We did it! GIZ’s operations in Germany are now climate-neutral

21.01.2015 - Climate protection is a core element of our work. For GIZ, keeping track of our own carbon footprint is therefore a matter of course.

Since the end of 2014, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH has been offsetting all unavoidable greenhouse gas emissions. Avoiding and mitigating emissions takes top priority at GIZ and is achieved through the use of climate-neutral energy, the implementation of a green mobility policy and the promotion of cost-effective and environmentally sound energy consumption. The field of mobility offers the greatest potential for savings, since it accounts for some 90 per cent of GIZ’s overall emissions in Germany. GIZ is therefore making greater use of video conferences and climate-neutral rail transport – a move facilitated by the Deutsche Bahn’s Climate Protection Programme. Over the past four years, GIZ’s combined measures in this sector have resulted in an 11% reduction in CO2 emissions.

But not all emissions can be avoided. As a result, GIZ also engages in a carbon offset scheme in close cooperation with the public-benefit climate protection organisation Atmosfair. GIZ pays a fee to offset its – as yet – unavoidable carbon emissions in exchange for emissions certificates; Atmosfair then uses this money to promote greater use of renewable energies in developing and emerging countries. GIZ’s purchase of climate protection certificates benefits projects in India (biogas from cow dung), Lesotho (efficient wood-burning stoves) and Nicaragua (electricity generation from wind power). The Kyoto Protocol acknowledges these tradable emissions certificates as ‘flexible climate protection instruments’. GIZ purchases certificates that meet the highest standards, meaning they not only contribute to reducing CO2 emissions, but actually help bring about improvements, say, in local people’s living conditions. This year will be the first time that GIZ will also offset emissions through certificates traded by one of its own climate protection projects in Thailand. In future, GIZ will also increasingly turn its attention to emissions generated outside Germany.