ZNU goes Zero
Why ZNU goes Zero?
Climate change is constantly progressing. According to current scientific findings, the global warming occurring since the middle of the 20th century is largely man-made. The past three years (2016-2019) were the warmest in history (Source: www.giss.nasa.gov). This development is caused by CO2 concentrations in the earth’s atmosphere rising at levels never experienced before. The forecast climate impact has ecological as well as both social and economic consequences.
Aim of the initiative
This is why the ZNU - Center for Sustainable Leadership of the University of Witten / Herdecke (Faculty of Economics, Management and Society) wishes to assume responsibility together with its partners, proves its pioneering role and sends out a signal for other economic actors:
By 2022 at the latest, the ZNU is aiming to operate with its approx. 90 partner companies at their German sites in a climate-neutral manner. In addition to avoiding, reducing and compensating for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, partners will also be implementing additional projects under the motto "education, soil and / or trees" to make an additional contribution to Earth's sustainability. With this joint initiative communicated in spring 2018 for the first time, the ZNU wishes to make a clear statement for entrepreneurial climate protection and do even more justice to its responsibility for future generations.
The ZNU is aware of the importance of the value chain consideration, therefore Phase I (until the end of 2022) refers to Scopes 1 and 2 and will then be gradually expanded with Scope 3 criteria.
More information: Commitment of the ZNU network partners
With ZNU goes Zero all network partners undertake to avoid and/or reduce all GHG emissions produced at their various corporate sites as far as technology permits and to subsequently compensate for any unavoidable GHG emissions via climate compensations. This Initiative focuses on the company level where potential can be tapped into pragmatically and immediately. Cooperative climate protection across the value chain remains a crucial issue that also needs to be addressed in the medium term.
Source: ZNU – Center for Sustainable Leadership, 2018
Location-specific capture of GHG emissions in accordance with internationally recognised standards such as the Greenhouse Gas-Protocol (GHG) –Focus scope, for example. (Proof of existing climate balances e.g. also within the framework of the ZNU Standard - driving sustainable change).
More information: Calculation basis and documentation of status quo
Step two and three
Avoidance and/or reduction of GHG emissions by companies’ individual measures such as raising employee awareness about climate protection in daily business operations, process optimisations as well as the implementation of additional technological energy-efficiency measures. Evidence can be furnished by the ZNU Standard - driving sustainable change, EMAS or ISO 14001.
Support through the Network
As part of the ZNU partner network the parties involved in the project can exchange ideas on climate/energy themes and thereby generate synergies via such events as workshops.
Greening through the use of certified green electricity where needed.
More information: Certificates and neutralisation
If existing energy efficiency potentials are exhausted, the unavoidable GHG emissions should be compensated for by the compensation with emission certificates (according to UBA specifications p.32-40). Compensation partners can be selected in consultation with the ZNU. In addition, projects are implemented according to the motto: "education, soil and / or trees". A cooperation partner for afforestation projects is the organization Plant-for-the-Planet.
More information: Plant-for-the-Planet
Who is the ZNU – Center of sustainable leadership?
The applications-oriented research institute at the Business School of Witten/Herdecke University was established by Dr. Axel Kölle and Dr. Christian Geßner in 2008. The ZNU currently employs 15 members of staff.
The ZNU’s mission is to make sustainability a graspable concept and to inspire people about the opportunities that sustainable management holds. The ZNU is actively involved in research and teaching, continuous education and conferences as well as in the development of holistic solutions for more sustainable entrepreneurship ZNU Standard - driving sustainable change
More information: ZNU Standard - driving sustainable change
The ZNU has established a sustainability standard for the FMCG industry (with a focus on the food sector) and presented it to the public in 2013. In 2018 the ZNU Standard - driving sustainable change has been revised and is now applicable internationally and across industries. The ZNU Standard - driving sustainable change calls for and promotes the development of an integrated management system for more sustainable management. It fuses sustainability requirements on the corporate and product levels and allows for systematic and continuous performance improvement in the environment, business and social affairs spheres.