myclimate’s journey began 20 years ago with “climate tickets”, one of the earliest methods of flight offsetting. Now, the foundation provides consulting services, educational programmes and in-house climate protection projects – far more than mere computer-based solutions that enable private individuals and companies to calculate their emissions and support climate protection projects accordingly. Its offering also includes strategic CO2 management, the definition of measures for reduction and support with developing effective climate strategies. In the field of education, the climate protection organisation uses action-focused education programmes to encourage young people to do their bit for climate protection.
The myclimate timeline summarises the key milestones over the course of the organisation’s history.
A resolute approach to climate protection
At the celebratory birthday event on 9 November, myclimate’s CEO, Stephen Neff, looked back over the events of the last two decades with pride. With an eye to the future, he optimistically outlined the three core tasks for the climate protection organisation – tasks which have already been part of its remit in the past:
- Preventing greenhouse gas emissions
- Optimising operational process to reduce emissions
- Performing educational work
Neff explained that these crucial tasks are based on securing a scientific foundation for a logical way of working, as not least demonstrated by the Foundation myclimate’s proximity to ETH ever since it was established. That said, the involvement of society in general is crucial for making good headway with efficient climate protection and combatting the ever accelerating rise of climate change. As Stephen Neff emphasised in his speech: “Above all else, this shift needs to take place within the minds of every single one of us, so we can bring these changes to life.”
We need regulations and carbon pricing
Following Neff's speech, renowned climate researcher Reto Knutti from ETH Zurich shared his views on global climate change developments and the potential offered by new climate protection technologies. Despite the less-than-encouraging forecast about the attainment of the 1.5 degree target and political failures, such as the rejection of the Swiss CO2 Act in 2021, current trends in the private sector have left him feeling positive: increasing numbers of companies are setting ambitious climate goals and striving to reduce their emissions, in his experience. Knutti explained that this isn’t just wise from a financial perspective. Given the unavoidable political regulations on a national and international level, companies that act early can reduce their risks and make the most of their competitive edge: “It’s better for companies to be proactive and be a step ahead of politicians.”
During the subsequent podium discussion, Laura Meyer, CEO of the Hotelplan Group, Stephen Neff and Reto Knutti explored the topic of climate protection in the private sector. They agreed that politicians and companies alike need to play a significant role to ensure that we can build a net-zero society and meet the climate protection goals of the Paris Agreement.