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

Since the planned reduction in emissions will affect all university operations, cooperation and coordination between the individual organizational units of the university is necessary. The environmental management network, which is made up of representatives of the Rectorate, those responsible for implementation and BOKU experts, is intended to support this BOKU-internal cooperation.

Climate neutrality?

-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:

"Avoiding and reducing comes before compensating"

The basic idea of climate neutrality is to quantify climate-damaging activities (by means of greenhouse gas accounting) on the one hand and to “neutralize” them on the other. This project should primarily be implemented directly by avoiding and reducing greenhouse gases. Emissions that cannot be further reduced or avoided can then be offset by financing climate protection projects.


Center for Global Change and Sustainability
Sarah Siemers, Dipl.-Ing.