Become a climate protection expert with HiPP
We explain the background to all important questions about climate protection at HiPP in detail and according to our current level of knowledge. You’ll find out what our climate protection strategy looks like across the entire value chain.
This page is revised regularly because we monitor global developments closely and optimise the steps we take accordingly. So keep an eye on this page. We’re always on the ball when it comes to climate protection, so the information here will be updated when needed.
Climate change is without doubt one of the greatest challenges the world faces, and only some of its long-term effects can be calculated today. We must all do our part to keep global warming to a minimum – and we must intensify our efforts. Like other organisations, HiPP has set itself climate protection goals.
We’d like to point out an important fact right from the outset: complete or absolute climate neutrality in food production can currently only be achieved through CO2 offsetting. No product can be CO2-free, and no company can operate in a CO2-free manner, at least not with the current state of the art.
In documents on carbon dioxide (CO2), the symbol CO2e is often found as an abbreviation for carbon dioxide equivalent. This makes it easier to compare different greenhouse gases (such as methane and nitrous oxide) by converting each gas to carbon dioxide in terms of its effect. 1 kilogramme of methane corresponds to 21 kilogrammes of CO2e, which means methane is 21 times as potent as carbon dioxide equivalent. We only use the abbreviation CO2 below, although we are referring to carbon dioxide equivalents in most cases.
HiPP helps the European Union achieve its climate protection goals
The European Union (EU) has set itself the goal of being climate-neutral by 2050. Actions and processes are referred to as climate-neutral (or CO2-neutral) if they don’t produce greenhouse gas emissions or if the resulting greenhouse gas emissions are fully offset. To achieve climate-neutrality, first we should make every possible effort to reduce emissions. Only unavoidable emissions should be offset. When considering climate protection as a whole, offsetting CO2 emissions should be seen as an additional element to the main priorities of avoiding and reducing emissions. All EU member states have signed the Paris Agreement, with the aim of ensuring that global warming does not exceed 1.5°C. Like the EU, HiPP wants to protect the climate, and with our climate strategy, we’re playing our part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. As a family business and baby food manufacturer, we have a special responsibility towards future generations. We’re leading the way, and in fact we want to offset significantly more emissions than we and our value chain generate. We call this climate-positive
Becoming a climate-positive company
We have been committed to protection and preserving the earth’s ecological balance for years, taking a holistic approach. HiPP is a pioneer in organic farming and has used organic raw materials in the production of HiPP baby food for over 60 years. In organic farming, the use of synthetic mineral fertilisers is prohibited. A significant portion of the greenhouse gases generated by agriculture comes from energy-intensive fertiliser production – by contrast, organic farmers use high-quality organic fertilisers such as compost, which reduce greenhouse gases and promote healthy soils. This positive effect of organic farming is confirmed by the Thünen Institute in Germany.
We have been a successfully EMAS-validated company (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme) since 1995 and have improved HiPP’s environmental performance every year since.
Almost 30 years ago, we began to record and continuously reduce CO2 emissions, alongside lots of other environmental data. Our HiPP production sites in Pfaffenhofen and Gmunden have been climate-neutral since 2011. The corporate values of our Christian family-owned company are the foundation for our resource-friendly actions.
Frequently asked questions about climate protection
1. How does HiPP reduce and avoid emissions?
We reduce our emissions throughout the entire value chain by evaluating raw materials, packaging, logistics, product ranges and production sites with regard to their impact on the climate. From this evaluation, we derive effective measures to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Together with our suppliers and partners, we continuously make improvements across the entire value chain. HiPP fully offsets the remaining emissions from scope 1, 2 and 3 . Continuously improving and investing in renewable energy sources and energy efficiency allows us to effectively reduce the amount of emissions that remain and need to be offset.
At our sites
At the Pfaffenhofen site, for example, HiPP was able to cut greenhouse gas emissions per product tonne from 460 to just 47 kilogrammes between 1993 and 2021, due in part to the use of renewable energies. That’s a reduction of 90%.
At our four long-established HiPP production sites (Pfaffenhofen, Gmunden, Hanságliget and Glina), we have reduced energy-related emissions by over 50% per production tonne in the last 20 years by switching to renewable energies and making our processes more efficient.
We encourage our employees to use environmentally-friendly modes of transport, for example by providing an environmental travel allowance at the Pfaffenhofen site. HiPP bears the full cost of public transport tickets and promotes carpooling.
The switch from combustion engines to electric vehicles has already begun within our fleet of company vehicles.
We have worked with experts on the greenhouse gas balance of our HiPP production sites for several years, producing calculations in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. TÜV Nord has checked and verified the calculation system.
The Herford site has only been part of the HiPP Group since 2016, and that same year we commissioned our own cogeneration plant there to generate electricity more efficiently. The waste heat produced from power generation is used in production, making the site more energy-efficient. Since 2021, 100% of the additional electricity we have purchased from the grid has been from renewable energy sources.
We have significantly reduced emissions at our sites over the past 20 years and plan to reduce emissions by a further 20% by 2025 by optimising the energy supply, using an even higher proportion of renewable energies and increasing efficiency. Additionally, all raw materials, packaging materials, merchandise and products are transported by lorry or cargo ship. Airfreight is only used in exceptional cases.
Our supply chain
In recent years, we have built up a much better picture of the emissions in our complex supply chain. As a result, we have identified the suppliers and products that are responsible for the highest CO2 emissions. We will now conduct analyses of these suppliers’ current greenhouse gas emissions in order to identify potential reductions (e.g. switching to renewable energy sources).
To facilitate data collection in the supply chain, we at HiPP have established a close relationship with German climate start-up The Climate Choice (TCC): we use a software tool from TCC to record the climate performance of selected suppliers such as packaging manufacturers and tap into qualitative and quantitative climate-relevant primary data as the basis for a successful decarbonisation strategy. This is required to help us identify potential steps we can take and to implement CO2 reduction measures in close collaboration with suppliers.
These analyses also provide the groundwork for tools that allow us to evaluate our product range and packaging in regard to their carbon footprint and to adjust development accordingly. We continually optimise warehouse logistics in order to reduce the number of shipments as much as possible, and we also constantly test new mobility systems.
Specific measures can also be found in the annually updated version of the HiPP Pfaffenhofen Environmental Statement 2021 in accordance with our environmental management system EMAS.
Reducing the packaging weight of the 190g jars – the glass now weighs 100g compared to 130g in 1960 – has saved 1,500 tonnes of CO2 every year.
In other words: if we were still using the glass container from 1960 for the 190g jar, 3,000 tonnes more glass would be consumed annually in this gross weight alone. We have also changed the vacuum lid of our HiPP jars – we made the edge of the lid narrower and reduced its thickness. With approximately 300 million jars produced every year, this area of our business saves valuable resources in the form of around 77 tonnes of tinplate. The latest information on HiPP’s packaging solutions can be found here.
2. How do we offset the remaining emissions across the value chain?
Step 1 – Calculation
We calculate the emissions generated in the respective value chain of each product range separately. The calculation result for climate-positive products is checked by TÜV Nord. This process is conducted annually for each individual product, which makes it very complex and time-consuming, so HiPP deals with each product range in succession. In 2021, we made our entire jarred food range climate-positive. Currently, all HiPP products are being calculated, the potential reductions are being identified, and products are successively being reported as climate-positive. By 2025, all product ranges of the HiPP Group and the entire company are due to be climate-positive.
To calculate the products, we add up the emission factors of the raw materials and packaging materials, as well as logistics and production emissions, according to specific formulae.
For us the biggest challenges are in the data. For many agricultural commodities, the available emissions data applies to customary products produced mostly via conventional farming, large-scale industrial processing and global marketing. We at HiPP calculate the individual product carbon footprints using the Greenhouse Gas Protocol – Product Life Cycle Accounting and Reporting.
That means we take all values into account as accurately as possible, from the emissions of raw materials from farming to transport routes, processing steps, packaging, logistics, and to retailers. We use the corresponding emission values from recognised databases such as ecoinvent.
This gives us an individual CO2 value for each of our jars. The average value of weaning food in a jar is 166g of CO2 per 100g product. “Organic apple and banana with biscuit”, one of our classic products, has 105g CO2 per 100g. The organic beef puree, on the other hand, produces to 854g CO2 per 100g.
Step 2 – Compensation
For the quantity of calculated CO2 equivalents, we at HiPP then retire certificates acquired from climate protection projects. We do this transparently on recognised international certificate platforms to ensure that these certificates cannot be used more than once.
An example of a retirement certificate can be found here: Retirement certificate
Step 3 – Checking
TÜV Nord checks whether HiPP has performed the calculation and retirement correctly. The verification and compensation are based on the TÜV NORD Climate Change Standard TN-CC 020: Calculation & Verification of Carbon Footprints & Carbon Neutrality. The latest TÜV Nord report can be found here.
Step 4 – Overcompensation
We at HiPP have set ourselves the goal of giving back to nature more than we take from it. So not only are we offsetting the inevitable greenhouse gas emissions – we’re also withdrawing another 10% of certificates. That’s another way that we support climate protection projects. We think that’s “climate-positive”.
3. How do climate protection projects work?
Global climate protection efforts don’t focus on the places where emissions are caused, avoided or reduced – greenhouse gas emissions produced in one part of the world can be offset by projects in other parts of the world. Climate protection certificates are used for mathematical compensation. Climate protection projects are certified according to internationally recognised standards and regularly reviewed by independent validation and verification bodies (VVBs). Climate protection projects can contribute to the fight against global warming by demonstrably reducing greenhouse gases or binding them from the atmosphere. This can be done, for example, through forest protection, reforestation or the expansion of renewable energies (as a replacement for fossil fuels) or other technologies.
In order to be certified as a climate protection project, four criteria must be met: additionality, avoidance of double counting, permanence and regular inspection by independent third parties.
Greenhouse gas reductions may only be counted once, i.e. either in the purchasing country or in the country where the climate protection measure is implemented. The new set of rules, which was negotiated at COP26 in Glasgow, excludes double counting and is therefore consistent in its implementation of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. This ensures that trade really does lead to greater climate protection. The rules under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement also give actors on the voluntary offsetting market a clear standard for using climate protection certificates.
The rules of Article 6 have applied since 2021, the year the Paris Agreement entered into force. That means all CO2 credits issued before 2021 are not affected by the uncertainties of the Paris Agreement and need appropriate adjustments to avoid double counting for compliance or the voluntary offsetting market. The CO2 certificates used by HiPP were generated before 2021.
4. How does HiPP protect the climate through good soil?
Agricultural lands, when intact, make a substantial contribution to preserving our ecosystems and protecting our climate. To fulfil this role, the soils need to have a high humus content and active soil life. Increasing the humus content is vital for soil fertility, erosion control, groundwater formation and flood protection, and it makes agriculture climate-resilient. Measures to promote humus, such as intercropping or green manure and compost application, are particularly beneficial. At HiPP, we are therefore committed to increasing soil carbon storage and to promoting and maintaining long-lasting soil health through sustainable organic farming practices. One of our focuses is on composting.
The composting process is a climate-friendly way for us to break down organic substances, and aerobic composting significantly reduces methane emissions compared to less climate-friendly rotting. Additionally, the resulting compost can be used as high-quality organic fertiliser, which contributes significantly to the soil structure.
This practice is a core pillar of the offsetting strategy we use in our local and global climate protection projects.
For around 20 years, entrepreneur and farmer Stefan Hipp has run an organic farm in Poland where cattle manure is converted into valuable compost. By aerating the pile with a compost turner, organic material can be turned into humus in a controlled manner within eight to ten weeks. This aerobic method also significantly reduces methane emissions. By sharing the experience in carbon sequestration we’ve gained from our projects with our partners and raw material suppliers around the world, HiPP helps suppliers implement their own climate protection measures in their companies – because local nature preservation leads to global climate protection.
HiPP uses financial compensation to support these concepts at operational level in the supply chain, which creates added value for the farmer, for HiPP, for nature and for future generations. Our company’s climate protection measures can be seen within our own agricultural supply chain.
Humus formation and composting projects have many benefits:
1) Agricultural lands benefit from high humus content, as it promotes active soil life. These lands make a substantial contribution to preserving our ecosystems and biodiversity. Humus formation is important for soil fertility, erosion control, soil water retention and flood protection. All of this makes agriculture more climate-resilient.
2) The composting process converts organic waste into valuable natural fertiliser. Aerobic composting significantly reduces methane emissions compared to less climate-friendly rotting.
3) The carbon bound in organic fertiliser is added to the soil in a comparatively more stable form, leading to soil carbon build-up and the long-term sequestration.
4) The use of green manure or cover crops and catch crops will largely replace the practice of black fallow on all lands. This protects against erosion, secures the valuable nutrient-rich topsoil and builds up further organic matter.
5. Is a HiPP cow a climate killer?
Cows are often thought of as climate killers, but this is unfair. Although they emit the greenhouse gas methane, they do a lot for climate protection at the same time – not every cow, but the HiPP organic beef cattle in any case. If cattle farming is grassland-based, productive and holistic in the sense of circularity, it can have a positive impact on the environment and climate. For example, ruminants produce high-quality proteins from raw materials (grass) that we do not otherwise use. More information on everything else that HiPP organic cattle can do can be found here.
Which climate protection projects does HiPP support?
Composting urban green waste in Cape Town
HiPP’s commitment to the South African metropolis of Cape Town demonstrates how 30,000 cubic metres of green waste per month can be made available for both urban landscaping and agriculture. To date, more than 10 million cubic metres of green waste have been processed into high-quality potting soil, preventing half a million tonnes of CO2 from escaping into the atmosphere. UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) institutions have already openly recommended this HiPP-backed project as a way of offsetting emissions. The compost obtained from the project will be used to improve the soil for landscapers in the Cape Town region and farms in the Western Cape.
Method: AMS III.E v. 7: ‘Avoidance of methane production from biomass decay through controlled combustion’ AMS III.F v. 5: ‘Avoidance of methane production from biomass decay through composting’
Emissions are quantified according to the guidelines of the small scale CDM methods
Certification standard and project registration: The Credible Carbon labelled RE_AW4MAUBT
Forest protection project in Kariba, Zimbabwe
REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation), plus sustainable forest management and maintaining and improving carbon stocks in forests: since this project was launched in 2011, the average annual reduction of CO2 has been over 3.5 million tonnes. The project provides farmers and the local population with additional sources of income and permanently improves living conditions in the region.
Method: VM0007 REDD+ Methodology Framework (REDD+ MF) by VCS
Certification standard and project registration: The Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) from Verra
NOTE REGARDING OUR CLAIM
There are currently no official standards or legal requirements that regulate climate protection statements.
In the corporate context, emissions are divided into three areas known as scopes. You will find an explanation of scopes 1, 2 and 3 below:
Scope 1: Emissions from sources that you own directly or you control (e.g. operation of your own boiler or vehicle fleet).
Scope 2: Emissions from the use of energy that you purchase (e.g. your own electricity consumption, heating, cooling, etc.). If your company generates its own electrical energy, this electricity is not accounted for as scope 2, and the fuel used is accounted for under scope 1 (direct) emissions.
Scope 3: Emissions resulting from activities that are not directly related to your company (e.g. from business travel or waste management).
Scope 1 and 2 emissions must be accounted for when reporting (e.g. with the GHG Protocol). Accounting for Scope 3 emissions is optional.
We have decided to inform our customers about our climate protection strategy through product communication and to label our products as climate-positive. Nevertheless, we understand that climate-neutral and climate-positive labelling will still be unclear to some consumers due to the highly complex nature of the subject.
So we’re urgently seeking alternative solutions to make our commitment to climate protection as clear and comprehensible as possible for our consumers. This future solution will of course have to be compliant with the requirements for environmental claims announced by the EU.
We’ve learnt a lot from constructive feedback and will gradually reduce the proportion of certificates from offsetting projects. Regardless of this, we at HiPP are sticking to our goal of having a positive impact on the climate as a company. Our focus is on making climate protection an increasingly integral part of our production and suppliers’ processes – we’ve been doing this for over 60 years, and it’s at the heart of what HiPP does.
Critical issues relating to ‘HiPP becomes climate-positive’
- One criticism of the term ‘climate-positive’ is that it suggests increased consumption of this product is positive for the climate. But the term is not intended to suggest that. However, HiPP wants to offer its customers an opportunity to become part of the global climate protection community by offering products with a reduced climate footprint, which was viewed recently as climate-positive on the balance sheet. 25 years after the signing of the Kyoto Protocol, we assume that consumers understand that, according to the current state of the art, every product generates greenhouse gas emissions.
- Available data: Currently, HiPP still has to make its calculations on the basis of external third-party data (e.g. the AGRIBALYSE and ecoinvent databases). We are working on significantly improving the database for the organic sector.
- We have decided to include our entire range in the calculations, as a wide variety of food is important for the nutrition of infants and young children: meat and dairy products are also recommended for a balanced diet. Offsetting emissions of animal products may attract some critics, but we believe our approach is consistent.
In addition, active research is currently being conducted into the CO2 footprint which (organic) cattle really leave behind when the relevant efforts for creating and preserving CO2-rich grasslands are factored in. As soon as data is available, HiPP will recalculate its products featuring animal ingredients with these data sets and report the effects transparently.
- Criticism of the calculation basis of climate protection projects: We are aware of the methodological criticism of climate protection projects in general as well as of the projects we support. Nevertheless, we have decided to follow this path so that the project team and the communities involved at the respective sites can learn together. This is because it’s only through trial – and sometimes failure – that experience can be gained and successes achieved. If the Global North were to withdraw from global climate protection projects, it would be a disastrous message to send to the Global South (where many climate protection projects are located). Current climate developments make clear that every tonne of CO2 avoided or bound makes a difference. We at HiPP support the Climate Alliance Germany.