Environment & Sustainability

Carbon footprints at the touch of a button: Digital and efficient global KPI calculations

Dussmann Group

8 minutes

Imagine, for a second, that you are in charge of QHSE at a multi-service provider with operations around the world and almost 65,000 employees. Sustainability is a key pillar in the company’s next-level strategy. Calculating the carbon footprint for the entire group, with all the various services it provides, is one of the biggest challenges you face. How would you go about it? 

Well, the Dussmann Group’s QHSE team were faced with this very task. One thing was clear from the outset: they were keen to avoid handling such a vast project with Excel spreadsheets and emails. In the past, the team had run into list-based chaos on more than one occasion, as they battled through a jungle of data created by erratic data administration, multiple entries and incorrectly converted energy units. Hardly surprising, given that calculating the Group’s carbon footprint involves 376 officers collating data for 77 different indicators. In 2020, it took the QHSE team over five months to collate the numerous spreadsheets, identify and rectify incorrect entries, and make the necessary calculations.  

So, what’s the situation today? Since 2021, the Dussmann Group has relied on the Quentic software solution to produce its non-financial reports. It enables the QHSE team to input all necessary indicators online, monitor them in real time, and intervene swiftly during the reporting process if any abnormalities or problems arise. Not only does this improve data quality, it also accelerates the entire process considerably.  

Using the Analytics dashboard, the QHSE team can clearly present the output – the total greenhouse gas emissions – at any time, along with the KPIs derived from it, while also filtering the results by business unit. For the first time, the Dussmann Group can use these outputs to define quantifiable sustainability targets for the years ahead – an important milestone for any truly sustainable company. 

Daniel Krebel, Head of Group QHSE, Dussmann Group

"For a company of our size, reporting in accordance with the GHG Protocol in Scope 1 and 2 is only possible with Quentic. The software solution is so flexible that it assists us with global data collection, corresponding automations and central evaluations. Despite the complexity of the Dussmann Group, we are now in a position to record indicators and calculate KPIs for all company divisions in just three months for the first time – and that includes training and consultation."

Daniel Krebel, Head of Group QHSE, Dussmann Group

About the Dussmann Group

The Dussmann Group has dedicated itself to providing services that put people first. Whether in facility management, plant engineering or running kindergartens, providing professional geriatric nursing and care services or at Berlin’s famous KulturKaufhaus bookstore – wherever high-quality services are required, the Dussmann Group is there as a dependable multi-service provider. Sustainability management has been one of the Group’s key strategic pillars since 2018. 

Founded in 1963, the family-run business is not subject to CSR reporting obligations. Nevertheless, one of the goals the Dussmann Group has set itself is to calculate its non-financial indicators – encompassing operations in 21 countries and a workforce of almost 65,000 employees. 

By producing comprehensive sustainability reports, Dussmann not only lives up to its entrepreneurial responsibilities but also meets growing customer demand for environmentally conscious and sustainable working practices from their service providers. In addition, this also prepares the Dussmann Group for the possibility of more extensive CSR reporting obligations in the future – as indicated by the latest draft of the EU’s CSR Reporting Directive.

  • Founded in 1963, the family-run business is not subject to CSR reporting obligations. Nevertheless, one of the goals the Dussmann Group has set itself is to calculate its non-financial indicators – encompassing operations in 21 countries and a workforce of almost 65,000 employees. | © Dussmann Group

User-friendly system and database supports accurate input

All company divisions in the Dussmann Group naturally consume resources as they go about their daily business activities. This results in indirect CO₂ emissions, due to energy consumption in offices and canteens, as well as direct emissions through the Group’s global vehicle fleet and infrastructure such as buildings.  

Daniel Krebel, Head of Group QHSE, and Daria Steinbock, responsible for sustainability reporting, have used the Quentic Sustainability module to manage indicators required for international reporting. In the past, these indicators were distributed across a cumbersome series of Excel spreadsheets before ultimately and painstakingly being recompiled manually. Today, however, data from the various company divisions are added to the Quentic solution centrally, thanks to a standardized process that requires minimal coordination. Clearly itemized sets of indicators and initial validation during the input process simplify the preliminary work and improve data quality. The ability to upload documents like electricity supply contracts and add supplementary comments adds greater levels of detail to the required input. All this allowed the team to implement a market-based approach for Scope 1 and 2 in accordance with the GHG Protocol for the entire Dussmann Group. As a result, they were able to produce a fully consolidated, auditable carbon footprint for the first time.

Daria Steinbock, Verantwortliche für die Nachhaltigkeit, Dussmann Group

"We have now defined 250 indicators in the Quentic Sustainability module, including input, calculation and target indicators, which we group in catalogs by topic area and use for data capture. We’re now able to track precisely how much electricity is being consumed, how much fuel our vehicle fleet is using, and how much district heating we need in different company divisions, to name just a few examples."

Daria Steinbock, Group QHSE Specialist, Dussmann Group

With Quentic, the inconsistent use of energy units in input and calculation fields is a thing of the past – thanks to selectable, pre-defined options, automatic conversions and validation steps. In the event that any abnormalities arise, the QHSE team no longer have to wait until the end of the data acquisition period to intervene.

Daniel Krebel, Head of Group QHSE, Dussmann Group

"In the past, we were only able to view our indicators after the various company divisions had collated their information in Excel lists and finally handed it over to us. Now, we can track every input value in real time and intervene directly if needed."

Daniel Krebel, Head of Group QHSE, Dussmann Group

Visual data analysis: From Excel to dashboards

With a dashboard specifically tailored to the Dussmann Group’s requirements, Quentic Analytics provides the ultimate output for non-financial data – including on the go. When people in the Sales department are asked how big a carbon footprint is, all they have to do is grab their cell phone, open the dashboard in the Quentic App and display the corresponding data. “Quentic is the only way we can output and visualize our CO₂ equivalent in such a targeted manner for each business unit,” emphasizes Daria Steinbock. The data Quentic provides forms a basis for setting quantitative ESG targets as the Group takes its next steps towards climate neutrality.

ESG: Environment, Social, Governance

The Dussmann Group has its efforts relating to ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) criteria assessed by independent third parties. ESG criteria form an integral part of the Dussmann Group’s sustainability pillars and are constantly developed in its integrated management system (IMS). In 2021, the Dussmann Group received a silver medal from the EcoVadis rating platform for its ESG-related endeavors. In addition to EcoVadis, a further ESG rating is planned for 2022. Thanks to Quentic, the necessary data basis is available in consolidated form and can thus be used directly.

Daniel Krebel, Head of Group QHSE, Dussmann Group

"The data we gather with Quentic in the course of our sustainability reporting provides a reliable foundation for our ESG ratings."

Daniel Krebel, Head of Group QHSE, Dussmann Group

Change management process

All hierarchical levels in the Dussmann Group – from service employees up to top management – are characterized by a strong awareness of environmental and sustainability-related topics, especially in rendering services to customers. However, this being  said, the project to introduce software to optimize and digitalize sustainability reporting was far from a sure-fire success. 

There were still big questions to answer: How could the Dussmann Group integrate everyone involved – in this case, starting with the 376 employees responsible for data capture – in such a way that the project would not be jeopardized by any reservations or the need for acclimatization?  

It initiated a change management process, which the QHSE team handled and supported with a great deal of tact and consideration. Quentic is highly intuitive to use, which provided a significant head start. In addition, to ensure that the staff responsible were fully up to speed, they were provided digital training in the form of step-by-step guidance and a total of six webinars. This approach yielded success: the feedback was thoroughly positive and staff in almost all countries now work directly in Quentic. For the remaining staff who are (still) not ready to relinquish Excel entirely, Quentic also offers the opportunity to export and use standardized Excel templates. Each company division can now transfer the relevant data into the central system. This ensures that, at the end of the process, all indicators are fully consistent and collated in Quentic and can be analyzed and visualized directly in the software solution.

Sustainability as part of the integrated management system (IMS)

Sustainability reporting does not represent additional effort for the Dussmann Group; instead, it takes the form of an integrated management system (IMS) in accordance with ISO 9001, ISO 45001 and ISO 14001. All IMS indicators are standardized and coordinated with sustainability indicators where appropriate, which means they can be integrated directly into sustainability reporting and simultaneously form the basis for the management review of the IMS.

So, what does that mean for the use and further implementation of the Quentic software solution? Calculating carbon footprints and producing sustainability reports were only the Dussmann Group’s first steps with Quentic as they sought to set the ball rolling. The documentation that the Dussmann Service and Dussmann Technical Solutions business units require in accordance with ISO 45001, ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 is being digitalized as part of the IMS. This includes all forms used to record incidents such as workplace accidents and report unsafe situations. The project aims to digitalize around 600 existing forms, standardizing them wherever possible and making them available in each company division’s local language – including on the go via the Quentic App.  

By using Quentic, the company divisions have access to data that was previously decentralized and “hidden” in Excel and emails. This means that the QHSE team can gather relevant data in Quentic in the form of KPIs, such as the number of workplace accidents, energy consumption levels and the number of audits completed. These can then be used directly as input indicators in the Sustainability module.  

This very clearly demonstrates that the different Quentic software modules are anything but isolated one-off solutions. Instead, they come together to facilitate comprehensive digitalization of an IMS, to form a coherent, integrated system and to make full use of synergies.

Success Story Dussmann Group

What the Dussmann Group particularly values about Quentic:

  • Decentralized, inter-company data capture and centralized data consolidation

  • Flexible system capable of defining and cataloging indicators globally

  • Simple document upload function with option to add specific additional information as free text for sustainability reporting

  • Live updates for indicators and the ability to react swiftly if abnormalities arise

  • Calculation of carbon footprint in line with GHG Protocol for the entire Dussmann Group and tailored dashboard visualization

  • Modular QHSE toolkit encompassing all aspects of an integrated management system

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