DFS was the first comparable air navigation service provider in Europe to introduce a certified EU environmental management system in accordance with the demanding EMAS regulation. EMAS stands for Eco Management and Audit Scheme. In doing so, the company has committed itself to continuously improving how it acts as regards the environment and climate over the long term.
Fewer CO2 emissions, lower consumption of resources, less waste, less energy, and more biodiversity – these are some of the fields of action of corporate environmental and climate protection at DFS. To make the environmental success measurable and to continuously improve our position, DFS has certified itself under EMAS (registration number: DE-160-00018). Indirect aspects, such as the emissions from business trips, the vehicle fleet or the staff's commute, are also considered. The scope for action of DFS with regard to CO2 and non-CO2 emissions of aviation plays a significant role, too.
DFS focuses on decarbonisation and green power
During the 18-month EMAS preparatory phase, important measures for reducing CO2 and decarbonisation could already be implemented. From 2024 onwards, DFS will rely on green power at all locations except its Headquarters in Langen. More precisely, it will be using a so-called power purchase agreement, or PPA. Under a PPA, DFS agrees to binding, long-term electricity sourcing with a green power producer, amounting to about 42 GWh per year. This is the volume of electricity consumed by about 11,000 four-person households. DFS is thus already reducing its CO2 footprint by 50 percent. DFS is also making itself independent of fossil fuels by replacing gas heating systems with heat pumps and district heating at the control centres and towers. To cover its own electricity needs, DFS is also investing in photovoltaic systems. A solar power system is currently being commissioned on the roof of the Bremen control centre, and other locations are already being examined. The vehicle fleet is also being electrified step by step and DFS is building its own e-charging infrastructure at suitable locations.
Renaturation and climate-friendly mobility
Two thirds of the approximately 130 hectares of land used by DFS for facilities and buildings nationwide are already unsealed. DFS is creating even more living space through the targeted renaturation of vacant areas and green roofs. Climate-resistant trees and insect-friendly bushes were planted to promote biodiversity at the Langen site. To reduce the CO2 emissions stemming from all forms of corporate mobility purposes, DFS has been offering a subsidised Deutschlandticket since May 2023. This ticket means members of staff can use local and regional public transport across the whole of Germany with one ticket. In addition, DFS offers a tax-incentivised 'job bike', which benefits both the environment and the health of employees. Every sixth employee already takes advantage of the job bike programme.
"We want to do everything we can with the means at our disposal to minimise the climate-damaging effects of our business activities. EMAS offers us an excellent instrument for this. For the future, we should also be able to systematically record our contributions to the CO2 emissions from German air transport, select measures, and track these to make our progress measurable," said Arndt Schoenemann, CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board.
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DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH (DFS), the German air navigation service provider, is a State-owned company under private law with 5,600 employees as at 30 June 2023. DFS ensures the safe and punctual flow of air traffic over Germany. Around 2,200 air traffic controllers guide more than three million flights through German airspace in peak years, up to 10,000 every day. The company operates control centres in Bremen, Karlsruhe, Langen and Munich as well as control towers at the 15 designated international airports in Germany. The subsidiary, DFS Aviation Services GmbH, markets and sells products and services related to air navigation services, and provides air traffic control at nine regional airports in Germany and at Edinburgh Airport in the United Kingdom. DFS is working on the integration of drones into air traffic and has set up a joint venture, Droniq GmbH, with Deutsche Telekom. Other subsidiaries include R. Eisenschmidt GmbH, which markets publications and products for general aviation, and Kaufbeuren ATM Training GmbH (KAT), which provides training for military air traffic services personnel. The joint venture FCS Flight Calibration Services GmbH offers flight inspection services.
The Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) was developed by the European Union and is a joint system of environmental management and auditing for organisations that want to improve their environmental performance. The EMAS requirements are contained in Regulation (EC) No 1221/2009. The structure of the environmental management system under EMAS corresponds to the environmental management standard ISO 14001. EMAS goes beyond a pure management system, however, and is performance-oriented: The company should improve beyond the requirements of environmental legislation and, above all, include their employees. By the same token, the company must publish an annual environmental statement containing environmentally relevant metrics, targets and measures.