Newsletter 01/2015

Berlin, March 2015


Dear readers,

For atmosfair, 2015 began with a new collaboration with the large German cruise company AIDA. True to our guiding principle "avoiding before reducing before offsetting," we are focusing on measures that reduce the ships' CO2 emissions directly. atmosfair patron Mojib Latif is also involved in the partnership and is attaching his hope for a much cleaner cruise industry to it.

There is also news for bus travel: since the beginning of the year, customers of the largest provider MeinFernbus Flixbus can select CO2 offsetting at the time of booking. You can read how the collaboration is also promoting sustainable mobility in Germany in the newsletter.

Your climate protection contributions also help in the development of a new biogas project in the Philippines. You can read more on this in Masami Fukuda's onsite report.

Besides the travel industry, globally growing freight transport is currently contributing to increasing CO2 pollution of the atmosphere. In January, the OECD announced that the amount of CO2 from freight traffic will almost triple by 2050 – yet another reason for us to further develop already existing partnerships with logistics companies like DB Schenker and Deutsche Post DHL.

Wednesday is the beginning of the ITB in Berlin, one of the most important trade fairs for the global travel industry. Come visit atmosfair (Hall 4.1 at Stand 256). We are looking forward to seeing you!

Thank you very much for your support,

Dietrich Brockhagen

Managing Director of atmosfair

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AIDA Cruises and atmosfair

Collaboration with AIDA

Monika Griefahn (AIDA Cruises) and Mojib Latif (atmosfair)

Monika Griefahn (AIDA Cruises) and Mojib Latif (atmosfair)

Rostock/Berlin, 27.02.2015:

AIDA Cruises and atmosfair will present a programme that will advance climate protection within the still dynamically growing cruise industry at the ITB Berlin. The programme features the direct reduction of CO2 ship emissions along with voluntary CO2 offsetting for cruises.

On the occasion of the ITB Berlin, AIDA Cruises and atmosfair are presenting a programme that sets standards for climate protection in the still dynamically growing cruise industry. The programme features direct reduction of CO2 ship emissions along with voluntary CO2 compensation for the cruises.

Two driving forces behind the partnership were Monika Griefahn and Mojib Latif.

Monika Griefahn, Chief Sustainability Officer at AIDA Cruises, says, "Climate protection is a central aspect of AIDA's sustainability strategy. With the new programme, we will continue our course as a pioneer in the industry. Besides a perfect cruise experience, our customers rightly expect this commitment from us."

Prof. Mojib Latif is an atmosfair patron and Head of the Research Division Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics at the Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel.

Professor Latif, you are committed to climate protection and a patron of atmosfair. Were you surprised by the collaboration between atmosfair and AIDA?

Prof. Mojib Latif: Indeed, I did not expect it, and I was pleasantly surprised! The cruise industry has a bad reputation, not least because it uses heavy crude oil that is very harmful to the environment and the climate; the industry must also do its share for climate protection! If there are pioneers in the industry, others will follow.

You are head of the Research Division Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics at the Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel. Cruises pollute both oceans and the climate. What will improve with this collaboration?

Two things: first, AIDA can offset. This means that it can finance sustainability projects. This is exactly what atmosfair does with its funds. Second, there is the real hope that the cruise industry will become significantly cleaner. This ranges from the fuels and motors used to the laytimes in ports. Here, the onboard power supply can be supplied using hydrogen, for example, instead of harmful diesel. The long-term goal must be that one day, the cruise industry will not emit any more carbon dioxide that damages the climate at all. I am pleased that AIDA has implemented atmosfair's recommendations and wants to contribute to testing completely new approaches.

It's not every day that a large international company collaborates with a small NGO. How credible is the program?

The program must prove itself in the real world. Both atmosfair and AIDA are breaking new ground with this particular collaboration and have opened the floodgates. I hope that the high expectations will be fulfilled step by step.

You can find more details about the climate protection programme here:

As well as AIDA's sustainability programme:

Ride the bus and protect the climate

Collaboration with MeinFernbus Flixbus


Torben Greve (MeinFernbus Flixbus) and Jan-Moritz Jericke (atmosfair)

Berlin, February 2015:

Now, you not only can make your flight more climate-friendly, but also your bus ride. Our new collaboration partner MeinFernbus Flixbus offers the option of a voluntary climate protection contribution directly at the time of booking. "Environmentally friendly travel is becoming increasingly important. Feedback from numerous customers who would like to "go green" with us has shown us this", says the Managing Director of MeinFernbus Flixbus Torben Greve. "For this reason, we are very happy to work together with atmosfair from now on." Travellers with MeinFernbus Flixbus will easily be able to make their trip environmentally friendly. Torben Greve already has additional exciting projects that he would like to implement together with us.

This is how it works: the calculation of the CO2 output follows a kilometre flat rate that atmosfair calculates from data made available by MeinFernbus Flixbus. MeinFernbus Flixbus collects the voluntary climate protection contributions paid and transfers them to atmosfair. The funds collected are then used in our climate protection project in developing countries, but also in selected projects in Germany.

This is because there is an additional contribution for CO2 avoidance projects in Germany included in the climate protection contribution. It will be used, for example, to finance electric buses for ambulance services for non-profit organisations (e.g., Johanniter, DRK, Malteser). The goal of this is also to support the school buses or bus lines that no longer receive public funding. This includes the so-called "citizens' buses" that replace missing local transport.

We want to offer offsetting services precisely where unavoidable CO2 is still being created. "Combining mobility with climate protection is a long-term task. In order to achieve the necessary transformation of Germany into a practically CO2-free country, the energy transition must also address transport," says Dietrich Brockhagen, Managing Director of atmosfair. "We are happy to have found innovative approaches together with MeinFernbus Flixbus in order to implement transformative climate protection projects for more sustainable mobility in Germany.“

Click on climate protection

atmosfair collaborates with Hofer Reisen in Austria

Vienna, January 2015:

As of now, travellers using the large Austrian travel provider Hofer Reisen can offset their flights directly during an online purchase. During the payment process, the customer can comfortably select a climate protection contribution in addition to travel insurance, for example. atmosfair initiated the collaboration with Hofer Reisen in 2014. The travel provider targets classic package tour customers. "Sustainability and climate protection should not remain within a niche of environmentally conscious users," says employee Lina Tabea Maguhn, who manages the partnership at atmosfair.

Ever more blue biogas drums

News and impressions from a project visit in the Philippines


First cooking session

Cabugao Oeste, December 2014:

Until shortly before Christmas, atmosfair employee Masami Fukuda was in Cabugao Oeste in the Philippines in order to provide support for the construction of biogas units for our pilot project. So far, a total of 26 biogas units have been installed and put into operation. The blue drums of the units can already be seen between many of the houses in the village.

I spent a total of three months with our project partner and collected important information on the units there, e.g., how much biogas a unit can produce, how much gas the women need each day for cooking, and what needs watched out for during maintenance“, reports Masami. „This information is especially important because we are working with a new type of unit for which there is hardly any data available. Moreover, I supported the team with constructing the units and putting them into operation. I also showed people how to use the units.“

In the Philippines, Masami was welcomed warmly by project partner Maria Banico and got a good impression of the project organisation and the people's lives. „For example, I was able to be present for the construction of Raymond and Melanie's biogas unit. I was especially amazed at how the entire family actively helped with the construction of the unit. Just 10 days later, Melanie told me with a smile on her face that she fried some fish with the first biogas produced and that it worked perfectly. It was really nice to see how each individual household contributed to promote the pilot project.“

The first impressions onsite and the feedback from users were optimistic. To the question to what extent biogas has changed their lives and cooking habits, a happy user answered, „Before the children go to school in the morning, I make a lunchbox for them. With the biogas cooker, it goes a lot more quickly in the morning and saves a lot of time compared with the previous cooking method.“

Since then, our project partner Maria Banico has returned to Cabugao Oeste again after Christmas break in order to build more units. In a short period of time, a total of 50 households will be outfitted with biogas units.

Stoves for the Mugombwa refugee camp

Training for households on using the Save80 stoves

Mugombwa (Rwanda), February 2015:

Amashyiga Asanzwe – this is what the inhabitants of the refugee camp Mugombwa in Rwanda call their traditional three-stone cooking fire. However, the wood rations provided by the UNHCR are insufficient for cooking in most households. The main reason for this is the high wood consumption required when cooking on an open fire over three stones.

That is why in the last weeks, our Country Manager Allan Mubiru and employees from the UNHCR have worked to help 1,700 households replace their three-stone cooking fire with a Save80 stove in the long run. atmosfair has ensured that the refugees are actively included in the distribution and user training for the new Save80 stoves. In this way, the new technology should be accessible and familiar to them.

In January, a campaign to train users took place. Here, the focus was on the correct usage of the stoves and how to assemble the stoves properly. First, the new users were informed about the advantages of the Save80 in large assemblies. Because a lot of stoves were distributed to the refugees in January and February, there were additional seminars on the topics of cooking, environment, and climate. A total of 42 users were trained as cooking experts, who now pass on their newly acquired knowledge to other households.

At the end, the users completed a final test. For this, they had to bring a litre of water to a boil with the wood provided and answer questions on the preparation of the most important dishes. Only after the participants successfully passed the test were they given their personal Save80 set.

In the next six months, atmosfair and the UNHCR team as well as the trained Save80 experts will regularly check how the stoves are used and which problems the users may have in handling the stoves.

„There is still a long road ahead, but we are constantly improving, and the feedback from the inhabitants and the UNHCR makes clear how important our contribution is for everyone here,“ says Allan Mubiru, atmosfair Country Manager in Rwanda.

Freight traffic endangers climate goals

Rising CO2 pollution

A study by the OECD warns that the unstoppably growing freight traffic around the world is endangering global climate goals. According to the study, international freight volume will quadruple by 2050 from 71 billion tonne-kilometres in the year 2010. The distance travelled by international cargo will increase by 12 percent by 2050.

The report continues on to state that further increases in freight traffic present an enormous strain on the climate. Thus, experts from the OECD estimate that the CO2 emissions from freight traffic will almost triple by 2050, which could "seriously undermine climate goals."

The trend towards ever longer transport distances is also applicable to Germany. According to the Federal Ministry of Transport's current forecasts, freight volume in Germany will increase by 18 percent from 2010 to 2030 and domestic transport capacity by 38 percent. For all long-distance freight traffic, the median transport distances will increase by 17 percent from 164 to 192 kilometres from 2010 to 2030.

atmosfair has already been trying to counter this trend with collaborations in the transport sector for a long time. In the last years, we were able to win over large service providers like DB Schenker and Deutsche Post DHL for a commitment to climate protection. At the end of December 2014, the 10,000th user was delighted to receive a highly efficient stove in Lesotho, Africa. The collaboration between atmosfair and DHL began with the sale of the first efficient stove in June 2011. The Post took over the complete project financing and atmosfair took over all of the onsite work, from the building of the structures to the procurement of the components for the highly efficient stove sets all the way up to the annual audit of the actual CO2 savings. For this reason, DHL decided to make a long-term financial commitment with a 10-year project duration and assumed all of the risks. In turn, the logistics company can use the CO2 reductions from the joint climate protection project for the CO2 offsetting of its GoGreen product. In light of globally growing freight traffic, these collaborations must be strengthened going forward if climate protection is truly wanted at an international level. At the same time, this requires politics to get involved. In the long term, politics must see to it that goods do not travel unnecessarily far. 

atmosfair at the ITB 2015

Hall 4.1, Stand 256

This year, atmosfair will once again be represented at the ITB (International Travel Trade Show Berlin). Visit us in Hall 4.1 at Stand 256 to find about our current offerings and climate protection projects. Our team will be please to meet you anytime from Wednesday to Sunday.