Introduction of an industry-wide CO2 register planned
According to the German government’s “Climate Protection Plan 2045”, greenhouse gas emissions in all sectors are to be reduced by an average of 65 percent by 2030 compared to 1990. Emission drivers in tourism are mainly arrivals and departures by air and cruises, but also the carbon footprint of buildings and accommodation such as hotels, holiday resorts, etc. In order to prepare for this challenge for the tourism industry and to introduce binding measures, Futouris e.V., the industry initiative for sustainability, and the travel group DER Touristik are working on a feasibility study for the creation of a C02 register. The aim is to create a uniform basis for calculating a climate footprint for travel and then implement it as an industry project. The information on the CO2 footprint is to be available for DER Touristik’s company locations and travel agency branches as well as for the trips offered, incorporated into product planning and the climate footprint of trips reduced. “This project is very close to my heart personally. Climate change is the most serious challenge facing our planet and we as DER Touristik, together with the entire industry, have a responsibility to achieve climate neutrality for travel. Freedom of travel and mobility are a great asset – also and especially for the development of sustainable action in holiday destinations. Travel contributes to the cosmopolitanism and tolerance of travellers and is an important economic pillar in many travel countries. Therefore, it is our goal to consider ecological, economic and social aspects equally,” says Dr. Ingo Burmester, CEO DER Touristik Central Europe.
In a preliminary study commissioned by DER Touristik and Futouris e.V., the Centre for Sustainable Tourism (ZENAT) is analysing existing methods and tools for calculating the climate footprint of travel and identifying potential for improvement. In a pilot project with DER Touristik, concrete implementation options are being examined and developed. “We want to develop a CO2 register of the trips we offer and integrate this into product development and strategic planning. The aim is to inform our guests transparently about the climate impact of the various travel offers. At the same time, we want to specifically promote climate-friendly travel alternatives – this applies to travel, local transport and also the selection of climate-friendly accommodation,” says Ulrike Braun, Head of Corporate Responsibility at DER Touristik.
Part of the preliminary study includes, for example, expert discussions with other industry participants on the requirements for a CO2 calculator and the comparison of existing calculators for all components of a trip. The project team will also look at approaches from other sectors, such as the food and textile industries. The first results of the pilot project by Futouris and DER Touristik should be available by the end of 2021, which will then be transferred to an industry project.
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DER Touristik Deutschland comprises the tour operators Dertour, ITS, Jahn Reisen, Meiers Weltreisen and Travelix. They offer building-block, long-haul and package holidays in 179 countries around the world, including beach holidays, family holidays, city breaks, river trips, ocean cruises, trips to sporting events and much more. DER Touristik Deutschland is part of the DER Touristik Group.
The DER Touristik Group, based in Cologne, is the travel division of the REWE Group. It is one of the leading travel groups in Europe. More than 130 companies belong to the DER Touristik Group. It employs 9,400 people in 16 European countries. Every year millions of guests travel with one of its tour operators or specialists. The DER Touristik Group includes the tour operators Dertour, Jahn Reisen, ITS, Meiers Weltreisen, Travelix, Kuoni, Helvetic Tours, ITS Coop Travel, Billa Reisen, Koning Aap, Apollo, Exim Tours and Fischer, over 2. 300 travel agencies (including DER Reisebüro, DERPART, Kuoni, Exim, Fischer as well as franchise and cooperation partners), the hotel brands Sentido, Aldiana, Calimera and Cooee as well as the online travel portal Prijsvrij Vakanties. Further information is available at www.dertouristik.com.