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What Startups can do for climate protection


28.10.2020 – Since at least the worldwide “Fridays for Future” movement, climate protection is an omnipresent issue. Thus, more and more companies set their sights on climate-neutral management. From the beginning on, also startups can take care and protect the climate by means of straightforward and cost-efficient measurements.

Everybody is talking about climate protection – and so do founders. But the relevance for the own startup is often rated as too low as to invest already limited resources. Moreover, there is still much uncertainty about the questions of CO2-footprint and climate neutrality. But climate protection can already be pracitced in the early phase of a startup.

Compared to bigger enterprises, startups have an advantage: they can, from the very beginning, shape their structures and processes in climate-neutral ways and build upon in the course of time. For this purpose, founders may consider an already established approach, i.e.

  1. avoid,
  2. reduce
  3. balance

their CO2-emissions.

Calculate your CO2-Footprint

The first step is to record climate- and energy-relevant data in one’s own enterprise. In order to do so, you first define the factors of your own responsibility and your frontiers. As a rule, the data necessary for measuring one’s own CO2-footprint are divided into three scopes:

Scope 1: self-controlled emissions (direct)

Scope 2: energy bought in addition (indirect)

Scope 3: supplied emissions (indirect)

These emission factors are the basis for recording the ascertained consumption data. Thus, the so-called corporate carbon footprint will be calculated. The aim is an overview – the company-owned CO2-balance – which shows potential to reduce the emissions. The latter ones can be distinguished between avoidable, reduceable and unavoidable emissions. In terms of climate protection, the first two should be limited or compensated as good as possible.

Reduction and compensation of emissions

The best to do is to record all results in order to be able to retrace the footprint’s reduction in the course of time. The documentation of the CO2-balance is also the point of origin to derive reduction measurements and other activities. There are many possible actions how emissions can be reduced. Startups may e.g.:

  • procure renewable energies
  • demand sustainable software-development rules
  • use climate-neutral cloud providers
  • use climate-neutral website hosting
  • use climate-neutral server hosting
  • chose a „green bank“ for their banking business
  • introduce a „trains over planes policy“
  • buy vegan catering and snacks
  • reduce give-aways or go back to sustainable alternatives, and so on.

In order to compensate emissions, the calculated amount is balanced by supporting climate protection projects. Here, startups may fall back to compensation suppliers. Ate the gate, e.g., we trust in ClimatePartner. An uncomplicated and engaged entry in terms of sustainable management is offered by the initiative Leaders for Climate Action.

So as to support startups in calculating, reducing and balancing their emissions, at gate Garching we offer free consulting by a climate-protection-expert from ClimatePartner as a part of our own CleanTech initiative. The consulting is also available for startups who are not located at the gate.

Founders who wish to do more fore climate protection find all information here: https://www.gategarching.com/cleantech/