One basic principle that GIZ respects in all its activities is the need to deal responsibly with the environment and natural resources.
Actively protecting the climate
We are committed to protecting the world’s climate and environment. As part of our systematic approach to sustainability issues we have set ourselves ambitious targets, which we regularly review and refine. We are involved in the ‘Wirtschaft pro Klima’ climate protection initiative and have signed the charter ‘100 Companies for Climate Protection’ promoted by the federal state of Hesse; our aim is to be carbon-neutral by 2015. In order to achieve this we are significantly reducing our CO2 emissions, using renewables instead of fossil fuels and offsetting unavoidable emissions.
The specific steps that we are taking include:
- Introducing certified green electricity at our offices and centres in Germany and putting solar panels on our buildings;
- Using modern conference technology to reduce the need for business travel (within and outside Germany) to a minimum;
- Encouraging staff to use the train for business trips in Germany and participating in the Environment Plus scheme operated by Deutsche Bahn, so that our travel is carbon-neutral;
- Providing staff at many of our offices with travel passes that enable them to travel by public transport at reduced cost;
- Improving the infrastructure for cyclists at our offices and centres, and taking part in the ‘bike & business’ initiative of the German cyclists’ association, the ADFC, since 2003.
Minimising environmental impact in our office operations worldwide
In our procurement of goods and services we are of course careful to consider the environmental and social impacts of our choices. For instance, the company uses environmentally friendly office materials and energy-efficient computers. We provide advice on these issues to our partners all over the world; conservation of the environment is a priority in our offices outside Germany as well as at home. More than half of our country offices have systematically recorded and analysed their environmental impacts, for example by measuring the type and amount of waste and scrutinising the associated procurement and disposal practices. Once this had been done, action plans were drawn up to improve the environmental performance of the office in question.
Our commitment yields results
We are continuously reducing our environmental impacts and subjecting our activities to scrutiny. Our performance in this field has been recognised: in 2013 our head offices in Bonn and Eschborn and our representation in Berlin were certified under the European Eco-Management and Audit Scheme EMAS. This sophisticated system helps us live up to our responsibilities in the area of environmental management.