Knorr-Bremse supports atmosfair with a project in India providing low-income households in rural West Bengal with efficient wood gasifier stoves that save 50 to 60 percent of the firewood the households would otherwise need to consume. This inter alia preserves the mangrove forests in West Bengal.
Secondly, Knorr-Bremse supports atmosfair’s "Clean Drinking Water" project in Kenya, which helps provide rural households with access to clean drinking water.
Knorr-Bremse has made a commitment to achieve CO₂ neutrality at its own sites from 2021 onwards. This is to be accomplished by maximizing renewable energy procurement, also at the Group's headquarters in Munich.

Knorr-Bremse partners with climate protection organization atmosfair to combat climate change

As part of its new Climate Strategy 2030, Knorr-Bremse is pressing ahead with its measures to protect the climate. By committing to its own climate target, Knorr-Bremse is making its contribution to the Paris agreement to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. The 50-percent reduction in CO₂ emissions by 2030 is to be achieved through energy efficiency measures and the company’s own production and sourcing of renewable energies. In addition, Knorr-Bremse has made a commitment to achieve CO₂ neutrality at its own sites from 2021 onwards. This is to be accomplished by maximizing renewable energy procurement and by offsetting the unavoidable emissions that remain with high-quality climate protection certificates. To this end, Knorr-Bremse this year signed a long-term cooperation agreement with the Berlin-based climate protection organization atmosfair gGmbH that runs to 2030.

With its Climate Strategy 2030, Knorr-Bremse makes a contribution to the Paris agreement to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.

atmosfair: new partner for active climate protection

As of this year, Knorr-Bremse has a new partner for active climate protection at its side in atmosfair. The Berlin-based non-profit organization emerged from a research project by the German Federal Environment Ministry and a joint initiative by the tour operator association forum anders reisen (website in German only) and the environmental and development organization Germanwatch in 2004. Since then, atmosfair has been developing and running climate protection projects involving the expansion of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies as well as advising and accompanying companies and institutions on their path of transition to a decarbonized economy. atmosfair enables companies to offset unavoidable CO₂ emissions in the Global South. The patrons of atmosfair include the former Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme, Klaus Töpfer, and the President of GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Professor Mojib Latif, who is also President of the German Society of the CLUB OF ROME.

In a further effort to protect the climate, we have committed to making our sites CO₂-neutral from the end of 2021. To this end, we will maximize the share of electricity generated from renewable sources. We intend to offset remaining, irreducible emissions of around 40,000 metric tons of CO₂ with high-quality climate protection certificates. Knorr-Bremse has therefore signed a long-term offsetting agreement with atmosfair. We are very pleased to be working with our new partner.

Frank Markus Weber – CFO of Knorr-Bremse AG

Two offset projects in Kenya and India

The two projects through which Knorr-Bremse is working to protect the climate up to 2030 already entered the implementation phase at the start of this year. Both offset projects, the “Clean Drinking Water” project in Kenya and the “Efficient Wood Gasifier Stoves” project in India , have been certified to the internationally recognized, independent Gold Standard. Among other things, the projects support Knorr-Bremse’s core Sustainable Development Goals: SDG 5 “Gender equality”, SDG 8 “Decent work and economic growth”, SDG 9 “Industry, innovation and infrastructure” and SDG 13 “Climate action”.

The “Clean Drinking Water” project with atmosfair’s Berlin-based project partner Boreal Light GmbH, represented locally by Waterkiosk Ltd, helps provide rural households in Kenya with access to clean drinking water. In the second project, which atmosfair is conducting with its local project partner Sapient from Kolkata, low-income households in rural West Bengal are provided with efficient wood gasifier stoves that save 50 to 60 percent of the firewood the households would otherwise need to consume. This preserves the mangrove forests in West Bengal as well as creating over a hundred local jobs.

Thanks to simple solar-powered water treatment systems in the WaterKiosks®, villagers have access to clean and affordable drinking water. The time-consuming fetching of contaminated water is no longer necessary. In addition, the cutting of wood as fuel for boiling and thus the deforestation of the forests and the release of CO2 now belongs to the past.
In comparison to traditional cook stoves, the gasification process creates a clean flame without smoke gases. Especially women and children are thus protected from the frequent respiratory diseases caused by the smoke.

“atmosfair’s climate protection projects not only reduce CO₂ emissions, they also promote sustainable development through technology transfer and poverty reduction. In the “Clean Drinking Water” project in Kenya and the “Efficient Wood Gasifier Stoves” project in India, Knorr-Bremse and Knorr-Bremse Global Care have chosen two projects that can be significantly expanded with their support, bringing local companies closer to commercial viability. We are delighted to be working with Knorr-Bremse and Knorr-Bremse Global Care,” says Dr. Dietrich Brockhagen, Founder and CEO of atmosfair.

Jointly selecting and implementing the projects with Knorr-Bremse Global Care

When selecting the two offset projects, there was a dual focus. Firstly, care was taken to ensure a strong link with the core SDGs of both Knorr-Bremse and Knorr-Bremse Global Care. The latter are 4 “Quality education” and 6 “Clean water and sanitation”. Secondly, India is a country with a Knorr-Bremse site and Kenya is a Knorr-Bremse Global Care project country. Knorr-Bremse Global Care will support a study to measure the impact of the “Clean Drinking Water” project in Kenya and, together with Knorr-Bremse, will conduct the review process for the project in India.

In this regard, Knorr-Bremse Global Care is working with the Center of Evaluation (CEval), a specialized research institute at Saarland University. One of the first things to be determined by means of a baseline study is how many people only had access to polluted water before the start of the offset project. In addition, the study will provide important insights into the outcomes of having clean drinking water as a result of the new facilities, thus highlighting the added health benefits. Knorr-Bremse Global Care has maintained a strong focus on WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) since 2013, particularly in Asia and Africa. After all, water is an issue that cuts across numerous development goals: better drinking water, sanitation and hygiene conditions help to reduce child mortality, improve maternal health and strengthen gender equality.

Dr. Dietrich Brockhagen, Founder and CEO of atmosfair
Knorr-Bremse Global Care brings its many years of experience to bear when implementing projects in developing countries. The offset project in Kenya, in particular, makes an important contribution to our SDG 6 and improves the health of many people by providing access to clean water. With our study, we are also investigating the socio-economic effects of the project, such as more regular school attendance and increased income among adults.

Julia Thiele-Schürhoff – Chairperson of the Executive Board and Founding Member of Knorr-Bremse Global Care e. V.

Further articles on the two Knorr-Bremse and Knorr-Bremse Global Care carbon offset projects will appear in the Knorr-Bremse online magazine in the coming weeks.