Environmental protection and resource efficiency play a major role in the context of our sustainability strategy – and they actually do so in two respects. With an internal focus, we work intensively to identify ways to minimize the negative impact of our operations and maximize the efficiency of our corresponding management processes.
By organizing our consumption of energy and resources more efficiently, we are not only helping to protect the environment, but also making the Group more efficient, and therefore more profitable. This is particularly clearly expressed in the following concrete objectives:
Both across the Group and at the local level, we are implementing a large number of measures and projects designed to enable us to improve our energy efficiency and cut our greenhouse gas emissions.
With an external focus – and with disproportionately greater »leverage« – we apply our extensive technological knowledge in a close dialog with partners all over the world from the domains of science, politics, civil society, and industry to help
that minimize adverse effects on the environment, or offer an approach to make them more manageable.
Our activities in the area of environmental protection as well as occupational health and safety are controlled and managed within our HSE (health, safety and environment) management system. The HSE management system is an essential component for the integration of a Group-wide steering of occupational health and safety and environmental protection. An HSE guideline establishes a common basis of understanding throughout the entire organization and sets uniform worldwide standards for handling occupational health and safety and environmental protection issues. An HSE manager network consisting of regional and German Operations representatives is entrusted with the Group-wide implementation. We expect that the continued harmonization of our quality management systems will facilitate collaboration across national borders, thereby resulting in significantly greater process efficiency.
To achieve our environmental goals we have identified a set of measures. They focus primarily on
Especially at the site of our headquarters in Cologne, the TÜV Rheinland Business Park, several major projects implemented in recent years have already enabled us to achieve considerable improvements in the energy efficiency of our buildings.
In March 2015, after a construction period of about 18 months, the so-called »Seehaus« – an eight-story office building designed according to the latest sustainable construction methods – came to life on the grounds of the TÜV Rheinland Business Park in Cologne. Some 520 TÜV Rheinland employees will find a new home here over about 11,000 square meters of floor space – canteen, child-care facilities and green vista included. With its »Platinum« certificate – the highest classification awarded by the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB) – the building features, among other things, a highly effective outer shell with triple glazing and a roof with extensive greening, which provides additional thermal insulation, as well. The interior also houses state-of-the-art technology: All overhead lighting is generated by LEDs with presence detectors and daylight sensors, for example, and an »energy floor« provides comfortable working temperatures all year round. Energy, heating and cooling are supplied by the TÜV Rheinland Business Park power station, which is also brand new. Without sacrificing comfort in the slightest, the Seehaus’ primary energy consumption is a full 20% below the maximum allowable limit required by the German Energy Savings Ordinance (EnEV).
In parallel to the construction of the new Seehaus, we built a new, efficient power station: Starting from April 2015, it has supplied electricity, cooling and heating to all of the buildings in the TÜV Rheinland Business Park and allowed us to remove several outdated, uneconomical systems from individual buildings. About half of the required heat energy will be covered by the combined heat and power unit and pellet-fired boilers. The waste heat from the power plant will be used, in turn, to generate absorption cooling. We expect our power station to reduce the consumption of primary energy and emissions at the site by around one third.
Within the framework of a worldwide employee survey in 2011 it became clear that our employees were very interested in ride-sharing schemes. We immediately responded and initiated the intranet-based “Roadshare Community” – a ride-sharing exchange – which is available to all of our employees worldwide. They can use it to look for ride shares, place offers and requests for rides, and network with no hassle at all.
A key area of our activities is to raise our employees’ awareness on the environmental impact of their work and to convey practical suggestions that conserve resources while carrying out their daily duties. As such, from 2013 on, we have participated in the »German Sustainability Awareness Week« launched by the Council for Sustainable Development, now part of the "European Sustainable Development Week. Posters ensured that the issue was present everywhere and our intranet »blueye« provided valuable background information on topics such as resource conservation, “Sustainable Lifestyle” and sustainable behavior in the work environment. The clear message: Everyone can make a contribution, and as a general rule, it’s even easier than you might think.
Resource conservation is an important topic, not only in Germany but Group-wide. The promotion of ecological interests can even be fun, as our colleagues in the region Greater China have proven with the creation of the »Less Printing Challenge«. Working in teams, they challenged each other to apply less wasteful printing practices. The winning team earned special recognition from the management.
Concerning our objective to reduce emissions by 25 % relative to the baseline year 2010, we are on the right track. So far we have achieved a 22% reduction versus 2010.
It is clear that our continuous efforts to reduce energy consumption per employee are bearing fruit. A comparison with the base year 2010 shows that we have already saved 23 %.