For the second year in a row, together with ClimatePartner, we have collected all relevant data on our company locations, calculated the CO₂e emissions produced and financed climate protection projects in the amount of the emissions produced to compensate. We are happy to announce that our headquarters and store in Cologne and our new store in Girona are now carbon neutral for 2021.
Climate neutrality: Much discussed, more important than ever
In recent months, offsetting emissions has repeatedly been part of the public discourse. Companies are criticized for causing huge amounts of emissions and simply “buying themselves free” by offsetting them – without making any efforts to reduce the CO₂e emissions they cause in the long term.
For us, that's no reason to stop. We remain a firm believer that every company should address its emissions. Because only together do we have a realistic chance of reaching the 1.5 degree target. In addition to financing climate protection projects, it is necessary to continuously reduce emissions as far as possible.
Calculation of our emissions from 2021
What climate neutrality actually means, what CO₂e emissions are and what our first steps were as part of our climate protection strategy for 2020, we explained in a blog article last year. Read here .
Important to know: The first step is always to calculate the emissions for a specific period of time. At the end of the year under review, this can sometimes take several months, since every little detail is included in the calculation.
In the calculation for 2021, too, we have initially concentrated on the areas of our company that we can influence directly: direct emissions caused within the company (electricity and heat generation, vehicle fleet, volatile gases) and indirect emissions through purchased energy, business trips and employee mobility.
Other indirect emissions that occur outside the company in the manufacture of raw materials and preliminary products, through external logistics, the use and disposal of products and other processes have not yet been the subject of our calculations.
Since 2021 we have had a new store in Girona (Spain), whose emissions have now also been included in the calculation for the year.
After completing the calculation, we were able to determine that our absolute emissions have increased compared to the previous year. We were able to attribute this to the fact that, in contrast to the pandemic year 2020, there were more sporting events and related business trips. In addition, our team has grown significantly in 2021. The good thing: despite the absolute increase in emissions, we were able to reduce our per capita emissions. For us, this means that over the next few years we should further reduce those emissions at our locations that are largely fixed and independent of the number of employees.
Compensation of our emissions
As in the previous year, we financed a combined climate protection project in 2021. This project enables us to support regional climate protection projects in Germany and at the same time to offset our emissions through a certified, international climate protection project. In this way we can close the financing gap in global climate protection and at the same time get involved regionally.
After we financed a forest protection project in the Brazilian state of Pará last year, this has now been replaced by a forest protection project in the neighboring state of Amazonas. It is VCS-certified and contributes to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). You can find details about the project here.
The regional project in Germany includes tree plantings that promote the conversion of structurally poor forest stands and monocultures into more resilient mixed forests that can better adapt to changing climatic conditions. You can read more details about the regional project here.
the next steps
In the coming months we would like to concentrate in particular on further reducing our emissions. Our long-term goal is to permanently reduce the ecological footprint that we leave behind.
After completing the calculation of our CO₂e emissions for 2020, we decided last year to switch the power supply for our headquarters and shop in Cologne and also for our new shop in Munich to 100% green electricity. For this we changed our electricity provider in May 2022 and now obtain 100% green electricity from hydropower via Polarstern.
Further planned reduction measures:
- Reduction of power consumption
- Reduction of water consumption
- Waste reduction
In the forthcoming emissions calculation for 2022, we will also take our new shop locations in Munich and Mallorca into account. We are also preparing to expand our climate protection strategy to other areas of the company. We know that there is still a long way to go. We are all the happier if you accompany us on this path.