Although the environmental impacts of our company are comparatively slight, we take our responsibility for the environmental very seriously and in our Sustainability Strategy we regularly define concrete targets and measures for protecting the environment and conserving resources. The focus of our efforts is on reducing CO2 emissions resulting from the supply of electricity and heat to our premises and from our business travel.
In 2015 we successfully converted our environmental management system to the revised international standard DIN EN ISO 14001:2015. In 2016 an independent environmental verifier validated our environmental management system for the first time in accordance with the more comprehensive EMAS III Regulation.
In the year under review we continued to follow through on the measures to reduce our energy consumption. We reached the goal of carbon neutrality for our Hannover location as defined in the Sustainability Strategy 2015 – 2017 to a level of 100%. Among other things, the changeover to renewable energy in 2012 as well as the offsetting of greenhouse gas emissions caused by air travel, district heating and paper consumption were key factors in this achievement. We track the consumption of resources in Hannover – above all water and paper – on a regular basis and are constantly seeking to reduce it. We monitor our waste disposal according to the type and quantity of waste. We actively support local and international environmental protection initiatives.
In the area of procurement we pay close attention to our suppliers' compliance with environmental and social standards. All new and existing core suppliers are required to sign our Code of Conduct for Suppliers. Based on self-reporting and using an application-supported process, we also evaluate our suppliers according to to sustainability criteria. Suppliers who are assessed critically in an Environmental, Social and Governance risk category (ESG risk category) are assigned to the blacklist. No further orders are placed with such suppliers.
Our commitment to society has a long tradition. We have been active as a sponsor of culture and social projects for several decades. Our activities extend beyond our Hannover location to encompass our subsidiaries and branches with their specific projects targeting social concerns in their own country. Content-wise, we currently concentrate our non-profit activities on the areas of research, learning, art and music as well as on assisting our employees with their voluntary contributions to society.