainability has been a natural step for Jenny. Undeterred by the enormity of the challenge, she has been proud to witness the absorbing of new environmentally responsible cultures at a company that already had a bedrock of green credentials. Curiously, however, Jenny recognises that her own professional existence and her place in the Siemens ecosystem is complex.
“Success is the moment when my role is not needed anymore,” says Jenny. “That means: When sustainability is anchored in every function, in every area of responsibility that it is just natural. I think that's what I really envision for us as a company. We are getting there, too – our people are really activated and I see sustainability happening everywhere. We are such a large company and we can use our power to make a positive impact on the world.”
One of the achievements of Jenny and her team is the incorporating of ‘DEGREE’ – a sustainability framework which goes straight to the heart of the company’s philosophy. “We are really positive about this unique framework, as it takes a very holistic view of our wider sustainability goals,” observes Jenny.
The title DEGREE is not taken lightly and it references several motivating factors, as Jenny explains: “We called it DEGREE because when we speak about sustainability, it's absolutely crucial that we take a 360-degree perspective and consider the impact that all our stakeholders can have. It also homes in on that vital 1.5°C degree target, which should always be at the forefront of everything we do.”
“DEGREE refers to the level of ambition we need to succeed in the area of sustainability and that we must always be aiming for a higher ‘degree’ of action,” she adds
The individual letters of DEGREE stand for each of the six focus areas that define Siemens’ sustainability agenda. ‘D’ for decarbonisation, ‘E’ for ethics – fostering a culture of trust and secure handling of data. ‘G’ for governance – ensuring the correct governance is in place. ‘R’ for resource efficiency – striving for more circular business models to save resources and ‘E’ for equity – fostering a culture of diversity and inclusivity.
The second ‘E’ stands for employability, which is Siemens’ way of truly acknowledging the fast and changing world in which we live, while also ensuring that its people stay resilient and relevant.
As a strategy expert, Jenny believes that climate change should be approached like any other significant risk to the company and to humanity and she believes passionately in immediate action.
Consequently, this approach has been at the heart of Siemens wider activities, as Jenny and her intrepid team seek to weave sustainability and eco-awareness into all company operations.
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