Sustainable Van Life
We have responsibility
We want adventure and sustainability not to be a contradiction. Nature is freedom, the basis for experiences and a central part of the CamperBoys spirit. That’s why we want to do our part to maintain the health of our ecosystem. The camper travel model presents us with significant challenges: Every trip generates CO₂ emissions and tyre wear is one of the main sources of microplastics in the environment. It is therefore more important to sensitise our customers and employees to sustainable behaviour and to set a good example.
3 pillars for more sustainability
Our business model of camper rental is in many cases more environmentally friendly than travel alternatives, e.g.Flugreisen. Nevertheless, CO₂ emissions are produced when travelling with our campers. The more people travelling in the camper, the fewer climate gases are produced per person. To make CamperBoys Vanlife as sustainable as possible, we therefore base our work on the following three fundamentals:
We can only reduce our footprint through the support of all employees: among other things, through sustainable purchasing of goods & emission-saving vehicles, green logistics, selection of our cooperation partners, and reduction of company & employee emissions.
It is important to us to educate our employees and customers about their impact on the environment and to support them in acting as environmentally friendly as possible. Therefore, we continuously inform through our channels about the possibilities each individual has to reduce his or her footprint.
For all CO₂ emissions that cannot be avoided due to our business model, we offset the emissions and invest in climate projects (together with natureOffice). This includes emissions that we produce as a company and that arise during the travel of our customers.
For every Google review we plant a tree in the CamperBoys company forest
Your opinion on our service is very important to us in order to be able to continuously improve our offer. As a small thank you for your feedback, we plant a tree in Togo with natureOffice for every Google review. Thus, the Camper Boys company forest is created on an area of three hectares – in addition to the compensation of the greenhouse gas emissions that are generated by the rental of the campers and in the company itself.
Current status: 1,500 trees in the CamperBoys company forest
Andreas Weckwert, Managing Director of natureOffice:
The CamperBoys company forest is being planted as a forest belt around the project village Sokpokope in Togo. When the saplings are big enough, they can protect the village like a natural shield from the increasingly frequent & strong winds.
Good to know: How does travelling produce 1 tonne of CO₂?
For 1 tonne of CO₂, up to 5 people together can travel around 2,600 kilometres in one of our campers (e.g. Munich – Barcelona – and back) (source).
For the same amount of emissions, only 2.2 people fly from Munich to Barcelona and back in one plane (source).
First place: on a long-distance train, almost 8 people can travel from Munich to Barcelona and back for 1 tonne of CO₂ emissions.
To absorb 1 tonne of CO₂, a tree has to grow for 80 years
To stop climate change, the world’s 3 trillion remaining trees must be protected and 1 trillion additional trees must be planted (source).
Sustainability check for cooperations
How does voluntary CO₂ compensation work?
Our primary goal is to avoid or reduce environmentally harmful emissions. For all non-avoidable emissions, we have decided to compensate by supporting climate protection projects.
Since 2020, we have been offsetting our CO₂ emissions with the help of our partner natureOffice. This is a voluntary contribution to climate protection, not mandatory emissions trading.
Every year, we work with natureOffice to determine the CO₂ emissions of our company and our campers in a CO₂ balance sheet. Subsequently, natureOffice plants a forest area that is able to absorb the corresponding amount of greenhouse gas emissions.
The tree seedlings are grown in nurseries and then used in the rainy season, giving them the optimal growing conditions for their CO₂ offset.
We have an ID certificate number with natureOffice, which publicly proves with which projects we voluntarily offset our emissions: DE-077-751172
Since 2022, we have been supporting a reforestation project in Togo/West Africa.
Our campers are CO₂ neutral - what does that mean?
Every kilometre travelled by our campers is offset by us through climate protection projects. Since 2022, we have been offsetting with the help of PROJEKT TOGO from natureOffice.
The principle of offsetting is based on the idea that it is not decisive for the climate where in the atmosphere greenhouse gases are emitted or avoided. Therefore, emissions caused in one place can also be saved in a faraway place (source: Umweltbundesamt)
Together with natureOffice, we calculate how many CO₂ emissions are created when our campers are driven. natureOffice determines the amount of trees needed to absorb the emitted amount of CO₂ from the atmosphere and thus neutralise it. This number of trees/forest is then planted by natureOffice in Togo.
CamperBoys pays the costs for the planting and long-term maintenance of the trees for every kilometre driven per year. In some cases, customers support us in offsetting and take over part of the costs incurred.
In summary, this means that our campers emit CO₂, but through the CO₂ compensation with the natureOffice project, these CO₂ emissions are neutralised – the ecological footprint of your camper trip is therefore CO₂-neutral.
CO₂ compensation - support from our customers
All kilometres driven on our vehicles are compensated by CamperBoys – regardless of whether our customers support us financially with CO₂ compensation or not. The mileage of the vehicles gives us a simple overview of how many CO₂ emissions were generated per vehicle at any time.
During the booking process, we ask our customers whether they would like to support us in offsetting their CO₂ emissions and thus make their own active contribution to climate protection.
With the CO₂ calculator in the booking process, we also want to raise awareness of the fact that CO₂ emissions are generated when travelling in a camper (part of our sustainability pillar “Inform & Educate”) and create awareness among customers that long distances cause more CO₂ than short distances (promote regional travel).
Climate-neutral company - what does that mean?
But not only our campers produce CO₂ emissions, but also we as a company in the following areas, among others:
– Electricity and gas for our 6 locations and our headquarters in Munich
– Commuting of our employees
– work materials
– Camping equipment
– Logistics and transport
– business trips and company celebrations
As a priority, we are trying to reduce our CO₂ emissions as a company and have uncovered a number of areas for action over the last few months that we are continuously working on:
– Green electricity: We source electricity from renewable sources wherever possible at our sites and head office.
– Home Office: We allow 100% home office and can save emissions by eliminating many commute trips and smaller office spaces.
– Purchasing of goods & services: For us, purchasing and deciding for or against products contains immense potential for a more sustainable development of our corporate impact. We therefore place particular emphasis on durable, environmentally friendly and fairly produced products. With the growing size of our camper fleet, it has an immense impact on whether we equip our vehicles with sustainable camping equipment or need to replace products during the season. Purchasing sustainable vehicles, e.g. electric powered campers are also important here.
– Suppliers & partner companies: We already choose our partners and suppliers carefully, but we want to do this even more consistently in the future.
– Transport & Logistics: We want to make transport and logistics between our 6 stations and the headquarters in Munich even more efficient. This will be particularly relevant if the number of our rental stations continues to grow in the future.
– CO₂-printing of office space and staff:inside: This involves continuous waste avoidance, water conservation, vegan/vegetarian catering for company parties, etc.
For all unavoidable emissions, we determine our annual emissions together with natureOffice and offset the emissions with climate protection projects. Since 2022, we have been offsetting with the help of PROJEKT TOGO from natureOffice.
Why a project in Togo and not in Europe/Germany?
For the atmosphere, it does not matter where the CO₂ is removed from the atmosphere by trees or other techniques/mechanisms – whether in Germany or Togo is irrelevant. The only important thing is that the project offers real & additional added value and would not have already been implemented through other funding (“additionality”).
In choosing the project, we have therefore given more consideration to the content-related factors of the project than to the geographical location. The TOGO PROJECT was able to convince us above all through its holistic claim to ecological and social sustainability and its transparent and thorough work.
In the future, however, we also want to support projects in Germany. Since many projects within the EU are already supported by various government funding programmes, such as the expansion of renewable energies, forest protection projects or the increase of energy efficiency, the choice here is more limited.
Reforestation in Togo - why are we committed to it?
Researchers at ETH Zurich have come to the clear conclusion in a study that the global afforestation of forests is an important building block for absorbing man-made CO₂ emissions.
Trees do not solve the climate crisis, but as long as they grow and exist, they can remove climate-damaging CO₂ from the atmosphere and bind it in their biomass. Only with massive support for CO₂ absorption by trees can the climate goals still be achieved.
The forest situation in Togo:
Once, between Senegal in the west and Togo in the east, 600,000 square kilometres were covered with rainforest. But after decades of overexploitation, only remnants of it can be found in West Africa. Since the 1960s, trees and even entire forests have been regarded as nothing more than freely available fuel. Togo, for example, has lost more than half of its forest area since 1990; less than 6 percent of the country’s surface is still forested. The result: increasingly bare, parched soil in the villages themselves, but also along the connecting roads.
Reforestation of forests in close cooperation with the local population. Forests are important. They provide biodiversity, produce oxygen, regulate the water balance and even act as dust filters. That is why it is important to work for reforestation, especially in West Africa. Because of their global distribution in rather dry climate zones, developing countries are particularly threatened by the effects of climate change. Africa, for example, is more affected by drought than any other continent.
PROJECT TOGO - Project details
natureOffice has been running the project in Togo since 2010 as a holistic reforestation programme for climate protection, planting 28 different tree species for a diverse mixed forest and natural habitat for wildlife and at the same time strengthening the social structures of the local population by supporting the energy supply as well as the health and education system and creating numerous jobs.
With the support of PROJECT TOGO, we as CamperBoys can not only do something for climate protection, but also improve the social structures of the people in Togo/West Africa.
The reforestation project PROJECT TOGO fulfils 12 of the 17 Global Goals of the UN AGENDA 2030. In addition, PROJECT TOGO fulfils the criterion of “additionality” and the criterion of “long-term”.
What does "additionality" mean for climate protection projects?
Additionality means that the climate protection project would not have been realised without financing via CO₂ certificates. The project can therefore only be implemented through the additional financing of companies and private individuals who offset their greenhouse gases. Simply put: the project only exists because it is financed through CO₂ certificates.
A CO₂ certificate represents the amount of emissions that can be offset by a climate protection project. One certificate corresponds to one tonne of greenhouse gases.
The criterion of additionality is not met for many projects in the EU because various funding programmes already exist for the expansion of renewable energies, forest protection projects or the increase of energy efficiency, which ensure that these projects are economically attractive.
Additionality is an essential component of the voluntary offset market and is firmly anchored in the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement.
What does "long-term" mean for climate protection projects?
The natural forest reforestation project PROJECT TOGO is designed for the long term. The project is financed exclusively through CO₂ certificates and future trade in the wood from the forest is completely excluded. This means that the long-term survival of the trees as a nature conservation area and the amount of climate-damaging emissions bound up with it are secured, instead of the situation with some other climate projects where, at the end of the certificate term, the emissions may be returned to the atmosphere through deforestation/fire clearance of the trees.
Moreover, in the TOGO PROJECT, only 80 percent of the trees planted are used to calculate the CO₂ compensation. The remaining 20 percent serve as a backup fund in case individual trees fall victim to fire or illegal clearing.
CamperBoys Corporate Forest - 1 tree per Google review
Your opinion is important to us and we would like to learn from your feedback and of course also be happy about the praise if you enjoyed your trip with CamperBoys. As a thank you for your feedback, we want to give something back and have decided to plant an additional tree in Togo for every Google review, regardless of your rating.
natureOffice has provided a special area for this purpose and the CamperBoys company forest is being created there on a 3-hectare area. The trees will be planted as a forest belt around the project village Sokpokope and will serve as climate protection and wind protection for the village. In the recent past, sandstorms have increasingly eroded the roofs in the village. With a dense & healthy forest, this should be avoided in the future.
Location of the company forest: Sokpokopé
Area: 3 ha
Number of trees: 1,500 trees (as of 12.09.2022)
Will we also have electric campers on offer in the future?
In order to make our vehicle fleet more sustainable in the future, we are currently in talks with vehicle manufacturers and want to include electric campers in our range as soon as possible.