11. Usage of Natural Resources

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, 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

The company discloses what qualitative and quantitative goals it has set itself with regard to its resource efficiency, in particular its use of renewables, the increase in raw material productivity and the reduction in the usage of ecosystem services, which measures and strategies it is pursuing to this end, how these are or will be achieved, and where it sees there to be risks.

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 to criteria 11 to 12

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

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 organisation.

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-EN6
Reduction of energy consumption.

Unlike a manufacturing company, our institute cannot set absolute reduction goals due to its R&D-activities (e.g. concerning water and energy use), for the reason that Fraunhofer UMSICHT consumes different amounts of energy or water depending on the nature and scope of our projects (which include e.g. development of an innovative energy storage or improvement of the membrane technology, thus including a higher consumption of energy or water).

In 2013, the total energy consumption amounted to approx. 18.7 million MJ. In comparison to 2012, the annual consumption of electricity dropped slightly, whereas the gas consumption increased slightly. The comparison of the annual consumption of electricity per staff member (SM) in the past years shows that it was continuously reduced from approx. 18,200 kWh/SM in 2011 to approx. 16,900 kWh/SM in 2012, and further to 13,600 kWh/SM in 2013. On the other hand, the annual gas consumption remains constant at approx. 800 m³ of natural gas per employee.

With the drop in final energy consumption, the primary energy expenditure by Fraunhofer UMSICHT also dropped from 50.5 million MJ/year (2012) to 46.4 million MJ/year (2013). Correspondingly, the greenhouse gas emissions also decreased. 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.

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

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.

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.

13. Climate-Relevant Emissions

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, as well as its results thus far.

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 to criteria 13

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

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
Indirect greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (Scope 2).

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).

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.

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.