GRENKE contributes to the responsible use of resources and the preservation of the environment. Consequently, we have committed to achieve CO2 neutrality in terms of our Scope 1 an Scope 2 emissions by 2025. We have identified three specific fields of action as part of our business activities.
We design attractive financing products for our customers, that facilitate and promote sustainable business practices. To this end, we rely on resource-conserving circular economy within our leasing portfolio, efficient digital processes - both internally and externally - and on minimizing our environmental footprint.
Our focus is on financing solutions tailored to small and medium-sized enterprises and their investment needs. For the sustainable orientation of our company, we see it as our task to finance and offer ESG products and services in particular.
In light of the transformation of the economy towards sustainability, we strive to make our asset portfolio more sustainable. Investing in Green Economy objects enables our customers to operate more sustainably. This category includes, for example, objects for the generation and storage of renewable energy, for the support of sustainable mobility or for waste and resource management. Specifically, these include solar energy systems, eBikes and other e-mobility as well as electric charging stations. The focus on green economy products was launched in 2022 and enables our customers to operate more sustainably themselves.
How sustainable is a leasing object? To make these and other aspects of our financing transparent, we are currently developing the GRENKE Sustainability Index (GSI). This index takes into account the various factors relevant to the lease contract life cycle. This takes into account the properties of the leased object, the leasing contract and our lessee. We are developing and validating the GSI in cooperation with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in order to subsequently introduce the index as a meaningful valuation metric.
We are committed to returning our leasing products to the economic cycle at the end of the lease term. By far the largest proportion of all leased assets are resold to our specialist dealer partners at the end of the lease term. In our main markets Germany, France and Italy, we also have our own asset brokers. These take over leased assets at the end of the lease term, check their functionality and return them to the market.
GRENKE is digitizing processes and procedures in order to keep our ecological footprint as small as possible. In doing so, we take measures to minimise the use of resources.
We contribute to climate protection and adaptation to climate change by reducing our CO2 emissions. In 2022, we established an extensive account of our corporate carbon footprint for the first time. Scope 1 and Scope 2 resulted in emissions of 5,362 tons of CO2 equivalent, covering approximately 70 per cent of all our sites and land used.
In order to achieve our climate goals, we are continuously modernising our buildings according to the latest energy standards. As an exemplary model serves the building of our Italian subsidiary "De Castillia 23" in Milan, which was built with innovative materials, produces electricity through a PV system on the roof and offers modern space utilisation concepts inside. We are also working to obtain an increasing share of the electricity from renewable energy sources. At our site in Baden-Baden, we i.a. operate a solar power system with a maximum output of 165 kWp. Using the generated electricity ourselves results in a CO2 savings potential of approx. 1.4 million kg over the lifetime of 20 years.
All buildings rented by us in Germany have an energy certificate that documents the respective energy status. At the same time, we conduct regular energy audits at our German locations, which provide us with a overview of energy efficiency in the company and serve as a basis for improvements.
Our business model traditionally involves a high volume of records and documents. We want to minimize our ecological footprint also in this area and have set ourselves the goal of digitizing an increasing amount of our processes. Paper consumption is being continuously reduced, for example through the digital customer portal, our electronic signature solutions, but also through digital personnel files.
With the digital personnel file, we enable our employees to access personnel documents from any location and at any time, as well as to process and manage important formalities such as pay slips or holiday applications without paper. At the same time, we ensure legally compliant handling of deletion and retention periods.
§Our digital customer portal makes it possible to manage contracts, invoices and data online at any time. The portal is available in 27 countries, and the introduction in further countries is planned. Invoices are sent paperless as far as possible. Invoices are already sent digitally in 26 countries.
§Since 2015, documents at GRENKE can be sent electronically and signed with a legally valid signature. eSignature simplifies the conclusion of financing contracts, saves paper and mailing and can currently be used in 27 countries. More than 40% of all contracts throughout the Group are already signed digitally. The electronic signature is also used within the Group, for example when signing minutes or contracts between Group companies.