We want to make our world greener and more equitable. That’s why our social responsibility activities focus on three issues: fighting climate change, protecting endangered species, and working for social justice and equal opportunity. We want to make a sustainable difference in these fields.
Our sustainability initiatives do not begin and end within our four walls. Our goal is to act as multipliers among our customers, suppliers, partners, and employees.
Matthias Kiess and Steffen Frey of AEB’s Board of Directors talk about how that works – and how everything they’ve already done and are now doing is just the beginning.
Our climate action plan is designed to help achieve the 1.5°C target of the Paris Climate Accords. We follow the logic of “avoid – reduce – offset” and see offsets as the last option, focusing our efforts on avoiding emissions in the first place.
For the emissions that cannot be avoided, we have invested in an internationally recognized and certified climate action project: We have offset our greenhouse gas emissions by buying certificates from the Gold Standard afforestation/reforestation project in Uganda, earning the right to call ourselves climate neutral (download certificate).
The project in Uganda covers an area of over 10,000 hectares and offsets some 18,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents each year. It also helps advance other UN Sustainable Development Goals such as quality education, clean water, and decent work. The project has received Gold Standard certification from TÜV Süd.
AEB ran an initial assessment in 2021 of the greenhouse gas emissions caused by its business operations. The data collected was for 2019, the year before the Covid-19 pandemic. At the time, things were still largely “normal” at AEB when it came to greenhouse gas emissions. The amount of business travel and the use of company offices and company cars were at a much higher level than in 2020 or 2021. The goal was to take this higher level of consumption as the baseline for our offsets.
The measurements included not only carbon dioxide emissions but also emissions of the six other greenhouse gases cited in the Kyoto Protocol, which were converted into carbon dioxide equivalents.
The main benefit of the carbon footprint is to bring transparency to the major sources of emissions so that it’s possible to envision and implement other effective climate initiatives.
Educational opportunities for the disadvantaged: That’s the goal of the AEB-Stiftung, the foundation we established in 2017. Because education is not just the key to individual success and the best way to elevate children out of poverty. It also helps them develop into tolerant, open-minded human beings who practice sustainability. This helps people peacefully coexist in a spirit of mutual respect and responsibility.
The AEB-Stiftung is currently engaged in expanding schools in socially vulnerable areas of Uganda and Brazil and is active with the mentoring organization Kinderhelden in Germany. Our support goes beyond just financial assistance to include a great deal of personal commitment and professional expertise on the part of AEB employees.