Environmental responsibility is an important topic for Scout24, even though 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 late 2020, we will be moving in Berlin – to a smart and sustainable office building.
For Scout24 as a non-manufacturing company, its main advantage with respect to environmental and climate protection is the company’s own energy consumption and the directly associated greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, the amount of energy obtained 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 by reducing greenhouse gases and increasing the volume of renewable energies sourced. We have been exclusively sourcing green electricity in Munich since 2018, and in Berlin since 2020. In addition, we are working relentlessly to improve energy efficiency at our offices by reasonable means.
Responsible and sustainable construction is a benchmark we apply in selecting our office buildings. Since 2018 in Munich, we have been working in a building whose features earned it Gold Certification from Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) in 2019. The new office building in Berlin, which Scout24 plans to move into in the third quarter of 2020, is expected to be certified according to the Platinum standard from the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen e.V.). It is also the first building in Germany to receive the WELL Gold Core & Shell pre-certificate from the International WELL Building Institute. The building boasts a sustainable design, a high level of energy efficiency, and user centricity.
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, Scout24 will compensate for unavoidable CO2 emissions by supporting climate protection projects.
The Scout24 Group has a clear corporate policy that is laid out in internal travel guidelines: to avoid business trips wherever possible. Alternative options to avoid travel, such as video and web conference systems, have been made available. All offices are equipped with video conference rooms.
These measures are also reflected in the emissions data from business trips in 2019. Compared with the previous year, emissions from rail travel increased, whereas emissions from air travel decreased. Overall, emissions declined by about 8%.
The consumption of resources within the organisation relates mainly to the use of paper and IT equipment, including consumption associated with their use and production. Scout24 also considers resource efficiency and, where possible, chooses to buy products that are based on recycled materials.
In terms of volume, paper is the resource that is used most. Double-sided printing or personalised print requests at the printer are attempts to keep paper consumption as low as possible. In addition, sustainable paper is used to a large extent.
Regarding the use of IT equipment, we focus primarily on appropriate waste disposal and using energy-efficient equipment.