11. Usage of Natural Resources

11. The company discloses the extent to which natural resources are used for the company’s business activities. Possible options here are materials, the input and output of water, soil, waste, energy, emissions, land and biodiversity as well as emissions for the life cycles of products and services.

The efficient handling of electricity, gas and water as well as consumables plays an important role in the day-to-day work at Fraunhofer UMSICHT. Therefore the amounts of electricity, gas and water as well as consumables Fraunhofer UMSICHT uses in the course of day-to-day work are recorded, and serve as a knowledge base for a handling of the resources as efficient as possible.

At the same time, it must be taken into consideration that tests and practical development activities in the labs and technical shops lead to temporarily increased consumptions of resources. These do not necessarily have to be considered negatively since they often entail later resource savings. In light of this, it does not make sense to align the ecological objectives of Fraunhofer UMSICHT exclusively with the resource consumptions tied to the development activity.

The aspect biodiversity is not regarded as relevant for the activities of Fraunhofer UMSICHT.

Detailed information on this topic can be found in the chapter “Resource Efficiency and Environmental Protection” on pages 17 - 20 of our Sustainability Report.

12. Resource Management

12. The company discloses what qualitative and quantitative goals it has set itself with regard to its resource efficiency, its use of renewables, the increase in raw material productivity and the reduction in the usage of ecosystem services, and how these goals have been met or will be met in the future.

Fraunhofer UMSICHT implements a number of measures for resources savings (e.g. duplex printing, use of LED lamps, solar cooling). As an institute specializing in process technology we have no continuous production with permanently unchanging or nearly unchanging material input. We perform R&D services according to customer-specific requirements. Eventually, our work is aimed at reducing the material input of our customers, at enhancing their know-how about environmental impacts or at substituting hazardous substances.

Key Performance Indicators (KPI)

Key Performance Indicator G4-EN1
Materials used by weight or volume. Link

We report the materials used at our institute systematically, e.g. computer equipment and laboratory consumables. However, due to being a research institution and not a manufacturing company, we do not operate our experimental facilities continuously and have no regular material use. Only the costs of materials used are recorded.

Key Performance Indicator G4-EN3
Energy consumption within the organization. Link

With the drop in final energy consumption, the primary energy expenditure by Fraunhofer UMSICHT also dropped to 46.4 million MJ/year.

Key Performance Indicator G4-EN8
Total water withdrawal by source. Link

Despite an increasing number of staff, the fresh water consumption has remained constant at approx. 15,000 m³/year in the past years. In 2013, the fresh water consumption amounted to approx. 14,700 m³.

Key Performance Indicator G4-EN23
Total weight of waste by type and disposal method. Link

At Fraunhofer UMSICHT, the amounts of waste are recorded by means of a waste code number as part of a waste balance sheet. This is of particular relevance for hazardous wastes which, however, are not regularly generated as part of the research and development activity. For residential and paper waste as well as glass waste, collection containers are available which, however, are not weighed. Based on the calculations to date, the total waste amount was 58 t in 2012 and 79 t in 2013.

Greenhouse Gas

13. Climate-Relevant Emissions

13. The company discloses the GHG emissions in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol or standards based on it and states the goals it has set itself to reduce emissions.

With the drop of the primary energy expenditure, the greenhouse gas emissions dropped last year. While the total in 2012 amounted to approx. 2,700 t of CO2 equivalent, they amounted to barely 2,500 t of CO2 equivalent in 2013. Of those 2,500 t of CO2 equivalent, 80 percent were caused by the consumption of electricity, 13 percent by the consumption of natural gas, and 7 percent by business trips.

The greenhouse gas emissions per staff member (SM) and year dropped from 10.8 t of CO2 equivalent/SM in 2011 to 10.1 t of CO2 equivalent/SM in 2012 and 8.1 t of CO2 equivalent/SM 2013.

The greenhouse gas emissions caused by business trips amounted to 0.75 t CO2 equivalent/SM in 2013. Overall, 60 percent of the business trips were conducted via railroad (41 percent) and the public transport system (19 percent). In 25 percent of the business trips, a company car was used, and in 15 percent an airplane. Despite the dominating utilization of the railroad, almost half of the kilometers were spent on air travel. The reason for this is that some projects required business trips to South America and Asia. The utilization of fuels leads to greenhouse gas and nitrous oxide emissions. In 2013, approx. 200 t CO2 equivalent and 590 kg NOx were emitted across all modes of transportation. The NOx emissions (444 kg) caused by air travel are significantly higher than the NOx emissions caused by other modes of transportation. Therefore, the objective is to reduce the number of domestic flights and to increasingly use the railroad.

We plan to switch the power supply of our institute to green electricity.

Key Performance Indicators (KPI)

Key Performance Indicator G4-EN15
Direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (Scope 1). Link

13 percent of our greenhouse gas emissions (of the 2,500 tonnes of CO2 equivalent) are caused by the consumption of natural gas.

Key Performance Indicator G4-EN16
Energy indirect greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (Scope 2). Link

In 2013, 80 percent of the total greenhouse gas emissions (of the 2,500 tonnes of CO2 equivalents) were caused by the consumption of electricity and fall under the Scope 2 of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol.

Key Performance Indicator G4-EN17
Other indirect greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (Scope 3). Link

The greenhouse gas emissions caused by business trips amounted to 202 t CO2 equivalents in 2013. We did not record any further greenhouse gas emissions in this Scope.

Key Performance Indicator G4-EN19
Reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Link

Additional information: the total amount of our greenhouse gas emissions dropped from 2,700 tonnes of CO2 equivalents in 2012 to 2,500 tonnes of CO2 equivalents in 2013.