ITB: myclimate honours sustainable tourism and presents industry innovations

myclimate presented the coveted myclimate Awards to pioneering companies and organisations from the industry at the International Tourism Exchange in Berlin (ITB). Winners included the Twerenbold Reisen Group and Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts from Switzerland as well as the GreenSign Institute from Germany. Before the award ceremony, myclimate organised a panel discussion on the current status of climate protection projects and how to avoid ‘greenwashing’. myclimate is presenting its progress on the further development of the myclimate ‘Cause We Care’ product at the ITB trade fair stand.

The winners of this year's myclimate Awards at ITB 2024. photo: myclimate

The Twerenbold Reisen Group with its four travel companies Twerenbold Reisen, Reisebüro Mittelthurgau, Imbach Reisen and Vögele Reisen won over the myclimate jury with its holistic, sustainable approach in all three aspects of ecology, economy and social responsibility. The company’s own range of services and its internal processes and workflows alike – including upstream and downstream emissions (Scope 1, 2 and 3) – are measured extensively. Through targeted communication, it encourages customers to adopt more conscious travel behaviour. Both technical innovations, for example in the Excellence river cruise ships in the Reisebüro Mittelthurgau fleet, and constant improvements to its own processes guarantee a constant reduction in its carbon footprint. The Twerenbold Group’s holistic approach is rounded off by its voluntary support for projects outside its own value chain, which it provides in collaboration with its customers. For all this, Karim Twerenbold, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Twerenbold Reisen Group, received the myclimate Award as an ‘industry pioneer for holistically sustainable and environmentally conscious travel’. 

The award for ‘Pioneer in research and promotion of sustainable tourism and mobility solutions’ was presented to Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU), and was accepted by Professor Urs Wagenseil, Co-Head of the Competence Centre Tourism. Its Institute for Tourism and Mobility works to further develop the tourism industry and individual service providers through its professional research activities. The practice-based approach facilitates projects with an eye to the future as well as more sustainable product designs that are implemented effectively. The best-known example is the key sustainability programme for Swiss tourism, ‘Swisstainable’, which the Institute developed on behalf of Switzerland Tourism. As well as this, the HSLU integrates climate protection and sustainability comprehensively into its own degree programmes and offers easy-access further education courses for employees and managers in tourism.  

The GreenSign Institute from Berlin took home the myclimate Award 2024 for ‘Leading hotel certification in the field of sustainability in Germany’. With its five-stage certification system based on international frameworks, GreenSign not only verifies the current state of sustainability, but also points the way to continuous improvement and further development. The service and certification is recognised by the ‘Global Sustainable Tourism Council’ and is aimed at both family-run hotels and large hotel chains. Among other things, over 180 corporate CO2 calculations and reduction steps were carried out for the 2022 accounting year using the web-based myclimate smart3 platform for certification. The prize was accepted by Managing Director Suzann Heinemann 

For more than ten years, myclimate has presented the ITB Awards for successful integration or significant innovations in research and implementation of measures for climate protection and sustainability in tourism services. The myclimate Award ceremony took place on Wednesday 6 March on the Lighthouse Stage in Hall 4.1. Past award winners include brands such as the Accor Group, Studiosus-Reisen and Destination Davos-Klosters.  

‘The death of offsetting’ 

Before the ceremony, Kai Platz, expert for travel, tourism and the economy for the common good at the ‘Forum Nachhaltig Wirtschaften’, and myclimate Co-Managing Director Kai Rassmus Landwehr discussed how companies in tourism can avoid the ‘greenwashing trap’. myclimate believes that the transition from ‘climate-neutral and offsetting’ to ‘reduction outside the value chain (beyond-value-chain mitigation)should be more than just another form of communication. Instead, it should empower companies to take a stand and enable effective climate protection without questioning their own responsibility and misinforming their own customers. According to Kai Landwehr, myclimate customers and partners have fully supported this ‘big step’ for myclimate. That’s why the companies are following the current recommendations from the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi).  

Innovation from myclimate ‘Cause We Care’ 

At its own trade fair stand in Hall 4.1b, 205 in Berlin, myclimate is presenting the software solution myclimate ‘Cause We Care’, developed for the successful Swiss Tourism initiative. This allows suppliers to easily participate in the successful programme for community climate protection and systematically drive forward reduction measures. Tourism service providers from Austria and Germany now also have the opportunity to utilise the myclimate ‘Cause We Care’ programme and, together with their guests, effectively protect the climate both locally and globally. 

Stay informed!