A combined heat and power unit (CHP) works on the priciple of cogenerating heat and power: warmth created by the production of energy is utilised for heating in the same place. This enables a more ecologically-sound production of electrical energy and heat.
CHPs can save up to 40% of primary energy and produce up to 30% less CO2 as other heating units and can also use combustion engines to generate electricity.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), or a company's sense of responsibility towards community and the environement (both ecological and social) defines voluntary contributions in the business sector towards sustainable development. This goes over and above legal requirements. CSR is defined by the European Union as being a concept "whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their interaction with their stakeholders on a voluntary basis." (Green Paper: Promoting a European framework for Corporate Social Responsibility)
The German Sustainability Code (GSC) is an instrument that can be voluntarily used by companies to make their sustainability performance more transparent and comparable. The code is a reccommendation from the Council for Sustainable Development instituted by the German government.
Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) supports businesses and organisations of any size and from any field to continually improve their environmental performance. It is a voluntary instrument and a quality seal from the European Union. EMAS is the most stringent system for environmental management worldwide. Participating organisations and businesses have to fulfil strict EMAS criteria before then being audited by independent environmental assessors. The yearly EMAS environmental statement provides information about the self-appointed objectives and their implementation.
Fairpflichtet is the sustainability code of the German-speaking event industry. It is comprised of objectives and concrete guidelines concerning corporate responsibility for sustainability in the organisation and production of events. Participating businesses oblige themselves to orientate their business practices towards this code of practice and to report on their progress at regular intervals.
A condensing gas boiler is used for heating and warm water production and almost completely extracts the full energy potential of natural gas. In comparison to conventional boilers, the condensing boiler also utilises the condensation warmth generated by expelled steam. In this way, less primary energy is used. Natural gas burns with minimal pollutants and has very low CO2 emissions.
This criteria and indicator model for the assessment of sustainability (KIM) is an instrument for analysing the sustainability performance of a business. KIM was developed by Prof. Dr. Anja Grothe through different research projects at the Berlin School of Economics and Law (HWR) and in collaboration with SUSTAINIUM. The program has already been successfully used in a number of organisations in different fields. The results have shown that the use of KIM in organisations offers the following advantages:
- self-analysis of own sustainability performance instead of external auditing
- Wholistic approach to inquiry
- Assessment and documentation concerning sustainability-relevant aspects of the business
- Effective orientation support for decisions concerning the future and a high level of transparency as well as the involvement of staff with automated and clearly structured excel tables.
Loam rendering on walls is a natural building material made from clay and sand. It can absorb a lot of moisture, which it can also expel where necessary. In this sense, loam walls function like in-built climate regulators. The result is a pleasant indoor climate with balanced air moisture levels. Loam also breaks down pollutants and works as a shield against electromagnetic fields.
Photovoltaic technology transforms sunlight directly into electrical energy through solar cells. The physical function is based on the photovoltaic effect: In semiconductors (such as silicon), photons with suitable energy can be made to release electrons from the atomic union, thus producing a flow of electricity.
The solar façade is made of cellulose honeycomb wadding material behind a glass plate. The sun's rays are absorbed into the cellulose material and transformed into heat. The vertical façade best absorbs the sun’s angled rays in winter, while ensuring that in summer, overhead sun doesn’t lead to overheating. This means there is no need for additional shading on the outside wall. The cardboard used is made from recycled paper and therefore requires low levels of energy in its production.