Since 2006, Kneipp GmbH has been running an environmental management system certified according to the ISO 14001 standard. This is evaluated annually by external auditors of DQS GmbH Deutsche Gesellschaft zur Zertifizierung von Managementsystemen, and the data collected are verified.
Moreover, Kneipp verified its “carbon footprint” in 2011 and again in 2015. To this end, the company Climate Partner has checked the CO2 emissions of all German locations as well as of Kneipp’s motor pool.
Accordingly, in 2015 gas combustion and motor pool produced 901 tons of CO2. Thus, the CO2 emissions indeed increased by four percent compared to the same period of the previous year; in proportion to the bulk quantities produced, however, CO2 emissions have been steadily declining since 2009.
This was achieved on the one hand by more efficient utilisation of gas. On the other hand, in its motor pool Kneipp deploys vehicles with modern exhaust gas technology. Employees are also encouraged to avoid air travel for business appointments and go by train or carpooling if possible.
CO2 emissions from production can be barely avoided completely. Kneipp has therefore opted for compensation of unavoidable emissions. 2015 was the first time that this succeeded in full for the total CO2 emissions of the motor pool, including the emissions from gas combustion.
The first compensation project of Kneipp GmbH is located in the east of Mozambique. In Sofala province, in cooperation with the provincial government in Sofala, the Gorongosa National Park and the municipality Nhambita the non-profit organisation Associação Envirotrade Carbon Livelihoods (AECL) runs a silviculture and reforestation program.
Since 2016, Kneipp GmbH has been supporting a new compensation project: Forest Protection – Isangi REDD+, Congo.2 The project area is located in Isangi territory, in the north-eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, between the Congo River and one of its tributaries, the Lomami.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is home to the world’s second-largest rainforest. This is threatened by illegal logging. The project is dedicated to the protection of more than 185,000 hectares of intact forest area and thus the conservation of local biodiversity. This includes endangered species such as forest elephants, black panthers and bonobos (aka. pygmy chimpanzees).
Reduction of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) is a significant climate change strategy of the UN, which is intended to contribute to stopping the destruction of the world’s forests. “REDD+” projects take into account, in addition to avoiding deforestation, the role of species conservation, the development of local communities and the creation of income.
Project activity improves quality of life in local communities in the 21 villages of the project area. This is done by training, improvement of agricultural practices, health programs and new jobs such as the monitoring of forest areas. By construction of a bridge and a road, access to markets outside the project area has been improved, and the salary of six primary school teachers and a headmaster is funded by the project as well.
The effects of the climate change project summarised:
• Forest protection
• Protection of local biodiversity, including endangered species
• Availability of basic health services such as clean drinking water and antibiotics
• Support of local communities while preserving their traditional, cultural, spiritual and religious heritage
Verification: Rainforest Alliance
Certificate type: Plan Vivo, CCBS Gold Level
Annual volume: 100,000 tons of CO2 equivalents
Verification: Rainforest Alliance
Certificate type: VCS, CCBS Gold Level
Annual volume: 324,534 tons of CO2 equivalents