With the implementation of our environmental management system in 2012, which was certified according to DIN EN ISO 14001, we put in place standard processes for dealing with environmental protection and we specified concrete measures in our environmental programme. The certification of our environmental management system according to the revised standard DIN EN ISO 14001:2015 passed off successfully in December 2016. In order to meet the statutory requirement to conduct energy audits, we published a validated EMAS III Environmental Statement for the first time in 2016.
The focus of our efforts to conserve the environment is on reducing CO2 emissions associated with the supply of electricity and heat to our premises as well as those caused by our business travel. We achieved our goal of operating on a carbon-neutral basis at our Hannover location to a level of 100% in the year under review. The changeover to renewable energy since 2012 and the offsetting of greenhouse gas emissions resulting from our air travel through the climate protection organisation atmosfair were key factors in this achievement. We offset the remaining 3 % of the CO2 emissions, deriving from the use of district heating and from paper consumption, by purchasing climate certificates for the moorland project of Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND – Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland) as well as by supporting a hydroelectric plant in Honduras and biomass plant in India. Having already converted our power supply at the Hannover location to renewables, we now want to extend this progressively to our international offices as well. In addition, we make every effort to ensure the economical and resource-saving use of materials and raw materials such as paper and water at our offices. We record central consumption and emissions data for our Home Office in Hannover.
Furthermore, we are engaged in a number of environmental conservation projects, including for example the local initiative "Climate Alliance Hannover 2020" and the "Extreme Events and Climate Risks" working group of the Geneva Association, and we also participate in the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP).