Mannheim, 13. April, 2021 - using the methods of „Kennzahlengestützter Klimaschutz®“ (indicator-based climate protection) for Studierendenwerke, the Studierendenwerk Mannheim was able to sustainably reduce their ecological footprint. The company’s ecological balance sheet for the 2020 year forms the basis for future-oriented ecological optimization concepts, which were supplemented by the use of the United Nations certificates in addition to already sustainable measures that have been implemented. With the balance of greenhouse gas equivalent emissions of 0 t in 2020, the Studierendenwerk Mannheim was the first of 57 to achieve climate neutrality at a corporate level. For preparation of the balance sheet and the successful verification by the Verein Deutscher Klimaschutz e.V, the company was awarded the bronze seal for indicator-based climate protection.
Impacts to the climate cannot just be estimated, but must be determined comprehensively and in accordance with international standards. Only then can the emissions be identified and demonstrably reduced. Due to this, the Studierendenwerk Mannheim has opted for the „Kennzahlengestützter Klimaschutz®“concept, which involves analyzing greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with the basic requirements of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. This, supplemented by specific industry factors ensures reproducible and transparent ecological accounting and comparability over several fiscal years as well as with other Studierendenwerks.
The implementation of sustainable principles, which are also anchored in the Studierendenwerk Act (StWG), is a comprehensive process: The ecological balance sheet for 2019 first determined the ecological status quo of the Studierendenwerk Mannheim. Based on an improved balance sheet for 2020, which was prepared in a digital dashboard, an optimization concept is being drawn up to together with external experts; help implement new prioritized climate protection measures. In addition to an established energy-saving contracting program, the data driven and future-oriented ecological improvement measures will soon include changing the student residence halls to green electricity with particular low emission factors and further expanding the photovoltaic systems.
Climate protection and social responsibility combined into one project
Only official United Nation certificates are used for supplementary CO2 compensation, which have also been selected and verifies in accordance with the requirements of the „Kennzahlengestützter Klimaschutz®“concept. The emission reduction comes from the financial support of climate protection projects in developing countries, which are not economically profitable but high in ecological desirability.
The core element of the project selected by the Studierendenwerk Mannheim is the supply of renewable energy to a total of more than 20,000 households in Guatemala, which could not be provided, operated, and maintained without offsetting funding. The technical implementation of this project is through the construction and maintenance of 16 wind turbines in San Antonio El Sitio. Since the support of the Studierendenwerk Mannheim represents an alternative to the particularly emission-intensive fossil fuel supply in Guatemala, 3,097 t CO2e of the annual emission savings of the project amounting to an contributed average of 81,392 t CO2e.
Pioneering role in the governing organization, the Association for the German Studierendenwerke
As the first German Studierendenwerk, Studierendenwerk Mannheim played a pivotal role in adapting „Kennzahlengestützter Klimaschutz®“concept for other Studierendenwerk. Others have already decided to follow this example. Long term, the central collection of ecological data will enable German Studierendenwerk to compare themselves with each other and jointly contribute to improving the ecological footprint of the entire governing organization of the Association for the German Studierendenwerke (DSW).