Sustainability is a key tenet of our corporate culture. We have achieved business longevity in that we have been implementing sustainable, successful projects for our customers for more than 20 years. We also, however, attach great importance to environmental sustainability. This influences everything we do, from selecting methods of transport to choosing service providers (such as the caterers for our events), right through to determining which meals we serve at our branches.
Our vision is to foster sustainable corporate activity in order to take environmental responsibility for our employees and customers, as well as for our society.
A key part of making our vision a reality involves reducing our company’s ecological footprint, and it is important to us that both our employees and the wider community are aware of these efforts to increase our sustainability. We have, therefore, set up a dedicated team which tackles issues pertaining to the topic and which is constantly researching new opportunities for us to become even more sustainable.
We have examined several of our processes in detail and have already made changes in the following areas. Thanks to our agile mindset, which is based on the “Inspect and Adapt” principle, we are always seeking to identify and optimise additional areas.
Green IT is the concept of using information and communications technology in a resource-efficient, environmentally friendly manner throughout its entire lifecycle. One of the ways we do this is by working with data centre operators, who are constantly striving to increase their energy efficiency.
We also, wherever possible, re-use and refurbish our own hardware, and we extend the service life of IT equipment by adding old devices to a pool for our students and trainees. e-waste is, of course, frequently still generated. Functioning hardware that our students can no longer use is sold to ITAD vendors or donated to schools and other institutions. Devices which are no longer functional are properly recycled.
We also believe that our digital activities should be sustainable, and we use open-source software wherever possible. We believe that the knowledge of an active community should always be freely accessible to all, so that it can be used and further developed without constraints. To that end, therefore, we actively share our knowledge in multiple open-source projects. You can view our employees’ numerous contributions to GitHub here: github.com/inovex.
We enjoy trying out new technologies and contributing to their improvement. We therefore consider that we have a responsibility to use and support technologies created by the open-source community.
Travel, whether personal or for business, is a major factor in ensuring sustainability. We therefore asked ourselves two key questions: 1) How much travel is required at inovex? and 2) Which mode of transport is used the most?
Maintaining effective contact with our customers is an essential element of our work. We communicate either in person or via videoconference, whichever our customers prefer. We do, however, aim to keep travel to a minimum. As our offices are distributed throughout Germany, we are able to keep travel distances to our customer locations relatively short. We endeavour to balance travel and remote work (whether from home or from the office) so that it benefits our employees as well as our customers. This means that our teams collaborate mainly through digital tools.
Our employees are free to decide which modes of transportation they use. For essential business travel within Germany, we prefer to rely on rail transportation, which runs on completely green electricity. 58 percent of our travel takes place by train. Increasing our rail use has enabled us to reduce our air travel to four percent.
For travel to destinations which are not (easily) accessible by rail, we use our company cars. These are utilised for 36 percent of travel. To make this mode of transportation as sustainable as possible, we are increasingly equipping our fleet with electric vehicles.
It’s not just for long journeys that we try to find sustainable transportation methods. Our employees can, for example, take advantage of our JobRad scheme to bike to work CO2-free. We already have more than 70 leased bicycles in use.
Meals (Food & Drinks)
For our events (such as our summer and winter plenary meetings or Family & Friends Day), we hire caterers who care as much about sustainability as we do. We ensure that they employ environmentally friendly solutions at every stage from food preparation to serving – including, for example, using as many local ingredients as possible. When deciding which dishes to serve, we take into consideration the most common dietary requirements, such as vegan and vegetarian nutrition.
Marketing & Advertising
Sustainability is also a factor in producing our advertising materials and print products. We source our products exclusively from suppliers who meet ecological standards and who produce their products fairly and sustainably (for example, by using electricity from renewable energies, making efficient use of resources, using organic materials, etc.). We will always choose ballpoint pens made from recycled cardboard over those made of plastic, and we use glass bottles instead of plastic ones.
Many of the suppliers we use are part of One Percent for the Planet, an internationally active group of companies which have committed to donating a percentage of their sales to benefit the environment.
Plant my Tree
When it comes to hiring new employees, we rely heavily on recommendations from colleagues who are already on board at inovex. For every recommendation which leads to a permanent position, we donate a tree to Plant My Tree, an organisation committed to reforestation projects in Germany.
For each tree donated, the inovex team member who made the recommendation receives a certificate showing the planting coordinates of “their” tree. This serves as a tangible reminder of the contribution to the environment made through the donation. We also donate 300 euros to another social project.