Our way to
climate neutrality
Our way to
climate neutrality
There is one thing that unites all Bergfreunde: Our love for nature. We’re always looking for ways to get closer to it - be it by climbing, hiking, mountaineering, cycling or just using our own two feet. So, it’ll come as no surprise that we love making it easier for others to do the same.

For us at Bergfreunde, Mother Nature is an indispensable part of who we are and what we do, both in our private lives and our professions, and we are dedicated to protecting it. Now, we’d like to make this pursuit of ours clearer than ever, because quite frankly, it is time to act, especially when you consider the ongoing climate change.

That being said, we are pleased to announce that we are now a climate-neutral company - retroactively to 2006, the year our company was founded.
Background
Background
Where we are from

This topic is not entirely new for us. Since our foundation in 2006, not only have we been using 100% green energy at our sites and climate-neutral DHL GoGreen shipping from the Deutsche Post (the German postal service), but our administration is also equipped with a photovoltaic system . We’ve also managed to reduce our carbon footprint per parcel shipped by investing in new box cutting machines in 2017. Plus, we recycle the waste we produce and are part of a major industry study that aims to minimise the use of plastic packaging materials in shipping.

As we’ve become more and more involved with the issue of climate protection, it quickly became clear that more can and must be done. But, the following question arose: How can we reduce emissions that we have little to no control over? For example, one issue is how Bergfreunde employees get to work or how new goods are delivered to our warehouse. While deliberating over the topic, the concept of CO2 offsetting was brought up very quickly, seeing as we are well aware of the fact that we are incapable of completely eliminating our CO2 emissions. What we can do, however, is compensate for the emissions.

As we familiarised ourselves with the subject, we soon realized that carbon offsetting would work, provided you keep certain certain standards in mind and have the right partner at your side. We have received help from the outside from a company called ClimatePartner who provides valuable support in both calculating our consumption and looking for suitable projects.
Warum eigentlich erst jetzt?
Why now?

As was already mentioned, we have taken small steps in the past to become more sustainable as a company. However, we have reached a point where we began to wonder whether those small steps are still enough. The answer to this question came up very quickly and couldn’t be clearer: It is time to take a decisive step forward. This was evident within our company as well. Colleagues have repeatedly expressed the desire to increase and strengthen our commitment to climate protection.
What is the CCF?

CCF stands for Corporate Carbon Footprint. This shows the amount of carbon emissions produced by one particular company. In our case, these emissions would be generated by parcels being sent back and forth, operating servers and colleagues commuting to work by car, bus or train.
Was ist der CCF?
What does climate neutrality mean?
What does climate neutrality mean?

In principle, a company is climate neutral if all CO2 emissions are balanced. When it comes to greenhouse gases like CO2, it is the overall balance in the atmosphere that is important, which is why the emissions we produce in Germany can be offset by reducing emissions elsewhere. This does not lead to a further increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
How it goes
Status Quo evaluieren
Evaluating the status quo

The first step was to determine how high our CO2 emissions actually were - which was not an easy task. Every employee had to fill out a questionnaire, and we put everything to the test, including heating, fleet, water consumption - everything. A particularly interesting part of this evaluation was retroactively calculating our emissions for the years since our founding. The basis for this was data we had on hand, namely the number of parcels we shipped during that time. The tests confirmed what we had already suspected: The principal drivers of our CO2 emissions were not only shipping and returns but our facilities and us, the Bergfreunde employees.
Reducing CO2 emissions

Of course, the first goal should be to reduce your own CO2 emissions as much as possible. We have done this in the past by using green energy and implementing a photovoltaic system, improving warehouse systems and reducing the amount of air in boxes. For the latter, we invested in a box cutting machine. To cut transportation emissions, we began offering our employees the option of leasing a bike. Unfortunately, though, there is a large amount of emissions in the online retail industry that are more difficult to reduce: Trucks with combustion engines transport our products throughout the country, and employees who live further away depend on their cars to get to work.
Co2 reduzieren
Offsetting CO2 emissions
Offsetting CO2 emissions

One way to improve the CO2 balance is to offset greenhouse gases. By purchasing certain certificates, projects can be financed all over the world that minimise greenhouse gases. This can be done by means of afforestation or by supporting development aid projects that improve the living conditions of people in poorer regions of the world, e.g. by establishing water filters so that water no longer has to be boiled on open fire
Trust is good, control is better

Of course, we can only offset and reduce carbon emissions if we regularly monitor the measures we’re taking. This means that annual audits have to continue to take place in order to ascertain how our carbon footprint is developing. The same applies to the projects we support and all the other measures we take as we implement our sustainability strategy.
Controlling
Maßnahmen
measures
Which projects do we support and why?

We have primarily opted for projects that promote development aid in addition to CO2 offsetting. In addition, the projects we selected are TÜV-certified (the German Technical Inspection Association) and are in line with the standard established by WWF and 40 other NGOs.
clean cookstoves_Peru1
250.000 t CO2
annual volume
clean cookstoves_Peru2
clean cookstoves_Peru2
verified by
TÜV NORD CERT GmbH
clean cookstoves_Peru4
project standard
Gold Standard (GS) VER
In many poor regions of the world, people still cook over an open fire - in closed rooms. This is extremely harmful to their health and not very energy-efficient. The Qori Q'oncha project encourages people to use clean cookstoves that use significantly less fuel.
drinking water_Cambodia1
138.000 t CO2
annual volume
drinking water_Cambodi2
drinking water_Cambodi3
verified by
Bureau Veritas Certfication Holding SAS
drinking water_Cambodi4
project standard
Gold Standard (GS) VER
This project aims to help families in rural areas of Cambodia obtain ceramic water filtration systems. The goal is to eliminate the need to boil water over fire or coal, which cuts CO2.
wind power_Turkey1
255.227 t CO2
annual volume
wind power_Turkey2
Wwind power_Turkey3
verified by
Bureau Veritas Certfication Holding SAS
wind power_Turkey4
project standard
Gold Standard (GS) VER (971)
The energy obtained from wind power is emission-free. That much is clear. But why Turkey of all places? The answer is simple: Turkey's electrical grid is predominantly dependent on fossil fuels, and renewable energy sources still have a lot of potential there.
Unser Versprechen
Our duty: What we want to do

Of course, CO2 offsetting is merely the first step of many on this path toward more climate and environmental protection at Bergfreunde. We will continue to work hard at reducing our own CO2 emissions and, of course, promise to remain carbon neutral in the future. We will also focus more on packing materials and continue to add as much data to our products as possible to minimise the amount of returns as much as we can.

With our commitment, we would like to set an example for the outdoor industry and hope that many companies will follow suit. After all, everyone has to make a contribution. Only then can we make a real difference.
transparency

In our opinion, protecting the climate is far too important an issue to pay mere lip service to. Thus, we intend to provide regular reports on our sustainability efforts going forward.
Using our ClimatePartner-ID 13467-1912-1001, you too can look into our climate-neutrality measures.

Last but not least: We have been certified as a climate-neutral company by ClimatePartner.
ClimatePartner deed
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