26. May 2021

We are carbon neutral, from the neon green account to neon

We already focused on offsetting our company’s carbon footprint in 2020 with myclimate – this includes travel between our locations in Zurich, Munich and Belgrade, the journey to the office, the office buildings themselves and the entire IT system. Since 2021, we’ve been taking a more targeted approach: we’re not just offsetting our carbon footprint as a company, but also the «Product Carbon Footprint (PCF)» for all neon accounts. That means that both your account and neon as a company are carbon-neutral.

What exactly does the «Product Carbon Footprint (PCF)» mean?

To put it simply: myclimate has calculated for us how many greenhouse gas emissions a neon green account emits per year - including all aspects from the extraction of raw materials to the programming of the app to the life cycle of the card. Our CO2 footprint as a company is also included in this calculation. We offset these CO2 emissions by supporting a myclimate carbon offset project - in our case a biogas project for small farmers in Vietnam, more on this below.

Scan the QR code or click here to access our certificate.

Why do you offset with myclimate?

The international initiative with Swiss roots is currently effective in more than 140 carbon offset projects in 41 countries. myclimate's local anchoring and yet international scope convinced us, as did its quality awareness, the diversity of projects and its many years of experience through cooperation with major players, especially in the Swiss market. myclimate uses at least 80 percent of the offsetting funds for the projects on site - the rest covers the administration and internal foundation costs. In addition, all myclimate projects contribute to at least one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

So how much greenhouse gas emissions does a neon green account emit?

If app use is included, a neon green account emits 3.46 kg CO2e per year, which corresponds to 484 tonnes CO2e per year for around 140'000 users. Excluding app use, it would be 3.35 kg CO2e per year and account, which corresponds to 469 tonnes CO2e per year.

Note: the small «e» after CO2 stands for so-called CO2 equivalents (CO2e). Besides carbon dioxide (CO2), there are 6 relevant greenhouse gases* that contribute to climate change. Due to their different physical properties, these gases also have a different influence on the climate, which is why the emissions produced are converted into CO2 equivalents (CO2e). These quantify how much a certain amount of a greenhouse gas contributes to global warming compared to the same amount of CO2. For example, the CO2 equivalent for nitrous oxide over a period of 100 years is 265, i.e. one ton of nitrous oxide has the same influence on the greenhouse effect as 265 tons of CO2.

What are the detailed greenhouse gas emissions?

The purchase of our services causes the most greenhouse gas emissions (69.2 %), our locations in Zurich, Munich and Belgrade account for a quarter of the emissions, and app use is in third place. The more than 9 million transactions carried out by neon users and the cards - from production to transport to the user to disposal - are less relevant for the total greenhouse gas emissions.

The biggest aspect of app use is the manufacture of the mobile phone. In the spirit of «feel free», we don't tell you which phone to use - neon works on Android devices, iPhones and Huawei. But you can still help improve our footprint (and yours!) by using your phone longer. With the additional three-year guarantee on newly purchased electronic products that is included with your neon green account, this is already possible without any disadvantages. (Read more about the warranty extension here).

How can we improve our footprint?

Since most of our carbon footprint comes from service providers, we have limited options but still room for improvement: we can look to work with service providers who are committed to the environment. Our partner bank Hypothekarbank Lenzburg, for example, offsets its footprint with myclimate, as we do. In addition, we can further reduce our footprint if we cycle and use public transport more for our commutes to work, or eliminate them altogether by increasing our home office.

What must not be forgotten is that everything we consume and pay for with the neon account causes greenhouse gas emissions that are not included in the balance. After all, the CHF 100 spent at the petrol station generates more of a footprint than CHF 100 at the eco-shop. In the future, we want to make sure that we can show this more precisely for you.

Our climate project: Turning waste into biogas for small farmers in Vietnam

Residents of rural areas in Vietnam often face the challenge of securing energy, especially for daily cooking. Traditional fuels such as firewood or charcoal are expensive, harmful to the environment, lead to respiratory problems due to the open cooking areas and the collection of the material is time-consuming.

Biogas replaces the smoky cooking stoves and is a more sustainable solution: Accumulating animal dung, kitchen waste and waste from connected toilets are collected in an underground reservoir. The decomposition of the mixture in the reservoir produces methane gas, which can be used for the connected gas cookers in the kitchens. The residues (so-called "bioslurry") are reused by the farmers as organic fertiliser on their fields. The biogas plants thus not only avoid the emissions caused by firewood, but also prevent free-lying pig manure from freely emitting the climate-damaging methane.

Further information and benefits of the biogas project in Vietnam can be found here.

* Methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) and nitrogen trifluoride (NF3).

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