Forging new paths in environmental protection
As part of our sustainable development, we proactively implement new more sustainable technologies and processes to reduce our impact on the environment. For example, we continuously work to lower material and energy consumption and to reduce waste and emissions. One of our ambitious environmental goals is to increase the percentage of renewable energy to 20 percent and reduce our CO2 emissions by 20 percent by 2020. To achieve this, our German sites are implementing the most modern energy concepts. For example, with its combined heat and power generation using a modern gas turbine, the heat supply at the Mannheim site meets high efficiency requirements under the Renewable Energies Heat Act. Moreover, we implemented a combined heat and power generation system with almost 90% energy efficiency and integrated a biogas system in the wastewater treatment process at the Penzberg site. Methane gas from the wastewater and waste materials is converted into electricity and heat. As a result, the wastewater treatment plant generates more energy than it consumes. In Grenzach, water from the nearby Rhine river is used to cool the office buildings.
We also use an environmental management system that has been independently certified by EMAS III (Eco Management and Audit Scheme III) and is ISO14001 certified. Every year we also publish an environmental statement informing the public of our environmental policies, objectives, and performance and of the relevant environmental impacts of our sites.
Health must be protected
We have also developed comprehensive employee health measures that far exceed the usual precautions. As part of these measures, we implemented an integrated program including employee consultations, workplace inspections, and training. We promote a culture of safety that enables all employees to recognize and resolve safety issues. We also directly promote the health of our employees by providing free medical examinations, ensuring ergonomic workstation conditions, and providing consulting, healthy meals, and opportunities for physical exercise at fitness centers or the company's own facilities.