Before a product is made, we have already planned for its disposal. Designing components that can be reused or recycled is central to everything we do. Wherever possible, we use the minimum number of different materials and avoid compounds that are difficult to separate.
Our anti-lock brake system (ABS) was heralded as a breakthrough in passenger safety. It was also a breakthrough in safe environmental design. The hydraulic unit contains valuable aluminium, so we made sure it could easily be removed for recycling. The control unit and pump motor can also be dismantled within 15 seconds and can be reused separately.
We also have our own, highly sophisticated, recycling programme. Starter motors and alternators contain a substantial amount of aluminium, iron and copper. So, at the end of their life, they are not dumped in a landfill, instead we take them to one of our special reconditioning facilities.
All components that are suitable for reconditioning are dismantled, thoroughly cleaned and checked. Worn parts are replaced and then these components are assembled to the same strict standards that we apply to new products - leaving the plant with the 100% performance and function guarantee you would expect of a new Bosch product. By reusing valuable raw materials in this way, we have made annual savings to the equivalent of: 1,800 tonnes of iron and steel, 450 tonnes of aluminium and nearly 100 tonnes of plastics.
We have also made significant advances in the recycling of modern control units. The new micro-hybrid technology for control units simplifies recycling and the miniaturisation associated with this technology has significantly reduced the volume of waste. From the materials and design, to packaging and recycling, we try to do everything possible to protect the environment for future generations to enjoy.