Climate change represents the greatest challenge facing humanity since the end of the Ice Age and is the defining issue of our time. The consequences of global warming are becoming increasingly tangible and the pressure on politicians and companies is growing. There is now global consensus that we urgently need to counter man-made climate change.
Success in reducing emissions depends to a large extent on voluntary and consistent action by industry in the industrialized countries. So at TRIPS, we too are ready to take responsibility for the world we leave to our children and grandchildren.
For this reason, we have had the greenhouse gas emissions caused by our company’s activities recorded and offset by purchasing a total of 1,164 climate protection certificates for the years 2023 and 2024. With these certificates, we support projects in industries in which we ourselves are active. The projects are an 84 MW run-of-river power plant in Pakistan, a wind farm in Mexico and a 62 MW hydropower plant in Vietnam, which were certified by CER under the sovereignty of the United Nations.
We are aware of our special responsibility as a company towards future generations and have acted accordingly. The climate impact of our company was determined for us by Fokus Zukunft GmbH & Co. KG: Our CO₂ footprint is approximately 582 metric tons of CO₂ equivalent emissions per year. For a better understanding: On average, a person in Germany produces about 11.6 tons of CO₂ per year through their lifestyle. Greenhouse gases spread evenly through the atmosphere. Therefore, it makes sense to avoid emissions where the costs are lowest. In addition, projects in emerging and developing countries help to improve the economic, social and ecological situation and support the realization of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. For emerging and developing countries, emissions trading is a key driver for the transfer of clean technologies and sustainable economic development.
The calculated greenhouse gas balance provides a transparent overview of our company’s greenhouse gas emissions. The report represents an important building block in our commitment to climate protection. Based on the values determined and by purchasing a corresponding amount of climate certificates, our company was made climate neutral. We have received the “climate-neutral company” award for offsetting our greenhouse gases.
Frequently Asked Questions “FAQs” for climate-neutral companies
Why is TRIPS committed to global climate protection?
The global community has agreed that global warming must be limited to below 2 degrees Celsius – or better yet, 1.5 degrees – to prevent catastrophic consequences. But the current pledges of the individual countries are only sufficient to limit warming to a maximum of 4 degrees. Closing this ambition gap will require an additional and substantial commitment from companies, as well as citizens. We have recognized that voluntary emission reductions and offsetting of unavoidable emissions are essential to effectively address climate change. That is why we have decided to neutralize our CO₂ emissions and thus want to contribute to a future worth living. Because we don’t just want to analyze the problems, we want to address and solve them.
What is a CO₂ footprint?
The CO₂ footprint is the measure of the amount of greenhouse gases (measured in CO₂ equivalents) produced directly and indirectly, by an activity of an individual, a company, an organization or a product. It includes the resulting emissions from raw materials, production, transport, trade, use, recycling and disposal. The basic idea of the CO₂ footprint or carbon footprint is to create a basis on which influences on the climate can be measured, evaluated and compared. This allows necessary reduction potentials to be identified, measures to be developed and their effectiveness to be evaluated.
The corporate carbon footprint is the CO₂ footprint of a company and the product carbon footprint is the CO₂ footprint of a product.
What does climate neutrality mean?
According to the principle of the “Clean Development Mechanism” described in the Kyoto Protocol, greenhouse gases that are produced in one place on earth and cannot be avoided are to be saved by climate protection projects in another place. To fund these, companies buy certificates of corresponding climate protection projects from the six available project sectors (biomass, cooking stoves, solar energy, forest protection, hydro-power and wind energy). Each certificate represents 1 ton of CO₂ saved by the respective project. There are numerous climate protection projects worldwide, most of which support renewable energy projects. The initiators of these projects receive emission credits for their commitment, which can be traded in the form of climate protection certificates. The amount is measured, for example, by comparing it with the emissions that would have resulted from the construction of a coal-fired power plant.
How was the amount of CO₂ emissions calculated by our company?
We commissioned the external sustainability consultancy Fokus Zukunft to calculate our company’s footprint. The emissions balance was calculated using the official Greenhouse Gas Protocol guideline.
What is reported under the Greenhouse Gas Protocol?
Emissions are divided within the Greenhouse Gas Protocol according to Scopes 1, 2, and 3, each of which includes different types of greenhouse gas emissions. Scope 1 includes direct emissions from own energy plants. Scope 2 includes emissions that are indirectly caused by the provision of energy for the company. Scope 3 emissions are further indirect emissions that occur throughout the value chain.
Which greenhouse emissions are included in the calculation?
The calculation of greenhouse gas emissions includes the seven main greenhouse gases defined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Kyoto Protocol: carbon dioxide (CO₂), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), nitrogen trifluoride (NF3), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6).
What are CO₂ equivalents?
Not each of the seven main greenhouse gases is equally effective. Methane, for example, is 21 times more harmful to the climate than CO₂, nitrous oxide 310 times, and sulfur hexafluoride 14,000 times. In order to compare emissions, all greenhouse gases are therefore converted to CO₂. We then speak of CO₂ equivalents.
How is the collected consumption data converted into greenhouse gas emissions?
The conversion of the collected consumption data (such as electricity consumption or fuel consumption) is done by means of emission factors, which indicate the emissions per unit (e.g. per kilowatt hour of electricity or liter of gasoline). The emission factors come mainly from DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), but also from the GEMIS database (Global Emissions Model of Integrated Systems, IINAS) and the Ecoinvent database, and are updated regularly.
How are emission certificates generated?
The initiators of the climate protection projects – mainly renewable energy projects – receive emission credits for their commitment, which can be traded in the form of climate protection certificates. The amount of the emissions offset is measured, for example, by comparing it to the emissions that would have resulted from building a coal-fired power plant instead of generating renewable electricity.
What quality criteria do the climate protection projects meet?
The carbon reduction projects we purchase are each accredited, approved and controlled according to one of three internationally recognized certification standards – VCS (Verified Carbon Standard), UN CER (Certified Emission Reduction of the United Nations) or the Gold Standard developed by WWF. The validation of the project results, in terms of the CO₂ savings achieved, is certified by independent testing bodies such as TÜV.
What happens to the CO₂ certificates after they have been purchased?
The acquired number of CO₂ certificates were closed down. This is important because this decommissioning is a prerequisite for the design and marketing of CO₂-neutral companies and/or products. Without decommissioning, a CO₂ certificate could continue to be traded in the voluntary market, if necessary, which would not achieve any additional emissions reduction.
Which projects are supported by the purchased certificates?
With a total of 1,164 certificates, we support a hydropower project in Pakistan, a wind energy project in Mexico, and a hydropower project in Vietnam, which were certified by CER under the sovereignty of the United Nations. The detailed project descriptions can be found at: https://www.fokus-zukunft.com/klimaschutzprojekte.html
Why do we support international projects?
Climate change is global, so it doesn’t matter where CO₂ emissions are emitted or saved, in the end it’s the sum of greenhouse gases that matters. In Germany, reducing or offsetting CO₂ is very expensive, whereas in emerging and developing countries it is less expensive. 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 take place where they are most economical. Accordingly, there are many projects in emerging and developing countries, as the potential for savings from new technologies is still very high here and they can be used much more cost-effectively. In addition, the conditions for renewable energy plants (solar, wind, water and biomass) are often much more beneficial there. In addition, the projects in emerging and developing countries help to improve the economic, social and ecological situation and support the realization of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. For emerging and developing countries, emissions trading is a key driver for the transfer of clean technologies and sustainable economic development.