Our Environment and Us
Be nice! We Live for Climate Protection
Be nice! This credo determines all our business activities. Environmental and climate protection are playing an essential role as we try to use resources responsibly. As a company, we want to actively shape the future and promote sustainable development.
The emissions we create are an important indicator of our eco-friendly credentials. We are very proud to have been climate neutral since 2018, yet are continuously working to improve.
Calculation and Compensation
Ecologically sensible and climate-friendly economic activity is really important to us. For this reason, we want to set a good example and truthfully record all emissions that we cause, collecting data wherever possible. This includes all direct emissions (company buildings, company vehicles) and, as far as possible, all indirectly caused emissions (e.g. journeys by employees, business trips, waste, etc.).
Carbon Footprint 2020
In 2020 the carbon footprint of the niceshops group of companies was 1005 t CO2 equivalent (calculated according to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol). The recorded emissions are divided into three areas (scopes):
In 2020, Scope 1 accounts for around 30% of the emissions we cause, around 10% for Scope 2 and the remaining 60% for Scope 3.
The 1005 t CO2 equivalent is roughly the same amount of greenhouse gases as 113 people living in Austria cause in the same period. The per capita emissions in Austria amount to an average of 8.9 t CO2 equivalent annually.
What we're particularly pleased about is the fact that we were able to decouple greenhouse gas emissions from sales growth. In 2019, with a turnover of 55.5 million euros, we had greenhouse gas emissions of 852 t CO2 equivalent, i.e. 15.35 tCO2 per million turnover. In 2020, the turnover was 101 million euros, which corresponds to around 10 tCO2 / million turnover with emissions of 1005 t CO2 equivalent. The greenhouse gas emissions per million sales have thus been reduced by a third.
Our 3 Pillars of Climate Neutrality
Our climate strategy is based on the three pillars of avoidance, reduction and compensation.
This is the best way to prevent greenhouse gases from occurring in the first place. Where emissions cannot be avoided, we look for ways to curb them. What we cannot avoid at all, we compensate with meaningful projects.
Although the sales of the niceshops group almost doubled in 2020 and the parcel volume multiplied, we were able to achieve great success with our packaging materials. The use of plastic film has decreased by more than 62% (compared to 2019). Environmentally friendly, compostable, plastic-free shipping materials are currently used for all parcels - with very few exceptions. Only in a few cases, such as bulky goods and pallet shipping, is there no alternative to recyclable plastic film.
In addition, thanks to a special patent for shipping and returns, niceshops' innovative parcels can be reused without any adhesive tape - a solution that was awarded the Austrian Staatspreis der Verpackungsindustrie (State Prize for the Packaging Industry).
Our other climate protection measures include:
- The use of 100% green electricity
- An e-car fleet that is constantly being expanded, saving CO2
- The establishment of the largest e-car charging park in Austria at the head office in Saaz
- Subsidies for public transport and carpooling
- Installation of a photovoltaic system on the roof of the head office, which in 2020 covers an average of 30% of the company's energy requirements at the head office in Saaz and produced green electricity totally 11.4 t CO2 equivalent, which was fed into the grid
- Sustainable construction of the company building with high energy efficiency and a lot of wood
- Heating and cooling with waste heat from a neighbouring biogas plant
- Conscientious recycling of waste and valuable materials
- Regional and largely organic food in the canteen
- The foundation of a working group for eco-social responsibility and the Mobi task force, which is working on ways to make the employees' commutes more climate-friendly (e.g. through carpooling, subsidised e-bikes and more)
Compensation with Helioz
We take the emissions that we cannot avoid as an opportunity to support other eco-social projects that we consider sensible and that make a significant contribution to global emissions reduction in the long term. This year, we are very pleased to be supporting the Helioz project in Bangladesh.
In many areas of Bangladesh, surface water is the main source of water (alongside rainwater). However, this is often contaminated and must first be boiled, which requires firewood and has several negative effects:
- CO2 is emitted when it is boiled
- Women, in particular, have to spend a lot of time collecting firewood
- Many people, especially children, have respiratory problems due to smoke in their homes
With WADI, Helioz has developed a cost-effective, solar-powered device with which contaminated drinking water can be safely sterilised using sunlight.
Thanks to WADI, water-borne diseases such as cholera or polio can be avoided. In addition, with their projects in Bangladesh and other countries, Helioz is making an important contribution to achieving the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
We have, of course, planned further activities to protect our climate in the future.