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“Climate neutrality can only be achieved together.”

Mr Klinck, all Eversfrank locations have been using green electricity since July 2013. What does this mean for the group?

HK: Above all, it means  clean electricity for everything and everyone. From our machines to the exterior lighting and right through to each individual office. The green electricity is generated renewably by hydropower in Norway. The guarantee of origin for the hydropower is transferred to the German Guarantees of Origin Register. Here it is cancelled for the purposes of electricity labelling. This means that our customers can be sure that the quantities of electricity from renewable energy sources are exclusively sold to us. This is an important point nowadays, because until now, it was not possible to exclude the possibility that the electricity producer was selling the same amount of green electricity multiple times or including it on different balance sheets.

But the electricity does come from Norway. Up to now, we have not achieved a climate-neutral way of transporting it from there to our locations, which are spread across Germany. According to the internationally recognised emission factor in the ecoinvent database, 19.94 g CO₂/kWh are produced during transit when transmitting the electricity to the German electricity network. This value is variable and is updated every year; according to the database, the value has fallen to 18.42 g CO₂/kWh for the next financial year. We compensate fully for these CO₂ emissions by means of our own reforestation project, Evers-ReForest. This means that the electricity we use is ultimately 100% climate-neutral.

And as of this year, Eversfrank also has climate-neutral natural gas?

HK: That’s right. In the last financial year, around 12,000 t CO₂ were produced at the production locations, mostly as a result of natural gas combustion. However, we need the natural gas for various production processes, such as for drying the paper webs during printing and, to a lesser extent, for gas power for our heating. In future, we will avoid these emissions, because since 1 July 2017 we have been exclusively using climate-neutral natural gas for our processes. Compensation is achieved by an international climate protection project run by the United Nations. Each project is allocated a registration number and a Voluntary Cancellation Certificate which enables the gas to be cancelled in a similar way to the green electricity. A corresponding amount of CO₂ is therefore compensated, thus climate-neutralising our gas.

What has the Greenhouse Gas Protocol got to do with it?

HK: A lot. This is the key directive which provides the basis for our entire climate management, with its division into three different scopes. Scope 1 comprises all direct emissions which occur in our Group. These include the natural gas consumption I just mentioned, which we now completely neutralise, as I explained. However, service vehicles and industrial trucks, as well as diffuse emissions from printing inks or solvents, also produce low but still existent emissions. We compensate this with Evers-ReForest. This means that Scope 1 is climate-neutralised.

Scope 2 covers all the secondary energies: in our case, electricity and district heating. In the financial year 2012/13, when we didn’t yet have green energy, emissions in this area amounted to over 21,000 t. Since using green energy, we have been able to cut around 95% of these emissions. The excess emissions which occur in transit, as I said, are also compensated by Evers-ReForest. Just as with the district heating which we source from Berlin. This means that Scope 2 is also 100% climate-neutral. 

Are those all the emissions that we have to account for?

HK: Unfortunately not. Despite switching to climate-neutral natural gas, there is yet another part, Scope 3. It comprises all indirect emissions which occur during upstream and downstream processes – for example, during the production and transport of printing paper or the manufacture of printing plates and all other auxiliary and operating materials. In other words, those processes which we can only influence to a limited degree, which produce CO₂ emissions which we can’t prevent, but which we still have to record and take into account according to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and ISO 14064. We want to motivate our customers to use an ecological strategy by offering detailed advice from our sales team about environmentally-friendly printing processes and possible types of paper with low CO₂ paper emission factors. For example, we wish to promote the use of regional paper to keep transport emissions low. New technologies which enable digital printing also play an important role here, because a highly individualised product with a low circulation sometimes makes more sense than a scatter product.