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Climate-friendly product design for tour operators

The "Climate-Friendly Product Design" project as part of the BMWK's LIFT Transformation Program aims to develop instruments and training programs with partners from science and business in order to integrate the criterion of climate impact more closely into the product development and management of tour operators. In this way, product portfolios can be decarbonized and more climate-friendly travel offers can be made increasingly available.

Project goals

  1. Creation of transparency regarding the climate impact of the products offered in the product management of tour operators
  2. Development and testing of practical instruments for the active inclusion of climate impact in product development/management.
  3. Raising awareness of management and employees about the climate impact of the products offered and their own options for action.
  4. Improving the climate footprint of the product portfolio with the help of the developed instruments, including by redesigning the trips offered (e.g. adjustments in terms of travel distance and duration and route optimization), by incorporating developed criteria into the partner selection and by increasing the integration of more climate-friendly forms of mobility such as trains or buses into the offered trip.

More climate-friendly product design for tour operators

It is known that a drastic reduction in emissions from the tourism sector is required to achieve climate goals. In practice, however, there is often a lack of clear ideas and concrete measures to implement the change to more climate-friendly travel.


In addition to the presentation of climate footprints at the point of sale as a decision-making criterion for end customers and a consulting tool for sales (see “Climate Protection Decision Criteria” project), the increased transparency on the climate impact of travel should also be used internally in product management at travel providers in order to develop product portfolios to make it more climate-friendly. It is crucial that the management and employees of travel companies are made aware of the climate impacts of the products they offer and are empowered to minimize them. In addition to travel distances and travel durations, an important aspect here is the integration of more climate-friendly forms of mobility into the products.

Co-creation process for more climate-friendly product design

This is exactly where the Futouris project “Climate-Friendly Product Design” comes in, which is funded as part of the LIFT Transformation Program of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection (BMWK). By the end of 2024, practical key performance indicators (KPIs), analysis tools and training programs will be created in a co-creation process with representatives from science and eight member companies of Futouris and the forum anders reisen in order to integrate climate impact into product development and management. In this way, decarbonization of product portfolios and business models can be made easier and more climate-friendly travel offers can be made more accessible.

Work steps for the successful implementation of the project goals

In the first step, the basics and general conditions at the participating companies are recorded. This includes identifying relevant planning tools and decision-making processes in product management for integrating emissions data into product design. As part of a kickoff workshop with the pilot companies, initial approaches to KPIs, analysis tools and training programs are created and important questions are discussed.


The focus is then on developing analysis tools and KPIs with which the product portfolios can be analyzed with regard to the climate impact of the products by integrating emissions data into internal processes and tools. Building on this, an options analysis is carried out for more climate-friendly product design and the development of a catalog of measures for the concrete redesign of travel.


The project also focuses on raising awareness among relevant employees through suitable training formats and programs. This includes face-to-face events, webinars and e-learning, which are continually being developed. Various stakeholders, departments and hierarchical levels are involved in order to create a broad understanding of the climate impacts and our own options for action to reduce emissions.


The final step involves testing, optimizing and disseminating the developed approaches. Product analyzes at the pilot companies, identification of emission drivers and development of reduction paths are part of the process. A continuous feedback process enables the optimization of concepts and instruments. The final results will ultimately be published and widely communicated to promote industry-wide adoption.

Project activities

The following activities are planned:

  • Development of KPIs and analysis tools for the climate impact of the product portfolio
  • Measures to make the product portfolio more climate-friendly
  • Development of needs-based training programs
  • Testing the instruments and feedback process for optimization
  • Publication of the final results & communication to the industry

A drastic reduction in emissions in the tourism sector is urgently needed to achieve climate goals. In practice, however, there is often a lack of clear ideas and concrete measures for implementation. The project aims to remedy this – with practical instruments that are directly integrated into the company’s internal product planning processes.

Funding program “LIFT Transformation”

With the current funding program “LIFT Transformation”, the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK) is pursuing the goal of activating the tourism industry in order to be in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the relevant future challenges of the sector from a practical perspective. The aim is to develop solutions that help make tourism sustainable and contribute to positive development in line with the SDGs.


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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.