Our CO2 emissions in Hannover in the year under review amounted to 9,023 tonnes, an increase of 5.2% year-on-year. The measured emissions are indirect CO2 emissions attributable to the purchase of energy or business trips. The calculation is based on the consumption figures for electricity, district heating and paper as well as our business travel.
The rise in our CO2 emissions in the year under review is due to the increased distance travelled on business trips associated in some instances with the need to cultivate closer customer contacts. Such trips often cannot be replaced with videoconferences and are therefore subject to considerable fluctuations. Since 2012, however, videoconferences have largely replaced travel motivated by internal reasons, i.e. between different locations of our Group.
Business travel accounts for around 97.1% of our total emissions. Since 2007 we have therefore worked together with the climate protection organisation atmosfair to calculate, control and offset them. The CO2 emissions caused by business travel rose in the year under review to 8,756 tonnes (previous year: 8,306 tonnes).
Due to the increase in the basis for calculating CO2 emissions for paper production, CO2 emissions rose despite the savings to 9.2 tonnes (8.8 tonnes CO2 in 2015).
By the 2016 financial year we had already achieved our goal of operating the Hannover location on a carbon-neutral basis to a level of 100% by taking various concrete steps. Since 2012 we have obtained our electricity from renewable sources and we are planning to purchase green electricity progressively worldwide. Since 2016 we have offset our CO2 emissions virtually entirely in cooperation with atmosfair and to a limited extent through the moorland rewetting project of Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND – Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland).
Paper-intensive publications such as our Group Annual Report, brochures and documents for the Annual General Meeting are printed on a carbon-neutral basis. Other publications such as this Sustainability Report, for example, are made available to our stakeholders only in paperless form or as an HTML version. We have committed ourselves to this approach in our internal Corporate Design Manual.
In addition, it remains our firm intention to making greater use of videoconferences and, where possible, we replace business trips – especially between different locations of our Group – with videoconferences.