TUI Wants More Real Reduction, Less Compensation of Emissions

Travel organization TUI wants to limit its CO2 emissions by actually reducing the emission of greenhouse gas. The German company wants to do less by compensating for emissions, for example, by planting forests.


CEO Fritz Joussen now only sees this as a “last option”, he writes in a letter to investors. Joussen promises “a real reduction in emissions” from TUI.

Companies in many sectors offset their CO2 emissions by investing in greening projects if they cannot meet their targets actually to reduce their own emissions. However, this leads to criticism, especially concerning large companies, that they are not really doing anything but are buying off their pollution. The trade-in emission rights, on the other hand, ensure that part of the costs of pollution for society can be recovered from the causes.

Tourism has a large carbon footprint. In the case of TUI, this is also due to the aircraft and cruise ships that the group owns, which are very polluting. According to Joussen, about 5 percent of all emissions worldwide can be attributed to tourism. Air traffic accounts for half of that.

TUI has long wanted to “reduce the environmental impact of our aviation, cruise, hotel, office and travel agency activities,” says Joussen. According to the CEO, TUI has therefore been looking at sustainability “with every economic decision” for some time. “Especially with investments such as in our aircraft fleet, ships or the energy supply for our hotels.”

Joussen did not provide details about how exactly TUI wants to limit CO2 emissions. The travel group works with the organization Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). It assists companies in making plans to comply with the Paris climate agreement, whereby SBTi is guided by the latest scientific knowledge about climate change.

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