Climate change is an enormous challenge and the defining issue of our time. The consequences of global warming are becoming increasingly noticeable, and the pressure on governments and companies is growing. There is now a global consensus regarding the urgent need to counter man-made climate change.
Success in reducing emissions depends to a large extent on voluntary and consistent action by businesses in industrialised countries. We at Hansa Klimasysteme are also ready to play our part and take responsibility for the world we will leave to our children and grandchildren.
Greenhouse gases are distributed evenly in the atmosphere, which is why it makes sense to avoid emissions in those areas where costs are lowest. In addition, projects in emerging markets and developing countries contribute to the improvement of the economic, social and environmental situation and support the achievement of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. For emerging markets and developing countries, emissions trading is a key driver for the transfer of clean technologies and sustainable economic development.
The greenhouse gas balance prepared by Fokus Zukunft provides a transparent overview of the greenhouse gas emissions of our company and our products. The report is therefore an important component of our commitment to climate protection. We are now implementing specific reduction measures at our sites and in our supply chain based on the key figures that have been calculated. In addition, we have offset greenhouse gas emissions caused by operational and product-related activities by purchasing a total of 4,555 climate protection certificates for 2023. We are supporting the CDM project 4118 "Ashan 1 Hydroelectric Power Plant 2 x 90 MW" that has been certified under the auspices of the United Nations.
Why is our company committed to global climate protection?
The global community has agreed that global warming must be limited to less than 2 degrees Celsius, or better still, 1.5 degrees, if catastrophic consequences are to be prevented. However, current pledges made by individual countries will only limit global warming to no less than 4 degrees. Closing this ambitious gap will require an additional and significant commitment from companies and everyday people. We realise that voluntary emission reductions and the offsetting of unavoidable emissions are essential if climate change is to be effectively countered. This is why we have decided to neutralise our CO2 emissions, as we want to make a contribution to a future worth living for. We refuse to simply analyse the problems; instead we choose to tackle and solve them.
What is a CO2 or carbon footprint?
A carbon footprint is the measure of the amount of greenhouse gases (measured in CO₂ equivalents) produced directly and indirectly by the activity of an individual, a company, an organisation or a product. It includes the emissions resulting from raw materials, production, transport, trade, use, recycling and disposal. The fundamental idea behind the CO2 or carbon footprint is, therefore, to create a basis on which influences on the climate can be measured, evaluated and compared. As a consequence, the required reduction potential can be identified, measures can be developed and their effectiveness can be evaluated.
The corporate carbon footprint is the CO2 footprint of a company, while the product carbon footprint is the CO2 footprint of a product.
What is carbon neutrality?
According to the principle of the Clean Development Mechanism described in the Kyoto Protocol, unavoidable greenhouse gases that are produced at one location on the planet should be compensated for through climate protection projects in another location. To finance this, companies buy certificates for appropriate climate protection projects from the six available project sectors (biomass, cooking stoves, solar energy, forest protection, hydroelectric power and wind energy). Each certificate represents 1 tonne of CO2 saved by the respective project. Numerous climate protection projects are being implemented around the globe, whereby most of these involve renewable energy. The initiators of these projects receive emission credits for their commitment, and these can be traded in the form of climate protection certificates. The volume involved is calculated by, for example, making a comparison with the emissions that would have resulted from the construction of a coal-fired power plant.
How was the volume of CO2 emissions produced by our company calculated?
We commissioned Fokus Zukunft, an external sustainability consultancy, with the calculation of the footprint generated by our company and our products. The emissions footprint was calculated using the Corporate Standard of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. A cradle-to-gate approach was adopted as the system boundary for determining product-related emissions, whereby this takes emissions from our suppliers' upstream chain into account.
What is reported in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol?
Emissions are divided within the Greenhouse Gas Protocol into Scopes 1, 2 and 3, each of which encompasses different types of greenhouse gas emissions. Scope 1 involves direct emissions from a company’s own energy facilities. Scope 2 involves emissions that occur indirectly through the provision of energy to a company. Scope 3 emissions are further indirect emissions that are produced throughout the entire value chain.
Which greenhouse gases are included in the calculation?
The seven main greenhouse gases defined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Kyoto Protocol are carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6), and these are included in the calculation of greenhouse gas emissions.
What are CO2 equivalents?
The impact of each of the seven major greenhouse gases is in no way equal. For example, methane is 21 times more damaging to the climate than CO2, nitrous oxide 310 times and sulphur hexafluoride as much as 14,000 times more harmful. All greenhouse gases are therefore converted to CO2 to facilitate the comparison of emissions. These are then referred to as CO2 equivalents.
How is the recorded consumption data converted into greenhouse gas emissions?
The conversion of the recorded consumption data (e.g. electricity consumption or fuel consumption) is achieved using emission factors that indicate emissions per unit (e.g. per kilowatt hour of electricity or litre of petrol). Emission factors are obtained mainly from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and, also, from the Global Emission Model for Integrated Systems (GEMIS) database and the Ecoinvent Database, and these are updated regularly.
How are emission certificates generated?
Initiators of climate protection projects (which are mainly renewable energy projects) receive emission credits for their commitment, and these can be traded in the form of climate protection certificates. The volume of emissions offset is calculated by, for example, making a comparison with the emissions that would have resulted from the construction of a coal-fired power plant instead of the generation of renewable electricity.
Which quality criteria do climate protection projects meet?
The climate protection projects we purchase are in each case accredited, approved and monitored in accordance with one of the three internationally recognised certification standards: the VCS (Verified Carbon Standard), UN CER (Certified Emission Reductions of the United Nations) or the Gold Standard developed by WWF. Validation of project results in terms of the CO2 savings achieved is certified by independent testing bodies such as TÜV (the Technical Inspection Association).
What happens to CO2 certificates after they have been purchased?
The number of CO2 certificates purchased are decommissioned. The significance of this is that this decommissioning is a prerequisite for the design and marketing of CO2-neutral companies and/or products. Without decommissioning, a CO2 certificate could, for example, be traded further on the voluntary market, which means no additional reduction in emissions would be achieved.
Why are international projects supported?
Climate change is a global problem, so it is irrelevant where CO2 emissions are emitted or reduced as, ultimately, it is the totality of greenhouse gases that matters. The reduction or offsetting of CO2 is very expensive in Germany, but less costly in emerging markets and developing countries. 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 be implemented where they are most cost-effective. Many projects are, accordingly, being implemented in emerging markets and developing countries, since the potential for reductions through new technologies is still very high in these places and can be exploited much more cost-effectively. In addition, the conditions for renewable energy systems (solar, wind, hydro and biomass) are often much more favourable in these markets and countries. Projects in emerging markets and developing countries also contribute to the improvement of the economic, social and environmental situation and support the achievement of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. For emerging markets and developing countries, emissions trading is a key driver for the transfer of clean technologies and sustainable economic development.