OUR UNIQUE SELLING POINTS

We offer more than just
greenhouse gas compensation

Climate protection as pioneering work

The University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences Vienna is the first and only university worldwide to implement research-oriented climate mitigation projects in countries in the Global South. In line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we aim to focus on the social value of the mitigation activities we conduct. Thus, the benefits of BOKU climate mitigation measures go far beyond the compensation of CO2 .

Contribution to the UN Sustainability Development Goals

To lead a "good life", education, economic self-determination, and social and ecological sustainability are indispensable. In addition to binding or preventing CO2 , BOKU mitigation projects also entail further benefits thanks to their focus on several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Their fulfillment is guaranteed through professional evaluation and review by the scientific advisory board.

Long-term cooperation on site

The close contact between our project sponsors and local actors not only strengthens participatory processes on-site but also allows for further research and teaching cooperation. A number of bachelor and diploma theses, dissertations, and articles entries in scientific journals have already been published based on data and results from the BOKU climate mitigation projects. These can help with the successful implementation of further mitigation measures and further ambitious projects.

Donations that arrive on site

Our projects bind more than 150.000 t CO2-eq and are financed by private donors, companies, and the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences Vienna itself. More than 90 percent of the CO2-compensation funds flow directly into BOKU climate protection projects, as our staff are co-financed by the University. We issue a certificate for each donation.

Overview

The BOKU Climate Mitigation Projects

Gulu / Uganda

Siwalik and Gauri Sankar / Nepal

Addis Ababa / Ethiopia

La Dorada / Colombia

Soroti / Uganda

Fully Financed Projects

North-Gondar / Ethiopia

San Miguel / Costa Rica

Assessment and Selection

The Scientific Advisory Board

The Scientific Advisory Board is responsible for the independent assessment and quality assurance of the BOKU compensation system and the BOKU climate protection projects. The Advisory Board was assembled for the first time on March 10th 2011 by the members listed below. When appointing the members, care was taken to ensure that both proven experts from the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences Vienna, as well as external experts, were included. The work of the advisory board is done on a voluntary basis. This not only ensures the objectivity of the members but also ensures that more than 90% of the donated money can be used directly for BOKU climate mitigation projects.

  • Susanne Boesch, M.A.I.S MBA Österreichische Entwicklungsbank (OeEB)
  • Enrico Dal Farra, MSc.
    Austrian Development Agency (ADA)
  • Dipl.-Ing. Jesús Garcia Latorre, Federal Ministry for Climate Protection, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology (BMK)
  • Univ. Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr. Klaus Katzensteiner Cluster for Development Research (CDR), University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences Vienna
  • Dipl.-Ing. Dr. Andreas Melcher Institute for Development Research (IDR), University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences Vienna
  • Mag. Mag. Helene Unterguggenberger Caritas Austria
  • Mag. Stefan Ropac WWF
  • Representative of the Environmental Department of the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna
  • Dipl.-Ing. Sascha Mohnke Project Management Climate Neutrality, University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences Vienna
  • Dr. Thomas Lindenthal  University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU)

BOKU Climate Mitigation Projects

Frequently Asked Questions

The BOKU compensation system offers more than just compensation for greenhouse gases. The aim of the pilot projects, accompanied by research and development, is to establish structural and sustainable changes on site. The BOKU climate protection projects selected by the advisory board aim to provide impulses for innovative climate protection measures in the host country, which will subsequently become extensive, self-sustaining climate protection programs through cooperation between science and the local population. 

In order to certify climate protection projects externally, considerable sums are invested in the creation and verification of project documents that do not directly benefit climate protection. Depending on the standard used and the type of project (whether afforestation, energy efficiency, renewable energy), transaction costs of between €50,000 and €500,000 must be incurred. Smaller projects and initiatives often cannot be realized due to the high additional costs. For this reason, the focus of BOKU is on the implementation of small projects that would otherwise not have the opportunity to be financed.

90-100% of the donations go directly to the climate protection projects. The support and administrative activities by employees of the competence center for climate neutrality are financed by BOKU itself. The climate protection effectiveness of the projects is ensured by quality criteria, which are checked by the independent advisory board.

The work of the BOKU CO2compensation system is accompanied by a scientific advisory board. This Advisory Board is appointed by the Rectorate of BOKU at the suggestion of the Center for Global Change and Sustainability. Attention is paid to a mixture of BOKU members and representatives of external, relevant organizations (e.g. Austrian Development Bank and Austrian Development Agency). These members have proven competencies in the field of climate policy and CO2compensation as well as knowledge of local conditions and countries in which BOKU climate protection projects are carried out.

All projects that are eligible for compensation are checked by the advisory board. Attention is paid to the projects themselves, as well as to the CO2methodology used and the associated calculations of the CO2saved. In addition, a number of social and ecological criteria are used in project selection and implementation, which are also checked by the advisory board.

Methods were developed at BOKU to calculate the emissions. These are based on the IPCC, Gold Standard and Verified Carbon Standard. The reason for the changes to the "classic" methods is above all the size of the BOKU climate protection projects. Furthermore, two types of projects are distinguished at BOKU:
  • Projects carried out by BOKU in cooperation with organizations
    • Here the data is collected by scientists and master theses are written
  • Cooperation with other organizations such as Caritas or HELIOZ
    • Here, monitoring is checked by the competence center for climate neutrality.
A special feature that distinguishes the BOKU climate protection projects from others is that a CO2 buffer is always planned in.

First of all, it has to be said that climate protection projects are not tourism attractions. BOKU's climate protection projects primarily serve to preserve, support and protect ecosystems. Therefore, the areas of life of the local population, nature and ecosystems are the focus of BOKU climate protection projects.

A visit is possible under the following conditions:
The people living on site and the project leaders agree to such a visit.

CO2 reductions should sensibly occur where the specific costs are lowest and the CO2 saving effect is highest. CO2 avoidance costs are generally higher in industrialized countries than in countries of the Global South due to the use of clean technologies. Smaller projects and initiatives in countries that have only carried out a few projects up to now, especially Least Developed Countries, often could not be realized due to the high additional costs. It is precisely there that knowledge and technology transfer can achieve a major climate protection effect and establish sustainable systems. The aim is to achieve a high level of acceptance through participatory research and thus a permanent improvement in the project results.

With the exception of a few areas, compensation projects in Austria have the problem of double counting. As part of the annual CO2 inventory of Austria (carried out by the Federal Environment Agency), the annual CO2 emissions (and thus also the achieved CO2reductions compared to the previous year) are reported to the European Commission. This measures and verifies the achievement of the Austrian CO2 reduction targets. If an energy project, e.g. a large solar park in Austria, achieves CO2 reductions and sells these CO2 reductions to company X, then company X counts the CO2 reductions on the one hand and the state of Austria on the other.