Why this topic is important to us
Our business model as an engineering and services group means that we require only very little energy and water compared to other companies of comparable size and create only limited amounts of emissions and waste. We have no direct impact on ground, surfaces or biodiversity through the provision of our services.
The most significant portion of the energy and water volumes that we use is to supply the real-estate properties that we use, the waste that we generate is for the most part office waste and the CO2 emissions that we cause result primarily from our energy and fuel consumption as well as from our business trips. For these reasons, the topics of Energy consumption and emissions, Waste management and Water, occupy positions with relatively limited relevance in our materiality matrix.
The energy and water consumption as well as the emissions and waste generated by our business activities are, however, important key data for our ecological footprint and are therefore regularly surveyed by various sustainability initiatives and agencies. They are also a reflection of our values and the ecological principle of treating natural resources as efficiently as possible. For these reasons, we have for years been presenting the central data of our operational resource management.
“The efficient use of natural resources is necessary for economic reasons alone. We, however, also want to make a contribution to sustainable development and therefore expect that all Group companies recognize the value of natural resources and their importance for a worthwhile future.”Dr. Klaus Patzak, CFO Bilfinger SE
The concept we pursue
Responsibility for energy and water consumption as well as for the generation of emissions and waste lies with our operating units. For both economic and ecological reasons, they are instructed to use natural resources efficiently and to avoid emissions or prevent the generation of waste in the first place. If waste cannot be avoided, it is processed through a recycling or disposal procedure pursuant to the comprehensive legal requirements in Europe.
In all of our operating units there are – in accordance with their respective size and their market environment – management systems within the scope of which individual needs, objectives and measures are decentrally defined. The effectiveness of these management systems and adherence to external requirements and internal stipulations is monitored by management reviews and audits performed on a regular basis. The majority of our operating units have been certified pursuant to the environmental management standard DIN EN ISO 14001 or pursuant to the energy management standard DIN EN ISO 50001.
The activities of our operating units are coordinated and supported by Corporate HSEQ. This department, which is part of Group’s headquarters and which reports directly to the Executive Board, establishes the conditions for a Group-wide implementation of an effective HSEQ management through its governance function. Through the HSEQ Group principles and guidelines as well as global standards, clear behavioural rules are formulated for the operating units.
How we counter risks
Because the use of natural resources plays only a secondary role in our business model and because we do not contribute to any significant environmental threats, we do not believe that we are exposed to any substantial risks or that any such risks emanate from our activities with a view to environmental matters.