As an industrialized country, Germany has a particular responsibility to play a lead role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in an attempt to mitigate climate change. For this reason, we are committed to ensuring the success of the energy transition in Germany. Our goal is to reduce the human-caused emissions of greenhouse gases included in the Kyoto Protocol by 40 percent in Germany by 2020, by 55 percent by 2030 and by at least 80 percent by 2050, measured against the 1990 levels. This is a target we also wish to promote through our own activities: our aim is to minimize our greenhouse gas emissions and fully offset any emissions that cannot be avoided. We base our carbon footprint calculations on the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, an internationally recognized standard for determining greenhouse gas emissions.
In 2016, total emissions generated by Stiftung Mercator amounted to 538 tons of carbon dioxide – so our emissions droppd once more after 2015 (-34 percent) and dropped by further 42 percent. As in the past, we calculated the direct and indirect carbon footprint generated by our offices, travel activities and events.
A decisive factor in this decline was a reduction in emissions generated by events, due to among other things a fall in the number of major events (-77 percent).
As in previous years, we offset our 2016 carbon footprint by acquiring Gold Standard carbon credits. In so doing, we support the Sichuan Biogas Programme of Activities, which aims to equip the farms of up to one million poor rural households in Sichuan (China) with efficient bio-digesters and cookers. The cleaner biogas that is obtained from the widespread sewage pits is used for cooking instead of coal and wood, achieving greenhouse gas reductions totalling approx. 20 million tons of carbon equivalent over the entire duration of the programme.