We try to use as many green office supplies as possible in order to improve resource efficiency at the workplace. A total of 19 percent of products are classified as sustainable in our office products catalog in Germany. In 2018, the percentage of sustainable products ordered was 22 percent. Examples include paper distinguished with the “Blue Angel” eco-label or “Nordic Swan” certification. Some of our office products have also been honored with the EU Flower eco-label, the Fairtrade seal, and the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) and the PEFC (Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes) eco-labels. On January 1, 2018, we moved to purchasing exclusively environmentally friendly office paper from a paper wholesaler.
During this reporting year, we also added further sustainably made products to our range of giveaway items. As we did last year, we repeatedly sold leftover giveaway items and corporate clothing to our employees at our Bonn site and in the online shop, meaning that we did not have to discard unused stock. These activities were very well received this year as well. Furthermore, our “you and me” social network offers employees a platform to swap office materials they no longer need instead of ordering fresh supplies.
We have also already set about modernizing the media technology used within our company to meet the requirements laid down in the Minamata Convention, which will take effect under the United Nations Environment Programme in 2020. After this point, the highly toxic heavy metal mercury is to disappear from all light sources. As Germany is one of 128 nations that have already undertaken to abstain from using mercury, we are currently replacing devices that still contain this heavy metal with new mercury-free versions and sending the old devices to be professionally recycled or disposed of. Where possible, we are opting for projectors with state-of-the-art lasers or laser-LED hybrids that work without any conventional lamps.
As in previous years, we extended our “IT remarketing” project into 2018, which involves reconditioning our used IT hardware for further use. We continue to maintain our partnership with “AfB gemeinnützige GmbH”, which offers job opportunities to people with disabilities. Within the scope of this partnership, we will give some of our used IT hardware (e.g., laptops) to the organization in the future for reconditioning and reselling. This will not only help us save resources but also create jobs for people with disabilities as well as extend the life cycle of our used hardware.