Internet provider: M-net is climate neutral – economy

Donya-Florence Amer asks the question soberly: “Yes, climate protection costs, she says, but doing nothing costs more”. Amer is the head of one of the youngest divisions of the Bosch group, Bosch Climate Solutions (BCS). She and her team are supporting around twenty industrial clients on the path to climate neutrality. Including Munich telecommunications operator M-net, who turns 25 this Tuesday. M-net, a subsidiary of Münchner Stadtwerke, was certified by TÜV Süd months ago to be climate neutral – as the leading internet provider in Germany.

“Our industry has also emitted a lot of CO₂ so far,” said Nelson Killius, spokesperson for the M-net management team. “Our industry generates about as much CO₂ in the world as air traffic.” That is why the company set itself the goal of becoming climate neutral years ago. They therefore searched the market for partners who could help them and finally opted for Bosch.

The Stuttgart tech group attracted a lot of attention when it announced that it would achieve climate neutrality in 2020. Many other companies contacted Bosch – thus the idea of ​​turning it into a company was born. of advice. BCS experts first determine where a company is located and which areas generate how much CO₂. A strategy is developed on the basis of this data. BCS also gives recommendations for climate-friendly management and corporate communication. BCS has identified four levers that can be used to reduce the ecological footprint: energy savings, clean production of renewable energy, green electricity and offsetting.

Most of M-net’s CO₂ emissions were not caused by the core business

At M-net, it turned out that the main cause of CO₂ emissions was not the main activity itself, namely the telecommunications network, but three other areas: data centers, which need lots of electricity for the computers and their cooling, the offices with heating and electricity and the vehicle fleet. As far as the network is concerned, M-net is particularly well placed because it has long relied mainly on optical fiber instead of copper cables, “the most energy efficient communication technology”, as Killius puts it.

Problems recognized, it was now time to invest. In data centers, temperature control has in particular been optimized. M-net has also started to use renewable energies itself, for example with photovoltaic systems that supply the distribution cabinets with electricity. The purchased electricity comes from 100% renewable sources. Among other things, economical LED light sources were purchased for offices. The cars will be gradually replaced by electric cars when the leasing contracts expire.

This does not always happen without problems. Employees who return home in their company vehicle in the evening do not always have a charging station there. And M-net also has a standby generator on a trailer – “but so far there is no electric car with a trailer hitch,” says Killius. M-net has already saved 90% of 2019 CO₂ emissions, the remaining 10% is offset, but not through the usual certificates, which you can buy for around 25 euros per tonne of CO₂, as Killius puts it. On the contrary, two compensation projects were selected, a drinking water project in Madagascar and a reforestation project in Poing near Munich, where M-net employees help to plant climate-tolerant tree species in a damaged forest.

“We received a lot of approval and enthusiasm,” says Killius, especially the idea of ​​doing something about climate change in the region was well received – after all, it is also a regional endeavor. “There have also been critical requests from electric cars,” admits the boss of M-net. Overall, however, the whole business is doing well. The discussion of choosing your own more expensive projects instead of certificates has been “very brief,” Killius says, “but not for marketing reasons.” There were also business considerations behind it: “If we don’t do anything now, it will bite us in a few years. “

The TÜV assesses companies on the basis of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. M-net completes levels one and two. This means that you can ensure climate neutrality for CO₂ emissions that come directly from the company, for example from the vehicle fleet, as well as for indirect emissions, for example from purchased electricity. The third step would then also include items such as the terminals that M-net provides to its customers, such as Internet routers. “We’re working on it,” Killius said, “but we’re only at the beginning.” But they will continue on the path that began.

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