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Climate-conscious travel

The tourism industry contributes a large part to global warming, accounting for around 8% of all emissions. A first, crucial step towards climate neutrality is transparency: by uniformly calculating the emissions caused and presenting them to employees and customers. This is the declared goal of the Futouris industry project “Climate-conscious travel”.

Goals of the project

  1. Development of a standard for calculating CO2 emissions from the individual components of the (tourism) value chain.
  2. Wide application of the standard in the tourism industry.
  3. Digital provision of reliable emissions data for the industry.
  4. Uniform labeling of the climate footprint of travel to create transparency for product managers, sales and travelers.
  5. Increasing the offer and sale of climate-friendly trips.
  6. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the German-speaking travel industry.

Transparency is the first step towards climate neutrality

The aim is to significantly reduce the industry’s climate-damaging emissions by 2030 and completely by 2050.


In January 2020, the Futouris sustainability initiative and its members committed themselves to the agreements of the 2015 Paris Climate Summit and the goals of the German Federal Government’s Climate Protection Plan 2050 (see Futouris position paper on climate protection) and therefore decided to make climate protection as an industry project the focus of the joint initiatives.


In order to achieve transparency and comparability for tour operators, sales and travelers with regard to the climate-damaging emissions of the trips offered, a common standard for calculating CO2e emissions is required. This is the only way to include the climate impact of travel in both the design of the offer and the travel decision.


On behalf of Futouris and DER Touristik, the Center for Sustainable Tourism (ZENAT) created a market overview of the existing climate accounting systems and evaluated the different standards. There are already good calculation bases for emissions from air traffic and methods that also determine the climate impact of other travel components. However, there is a lack of a climate accounting standard that covers all elements of the tourism value chain and at the same time is accepted as an industry standard by as many partners as possible.


In phase 1 of the industry project, a first version of the common calculation basis for travel emissions was developed. The most important travel components were included:

  • Flight
  • Train
  • Bus
  • Automobile
  • Hotel

For these components, existing calculation methods were viewed and compared, suitable methods were selected, supplemented, adapted or, in a few cases, completely newly developed


After being approved by the Futouris general meeting, the standard was transferred to the newly founded organization KlimaLink for further development. At KlimaLink, the standard is dynamically adapted to the latest scientific findings in working groups with member companies and experts.


Based on this standard, CO2e emissions will be reported uniformly for all trips in the future. This allows customers to make an informed decision and allows us to substantially and measurably reduce the absolute emissions of our industry.

Climate change  is one of the greatest threats of the 21st century as it is changing our world.

The following activities were implemented

Phase 1: Development of a standard

  • Step 1: Existing methods for climate accounting of the individual travel components were checked and gaps identified.
  • Step 2: Calculation methods for the identified gaps were developed and existing methods were improved.
  • Step 3: All methods were brought together to form an overall standard and finalized in an industry-wide coordination process so that the standard is accepted throughout the German-speaking travel industry.
  • Step 4: A viable business model for long-term use has been developed.


Phase 2: Implementation and integration in systems

The uniform emissions data based on the common standard must be integrated into the industry’s IT infrastructure so that the emissions of the different travel components are calculated and displayed at the points of sale.


In order to achieve this goal and ensure the long-term provision of reliable emissions data, the KlimaLink e.V. association was founded in October 2022.


The aim of Klima Link is to provide emissions data digitally and up-to-date based on the uniform CO2e calculation standard and to make this data easily accessible in a single data source (one-stop platform) for companies but also for travelers. The key to success here is the automatic integration into the travel industry’s booking system landscape, so that emissions can be displayed directly at the point of sale.


There is huge interest in a central emissions data platform for the travel industry; 35 associations, companies and organizations from Germany, Austria and Switzerland are now involved in KlimaLink.

Together with partner atmosfair, the IT platform KlimaLink was programmed over the course of 2023 and tested in practical use with member companies. From summer 2024, the platform will be available for use by the entire travel industry.


The Futouris industry project on climate protection is carried out in close cooperation with the German Travel Association (DRV).

Climate-conscious travel

Updates from the project


SRV patronage of Futouris

Futouris is now being supported by the Swiss Travel Association as part of a new patronage. The SRV complements the existing patronages of the German Travel Association and the Austrian Travel Association.


New members in Executive Board and Scientific Advisory Board

Bei der jüngsten Futouris Mitgliederversammlung wurden die bestehenden Vorstandsmitglieder in ihren Ämtern bestätigt und durch Laura Steden, Director Corporate Responsibility bei der DERTOUR Group, ergänzt. Auch der Futouris Wissenschaftsbeirat bekommt doppelten Zuwachs von Prof. Dr. Nicole Häusler und Prof. Dr. Kerstin Heuwinkel.


New 2024 progress report published

Der neue Futouris Fortschrittsberichtes zur aktuellen Projektwelt 2024 ist ab sofort verfügbar. Jetzt entdecken!


Kickoff Workshop Climate-friendly Product Design

Employees from the 8 pilot companies came together at the kick-off workshop for the project Climate-friendly Product Design for Tour operators to discuss possible measures.

Curious to know more about our other projects?

Together with our members, we at Futouris develop innovative projects and implement them in practice. Our projects are as diverse as our members. Our common goal: to preserve travel destinations and make the industry fit for the future.