Becoming carbon neutral

Becoming carbon neutral

In 1968, the first people to see the Earth in its entirety were the crew of Apollo 11. Astronaut Micheal Collins describes the Earth as follows: "I had a feeling it's tiny, it's shiny, it's beautiful, it's home, and it's fragile."

This year's IPCC report has once again proven how fragile our home planet is. The leading climate scientists made a clear statement in the IPCC report: we will not reach the goals of the Paris Agreement (1.5° warming) if we do not reduce our emissions now. To reach the Paris Agreement's 1.5 degree target, the world must reduce its CO₂ emissions by 50% by 2030 or we will trigger irreversible chain reactions.

For us at RYZON, environmental awareness has been part of our DNA since day one. Because as athletes we are at home outside, whether on the bike, running or swimming.

We want to be part of the solution, but we also know that this is a very complex issue. It requires many steps. We don't want to just talk about it, we want to act. "Talkers talk, walkers walk" -- that's the saying.

 

Together with Climate Partner, we have worked hard to achieve this major milestone for our still young company. We can now proudly say that the headquarters of RYZON is climate neutral. We know that this is only the first step on a long journey. True to our motto "Chase the horizon", we are sure that the long climb will reward us with a subsequent view of the horizon.

In this blog post, we take you on our journey to a better future by explaining what we do, how we do it and what our plans for the future are.

What are we actually talking about here?

Before we talk about measures, we need to clarify some terms that come up again and again:

What is a CO2 equivalent (CO₂e)?

A CO₂-equivalent (CO₂e) is a unit of measurement used to standardize the climate impact of various greenhouse gases. (more info)

What is climate neutrality?

Actually, it's quite simple. It means that we store as much CO₂e in the biosphere as we emit into the atmosphere. (more info)

What is CO₂ compensation?

This is any activity that offsets the emission of CO₂e by reducing emissions elsewhere. A distinction must be made here between CO2e avoidance and CO2e neutralization. If, for example, wind turbines are built, CO2e is saved, but no CO2e is removed from the atmosphere. CO2 neutralization is achieved, for example, through reforestation or moorland rewetting. (more info)

How do we become climate neutral through offsetting?

Now that we agree on the terminology, let's take a closer look at our measures. It is not easy to count and record emissions for an entire company. To count emissions, they are divided into three different areas. 

Scope 1 describes all emissions that come from sources that we directly own or operate. An example of this would be our company vehicles.

Scope 2 includes all emissions based on the energy purchased for the operation of our company. Examples are electricity or heating.

Scope 3 includes all emissions caused by activities that do not directly belong to us but are nevertheless important for our company. An example of this is the manufacturing process of our clothing.

We have decided to focus on ourselves first. This is an area we can influence directly. In practice, this means that we offset the emissions from the company's own vehicle fleet and the building management of our headquarters.

Here you can find more information about the three scopes.

Where we balance

One of the most difficult steps in the process of becoming carbon neutral is deciding who we want to help with our offsetting. There are many great initiatives around the world. That is why we have relied on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) framework at this point.

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) articulate a shared path to peace and prosperity, for people and the planet, now and in the future. They recognize that eradicating poverty and other deprivations must go hand in hand with strategies to improve health and education, reduce inequality and boost economic growth - all while tackling the climate crisis and protecting our oceans and forests.

The graphic below shows the different impact levels of the goals. At the bottom you see the goals relevant to the Earth's biosphere. The middle level represents all SDGs that relate to social goals, while the top level depicts the economic goals. The chart shows that the ecological goals are the cause of the other problems. In order to achieve the social and economic goals, we must first focus on the goals that affect our biosphere. For this reason, after careful consideration, we have chosen a reforestation project that directly affects the first level: Goal 15, Life on Land.

 

The climate crisis affects the whole world, including our home country Germany. That is why we have decided to support a local project. However, according to the international framework of the Paris Climate Agreement, local climate protection projects are not sufficient for compensation, as the local climate protection projects are already counted towards the national emission reduction targets in Germany.

That's why we decided on a dual project. The dual project allows us to support projects in Germany and offset our emissions through another project in the Brazilian state of Pará. In this way we can guarantee CO2 neutrality for us and at the same time promote local climate protection. You can find the project in Germany here. You can find the project in Pará here. To ensure that the project really makes a difference, we have chosen a project that meets the highest standard (GOLD). The Gold Standard for Global Goals is a standard that sets requirements for designing projects for maximum positive impact on climate and development, as well as for credible and efficient measurement and reporting of results. Find out more about the Gold Standard here.

Our next steps

After identifying our emissions for the first time this year, we want to find ways to further reduce our emissions. At the same time, we want to continue using our platform for projects like United in Humanity.

You may have noticed that Goal 13: Climate action is one of the essential SDGs because it can promote real change and influences all other aspects of the framework. We want to take the next steps together with you as part of our community. That's why we've put together a short list of resources to help you learn more about the topic.

// Wie ist die Umweltbilanz unserer Bekleidung, und was können wir tun, um sie zu verändern? Hier könnt ihr eure modische Umweltbilanz berechnen.

// Wir alle wissen, dass Fliegen schlecht für die Erde ist, aber was müssen wir tun, um unseren eigenen Flug zu kompensieren? Atmosfair ist eine einfache Plattform, mit der wir unsere eigenen Flugemissionen berechnen können.

// Bücher, Filme und mehr
o Die Buchreihe The Green Idea von Penguin
o Unser Planet (Film)
o Seat at the Table von Jack Harries (Serie)

// Außerdem gibt es bereits viele inspirierende Menschen, die sich für eine bessere Welt einsetzen. Dies sind zwei unserer Lieblings-Influencer:innen im Thema Umwelt:
earthbyhelena
earthrise.studio

 

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