The validation was performed according to the requirements of ISO 14064-3:2019-04. The accounting tool meets all requirements for the accounting system and determination of greenhouse gas relevant information according to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol "A Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard" for the calculation of a corporate carbon footprint for Scopes 1 and 2 (as well as parts of Scope 3). The emission factors used for the calculation are derived from published information or credible sources. The collection methodology was checked for suitability and plausibility.
The IHK Energy and Climate Meeting takes place at regular intervals directly at regional companies that deal with the topic of "energy efficiency". This year, Uhlmann & Zacher had the pleasure of hosting the event, which was initiated by the IHK. Small and medium-sized companies from the region were able to gather ideas and exchange information on climate protection measures during the event. The keynote speech on the topic of climate neutrality and consistent energy management was given by Dr. Marc Zacher in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Bastian Schröter from CO2OP.By reducing its carbon footprint and through measures that actively reduce CO2, Uhlmann & Zacher as an overall organization intends to continue to operate in a CO2-neutral manner in the future. The company offsets unavoidable emissions by supporting certified climate protection projects.
In order to become climate neutral or to calculate their own carbon footprint as a first step, many companies rely on support. Two founders, who face exactly this challenge with their startups, were guests at the lecture series on December 16. Professor Dr. Bastian Schröter from CO2OP GbR and Altan Günsoy from Climate Global GmbH presented the approaches of their two companies under the topic "Climate neutrality - innovative start-up solutions for more climate protection in companies". About 80 listeners followed the lecture series on Alfaview and the YouTube channel of the Institute of Industrial Ecology and the Life Cycle & Sustainability and Business Administration/Resource Efficiency Management programs.
Greenhouse gas balancing simple and sustainable
The CO2OP approach presented by Dr. Schröter focuses on small and medium-sized companies. To achieve this, the scientifically based approach must be easy to use and at the same time enable companies to keep it up to date. Because while some companies are active in greenhouse gas neutrality, many SMEs still consider greenhouse gas accounting to be complicated, expensive and time-consuming. At the same time, they notice pressure in their supply chains to provide relevant information.
CO2OP uses an Excel-based calculator for the calculation, which is clear and understandable and makes stored formulas and assumptions transparent. The balances calculated with the calculator form the basis for climate protection measures that include green procurement and energy efficiency measures, offsetting unavoidable emissions and examining the company's own supply chains. In order to also be able to classify the various measures in economic terms, a company-specific CO2 avoidance cost curve of different measures is also calculated...
The cooperative bank has had its carbon footprint determined and purchased reduction certificates. Sustainable strategy to be continued.
VR-Bank Ostalb is clearing the way for more sustainability. The largest cooperative bank in the region has been designated as a climate-neutral company for the first time for 2020. The Aalen-based start-up CO2OP has identified the bank's CO2 footprint for this and arranged the purchase of CO2 reduction certificates. VR-Bank Ostalb now wants to repeat this procedure annually. In the process, the bank's carbon footprint is to be continuously reduced, promises Chairman of the Board Kurt Abele. The contact with CO2OP GbR came about rather by chance in April of this year. But the environmental technology company and the bank immediately put their heads together in their cooperation, as energy technology expert Prof. Dr. Bastian Schröter from CO2OP explains: In an eight-week data survey, the experts determined the energy consumption of VR-Bank Ostalb and recorded business trips. In addition, they asked the bankers about their journeys between home and work.
For the carbon footprint, Schröter explains, three areas, so-called scopes, are decisive: firstly, direct emissions, for example from the company's vehicle fleet and facilities. Second, electricity and heat that are consumed: Here, VR-Bank Ostalb benefits from the fact that it already feeds in electricity from its own photovoltaic systems. The third area is upstream and downstream processes, such as in the supply chains, whose emissions do not necessarily have to be counted in the carbon footprint. VR-Bank Ostalb has done so nonetheless, in part because it has many employee car trips between their homes and the bank. "This is also partly due to our rural structure," notes Abele. The result is a footprint of 658 tons of CO2 for 2019 and 600 tons for 2020. The bank has now offset these 600 tons by purchasing CO2 reduction certificates through the mediation of CO2OP. The money from Ostalb will be used to support a biomass plant in Cambodia, small hydropower plants in Uganda and a geothermal power plant in El Salvador.
For Schröter, such projects are more sustainable than reforestation, for example, because they ensure CO2 savings from the outset. Further steps toward CO2 reduction For VR-Bank, there was the "Climate Neutral Company 2020" certificate. "This is to be updated annually," emphasizes Abele. At the same time, the footprint is to shrink annually. For example, he says, VR-Bank is gradually converting its vehicle fleet to electric mobility. "In addition, we have switched completely to green electricity in 2021," says the CEO.
Alternatives to the car are to be promoted. Where the job permits, mobile working is to be made possible. To this end, a company agreement has been concluded with the Works Council. However, it will not be possible to switch completely to a home office, explains the bank CEO, because a large proportion of employees will still be in personal contact with customers. In 2021, the bank has also completely switched to green electricity. Further photovoltaic systems are also planned. ...
RWTH Aachen University, one of Europe's leading technical universities, calculates its greenhouse gas footprint using the CO2OP calculator. The result will be included in RWTH's sustainability report, which will be published in early 2022. CO2OP provides an adapted version of the calculator for determining the greenhouse gas footprint free of charge to colleges and universities. In addition to RWTH, more than twenty other institutions have accepted this offer, including the universities in Bremen, Hanover or Flensburg, the TU Darmstadt, the HFT Stuttgart or the TH Köln. We are pleased about this great interest - also because this means that our calculators are constantly subjected to the critical practical test of experienced climate protection managers. The CO2OP calculator has thus become one of the leading tools for determining the greenhouse gas footprints of colleges and universities in Germany.
Year after year, great products are invented and developments are driven forward in the economic region of Ostwürttemberg. Behind them are people who are committed, curious and courageous. In recognition of their services to the economic region, they are presented with the Ostwürttemberg Innovation Award. The jury evaluated the following criteria: Performance, Economic Significance, Creativity Potential, Publicity, Originality, as well as indications of an innovative leap (e.g., patents). The winners were then selected and notified.
The award ceremony took place on 28.10.2021 at the Sparkassen Business Club in Heidenheim.