The Environment

The Group has committed itself to handling natural resources responsibly, to make an active contribution to climate protection by minimising its requirements for energy and raw materials, and to avoid environmental impacts. This is also defined in the Code of Conduct, in which pbb Group has obligated itself to conducting its business in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way, and to identifying environmental risks that may arise in its business activities. Material reference points for this are especially the buildings used by pbb Group, the organisation of workflows, and the mobility of the Group’s employees.

Our ordinary Annual General Meeting 2018 was also carried out in a climate-neutral way, and we extended this to the Annual Press Briefing and the Analyst Conference in 2019.

Electricity is permanently saved by using energy-efficient office equipment, such as printers with the Energy Star certificate, and by a strict management of electronic devices in line with demand. Working processes are generally designed to be as paper-saving as possible. Hence, multiple electronic devices are used in order to replace paper-based processes; for example regarding electronic employee services (recording of working time, payrolls, income tax and social insurance receipts, travel expense accounting, etc.), an electronic invoice and contract management, digital credit files and datarooms. The paper we use is certified as eco-friendly. Our Annual Reports have been printed climate-neutral since 2015. Furthermore, pbb Group has refrained from the provision of printed interim reports since 2014, and stopped printing Annual Reports in 2019. We further support recycling by re-using cardboard boxes received as transport packaging.

The Travel Policy introduced in 2013 serves as a uniform groupwide standard for all employees’ business travel. Besides simplifying effective management and control of travel expenses within pbb Group, it also aims to provide an active contribution to environmental protection. Employees and their direct superior are jointly responsible for adherence to the Travel Policy, which they will confirm through their electronic signature when recording and approving travel expenses in a designated online tool. Deviations from the Travel Policy are to be avoided. Exemptions from this rule can only be made for the sake of time and cost efficiency and with the superiors’ explicit consent.

Initially, travel activity has decreased in the last years, both in terms of number of booked plane tickets, as well as regarding the amount of miles travelled. However, as a result of the opening of an own office in New York, US, the number of miles travelled saw a slight increase due to the long-distance flight – despite a decreasing number of tickets since 2017. pbb Group further contributes to the reduction of business travel by the utilisation of video conference systems.

Company cars have to meet well-defined CO2-emission standards in accordance with the Company Car Policy so as to limit their impact on the environment. Vehicles with emissions of more than 155 g/km are given a financial penalty, whilst vehicles with emissions of more than 180 g/km may not be acquired at all. pbb Group has committed itself to checking these guideline values in the medium term and to align them to revised measurement methods. Compared with the previous year, the number of company cars and the average CO2-emission was slightly reduced (from 109 vehicles in 2017 to 105 in 2018; from 140g/km in 2017 to 138g/km in 2018).

Every company car order has to be pre-approved by the respective line manager and the HR department. The order process is coordinated by the Fleet Management Office/Corporate Services. The company car fleet currently includes two electric cars for which a charging station has been installed. Further such purchases are planned until the end of 2019. An e-mobility concept is currently being developed.

In 2019, pbb Group relocated its headquarters from Unterschleissheim to Garching. Also the new office building is designed towards the responsible handling of limited resources: heat is obtained from geothermal energy, and electricity is generated from photovoltaic systems. Moreover, the location is very well connected to the local public transportation network – a high-frequency metro connection makes the use of public transport reliable and attractive for our employees. In addition, the new location will provide car-sharing offers. pbb Group is also considering the purchase of service bikes for the new location, and plans to provide its employees with charging stations for e-bikes.