Is carbon neutral bus travel possible?
How does it work?
When making an online booking in the FlixBus ticket shop, simply tick the “CO2 compensation” box after your have chosen which European bus journey you would like. The CO2 emissions from your journey are then calculated based on the duration and distance of your journey. The calculated amount is then automatically added to your ticket price. Your environmental contribution is approximately 1–3% of your original travel price. Your donation will be invested in a certified climate protection project in accordance with international environmental standards.
Go green! It’s better for the environment...
FlixBuses are demonstrably efficient in terms of fuel consumption and they emit an extremely low level of greenhouse gases. It is of course difficult to travel without producing any CO2 emissions at all, even in the most environmentally friendly bus. Due to this fact, thanks to our collaboration with atmosfair, we offer each of our passengers the option of offsetting the climate impact of your FlixBus journey when booking. Based on the principle of the emission allowance trading scheme, you are given the option to make a voluntary environmental contribution when booking, which is invested in a certified climate protection project and offsets the respective amount of CO2 emissions.
And here's how your carbon offset contributions will be used in 2017
In 2017, your FlixBus donations to climate protection will finance atmosfair’s UN-accredited Gold Standard project “energy-efficient stoves” in Rwanda. These efficient stoves make it possible for users in rural Rwanda to use around 80% less wood than traditional hearths when they cook. The project thus helps to preserve local forests, the last habitat for mountain gorillas in the world, and contribute to global climate protection. In addition, the project supports sustainable development in Rwanda, a country that ranks among the least developed countries in the world by socio-economic status. The project makes valuable contributions to the local population, for example:
- Subsidization of every “Save80” stove for local families
- Higher quality of life due to reduced costs and time required to procure firewood
- Improved user lung function according to medical studies
And here's how your carbon offset contributions have been used in 2016
With your contribution to climate protection we have been supporting a wind energy project on the Caribbean island of Aruba in 2016. This involves the financing of construction and maintenance of wind turbines as an alternative and sustainable energy source. The wind farm on the island is an important pioneer project in the use of regional and renewable energies for the entire Caribbean. The investment in wind power improves security of the national energy supply, contributes to global climate protection and promotes the development of sustainable energy production. In addition to climate protection, the project makes valuable contributions for the local population:
- Greater independence from foreign energy sources by strengthening the region’s own local supply
- Strengthening the local economy by creating new jobs for the construction, operation and maintenance of the systems
- Promotion of the regional infrastructure as a result of the wind energy project
- Improvement of the local air quality by avoiding harmful substances that were previously created by producing power from fossil energy sources
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
CO2 offsetting means that the CO2 emissions from your long-distance bus journey can be saved in a climate protection project at another location in the world. The amount of CO2 in the atmosfair thus does not increase in spite of your trip. For the global climate, it does not matter where CO2 is saved or emitted.
Climate protection projects avoid CO2 emissions by replacing fossil fuels with renewable energies or by increasing energy efficiency. The projects are financed by your voluntary donations to climate protection.
This year, we are supporting the project “energy-efficient stoves in Rwanda” with your climate protection donations. Families in Rwanda receive a highly efficient stove that uses less firewood and charcoal. Because the families use less firewood, they not only protect the global climate, but also local forests.
Every year, independent auditors (e.g., from TÜV) accredited by the United Nations (UN) inspect the stoves’ operations. The CO2 reductions are only counted if the stoves were in use all year long. The projects are also accredited every year according to the UN’s regulations.
According to the UN regulations, an important aspect of a climate protection project is additionality. The families in Rwanda can only afford the new stove because your climate protection contributions subsidize the stoves and thus make them affordable.
When you make a donation to climate protection for your trip with FlixBus this year, you will support the climate protection project “Energy-efficient stoves in Rwanda.” In this project, energy-efficient stoves – the Save80 stoves – are being sold in Rwanda. Compared to traditional hearths, people using the Save80 require around 80% less firewood for cooking. Because far more wood is being used than can grow back naturally in Rwanda, the stoves save firewood and protect both the global climate and local forests.
In addition, more people die from inhaling smoke from indoor cooking fires than from Malaria. The Save80 helps with this as well since it produces almost no exhaust fumes.
Thus, the Save80 makes users’ lives easier in several ways at the same time: the users save money and time in procuring firewood and are no longer exposed to soot emissions from the old hearths.
We want to use your donation where it can save the most CO2 in the most effective way. This is the case in Rwanda because the simplest technology and efficient stoves save CO2 while protecting the global climate and local forests at the same time.
In Europe, climate protection is often profitable nowadays: for example, if you invest in a new wind park, you can make a profit from it. It is good and important that there is already a market for climate protection here. However, even the newest wind turbine in Europe does little to close the gap between industrialized and developing countries, yet this is exactly what is required for global and sustainably successful climate protection. This is why we have decided to offset CO2 emissions with the Save80 project in Rwanda.
FlixBus customers’ climate protection donations help to subsidize the Save80 stove so that poor families in Rwanda can also afford it. However, the stoves are not given away. The families in Rwanda pay a reasonable amount towards the stove because something that costs nothing is also worth nothing.
Specifically, your FlixBus donations to climate protection finance the stove assembly kit, shipping to Rwanda, the tools and training sessions with the local partner organizations, tariffs, as well as the cost of yearly auditing by independent auditing organizations. The amount paid by the stove users in Rwanda covers the local partners’ costs that arise as well as the stove assembly, distribution, and logistics within Rwanda.
Yes! During the last project inspection in March 2017, auditors from the UN certified that 100% of households are using the stoves.
UN-accredited auditing organizations visit and inspect the project every year. During this inspection, the auditors investigate how often the stoves are used throughout the country. In addition, they measure the stoves’ efficiency onsite. All results are recorded in reports that the auditors submit to the UN. When the UN confirms the accuracy of the inspection results, it certifies the amount of CO2 that was reduced. When the stoves are used less, the UN certifies fewer reductions in CO2 emissions. Stoves that were not used at all or were not found during the inspection do not count towards the amount of CO2 that was reduced.
because it does not change anything with respect to the actual source of CO2. Offsetting will only be required as the second-best solution as long as the best solution is not yet within reach: completely CO2-free long-distance travel.
The following guiding principle applies here: mainly avoid or reduce emissions and only then offset. For a trip over many hundreds of kilometers, it is not yet currently possible to completely avoid CO2 emissions. For every 100 km, a long-distance bus customer emits around 32 g of CO2, whereas a car driver emits around 140 g of CO2 on average. Airplanes emit around as much CO2 as a car for every 100 km und passenger; however, the impact on the climate is around three times larger due to the atmosphere’s sensitivity at high altitudes.
When you travel by long-distance bus, you have chosen the most sustainable method of long-distance travel that produces the least amount of CO2 and have thus already reduced your own emissions. Together with minimizing your own CO2 emissions by traveling by long-distance bus, offsetting your CO2 as well is an effective way to protect the climate and by no means purely a way to ease your conscience.
At our partner atmosfair’s website, you can find current news on the project in Rwanda as well as more detailed information about how the project is carried out, the standards under which the project is registered, and background on offsetting climate gases. You can find all information on the energy-saving stoves in Rwanda here: