05/20/2021 | News

Cli­ma­te neu­tra­li­ty for prac­tice

At the beginning of 2021, the Association of Climate Protection Companies and the Department of Environmentally Compatible Products and Processes (upp) at the Kassel University launched their cooperation project "Ways to a Climate Neutral Company". In the two-year project, customized roadmaps to climate neutrality will be developed for ten member companies.

Image: Klimaschutz-Unternehmen e. V.

"For companies, climate neutrality is an important building block for active climate protection. But it is not yet clearly defined what that means exactly, and companies do not know how to implement it in practice. We make climate neutrality a practical reality for companies. Together with the small, medium-sized and large companies participating in the project, we draw up plans and measures for operational implementation. From the results, we are developing guidelines for climate neutrality that companies of different sectors and sizes can use as a guide," is how Prof. Jens Hesselbach, head of upp, describes the project's goals. Wolfgang Saam, Managing Director of “Klimaschutz-Unternehmen e. V.”, adds: "CO2 neutrality is on everyone's lips, but which companies are really climate neutral? With our project, we want to help companies improve their efficiency and switch completely to renewable energy so that offsetting remains the exception. We're testing in practice how ambitious climate protection targets set by policymakers are, where obstacles occur and what adjustments should be made."

Commenting on the motivation to participate in the project, Dr. Jörg Reichert, CEO of “Energiedienst”, says: "We have been producing green electricity since 1998, and “Energiedienst” has been climate-neutral since 2020. We want to share our experience, but also further improve our climate neutrality and further reduce the offsetting that is still necessary. In the project, we are developing new approaches to this end. The project is also highly interesting for us because we want to help our customers become climate neutral themselves with green power and heat and energy solutions." The electrical engineering manufacturer Phoenix Contact also wants to offer its users climate-neutral products and is developing measures for this in the project: "Phoenix Contact has switched all its German sites to green electricity. By the end of the year, all of the group's locations worldwide are to operate in a climate-neutral manner. By 2030, Phoenix Contact wants to become completely climate-neutral in its entire value and supply chains. In the project, we are developing a strategy for this, and the switch to green electricity plays an essential role," says COO Torsten Janwlecke.

Following workshops with the individual companies, the upp is working with them to develop individual climate neutrality strategies. Initial results of the project show that the companies are already successfully protecting the climate and are able to orient themselves to ambitious goals such as the Science Based Targets. There are many examples where companies are avoiding CO2 emissions directly in their value chain or in their environment: They use reusable packaging, reduce packaging films, have job bikes and tickets, or donate photovoltaic systems to schools, daycare centers and clubs. In a pilot project, they are planning to replace natural gas with hydrogen to generate process heat. Or they balance their CO2 savings with CLIMATE meters, in which the measures are fed into a central database. The project helps them properly account for these savings so that they count toward their climate neutrality.

In parallel to the workshops with the companies, technical input comes from the upp in seminars on topics such as energy carriers and options, heat transition, carbon pricing instruments or science-based targets. The project runs until December 31, 2022 and is funded by the participating companies.

Klimaschutz-Unternehmen e.V. is a cross-sector network of companies in German industry that is committed to achieving Germany's climate policy goals with innovative solutions. Founded on the initiative of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMU), the German Federal Ministry of Economics (BMWi) and the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK), it now includes 46 companies of all sizes.

These ten climate protection companies are participating in the "Paths to a Climate-Neutral Company" project:

  • Energiedienst Holding AG
  • Förster Plastics Technology GmbH
  • Neumarkter Lammsbräu Gebr. Ehrnsperger KG
  • Provinzial Holding AG
  • Schöck Components GmbH
  • Karlsruhe public utility company
  • Weidmüller Interface GmbH & Co. KG
  • Worlée-Chemie GmbH
  • ZINQ GmbH & Co.KG

More about the project can be found under the following link:


Klimaschutz-Unternehmen e. V.
Nina Goßlau
Project Manager
Phone: 0331 87 00 05 93
E-mail: gosslau[at]klimaschutz-unternehmen[dot]de

Kassel University

Institute for Production Engineering and Logistics
Department of Environmentally Compatible Products and Processes (upp)
Dr. Ron-Hendrik Hechelmann
Project Manager
Phone: 0561 804 34 44
E-Mail: hechelmann[at]upp-kassel[dot]de

The Department of Environmentally Friendly Products and Processes (upp) at the Kassel University works on various research and industry projects in the fields of energy, resource efficiency, decentralized and renewable energies, as well as climate protection and climate neutrality strategies. This includes the collection, evaluation and benchmarking of energy data, flexible energy supply and load management, climate protection concepts and climate neutrality strategies.