Why are we doing this?
Because we have understood what the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change conclusively states: Avoiding emissions costs only 0.6% of the annual value added, while eliminating the damage by "carrying on as before" costs many times more.We are aware of our special responsibility as a company towards future generations and have acted accordingly. Fokus Zukunft GmbH & Co.KG has calculated the climate impact associated with our company for us: Our CO2 footprint for the company is approximately 502 tonnes of CO2 equivalent pollutants per yearas well as 11,888 tonnes for the production of the CECEBA Bodywear and Götzburg Wäsche brands. Accordingly, we have offset our annual CO2 emissions by purchasing climate protection certificates.
To illustrate: on average, a German causes about 10 tons of CO2 per year through his lifestyle. For the compensation of our greenhouse gases we have received the award "climate neutral company".
What is climate change and what are its consequences?
Climate change is the greatest challenge of our time. It is not just an environmental issue, as too many people still believe, but it is an all-encompassing threat, as it will greatly change production and living conditions. Greenhouse gas emissions such as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and refrigerants, which have been emitted into the atmosphere in large quantities since the beginning of industrialisation, are responsible for climate change. The main cause is the combustion of fossil fuels such as coal, gas and oil. As a result, the earth has already warmed by about 1.2 degrees Celsius. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates that the Earth's surface temperature will warm by another 4 degrees Celsius on average by the end of the century if we do not act more decisively. The global community has agreed that warming must be limited to below 2 degrees Celsius to prevent catastrophic consequences. However, the pledges of individual countries are only sufficient for 4 degrees. Closing this ambition gap will require an additional and substantial commitment from businesses and citizens. The impacts of climate change are far-reaching, affecting ecosystems, economies and health through temperature extremes and a change in precipitation patterns.
Another impact of climate change is the rise of sea levels, as water expands with warming and also as a greater amount of water flows into the oceans due to the melting of glaciers and ice sheets. Not all regions are equally affected by climate change. Coastal areas and poor regions, which have little ability to adapt to impacts such as increased drought or heavy rainfall and flooding, are particularly at risk. The result is increased poverty and flight from such areas.
What can we do about climate change?
"Solutions to climate change are not only found in research centres and laboratories, but also arise from the innovative spirit of those people who are most affected by this change. Many communities and businesses, as well as local and national governments, including in developing countries, are already showing us the way to a carbon neutral world. These efforts must now be scaled up at the global level. Climate justice also requires that those wealthier countries that are largely responsible for the increase in greenhouse gases and have also reaped the associated profits, help poorer nations adapt to climate change." [Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary-General]
Solutions to climate change are being demanded and increasingly implemented by citizens, businesses, regions and cities. To this end, the Kyoto Protocol, a binding international agreement regulating greenhouse gas emissions from some emissions-intensive industries in industrialised countries, was created as early as 1997. It was updated in the Paris Protocol, which entered into force on 7 November 2016.
How are emission certificates generated?
The greenhouse effect is a global phenomenon, as the distribution of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is roughly the same. Therefore, it does not matter where in the world greenhouse gases are saved or stored. The Kyoto Protocol, which is binding under international law, therefore stipulates that so-called climate protection projects that avoid or store greenhouse gas emissions should take place where they are most economical. Accordingly, there are many projects in emerging and developing countries, because here the potential for savings through new technologies is still very high and they can be used much more cost-effectively. In addition, the conditions for renewable energy plants (solar, wind, water and biomass) are often much more favourable there. The initiators of the climate protection projects - mainly renewable energy projects - receive emission credits for their commitment, which can be traded in the form of climate protection certificates. The amount is measured, for example, by comparison with the emissions that would have resulted from the construction of a coal-fired power plant. In this way, emission reductions are realised where the costs of avoiding one tonne of CO2 are lowest. Furthermore, emissions trading contributes significantly to the transfer of clean technologies to emerging and developing countries and to sustainable economic, ecological and social development in the region, as well as to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
What are the benefits of carbon neutrality for our company?
- Contribution to government, European Union and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targets.
- Raising awareness among employees, suppliers and customers regarding the use of finite resources. This positively changes the way energy and other resources are used in the company and in people's everyday lives.
- Entry into the growth market of "sustainable companies". The status "climate neutral" enables us to distinguish ourselves in our market segment.
- Currently, this enables us to play a pioneering role and thus position our company as progressive, innovative, partner-oriented and forward-looking.
- Promotes awareness of the energy transition.
- Through the status as a climate-neutral company and the offer, the company becomes a partner for its customers in the above-mentioned topics.
What happens to the CO2 certificates after they have been sold?
The purchased number of CO2 certificates have been decommissioned. This is significant in that this decommissioning is a prerequisite for the design and marketing of CO2-neutral companies. Without decommissioning, a CO2 certificate could possibly continue to be traded in the voluntary market, which would not achieve any additional emission reduction.
Which projects are supported by the purchased emission rights?
We particularly believe in the future of renewable energy and the opportunity for sustainable growth, especially in developing countries. That is why we have invested in a local hydropower project in India.
We have received the "climate-neutral company" award for offsetting our greenhouse gases.
Source: Fokus Zukunft GmbH & Co. KG, in Berg