Berlin/Bonn July 2014
Recently, the fifth IPCC assessment report was published with a focus on climate protection measures. Although this report indicates that adhering to the 2º climate goal is still possible, worldwide greenhouse gas emissions have recently risen increasingly faster in spite of endeavours towards climate protection. Thus far, the population growth and economic growth worldwide have been stronger than progress made in reducing greenhouse gases.
However, we won’t get discouraged – in this newsletter, you can read about how atmosfair presented at the ITB regarding how we are handling the current dangers in Nigeria together with our project partners as well as about which internationally known hotel chain has become a leader in climate protection.
In the end, it went faster than we had thought: we have approved the first Gold Standard composting project worldwide and with this, have overcome all obstacles that stood in the way of verifying project-related CO2 reductions.
A little about ourselves: our website is new – please stop by and have a look. Our thanks goes to the advertising agency Weigert Pirouz Wolf in Hamburg, which created the new layout for atmosfair for free!
Lastly, we are growing and in search of new bigger office space in Berlin – if you have a tip, please contact us.
Thank you very much for your support,
Your Dietrich Brockhagen
Managing Director of atmosfair
P.S. Please send your questions and suggestions to us at [email protected]
ITB Berlin: atmosfair presents its cooperation with travel agency associations
Ahead of climate change: Where are German travel sales headed?
Berlin, March 2014: At this year’s International Tourism Exchange Berlin (ITB), atmosfair presented the results of its Green Counter (projects to increase travel agency employees’ and customers’ climate consciousness supported by the Federal Environment Agency) in a podium discussion. Here, top representatives of the German travel industry discussed the status quo of climate protection in their industries at the podium.
atmosfair showed that it is possible to create a win-win situation for customers, travel agencies, and climate protection through attractive travel offers. The representatives of the three large cooperating travel agency chains Cornelius Meyer (BEST-RMG), Pedro Turbany (AER), and Kristina Lenardic (Lufthansa City Center) confirmed the increasing economic importance of sustainability at the counter, but also pointed out the necessity of intensive training.
The question of the environmental success of voluntary offsetting was discussed intensively: better than nothing, but still too little according to Carsten Käfer (TUIfly) and Johannes Reissland (Forum Anders Reisen). Corinna Gather of the Federal Environment Agency showed how hard politicians have it with regard to climate protection in the international flight traffic industry.In the project supported by the Federal Environment Agency, materials were developed to help travel agency employees to broach the subject of climate protection with customers and thereby impart know-how. In the next steps, atmosfair will strengthen the travel agents’ awareness of this topic through trainings.
Tour operators honoured for climate engagement
In 2014, the atmosfair Award for tour operators with a high proportion of offset trips goes to the newcomer Geographische Reisegesellschaft (GeoRG), which has set a new record straight off with its first entry at 87% of trips offset. Last year’s winner “Island Erlebnisreisen” was able to increase the proportion of flights offset by four percentage points to 76% and with this, won the silver medal. Also new to the competition was Aksyt Ammat, a Finnish tour operator. Flight offsetting of 55% was enough to win the bronze.With the atmosfair Award, atmosfair has honoured tour operators since 2010 that stand up for climate protection by being especially successful in referring their customers to CO2 offsetting. This year, three operators were able to achieve particularly high proportions of voluntarily offest flights that were far above the travel industry average (ca. 1%).
Steigenberger Hotel Berlin am Kanzleramt integrates CO2 offsetting in a green conference flat rate
Berlin, May 2014: The newly opened Steigenberger Hotel am Kanzleramt offers its conference guests a comprehensive green meeting concept. Besides sustainable event components like organic snacks or conference materials produced in an environmentally friendly way, the green meeting conference flat rate also always includes offsetting the CO2 emissions that are produced by the conference in the hotel.With this, the Steigenberger Hotel am Kanzleramt is the first event hall in Germany that has integrated a contribution to atmosfair directly in its flat rate. Each event that a customer books automatically has its CO2 emissions offset. Thus, Steigenberger has taken a leading role in Germany in that the industry is already relatively green: according to the industry-internal Meeting and Event Barometer from 2013, 83% of the event organisers in Germany attach great importance to the topic of green meetings.
We will continue on
Nigeria, April 2014
In April, Nigeria made headlines again with the abduction of young girls from a school in the northern part of the country. In recent years, there have been attacks in cities and assaults in villages time and time again, especially in northern Nigeria.
The security situation throughout the country is tense. The Nigerian government has declared a state of emergency in three states. Western governments advise against travelling to northern Nigeria.
Our local partner organisations must also plan their travels carefully. For example, roadblocks imposed by the military or the police have hindered speedy travel and at the same time created a risk of attacks. Some regions in the north are completely closed off at times, making entry or exit impossible. Besides this, there is the danger of running into an assault through no fault of one’s own. Therefore, the annual survey of our stove users that is needed in order to recognise CO2 reductions has already taken much longer than it has in past years. Luckily, no life-threatening incidents have occurred during the survey.
In June, atmosfair had planned the yearly audit of the stove usage. For this, atmosfair employees once again wanted to travel to Nigeria. After the last attacks in Jos and due to our project partner’s dissuasion, we postponed the trip to Nigeria for a time. As soon as our project partner and we can better assess the situation in Nigeria, we will still perform the annual audit of the oven usage. The independent auditors and atmosfair will then carry out this audit under special UN regulations that apply to crisis zones. Due to the present situation, atmosfair has also applied for further clearances from the UN with regard to the implementation of the annual survey through the partner organisations.
In spite of the difficult situation, the efficient stoves are urgently needed due to the high levels of poverty and the advanced deforestation, especially in northern Nigeria.Deforestation and desertification are a critical reason for the tensions among the different ethnic groups in Nigeria. Efficient stoves help to reduce wood consumption and with this the pressure on the forests. Our partner DARE works in Nigeria with all ethnic groups and religions.
Indonesia: Gold Standard for first compost project worldwide
It is official as of April 2014: the atmosfair project in Indonesia is registered under the Gold Standard as its first composting project worldwide.
In the outskirts of the metropolises Jakarta, Jogjakarta and Surubaya neighbourhood organisations operate 15 recycling centres altogether. They collect the waste directly from the participating households, sort it, and recycle it if possible. Organic waste is composted. Thus, valuable fertiliser is produced instead of the greenhouse gas methane.Initially, the documentation of daily work needed in order to recognise the climate protection project was bothersome for our local project partners. Meanwhile, it is now just a matter of routine and helps to improve the processes and simultaneously to measure the reduction of greenhouse gases.
India: Wood saved and charcoal produced in the process
Kolkata, May 2014:
In February of this year, atmosfair employee Maren Kügler visited our project partner in the Indian Sundarbans. By now, 4000 households already use the pyrolysis stove that is produced in India. With this, not only is wood consumption halved, but also ca. 100 tonnes of high-quality charcoal is produced per month – a more climate-friendly fuel for restaurants and forges.
Maren met happy users and tested the efficiency of the stoves. Even a cow seemed impressed by the result, as can be seen in the photo. Indeed, the results from this first internal monitoring are better than expected; the utilisation rate is over 95%. In buying back the charcoal, the project partner is in continuous contact with the users, which is a key reason for the project’s success.
atmosfair in search of a new home
Berlin, May 2014: It’s gradually getting a little tight here. Due to the increase in employees, the room situation in our offices is increasingly strained. In the medium term, we need to search for new premises. We are grateful for any offers and tips; we would gladly share office space with other companies or NGOs.Our wishes: 350-400 m², central location, fair price!