Issues such as resource consumption, waste management and biodiversity are not among the focus areas of our environmental protection program. We do not consume a significant amount of resources, generate significant amounts of waste or significantly impact biodiversity, which is why these factors are not a high priority for our business and stakeholders. We nevertheless consider these issues to be socially relevant and choose to include them in this report.
Wood and water
In accordance with our Group Paper Policy, we make sure that only recycled paper products are procured and used within the Group. Exceptions are permitted only if recycled paper does not meet certain technical requirements or cannot be procured on the local market.
We are also working to reduce the amount of paper we use, which helps lower demand for wood. This, in turn, helps reduce the consumption of energy and water associated with paper production and helps prevent the deforestation of tropical rainforests, primeval forests and ancient forests under protection. We also strive to reduce the amount of packaging materials used in our operations and are working closely with experts and our own customers to achieve this.
Due to the nature of our core business, we do not consume significant quantities of water. Water is mostly used for drinking and sanitation at our facilities; it is obtained primarily from municipal suppliers and discharged into public sewage systems. Water consumption and waste water disposal are therefore not considered significant environmental factors for the Group, which is why we do not record and report global water use data. However, we have included data on water consumption at our facilities in Germany, as provided to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), in the Annex of this report. Nevertheless, sites with environmental management systems do work to implement measures to minimize water consumption. When constructing new buildings, we also look to install water recovery systems and water-efficient sanitary installations where possible.
Packaging, waste and recycling
As a logistics provider, we use packaging such as pallets and other packing materials. Our offices also produce paper waste which can often be reduced or avoided all together. Increasingly digitized processes are helping us do this. We are also committed to recycling used materials wherever possible, thereby making our own contribution to the circular economy.
Our aircraft, road vehicles and IT equipment must be maintained and ultimately disposed of. Since we lease most of our vehicles and aircraft, most of the time their maintenance and decommissioning or scrapping is handled by the manufacturer or other third-party providers. A similar approach is also applied to the maintenance and disposal of our IT equipment. Our maintenance and disposal contracts include explicit instructions for our partners to ensure compliance with responsible environmental practices and processes.
Waste is not a priority issue for the Group and is therefore not managed centrally. Waste separation, is standard procedure at many of our sites, however. Data on waste is collated and audited locally by the environmental management systems on site, allowing for a more effective tracking of measures and their savings effects.