Environmental responsibility is an important topic for Scout24, even as a non-manufacturing company. We want to identify our negative impact on the environment and reduce it in the long term. In 2019, we expanded our data recording system and performed extensive energy audits. We are now using more green electricity and have established new alternatives to business travel. In December 2020 we moved into a smart and sustainable office building in Berlin.
As a non-manufacturing company, our main lever with respect to environmental and climate protection is our own energy consumption and the directly associated greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, the amount of energy procured and the switch to electricity from more sustainable or renewable sources of energy is decisive. As part of our business operations, we want to make a contribution towards environmental and climate protection. To do so, we aim to reduce emissions and increase the amount of green electricity we use. We have already been purchasing 100% green electricity at our Munich and Cologne offices since 2018 and in Berlin since early 2020.
In 2020, we developed a cross-location climate strategy and, as a result, determined the total ecological footprint of Scout24 for the first time. As part of the climate strategy, Scout24 aims to become climate-neutral by 2025. By then we want to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by around 60 percent compared with the base year 2018. By 2020 Scout24 has already saved around 30 percent in greenhouse gas emissions compared with 2018, mainly by reducing energy consumption and switching to electricity from renewable energies. From 2025 on, Scout24 will compensate for unavoidable CO2 emissions by supporting climate protection projects. The strategic approach is: avoid, reduce, compensate.
The Scout24 Group has drawn up internal travel guidelines which state that business trips should be avoided wherever possible. We provide video and web conference systems as an alternative. Additionally, all of our offices have dedicated videoconference rooms. We have noticed that our employees are making more and more frequent use of these options and are travelling less often. As such, the emissions from business trips in 2019 were around 17.6% lower than in 2018. Although the data are not yet final for 2020, we expect this trend to continue in 2020, not least due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The consumption of resources within the organisation relates mainly to the use of paper and IT equipment, including consumption associated with their production. Scout24 is paying attention to resource efficiency too and, where possible, procures products that have been manufactured using recycled materials.
Paper is the resource that is used most at Scout24. Double-sided printing or personalised print requests are attempts to keep paper consumption as low as possible. We use resources in a sustainable manner even as part of our procurement.
With regard to IT equipment, our focus is on the use of energy-efficient hardware.
We avoid producing waste to the extent possible and we ensure waste separation and disposal in accordance with statutory regulations. For the latter purpose, for example, we cooperate with our partner AfB Social and Green IT, which professionally recycles IT equipment in Berlin and Munich and reconditions it where possible. In some cases, we make reconditioned devices available for our employees to buy privately.