use of resources
at all levels
As far as the consumption of resources is concerned, sustainability in the use of paper is prioritized by our Group-wide Printing Policy. As a supporter of the “CEOs bekennen Farbe” (CEOs show their colors) campaign organized by Germany’s “Initiative Pro Recyclingpapier” (Initiative for Recycled Paper), we aim to substantially reduce our paper consumption, increase the use of recycled paper, and promote efficient paperless processes and agile digital collaboration. Our success can be seen in numbers. In Germany, for example, DEKRA’s use of recycled printing paper was almost 90 percent in 2021. Virgin fiber paper accounted for only around three million sheets of the total consumption of 30 million sheets of paper (down from a total consumption of 36 million sheets in 2020 and 41 million in 2019).
Waste and recycling targets, the avoidance of disposable products, the separation of waste, the reduced use of plastics, and the responsible use of water and chemicals are intended to ensure the sustainable use of resources and preserve air and water quality. That is why our employees undergo regular training and awareness coaching on environmental protection issues. This focuses on the economical use of electricity, water, paper, and waste, efficient heating, and ecological mobility. In addition, we have introduced a sustainable recycling and reprocessing system aimed at optimizing the ecological footprint of our IT hardware. At the beginning of 2022, DEKRA started a Germany-wide collaboration with refurbisher AfB, which recycles used IT and mobile devices in an environmentally friendly way. The non-profit IT company accepts end-of-life IT hardware in compliance with data protection regulations and, wherever possible, processes it to be resold. All other devices are professionally recycled. Reusing devices saves significant amounts of raw materials compared with new production. Discarded DEKRA hardware is a part of this. At the same time, DEKRA employees have the opportunity to buy used IT and mobile devices at reduced prices. And that’s not all. AfB gGmbH also places great importance on inclusion. The company has already created a large number of jobs for people with disabilities – almost 300 of the total of 600 employees are severely disabled – and has among other things been awarded the North Rhine-Westphalia Inclusion Prize for this.
Achieve a great deal with little effort
DEKRA Belgium is calling on its employees to implement a wide range of cost-saving measures, not least in view of the drastic rise in fuel and energy prices. First and foremost is the use of automobiles. For example, unnecessary car trips should be avoided as much as possible, every trip should be planned as efficiently as possible, and wherever possible, employees should travel to work by bike. The team in Belgium was also given ten principles for ecological driving. These included, for example, anticipatory driving, shifting quickly into a higher gear, maintaining a constant speed, keeping the load carried to a minimum, using air conditioning or heated seats only when necessary, and regularly checking tire pressure. In 2021, DEKRA Belgium also changed its contract with its energy provider to be supplied exclusively with a sustainable electricity mix from 100 percent renewable sources.
E-invoicing saves time and paper
Customer service has always been a top priority at DEKRA. This applies equally to sustainability in terms of time management and the environment. The expert organization is guided by these criteria not only with regard to its wide range of services, but also with regard to everyday tasks such as sending invoices or cancellation documents. For increased efficiency on both sides, DEKRA Portugal has been sending said documents digitally since March 2022. This brings with it a whole series of benefits. For example, sending documents digitally is many times faster than sending them by mail, and it also reduces the administrative burden because digital documents can be processed more easily. In addition, sending documents digitally saves a huge quantity of paper.
Ceramic instead of Styrofoam
In many companies, Styrofoam cups are still the first choice for coffee between meals. And this is because, at least at first glance, they can be bought relatively cheaply. But in the long run, the price is actually very high. Products made from polystyrene – the official name of Styrofoam – are made of synthetic resins, polyesters, and plastics, which take a long time to decompose and pose a danger to humans, animals, and the environment. With this in mind, the employees of DEKRA in South Africa decided to abandon the use of Styrofoam cups and opt for ceramic ones as an environmentally friendly alternative. In addition, DEKRA South Africa has also implemented other sustainability measures. To reduce paper consumption, for example, invoices are now only sent to customers electronically. There has been a switch from paper-based inspection reports to electronic ones. And to save energy, old light bulbs have been replaced with LEDs at various DEKRA locations. All small changes with a big impact.