Sustainability & Climate Neutrality

We are dedicated to educating world citizens for a better and sustainable future and are committed to the goals of the United Nations. These 17 global goals were ratified by 193 countries and are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity.

The most sustainable way ISHR can support these goals is to teach our students the values they incorporate. At ISHR we aim to be good role models by taking action to protect our climate.

Over the past years the following measures have been implemented:

  • Purchased 100% green electricity from renewable sources
  • Installed an individual room heating control to save energy
  • Insulated the ceilings of our listed buildings to reduce heating costs
  • Installed a new, more efficient compact heating station
  • Replaced lights in several areas of the school with LED technology
  • Reduced copy paper and electricity consumption through a modern copy management system
  • Created incentives for staff to use public transport by offering a job ticket

Fokus Zukunft

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Since no school can avoid CO2 emissions completely, ISHR worked together with the climate agency “Fokus Zukunft” to have the remaining CO2 production measured and analysed.

The result of this work was that ISHR emitted a total of 288 tons of CO2 in 2021 which corresponds to 2,22 tons per staff member and is very low compared to other educational institutions.

To offset the remaining CO2 pollution, ISHR has purchased officially-qualified certificates. The money spent for these certificates is used to support climate protecting investments in areas where they are most needed. ISHR has invested the total amount of € 3.059 as follows:

  • 50 certificates Hydropower Project, Vietnam
  • 50 certificates Wind Energy Project, Mexico
  • 50 certificates promoting improved cooking practices in Nigeria
  • 50 certificates Proyecto Mirador – enhanced distribution of improved cookstoves in Latin America
  • 88 certificates Kikonda Forest Reserve, Uganda


You might ask yourself, what good does it do to produce CO2 in Germany and compensate for it in parts of the world that are far away? Well, this is our shared world, but every Euro we spend goes much further in Uganda, for example, than it does here, or with our immediate neighbors in Western Europe.

This does not stop us from working for a cleaner environment on our doorstep and we will continue to look for ways to reduce our carbon footprint further.

Join us in protecting our environment because there is no planet B!

FAQ

Find the answers to your questions here:

Climate change is the greatest challenge facing humanity since the end of the Ice Age and is the defining task of our time. The consequences of global warming are becoming increasingly tangible and the pressure on politicians and companies is growing – not least due to the Fridays for Future movement.

The success of emission reductions depends to a large extent on the voluntary and consistent action of industry in the industrialized countries. The International School Hannover Region has therefore decided to take responsibility for the world we leave to our children and grandchildren.

For this reason, with the help of the consultants of Fokus Zukunft GmbH we have recorded all greenhouse gas emissions emitted by our company, and offset them by purchasing a total of 288 climate protection certificates for the 2022. With these certificates, we support distribution of improved cookstoves in Latin America or promote imporved cooking practices in Nigeria, which has been certified according to the Verified Carbon Standard; under the sovereignty of the United Nations through CER; through the Gold Standard.

We are aware of our special responsibility as a school towards future generations and have acted accordingly. The impact of ISHR on the climate has been determined for us by Fokus Zukunft GmbH & Co. KG: Our CO2 footprint is approximately 288 tons of CO2 equivalents per year. On average, a person in Germany causes about 11.6 tons of CO2 per year through his or her lifestyle.

Greenhouse gases are evenly distributed in the atmosphere. Therefore, it makes sense to avoid emissions where the costs are lowest. In addition, projects in emerging and developing countries help to improve the economic, social and ecological situation and support the realization of the sustainability goals of the United Nations. For emerging and developing countries, emissions trading is a key driver for the transfer of clean technologies and sustainable economic development.

The international community has agreed that global warming must be limited to below 2 degrees Celsius – or even better still to 1.5 degrees – to prevent catastrophic consequences. However, the current pledges made by individual states are only sufficient to limit global warming to a maximum of 4 degrees. Closing this ambition gap will require additional and substantial commitment from businesses and citizens.


We have recognized that voluntary emission reductions and the compensation of unavoidable emissions are essential to effectively counteract climate change. That is why we have decided to neutralize our CO2 emissions and thus want to make a contribution to a future worth living. Because we not only want to analyze the problems, but also tackle and solve them.

The carbon footprint is a measure of the amount of greenhouse gases (measured in CO₂ equivalents) produced directly and indirectly, through an activity of an individual, a company, an organization or a product. It includes the resulting emissions from raw materials, production, transport, trade, use, recycling and disposal.


The basic idea behind the carbon footprint is therefore to create a basis on which influences on the climate can be measured, evaluated and compared. In this way, necessary reduction potentials can be identified, measures developed, and their effectiveness evaluated.

According to the principle of the “Clean Development Mechanism” described in the Kyoto Protocol, greenhouse gases that are emitted in one place on earth and cannot be avoided should be saved by climate protection projects in another place. To finance these, companies buy certificates for corresponding climate protection projects from the six available project sectors (biomass, cooking stoves, solar energy, forest protection, hydropower and wind energy). Each certificate represents 1 ton of CO2 saved by the respective project.


There are numerous climate protection projects worldwide, most of which support renewable energy projects. The initiators of these projects receive emission credits for their commitment, which can be traded in the form of climate protection certificates. The amount is measured, for example, by comparing it with the emissions that would have resulted from the construction of a coal-fired power plant.

We commissioned the external sustainability consulting firm Fokus Zukunft to calculate our company’s footprint.


The emissions balance was calculated using the official Greenhouse Gas Protocol guidelines.

Within the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, emissions are divided into Scopes 1, 2 and 3, each of which covers different types of greenhouse gas emissions. Scope 1 includes direct emissions from own energy plants. Scope 2 includes emissions that are indirectly caused by the provision of energy to the company. Scope 3 emissions are other indirect emissions that occur along the entire value chain.

The calculation of greenhouse gas emissions includes the seven main greenhouse gases defined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Kyoto Protocol: carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6).

Not all of the seven main greenhouse gases are equally effective. Methane, for example, is 21 times more harmful to the climate than CO2, nitrous oxide 310 times and sulphur hexafluoride even 14,000 times. In order to compare the emissions, all greenhouse gases are therefore converted to CO2. These are then referred to as CO2 equivalents.

The conversion of the collected consumption data (e.g. electricity consumption or fuel consumption) is done by using emission factors, which indicate the emissions per unit (e.g. per kilowatt hour of electricity or liter of petrol). The emission factors mainly come from DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), but also from the GEMIS database (Global Emissions Model of Integrated Systems, IINAS) as well as from the Ecoinvent database, and are regularly updated.

The initiators of climate protection projects – mainly renewable energy projects – receive emission credits for their commitment, which can be traded in the form of climate protection certificates. The amount of emission compensation is measured, for example, by comparing it with the emissions that would have resulted from the construction of a coal-fired power plant instead of generating renewable electricity.

The climate protection projects we purchase are accredited, approved and controlled according to one of the three internationally recognized certification standards – VCS (Verified Carbon Standard), UN CER (Certified Emission Reduction of the United Nations) or the Gold Standard developed by WWF. The validation of the project results, in terms of the CO2 savings achieved, is certified by independent inspection agencies such as the German TÜV.

The purchased number of CO2 certificates will be decommissioned. This is important because this decommissioning is a prerequisite for the design and marketing of CO2-neutral companies and/or products. Without decommissioning, a CO2 certificate could possibly continue to be traded on the voluntary market, which would not result in any additional reduction in emissions.

With a total number of 288 certificates we support five projects all over the world which has been certified according to the Verified Carbon Standard; under the sovereignty of the United Nations through CER; through the Gold Standard.

You can find the exact project descriptions at: https://www.fokus-zukunft.com/klimaschutzprojekte.html

Climate change is a global issue, so it does not matter where CO2 emissions are emitted or saved, in the end the sum of greenhouse gases is decisive. In Germany, the reduction or compensation of CO2 is very expensive, but in emerging and developing countries the compensation is cheaper. The Kyoto Protocol, which is binding under international law, therefore stipulates that so-called climate protection projects that avoid or store greenhouse gas emissions should take place where they are most economical.


Accordingly, there are many projects in newly industrializing and developing countries, as the potential for savings through new technologies is still very high there and they can be used much more cost-effectively. In addition, the conditions for renewable energy plants (solar, wind, hydro and biomass) are often much more advantageous there. Furthermore, the projects in emerging and developing countries contribute to improving the economic, social and ecological situation and support the realisation of the sustainability goals of the United Nations. For emerging and developing countries, emissions trading is a key driver for the transfer of clean technologies and sustainably oriented economic development.

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