Nachhaltigkeit in Deutschland (Sustainability in Germany)
Written by envoPAP team
29th March 2022
5 minute read
Being one of the most influential countries in the history of human existence, the German economy has been a major consumer of energy and consequently, a major emitter of carbon dioxide. Until 1973, Germany’s energy needs were fulfilled predominantly by coal, mineral oils and nuclear plants. That year, the Arab dominated OPEC placed an embargo on several Western nations, including West Germany, for supporting Israel. The energy crisis that followed prompted Herbert Gruhl, widely considered Germany’s first green politician, to pen his bestseller “Ein Planet wird geplündert- Die Schrekensbilanz unserer Politik” (A planet is plundered: The Balance of Terror of Our Politics).
This book is believed to have influenced the German environmental movement. Following the tragic Chernobyl disaster of 1986, the nation lost its confidence in nuclear energy and prominent magazine Der Spiegel ran a cover story titled “Der Klima- Katastrope" (the climate catastrophe). This brought climate change into mainstream German discourse for the first time and the nation began its impressive journey towards energy efficiency, with a strong focus on renewables. In 2019, the country passed its first climate law that mandates emission reduction targets for all sectors until 2030 and is among only a handful of nations that have incorporated climate targets into its national policy - to become greenhouse gas neutral by 2045. One of the many reasons why envoPAP chose to set up its EU headquarters in Frankfurt.
As the world finds itself in a race against time to cut down emissions before it's too late, we can’t help but mention the B Corp movement, as the world’s leading audit to measure a company's entire social and environmental impact. Launched in 2007 and currently with over 4000 members, B Corp has done unparalleled work in galvanising corporate contributions towards ensuring the health of our planet and its people. Every year, it compiles a ‘Best for the World’ list of the best performing companies across multiple categories and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that 8 German companies made that list in 2018. March is celebrated as B Corp month and in our 3rd year observing it, we would like to take a moment to recognise the contributions of 3 German B Corps towards preserving our planet.
Founded in 2015 with the simple objective of making healthy eating accessible to all, Berlin Organics makes natural performance enhancing products like protein powders, deluxe coffees, energy bars and even cookies. I don’t know anybody who would mind eating cookies that improve their “daily mental and physical performance”. Do you? The company prides itself on using 100% organic ingredients and believes nature has all we need for a healthy diet, with zero dependence on artificial vitamins. Berlin Organics claims all the vitamins and minerals in their products come from plants and not the laboratory. All its products are made in Germany and they only use vegan ingredients.
Launched in 2009, adjacent to the UN’s Copenhagen climate talks, Ecosia is a free search engine that plants trees, thus helping its users play a direct part in global afforestation! It is a not-for-profit business that dedicates 100% of its profits to climate action, of which 80% is used to fund tree planting projects globally. Ecosia has over 15 millions users, has more than 60 active projects in over 30 countries, where it has planted in excess of 500 native species. Our internet searches also have an environmental cost and they result in carbon emissions. To offset this, Ecosia uses solar panels to generate twice the amount of energy needed to power those searches. Renewable and reliable!
The morning companion we deserve, demand and can always depend upon - a steaming cup of coffee! That’s what the coffee circle deals in, as their name gives away. What it doesn’t give away is, for every kilogram of coffee sold, the company invests €1 into social impact projects in Africa and South America. In their mission to help coffee farmers profit more from their produce, Coffee Circle has invested more than €2.5 million in impact projects that focus on education, health and of course, coffee cultivation. Picturise a barista pouring out a fresh espresso into a mug in Europe and clean water rushing out of a newly-fitted water kiosk in Ethiopia. Beautiful, isn’t it?
Germany found itself ranked #4 in the Sustainable Development Report 2021 with an impressive score of 82.48 out of 100. As a nation at the forefront of the global climate effort, we thank Germany with utmost sincerity. At envoPAP, everything we do is to protect our planet and we have the greatest respect for governments and corporations that take their climate responsibility seriously. By next March, we hope to see the B Corp movement gather even more momentum across the globe and take us one step closer to creating a world we would be proud to leave behind for our children and grandchildren.