Sustainability – The BCN is climate neutral!
The Burda Group is climate neutral in Germany as of 2021 (retroactively).
Detailed balance sheets have been drawn up to map Hubert Burda Media’s greenhouse gas emissions in Germany as accurately as possible since 2020. These CO2e balances contain the emissions of all German companies in which the group holds a share of at least 50.01 per cent. This means that the BCN Brand Community Network, as a corporate division of Hubert Burda Media, is also climate neutral.
Hubert Burda Media and the BCN’s aim is to measure its emissions in detail, to prevent the emissions derived from this or to reduce them to the greatest extent possible using targeted measures. Where this is not feasible, Hubert Burda Media compensates for its emissions by investing in its partners’ climate protection projects in order to achieve climate neutrality. In addition, it also supports local projects in the field of regenerative agriculture.
This CO2 footprint was used as basis to identify the areas with the greatest potential for optimisation, as the focus of the sustainability initiative is on reducing emissions so that certain emissions are not caused in the first place. To this end, measures are being implemented across the Group in the four core areas of ‘energy, resources, mobility and education’. This strategy will be continued and expanded in 2023.
All the emissions generated in 2022 that still cannot be avoided or reduced through our current measures have been provisionally compensated. To do this, Burda is working together with ClimatePartner, which implements suitable carbon offset projects based on Burda’s market presence and emission sources. It also does this on a regional level. Our compensation strategy is focused around promoting regenerative agriculture. We are currently providing support to two partners who are contributing to generating, producing and trading agricultural products and food in a more ecological and social way through research, sharing knowledge and financial support. The Bioland Stiftung offers, among other things, expert seminars for farmers, while positerra and Burda support and advise ‘Burda farmers’ (Burda-Bauern) in converting their farms to regenerative agriculture.
To become certified as a climate-neutral company, Burda’s CO2e emissions were calculated and offset through climate protection projects. This includes all direct emissions (Scope 1), purchased energy (Scope 2) and part of the indirect emissions from the supply chain (Scope 3), such as business trips and employee travel. This is specified by ClimatePartner and is the usual standard.
You can find out more about Burda’s offsetting goals, partners and environmental projects here https://www.burda.com/en/getting-better/compensation/.
Measures to reduce CO2e emissions
The amount of green electricity used in production/sales
BurdaDruck’s German printing plants use their own highly efficient cogeneration systems to generate electrical energy and heat simultaneously.
In the future, the electricity for the plants will be generated by continuously expanding the range of sustainable energy sources at the operating sites using regional, regenerative energies such as photovoltaics or wind power. To this end, the ‘getting better’ team is working very closely with BurdaDruck and other project partners. Individual Hubert Burda Media holdings, such as Cyberport, have been successfully using photovoltaic systems for several years now.
Since January 2021, all Burda office buildings in Germany have been converted to green electricity. You can read more about this at: https://www.burda.com/de/news/burda-setzt-jetzt-auf-okostrom/ [in German]. Since the beginning of November 2022, additional measures have been taken to save energy in Burda office buildings in places where it is wasted, such as by using LED lamps.
Sustainable action that conserves resources
When it comes to resources, Hubert Burda Media and the BCN try to act as sustainably as possible. For example, we offer sustainable office supply products in Burda’s internal Office Supply Shop Coupa. These include providing recycled paper for office printers and other sustainable office materials. All these products are marked with the ‘Burda Green’ label.
Other measures within Burda included changing the packaging for employee copies of our magazines, introducing reusable cups, second-life coffee machines and making improvements in the canteens.
Paper as a raw material
Wood is a CO2-neutral raw material. The manufacturers of our gravure papers only use wood from sustainably managed European forests to produce them. Forests are not destroyed during the production process – the manufacturers only use forest thinnings, dead wood and sawmill waste. We also source over 90 per cent of our paper from paper mills that use electricity from renewable sources and that take care to minimise water pollution caused by chemicals.
Print is also a sustainable communication medium above all because the Germany has an excellent paper cycle. All of our production-related paper waste is returned to the paper mill and reintroduced into the paper cycle there. The overall recycling rate of graphic papers in Germany is well above 80 per cent. This wastepaper is perfect and is a sought-after raw material in the paper industry. Since paper fibres can only be recycled five to seven times, fresh fibres must be continuously fed into the paper cycle. Due to the nature of the process, our gravure papers have a high proportion of virgin fibres and are therefore an important supplier of raw materials and essential for a functioning paper cycle. That’s why nobody wants all the paper in the cycle to be recycled paper – according to the WEF, if everyone were to switch to using nothing but recycled paper, there would not be any paper left after about six months.
BurdaDruck is a central division of Hubert Burda Media and, as a manufacturing business, is responsible for the lion’s share of the CO2 emissions generated by Hubert Burda Media. Since the 1990s, BurdaDruck has been systematically analysing its production processes according to production-dependent environmental aspects and defining measures to ensure environmentally friendly and high-quality printing at the same time. The company is involved in the Bavarian Environmental Climate Pact (Umwelt + Klimapakt Bayern) and is also part of other environmental and climate initiatives.
You can find out more about sustainable printing on the BurdaDruck homepage.
Thanks to a joint project by Corporate HR, Procurement, Corporate Tax and BurdaServices, all Burda employees have been able to lease their dream bike easily and at good rates since 2021. Many colleagues have already switched to using BurdaBikes and not only protect the environment on their way to work, but also boost their health and fitness at the same time. Two-thirds of the bikes used are e-bikes. Once a year, Burda also organises the ‘BurdaBike Test Week’ for its employees, where they can find out about new bikes from local dealers and test them there and then. The BurdaBikes are part of a comprehensive mobility concept by HR.
Company cars and parking spaces
Another part of HR’s mobility concept includes using e-cars as company cars, providing e-charging stations at many of Burda’s location and reducing the number of parking spaces in general. The aim is to give employees an incentive to switch to more environmentally friendly cars or not to drive to the office in the first place. Another advantage is that the e-cars charged at Burda have also been running on green electricity since 2021, when the office buildings switched to green electricity.
BurdaProcurement already offers the Bahncard 25/50/100 as an alternative to company cars. These rail passes can be used without being taxed as a non-cash benefit if they are intended to be used for business purposes.
Internal change through education
Education and knowledge building is the key to successful sustainability management for Burda. This involves an internal education initiative and measures such as educating and empowering employees to make the right decisions to improve environmental and climate protection in everyday office life and in their private lives. Education is also at the heart of our compensation strategy.
Sustainability is one of the most important issues related to transformation and innovation of our time. BurdaVerlag is using its power as a media and tech company to make key issues a priority so as to give people a positive incentive to assume their social responsibility.
But providing a large volume of well-researched journalistic content on sustainability in the Burda brands is not the only thing that BurdaVerlag is doing as a publishing unit of Hubert Burda Media. Since 2021, it has increased its commitment to sustainability, and has become proactive in how it puts this responsibility into practice in the form of a sustainability initiative getting better.
This means that sustainability is a firm fixture in BCN’s marketing portfolio. The number of brands that have dedicated themselves holistically to sustainability is also growing alongside the number of journalistic articles on the issue. And we have also developed sustainable alternatives for the advertising formats themselves.
Media brands with a focus on sustainability
Sustainable platforms for your topic planning.
Inspire your readers: whether it’s sustainable products, an environmentally conscious lifestyle or a healthy way of life – our brands approach sustainability in a variety of ways, thus offering the perfect platforms for your sustainable brand communication.
‘Carbon neutrality means that the carbon footprint of a company, product or service has been calculated and offset by internationally recognised carbon offset projects,’ is the official definition from the climate protection company ClimatePartner. ‘This includes direct CO2 emissions generated by the company (from heat and electricity generation, the vehicle fleet and fugitive gases), as well as indirect emissions (from purchased energy, business travel and employee commuting). Other indirect emissions that occur outside of the company’s control, such as those during the production of raw materials purchased by the company, intermediate products, external logistics, product use and end-of-life treatment are not covered by the carbon neutral company claim.’