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  • 2018 Corporate Responsibility Report

Energy efficiency in buildings

Our contribution to the SDGs

Our facility energy management activities focus on the two areas of heating energy and electricity consumption. We have defined sub-targets for electricity consumption to help us attain our climate target in Germany. Twice a year, we measure our progress.

Two approaches help us achieve our sub-targets. We are reducing our office space as part of HR downsizing measures and are optimizing space usage by introducing new office concepts. We also identify needs for reduction in energy consumption by using specific indicators such as “kilowatt hours per square meter”, “energy consumption at midnight”, or “peak loads” to compare similar facilities. This identifies buildings with above-average consumption. 

The energy management system of Power & Air Solutions, the provider purchasing energy for the German Group companies, is certified according to the international ISO 50001 img standard.

Heating and hot water
In 2018, we used approximately 478 GWh of heating energy throughout Germany, primarily by using gas and heating oil as well as district heating. The need has decreased continuously in the past years. We regularly assess the need for repairs at our properties and conduct profitability analyses to further reduce consumption. Keeping the available budget in mind, we focus on the most necessary and particularly cost-efficient measures, including:

  • Optimizing heating plants
  • Renovating heating systems based on the Energy Saving Ordinance
  • Using condensing boiler technology to modernize heating installations and pumps
  • Recovering waste heat from data centers
  • Using cogeneration plants

In order to reduce our network nodes’ use of heating energy, we have lowered the starting temperature of the heating system. In the future, we are also looking to factor in the weather forecast when adjusting our systems. A pilot project for this has already been commissioned. In addition, we are planning a pilot project to utilize HTC technology in our heating installations, improving efficiency by using ceramic materials in the combustion chamber.

Electricity
Our employee workstations, lighting, and building technology, including pumps, ventilation, cooling, and elevators, are responsible for the largest part of electricity consumption in our buildings. Our measures for making savings focus on the following areas:

  • Using LED lighting and motion sensors
  • Using modern pumps and fans
  • Switching off building technology when it is not in use