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Sustainability plays an important role from purchasing, through internal processes, to our customer relationships. In our purchasing practice, we consider social, ecological and business ethical criteria when selecting suppliers and the products and services we require. When developing new services or improving existing ones through our Service Divisions, we also ensure that we make a positive contribution to sustainable development and create added value for our customers.
Our purchasing guidelines define the consideration of sustainability in our purchasing management. We require our suppliers to comply with sustainability standards. This is laid down in the General Purchasing Conditions and, in particular, in the
Sustainability Supplier Code of Conduct
and is checked by means of risk and demand-oriented audits.
The General Terms and Conditions of Purchase set clear requirements with regard to ecological (climate protection, pollution, environmental management system) as well as social and business ethical responsibility (human rights, non-discrimination, ILO standards, health and safety, compliance).
With our Sustainability Code of Conduct we expect our suppliers to follow our principles in the following four areas: Sustainability management & ethical business practices, environment & climate protection, social standards & Support human rights and sustainability in supply chain management.
As laid down in our Sustainability Supplier Code of Conduct both environmental and social sustainability are important to us. Especially the adherence of human rights and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions play a role. In this context we also aim to have a positive impact on diversity and equal opportunities. Also supply chain management can contribute to promote diversity and equal opportunities. Supplier diversity, in terms of working together with suppliers with an inclusion-supportive business model and organization, owned by vulnerable groups, or women-owned, is important to us. This is laid down in our Sustainability Supplier Code of Conduct and also considered in our supplier assessments. This concerns our Global Procurement activities. We aim to consider diversity of our suppliers in our supplier selection and by that support diversity also beyond our own organization. Supporting diversity and equal opportunities is part of our mission and concerns our business relations too.
An example of this is our cooperation with
AfB gemeinnützige GmbH
, a non-profit company with a focus on inclusion, in the area of IT hardware refurbishment and recycling.
With our broad sustainability portfolio we contribute to sustainable development in the environment, economy and society. This clearly shows how comprehensively our experts in the individual DEKRA Service Divisions are committed to sustainability with their expertise and neutrality.
As an expert service provider in the areas of safety, quality and sustainability, we are constantly working to be a preferred partner for future technologies and processes. Innovation and future viability are therefore particularly important to us and are part of our central sustainability principles. We want to use our expertise to provide our partners with the best possible support for the social challenges and trends of today and tomorrow, such as digitalisation, connectivity or climate change.
In this context, we are constantly developing our services in an increasingly disruptive market environment. This also includes the sustainability of service provision, for example with regard to the CO2 emissions generated, as well as explicitly sustainability-related services such as the auditing of greenhouse gas balances.
Depending on the services we are providing to our customers also the environmental impact varies. As DEKRA is part of the TIC sector, our environmental impact is also lower than within other industries such as the manufacturing sector.
However, we would like to be transparent and provide information to our customers as to what environmental impact goes with the services which we are providing. Currently, we are still conducting environmental assessments.
General environmental impact:
When providing our services at customers facilities, greenhouse gas emissions due to business travel often play a role. Thus, together with our customers – where possible – we try to provide our services digitally and remotely. If that is not possible, DEKRA is committed to using the method of transportation which has the least impact to the environment while still maintaining the highest quality standards of our services.
For doing our business DEKRA needs energy for buildings and infrastructure. To reduce our environmental impact in this regard, we are gradually switching to renewable electricity worldwide and install renewables at our own facilities. Nevertheless, we still have an environmental impact in this regard with respect to remaining emissions and resource consumption.
Also, our buildings need space. To at least give a little bit of positive impact back to nature we consider biodiversity impacts at our sites. For example, we are maintaining a wildflower meadow near our headquarters to support biodiversity on a local level.
For our laboratory as well as technical testing and inspection services we also need technical equipment. This is also connected to resource consumption. We are starting to consider environmental impact when procuring respective products.
We are aware that these impact levels are non-exhaustive. For our eight service divisions this implies the following environmental impact on a generalized and simplified level:
In our audit, consulting, claims & expertise, temp work and industrial inspection service areas, we have a focus on expert services at our customers' sites or remotely conducted from our offices. Therefore, we have a relevant impact in the dimensions business travel and on-site energy consumption.
Product testing services are conducted at our facilities, such as laboratories, where we also consume resources for testing and technical equipment as well as building-related energy consumption.
Vehicle inspections are conducted in our test halls and partly at the facilities of our partners. For these services, we also consume resources for testing and technical equipment. Furthermore, emissions in connection to building-related energy consumption and business travel arise. Our training services are offered in our training centers or remotely and have an environmental impact in particular with respect to building-related energy consumption.
So, when you commission our services, you are welcome to consult with our experts on how, in your specific case, the environmental impact resulting from our service provision can be reduced.
We are conducting a pilot project to calculate the carbon footprint of our services. Starting with our largest service areas, our pilot study includes the calculation of the carbon footprint for important services that DEKRA offers in various countries. These services include light vehicle inspection (LVI), electrical inspection, audit service, radiofrequency testing, damage appraisal and virtual training:
Periodical technical inspection (PTI) is a traditional service provided by DEKRA. In a first step we focus on light vehicle inspection (LVI). The study collects data from 166 inspection stations in France, 8 in Germany, 8 in Morocco and 17 in New Zealand. Our calculation of the carbon footprint included energy consumption at these stations as well as maintenance materials, consumables (printed paper, cleaning paper and supplies, lubricating oils, PPE, etc.) and fuel consumption during the test. On average, an LVI performed by DEKRA generates 1 kg CO2eq of emissions, ranging from 0.368 kg CO2eq in New Zealand to 5.2 kg CO2eq in Germany and 1 kg CO2eq and 2.2 kg CO2eq for LVIs in France and Morocco, respectively.
Electrical inspection is offered in six different countries in Europe and North Africa, with 20% of all inspection services provided in France. Our carbon footprint calculation includes data from France, Germany, and Morocco for the year 2021, and the results show that Electrical inspection triggers 15.9 kg CO2eq in France, 30 kg CO2eq in Germany, and 26.5 kg CO2eq in Morocco. The largest contributor to the carbon footprint of this service is the trip to the customer's facility, which accounts for 90 to 95% of the emissions.
DEKRA Certification provides audit services in 18 countries and works with over 560 internal experts and 1200 external auditors. Our calculation of the carbon footprint for audit services in Germany in 2021 shows that a service generates an average of 146 kg of CO2eq emissions. Mainly responsible for this CO2 footprint are the long travel distances to the customer, which account for almost 98% of the emissions. This highlights the importance of transport in our business and the need to find more sustainable solutions.
DEKRA also offers radiofrequency testing services in 7 different countries worldwide. The calculation of the carbon footprint for this service takes into account the energy consumption of the equipment used during the test. The results show a wide range of emissions, with the lowest CO2 footprint in the Netherlands at 12.62 kg CO2eq per service and the highest in South Korea at 159 kg CO2eq per service. The United States have a CO2 footprint of 121.41 kg CO2eq, Spain has 36.87 kg CO2eq, Italy has 35.32 kg CO2eq, Suzhou in China has 63.53 kg CO2eq, Taiwan has 115.66 kg CO2eq, and Guangzhou in China has 111.32 kg CO2eq. The differences between the countries are explained by the duration of the tests in the studied countries, by the energy emission factors for each country and also by the different energy consumption in the considered offices.
The analysis of the carbon footprint of the damage appraisal service is performed using data from the Netherlands. It is found that an on-site service in the Netherlands generates an average of 3.9 kgCO2eq, while an online assessment generates an average of 0.308 kgCO2eq. Footprint of an on-site appraisal is mainly the travel of the appraiser to assess the damage at the customer's location. Fuel consumption accounts for approximately 80% of the service's total GHG emissions.
To determine the carbon footprint of DEKRA Virtual Academy'sonline courses, we analyzed the 5 most important courses, which differ in length and number of participants. Our results show that the "Safety Officer" course generates 9.02 kgCO2eq, while the "Fire Protection Officer (Advanced Training)" course emits 14.9 kgCO2eq. The "Qualified Person for Ladders, Steps and Mobile Scaffolds" course generates 5.72 kgCO2eq, and the "Electrically Instructed Person" course generates 15.3 kgCO2eq. Finally, the course "Operation of forklifts, annual instruction" generates 7.28 kgCO2eq. We only consider the additional electricity consumption during the course duration by the participants and the instructor. Based on the results of these 5 main courses and their frequency per year, we estimate that an online training course generates an average of 0.771 kgCO2eq per teaching unit.