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Environmental responsibility

As a financial services provider, i.e. a non-manufacturing business, our ecological footprint is largely shaped by office operations such as facility management, materials usage, information technology and business-related travel. Within the scope of our sustainability project we are currently evaluating what we can do in the future to help protect the global climate even more, and how we can get involved in environmental projects that align with our business strategy. The results, measures and indicators stemming from these evaluations will be taken into account as part of our sustainability programme.

Infographic on DVB Bank's environmental activities in 2016
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Managing resources

In 2015, DVB started recording electricity, heat, paper and water consumption figures at all of its locations. The data collected will be used to assess the efficiency of initiatives launched to promote the sustainable use of resources. As all office space is rented, the previous year's data is largely based on the annual statement of consumption. As such statements were not yet available for 2016, the data provided for that year (as of 31 December) is based on extrapolations.

DVB’s electricity and heat consumption declined slightly, from 2,836,675 kWh in the previous year to 2,803,897 kWh during the year under review (down 1.2%) – despite higher staffing levels and the deployment of numerous external advisors for regulatory projects. Accordingly, energy consumption per employee was down 3.5%, to 4,493.4 kWh (previous year: 4,657.9 kWh). So far, 2.5% of the electricity we use comes from renewable sources.

Electricity and heat consumption

Kilowatt hours (kWh) 2016 2015 %
Total electricity and heat consumption
2,803,897.0 2,836,675.0
–1.2
thereof from renewable sources 2.5%
2.9% –0.4 pp
Electricity and heat consumption
per employee

4,493.4

4,657.9

–3.5

 

Total electricity and heat consumption (kWh)

2016 2,803,897.0
2015 2,836,675.0
%
–1.2
thereof from renewable sources (kWh)
2016 2.5%
2015 2.9%
pp 
–0.4
Electricity and heat consumption per employee (kWh)
2016

4,493.4

2015

4,657.9

%
–3.5 

The above-mentioned figures include the electricity consumption of our data centres. In the interest of business operations running smoothly and securely, DVB has been increasing the number of virtual servers since 2006. Today, up to 90% of our servers are hosted using virtual machines. Most of the remaining hardware is run in two state-of-the-art and energy-efficient data centres in Germany.

This year’s energy audit yielded additional insights for us – regarding our energy consumption and the establishment of an efficient management of resources. The audit is conducted every four years, in accordance with the amended German Energy Services Act (EDL-G), and was first undertaken at the end of 2015/beginning of 2016 at our Frankfurt premises. It yielded the total consumption of electricity, heat and fuel, as well as relevant metrics. Both in terms of electricity consumption per employee and heat consumption per employee, DVB did very well in comparison with its German peers. The auditors recognised electricity saving potential that could be realised e.g. by replacing conventional fluorescent tubes with energy-efficient LEDs, and by installing movement-sensitive lighting in technical areas, tea kitchens, showers and restrooms. In addition, DVB could make a further 15% saving of electricity by raising awareness amongst employees, according to the opinion. We will follow up on these suggestions in the coming years, and work on creating an energy-saving culture.

Thanks to newly-established IT systems and structures, we markedly lowered our printer and copier paper consumption during the year under review, by 11.6% to 16,186 kg. In consequence, individual consumption of paper declined from 30.1 kg to 25.9 kg. At our offices in Frankfurt/Main, Hamburg, Amsterdam, Athens and New York, we largely use FSC-certified paper. This results in approximately 50% of the paper we use coming from sustainably managed forests.

Paper consumption

Kilogrammes (kg) 2016 2015 %
Printer and copier paper consumption
13,352.0 14,956.0
–10.7
Other paper consumption 2,834.0
3,363.0
–15.7
Total consumption 16,186.0
18,319.0
–11.6
Consumption per employee

25.9

30.1

–13.8

 

Printer and copier paper consumption (kg)

2016 13,352.0
2015 14,956.0
%
–10.7
Other paper consumption (kg)
2016 2,834.0
2015 3,363.0
%
–15.7
Total consumption (kg)
2016 16,186.0
2015 18,319.0
%
–11.6
Consumption per employee (kg)
2016 25.9
2015 30.1
%
–13.8

A digitalisation initiative launched by our accounting department contributed to this reduction in particular. Since April 2016, both of our German offices (Frankfurt/Main and Hamburg) have been using a software that allows to process invoices 100% digitally. As there is no need for accounting vouchers for incoming invoices anymore, a considerable amount of paper is saved. In addition, we receive more and more invoices in an electronic format. This results in a reduction of 5,000 sheets of paper per year, from 2017 onwards probably double that figure, and also leads to savings in toner for printers, and on archive areas that would need to be air-conditioned – which in turn helps reduce green house gas emissions. For 2017 we have planned a gradual roll-out of this system to other locations.

Production and distribution of DVB publications is mainly paperless, with all financial reports and statements being published only digitally, as PDFs on the Bank’s website. Only a small number of annual report copies are printed for the Annual General Meeting of DVB Bank SE – and this has been the case since 2012.

In 2016, DVB’s water consumption was up by 4.3%, amounting to 11,608.0 m3 (previous year: 11,126.0 m3). Thus, water consumption per employee was slightly above the previous year’s level, at 18.6 m3 (previous year: 18.3 m3). The increase was largely attributable to the higher number of staff and external advisors at our Frankfurt office.

Water consumption

Cubic metres (m3) 2016 2015 %
Total water consumption
11,608.0 11,126.0
4.3
Water consumption per employee

18.6

18.3

1.8

 

Total water consumption (m3)

2016 11,608.0
2015 11,126.0
%
4.3
Water consumption per employee (m3)
2016

18.6

2015

18.3

%
1.8

Reusing IT equipment

We are partners of AfB gemeinnützige GmbH, the first non-profit IT systems house specialising in collecting/compiling, wiping and remarketing used equipment. Through this cooperation, we managed to avoid creating more than four tonnes of electronic scrap in the past three years, and saved considerable amounts of energy, gas and solid material by giving devices to AfB, who then wiped (data destruction certificate) and recycled them. This helped us to demonstrably reduce our ecological footprint.

By partnering with AfB, we assume responsibility – both environmentally and socially, since half of AfB's workforce have a disability. The number and quality of IT equipment pieces we hand over to AfB created another job for a disabled employee.

Environmentally friendly mobility

Mobility is an important component of our international business activities. DVB's Travel Policy stipulates that employees should ideally opt for public transit for business trips, and to get to work every day. We assist in getting job tickets whenever possible and practicable.

In addition, DVB has decided to centralise travel management. Going forward, we will cooperate with a globally active partner that has been distinguished for its corporate social responsibility programme multiple times. Apart from cost savings and additional services, this partner will systematically gather environmental data related to travel – as an important basis for evaluating out ecological footprint. To further raise awareness amongst our staff, the green house gas of every journey will be included on the travel voucher. This initiative will be rolled out on a location-by-location basis, starting in 2017.

In order to limit plane trips to those that are truly necessary, DVB believes in using phone and video conferences whenever possible and practical for meetings. These can be convened in dedicated video conference rooms at almost all office locations, using state-of-the-art technology. Furthermore, every employee is able to use the softphone integrated into their computer for video conferencing at their own desk.

Towards a broader use of renewable energy in aviation – cooperating with aireg

The global aviation industry is facing the ecological challenge of reducing its carbon footprint. At the same time that air traffic growth is rising and technology is advancing rapidly, regional emission standards are tightening and regulatory measures with a global reach are on their way. This is why the international aviation industry has pledged to halve their carbon emissions by 2050 compared to 2005. Turning to alternative aviation fuels is seen as a feasible way of tackling this challenge.

In support of the efforts made by the aviation industry in Germany to reduce the impact of their operations on the environment, in October 2015 we were the first financial institution to join aireg (Aviation Initiative for Renewable Energy in Germany e.V.). Since 2011 aireg has been working on the development and market introduction of alternative aviation fuels in Germany, and aims to increase their share of German air traffic to 10% by 2025.

As both an aircraft financier and an investor, DVB has a strong interest in value retention – especially of aircraft engines, for which it is important to ensure that the use of biofuel has no negative impact on the maintenance cycle and useful life of an engine. It is against this background that DVB wants to add its financing expertise to aireg’s research-oriented approach. We see this co-operation as pointing the way forward on our business transformation, and are looking for similarly trailblazing projects in the shipping industry.