With the aid of our environmental management system certified in accordance with DIN EN ISO 14001 we review our impact on the environment and identify measures for minimising these effects wherever possible. Responsibility for the system rests with all the members of our Executive Board.
The targets and measures pursued in the context of our environmental management system form part of our sustainability strategy and are regularly updated. The establishment of an international network for sustainability issues and expansion of the collection of environmental data to include international locations of the Group are enshrined in the Sustainability Strategy 2015-2017. Both these goals will be carried over to the upcoming strategy cycle. Reporting directly to the Executive Board, the Environmental Management Officer is responsible for continuous refinement of the environmental management system; he also coordinates and advises on compliance with all legal provisions in Germany relating to the environment and takes responsibility for annual conduct of the audits that are obligatory under the management system. The standards set out in our environmental management manual and in the supplementary instructions are mandatory for all executives and staff. Information on environmental protection is made available to our staff through our internal Social Media.
In December 2016 our environmental management system was certified according to the revised international standard DIN EN ISO 14001:2015. Our environmental certificate is thus valid for another 3 years. In 2016 we also drew up our first Environmental Statement in accordance with the EMAS III Regulation and had it validated by an environmental verifier. The validated EMAS III Environmental Statement, which we publish annually on our website, covers the energy audits that have been mandatory in Germany since April 2015. Major features of the EMAS III Regulation include a rigorous orientation towards continuous improvement of environmental efficiency, the use of consistent performance indicators in relation to key environmental aspects as well as verification of compliance with legal requirements. The current EMAS Environmental Statement published on our website contains details of our environmental goals and the environmental programme.
Costs of around EUR 18,400 were incurred in the reporting period for certification of our environmental management system and validation of our EMAS III Environmental Statement. There are also internal personnel costs associated with ongoing implementation of the environmental management system and a Group policy providing coverage for environmental impairment liability and environmental damage.
The offsets paid to atmosfair for CO2 emissions caused by our air travel amounted to altogether around EUR 207,200 in the year under review and were therefore a major component of our spending on environmental protection. In addition, we offset emissions from the use of district heating and from our paper consumption, again by making compensatory payments to atmosfair. In 2017 we were thus again successful in operating with a net zero carbon footprint at the Hannover location.
Our total expenditures and investments for environmental protection measures in 2017 can therefore be put at around EUR 350,000.