Global thinking is vital when it comes to climate protection. As an international tourism group, DER Touristik adopts extensive measures to reduce its ecological footprint – both at its administrative locations in Germany and Europe and with its travel products around the globe. What is more, offsetting is one of many necessary steps on the way towards designing travel to be as climate-friendly as possible.
DER Touristik’s Corporate Environmental Strategy
Leading by Example
That DER Touristik takes environmental protection and resource conservation seriously is highlighted by the company’s environmental strategy adopted in 2019. This is not only related to German locations in Frankfurt and Cologne, but also to DER Touristik travel agencies as well as DER Touristik Hotels & Resorts.
The objective was to reduce CO2 emissions by 15 per cent by 2022 compared with 2017. In 2022, we can now say: not only was this goal fulfilled, it was even exceeded!
These specific climate protection measures produced great results for DER Touristik:
- Lower energy consumption and CO2 emissions through technical optimisation
- Comprehensive conversion from seasonal to year-round catalogues
- Reduction of paper consumption, including through digitisation of travel documents for customers
- Fewer business trips, more video conferences
- Group-owned hotels certified according to the ISO 14001 environmental management standard and trailblazers in saving energy and water consumption as well as avoiding disposable plastics
A continuation of the climate strategy and formulation of new targets are currently being drawn up – with the preparation of an annual climate footprint and suitable optimisation measures always firmly in sight.
The Futouris Project on Climate Accounting
A Forward-Looking Pilot Study
What is the climate footprint of my trip? How do I select a climate-friendly trip? What alternatives are available to me? To answer these questions for customers in the future, DER Touristik is working together with Futouris e.V., the industry initiative for sustainable tourism, on a harmonised basis for calculating the climate footprint of travel and of company locations.
For that to happen, as a first step DER Touristik initiated a feasibility study to create an industry-wide CO2 register that records the climate footprint of individual travel components.
- Comparison of existing methods and tools for calculating the climate footprint of travel as well as for company locations
- Best practice examples for calculating the climate footprint and corresponding labelling models from the travel industry and other sectors (e.g., food, textiles)
- Compilation of existing and future political requirements as regards recording and labelling the climate footprint of travel products
- Expert discussions with providers of methods and tools for calculating the climate footprint of travel for the purpose of further development
This feasibility study was successfully completed at the end of 2021. The following results can be noted:
- A total of 30 climate calculators were identified and compared based on defined criteria, e.g., with regard to the highest possible validity of data used as well as the broadest possible coverage of travel components such as means of transport, accommodation, activities.
- Owing to the complexity of tourism services, such as hotels, a large proportion of the existing climate calculators are only suitable for tour operators to a limited extent.
- In expert discussions with employees at DER Touristik, additional content-related and technical requirements for a CO2 calculator were discussed and recorded.
In the next step, findings from the previous study now serve as a basis for a comprehensive industry project, also led by Futouris e.V. Here the goal is to develop a common standard for climate accounting of travel and to coordinate this within the industry. The Deutscher Reiseverband (DRV) is also on board.
The following project goals are planned:
- Development of a standard for calculating CO2 emissions of travel products
- Application of the standard for the German tourism industry
- Harmonised labelling of climate footprint of travel
- Saving CO2 emissions through more climate-friendly travel
So together with its partners in the tourism industry, DER Touristik is taking a giant step towards calculating, labelling and comparing the climate footprint of travel products. At the same time, the company can specifically promote climate-friendly travel alternatives – this applies to the journey, transport on-site and the selection of climate-friendly accommodation. Together with service providers such as transport companies and hotel partners, DER Touristik is shaping the way for the travel industry’s low-emission future.
On the Right Track
Global Climate Protection Through CO2 Offsetting
To offset the harmful environmental effects of tourism, DER Touristik is working with the climate protection foundation Myclimate – a partnership that makes a big difference. As of August 2019, customers of DER Touristik are now able to offset the CO2 footprint of their journey in a very uncomplicated way via dertouristik.myclimate.org.
Both when completing the online booking process via the website of DER Touristik’s operator brands and when booking at the travel agency, a corresponding notice actively makes the customer aware about the possibility of offsetting. However, not only is the offsetting notice integrated on all booking platforms, it can also be found in the “Bewusst Reisen” magalogue, on the DER Touristik MySites, and on invoices and travel documents.
On the joint offsetting website of DER Touristik and Myclimate, you can enter where you are going and how you are getting there. The calculator then calculates how much money is needed to offset the same amount of carbon dioxide emissions caused by the flight, transfer and accommodation. Travellers can also find important information here on offsetting and the supported projects. Offsetting via DER Touristik puts travellers on the right track.
With Growing Enthusiasm for Success
A Forest in Nicaragua
Since January 2010, the Group-owned DER travel agencies have been supporting a community reforestation project by the climate organisation Myclimate in Nicaragua with their DER Premium service package, which includes the most important services for customers: for every DER Premium service package sold, the travel agency chain plants a tree in the name of the customers. It is estimated that more than 50,000 trees will have been planted by 2022.
The reforestation project is located in the municipality of San Juan de Limay, where there is a lack of water in the dry season and flooding in the rainy season. Reforestation creates new forest areas that store water in the dry season and minimise flooding in rainy seasons. The quality of life of residents will improve enormously as a result.
For long-term and sustainable optimisation, the project also considers the causes of deforestation and supports residents’ ongoing community engagement.