Why reduction helps the climate more than compensation

More and more companies today describe themselves as climate-neutral. Incidentally, so do we. But while offsetting your own carbon emissions is an important step, it's worth little if a brand doesn't pursue a holistic sustainability strategy.

As long as the margin is right, it is now easy for every company to measure its business processes and have their CO2 footprint offset. And you're already sustainable, aren't you?

Not even close.

First of all, it is important to understand that measuring the carbon footprint usually consists of two parts, one of which is often grossly neglected. The Company Carbon Footprint (CCF) records all of a company's administrative processes, such as the office's energy requirements or employees' travel. The product carbon footprint (PCF), on the other hand, refers to the life cycle of the manufactured products.

While measuring the CCF is usually quite simple and (depending on the company) also cheap, the PCF is much more complex... and often more expensive. Unfortunately, many brands already describe themselves as climate-neutral, even though they have not analyzed their PCF, let alone offset it.

Sustainable loop

But even those who do it shouldn't stop there. Because a company that actually pays attention to the climate has a lot more to do.

Compensation should only be the last step. And actually not even that. Seriously carbon neutral companies are in a permanent loop. They measure their emissions, implement measures to reduce them, measure them again and offset them. And then all over again.

This is exactly how WINQS is set up. By using climate-friendly materials such as algae, wood, castor beans and recycled fabrics, and by optimizing production processes and supply chains, we are initially reducing our carbon footprint significantly compared to conventional sports brands.

After production, we work with the independent organization myclimate to measure the life cycle of each product - from the extraction and processing of the materials, through transport and packaging, to use and disposal.

Life cycle completely measured

Many other brands, often the very big ones, who are particularly vocal about the supposed climate-friendliness of some of their articles, do not take the whole life cycle issue very seriously - to put it mildly. It is not uncommon for information on the material or the necessary disposal to be missing from the breakdown.

A frequent problem are the climate protection projects that serve to offset the emissions caused. First of all, the principle is logical: the company finances a project that removes at least as much CO2 from the atmosphere over a certain period of time as the company put into it.

Unfortunately, many projects are not very transparent and are based on hypotheses. For example, if a company pays for a piece of rainforest not to be cut down, it is sometimes not clear whether this would actually have happened. Some projects are even harmful because they do not take local conditions into account, and in rare cases land is stolen.

When compensation really helps

It is therefore extremely important to check climate protection projects properly and to pay attention to the corresponding certificates. Are the CO2 savings measurable? Are there constant controls? Are the local people also helped beyond the compensation?

Although the associated CO2 compensation certificates do not enjoy the very best reputation for the reasons mentioned, they can still be an important instrument in the fight against climate change. Because only in this way can companies also clean up the rest behind them. At least as good as possible.

However, the most helpful measure remains the reduction of your own emissions. Because only this helps to reduce the original footprint in a binding manner and provides a transparent statement as to whether a company really takes its sustainable change seriously.