Climate and Environmental Report: sustainable mobility is crucial

On the road to climate neutrality in 2020: business trips are the biggest contributing factor to greenhouse gas emissions, and therefore offer the greatest potential for savings.

Environmental protection and climate change mitigation are goals of many projects that the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH carries out throughout the world. But this does not just apply to projects abroad; these goals are also being pursued within the company itself. GIZ therefore records and analyses data on how its work impacts the climate and the environment. This data is summarised in the Climate and Environmental Report, which is now available for 2018. The annual report takes a variety of data sources into consideration, such as the settlement of property charges, meaning that it is not ready to publish until late the following year. 

The biggest contributing factor to greenhouse gas emissions for GIZ is business trips – especially flights – which generate more than three quarters of the company’s total emissions. Despite GIZ’s best efforts, its emissions in Germany rose by 30 per cent between 2016 and 2018, the main reason for this being its growing number of employees (up 39 per cent compared to 2016). Having said that, the company does have some cause for celebration as per capita emissions fell by 10 per cent over this same period. 

In order to reduce total emissions again too, GIZ is turning its attention to business trips. It is increasingly common for trips to be replaced by video conferences, with more than 400,000 now conducted annually. If employees do still need to travel, the general rule is to go by train instead of plane, especially in Germany. However, the number of business trips will still remain high as providing advice and implementing projects worldwide is GIZ’s core business, after all. Air travel abroad is therefore often essential because, without personal contact with the partner organisations and people on the ground, project objectives cannot be achieved. 

Unavoidable emissions in Germany will be offset. A tender process for the purchase of certificates for 2017 and 2018 is currently under way. From 2020 onwards, the aim is to offset GIZ emissions both in Germany and abroad, making the entire company climate neutral. 

The Climate and Environmental Report provides details about greenhouse gas emissions and a range of other aspects. You can find more information by following the link below. 

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