Our company's voluntary commitment to environmental protection forms the basis for our environmental management system. It is our stated aim to keep the adverse ecological impacts of our business activities as minimal as possible. With the aid of the environmental management system we review our impact on the environment and take steps to minimise these effects wherever possible. In this context we record the consumption and emissions figures for the premises at the Hannover location operated by Hannover Rück SE, E+S Rückversicherung AG and until the end of 2018 International Insurance Company of Hannover SE (Inter Hannover SE) as well as the on-site infant daycare facility, thereby covering some 43% of the global workforce.
Our environmental management system has been certified annually since 2012 at the Hannover location according to DIN EN ISO 14001, and since 2016 according to the revised standard DIN EN ISO 14001:2015. Our environmental certificate is thus valid until 2019. Certification of the environmental management system according to the revised standard DIN EN ISO 14001:2015 was completed successfully in December 2016. Recertification is scheduled for 2019.
Since 2016 we have drawn up Environmental Statements on an annual basis in accordance with the EMAS III Regulation and had them validated by an environmental verifier. The validated EMAS III Environmental Statement 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.
Responsibility for the environmental management system and our environmental policy rests with all the members of our Executive Board. 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. As required by the standard, we have compiled all major rules and responsibilities in relation to environmental protection at our Hannover location in our environmental management manual, which is accessible to all employees through our intranet. The stipulations contained 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.
We identify and evaluate the environmental aspects relevant to our company that have significant implications for the environment. In so doing, we make a distinction between direct and indirect environmental aspects. In the context of our environmental management system we establish the direct environmental aspects based on our business activities at our Hannover location. These can be influenced directly by us: they include business trips, electricity consumption, heat, refrigerants, paper, waste and (waste) water. The goals and measures pursued under our environmental management system in relation to our direct environmental aspects form part of our Sustainability Strategy and are updated regularly.
Indirect environmental aspects refer to those aspects that are indirectly associated with our business activities and over which we are unable to exert any direct influence. In this context we consider impacts in upstream and downstream processes as well as in supporting processes. This includes, for example, the environmental impacts caused by suppliers or service providers, emissions from our employees' commuting to and from work as well as impacts resulting from the conduct of our reinsurance business and investment management.
In order to maintain legal certainty, we have compiled a legal register summarising all laws and regulations of relevance to our environmental management system, observance of which we monitor on a regular basis. The completeness and up-to-date status of this register is verified through an annual legal review.
Costs of around EUR 6,000 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 185,000 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, other business travel and from our paper consumption, similarly by making compensatory payments to the moorland project of Friends of the Earth Lower Saxony (BUND-Niedersachsen). In 2018 we were thus again successful in operating with a net zero carbon footprint at the Hannover location.
Our total expenditures for environmental protection measures in 2018 amounted to roughly EUR 300,000.