Site management

At DFS, the environment plays a central role both in operations and in all other areas of our company. DFS is namely a high-technology company that takes its environmental responsibilities seriously. That is why we incorporate environmentally friendly processes and procedures into all areas of the company and keep working on improving them. DFS ascribes to the idea of conserving resources and using renewable energy when planning, constructing or renovating buildings and facilities. At the same time, DFS is focused on reducing its consumption of water, electricity and other energy sources as well its production of waste. 

Environmentally friendly energy generation
The intention to act in an environmentally responsible manner is evident in the entire energy creation chain, which begins with the generation of heat, power and cooling in the company-owned plant. In this energy plant, the heat, power and cooling are co-generated using natural gas as the main fuel source by applying the resource-saving combined cooling, heat and power (CCHP) technology, also known as trigeneration. The average annual fuel conversion efficiency rate of the plant is about 80 percent. This means that all year round about 80 percent of the energy contained in the fuel is converted into useful energy. Compared to the separate generation of electricity and steam/heat/cooling, this leads to a considerable reduction in the amount of fuel used and the resulting CO2 emissions.

Use of solar energy and green electricity
DFS sites are scattered all over Germany. They include not only control centres and towers but also radar and radio facilities. They all have a high demand for energy as they run round the clock, 365 days a year. DFS has a strong interest in using renewable (green) energy sources to minimise its impact on the environment.

DFS installed solar panels on the roof of the Air Navigation Services Academy in Langen in its continued pursuit of its goal of using sustainable sources of energy. Exactly 496 solar modules were erected over 2,500 square metres of roof space. They have been in operation since 2009. 

DFS sourced the panels from a local producer because tests showed at that time that the company had the smallest CO2 footprint among the competing vendors. The amount of electricity generated can be monitored and analysed precisely. 

In addition, DFS has signed an electricity contract that specifies the use of 100 percent regenerative and CO2-free energy. 

The ecological waste disposal concept at DFS
As in the case of energy generation, DFS also sees itself under an obligation to operate in an eco-efficient manner when it comes to the disposal of waste. Everything from waste oil to washing liquid, from batteries to organic waste, is all placed into one of the around 50 waste categories we use at DFS. Waste is sorted and analysed based on its composition and level of harm to people and the environment. There are many legal, corporate and environmental rules and regulations that all need to be met when disposing of waste. Meeting these standards is the job of waste management at DFS, which works with selected certified waste disposal companies. The underlying principles is that economics cannot be the only consideration and environmental responsibility must also be considered.

Avoidance rather than disposal
The most effective approach in an ecological waste disposal concept is simply to avoid producing waste and to recycle any waste that cannot be avoided. DFS aims to separate waste at the place it occurs. This reduces the demand for natural resources, saves on disposal costs and limits the harmful effects on the environment. 

The small amount of waste that cannot be recycled is converted to energy under a waste-to-energy principle or harmlessly disposed of.

Energy-optimised sites
The sensible use of renewable energy can also be seen at our Headquarters building, which was completed in 2002. It was designed as a low-energy building. These savings are achieved in part by the use of heat pumps. This technology cools in the summer and warms in the winter using the energy stored in the earth. Around three quarters of the cold and heat needed at our Headquarters is met by this technology.

Furthermore, the open architecture of the building ensures the optimal use of daylight and bright offices. Motion detectors register the presence of people and turn the lights on and off as necessary, which keeps the use of electricity to a minimum.

Rainwater is used to flush the toilets in the building. In 2002, DFS won a regional award from the Ministry of the Environment for the State of Hesse for the progressive environmentally friendly technology used at our Headquarters.

For DFS, this award confirms our commitment to the protection of the environment.

Keeping the use of energy in focus when building or renovating
This tried-and-tested concept is reflected at DFS in ongoing and upcoming construction work, whether renovating, refurbishing or building from the ground up. The technology used at DFS requires a lot of energy, which is not just because our technical facilities are in operation around the clock. The working positions used by our air traffic controllers, the computer centres and their air conditioning and ventilation units use a lot of electricity. DFS has also focused on optimising this technology.