Company Environmental Protection

Objectives, Measures and Indicators

In our operating business we have different levers to reduce our impact on the environment, e.g., using environmentally friendly office materials and equipment, and digitalizing processes. In this regard, we work with AfB gemeinnützige GmbH to consciously dispose of our end-of-life IT hardware. AfB takes our IT hardware and, if possible, refurbishes it for resale in compliance with data protection regulations. Any devices that cannot be refurbished are recycled in the correct manner. Reusing devices cuts emissions and the consumption of metals and energy, because new IT devices do not have to be made. In 2018, we were able to provide 141 devices for reuse, and regain valuable raw materials by recycling 394 devices. This saved a total of 4,822 kg of CO2e. 301-1, 301-2

With the introduction of digital tenant files and the overall reduction in paper printouts, we have been able to reduce our paper consumption considerably. We are also increasingly handling jobs with our subcontractors through our digital service portal. 302-4

The respective organizational units are responsible for saving energy and conserving resources at all sites; there are currently no mandatory Group rules in place that cover this. The company’s intranet is used to communicate general measures, such as turning off lights and monitors, along with departmental training.

Sustainably Built Corporate Headquarters 302-4

We moved into our new corporate headquarters in Bochum in the summer of 2018. The building has been awarded gold standard status by the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB). It fulfils the requirements of the following five main criteria:

  • Ecological quality
  • Economical quality
  • Sociocultural and functional quality
  • Technical quality
  • Process quality

Examples include:

  • The selection of a site with links to public transport
  • The availability of bicycle stands and electric charging stations
  • Barrier-free approach
  • Upholding sustainable building criteria (incl. insulation, use of natural daylight)
  • Erection of a photovoltaic plant on the roof
  • Use of low-emission construction materials
  • Construction of a building that is repurposable and has a long useful life
  • Measures to reduce ancillary expenses, such as the use of low-maintenance constructions and equipment

The building’s electricity requirements were completely met using certified renewable energy sources (hydropower plant) in 2018.

We also stopped the use of disposable coffee-making equipment for employees and introduced centralized printer systems. Another important step was the introduction of water filter systems in all office kitchens. The systems, which are built directly into the faucets, cool and carbonate tap water so that it is not necessary to buy bottled water. This has considerably reduced the number of plastic and glass bottles that we use.

We are also looking into changing our printing paper to recycled paper in order to optimize our resource consumption in this area, too.

Energy Audit

We will conduct a Group-wide energy audit in 2019. This will require reliable data concerning all work locations and how these locations are used as well as all associated consumption. The centralization of payment management for rental and ancillary expenses for rented work locations that we use (currently around 120) has already had a positive impact on the data. In the second half of 2019, we intend to use a location database for all of our work locations, improving the quality of the data available for the upcoming energy audit. Preparation talks are already underway with an external service provider in order to coordinate the necessary processes as early as possible and secure the processing capacities.