The way to a climate-neutral BOKU
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BOKU has set itself the goal of reducing two thirds of its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 (reference year 2019) - a very ambitious but feasible goal!
True to the motto "Avoiding and reducing comes before compensating", BOKU primarily wants to reduce its emissions and, from 2030 at the latest, compensate for unavoidable residual emissions through climate protection projects. The proportion of residual emissions should continue to fall after 2030.
The climate neutrality path of BOKU
Based on the greenhouse gas balance of BOKU from 2019, a climate neutrality path (see graphic below) was developed, which represents the first stage of BOKU on the way to climate neutrality. The most emission-intensive items in the balance sheet are clearly electricity, district heating and business trips. Particular attention is therefore paid to these areas. Nonetheless, the smaller items must also be reduced as much as possible in order to reach the 2/3 reduction target; because every ton counts.
With the switch to UZ46-certified electricity on January 1, 2021, BOKU has already taken a big step towards climate neutrality! Around a third of emissions have already been reduced (reference year 2019).
The working groups of the environmental management network are currently working on further concrete bundles of measures that are intended to bring our university closer to the goal of climate neutrality.
Cooperation to achieve the goals
-A conceptual approximation-
The uniform and transparent use of the term climate neutrality is currently a challenge, as there are still no universally applicable standards. In practice, this often leads to confusion and unfortunately also to the incorrect use of the term.
In response to this, the Climate Neutral working group was founded as part of the Climate Change Center Austria (CCCA) in 2020 with the aim of creating a scientific basis for climate and CO2 neutrality of companies and organizations.
As part of this working group, a fact sheet and a discussion paper were published in cooperation with three partner organizations (BOKU, Graz University of Technology, IIASA).
Both documents are available online: https://ccca.ac.at/netzwerkaktivitaeten/ag-klimaneutral
"Avoiding and reducing comes before compensating"
Center for Global Change and Sustainability
Sarah Siemers, Dipl.-Ing.