Sustainability & international volunteering

What we do as an organisation

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Our work aims to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which address the economic, social and environmental challenges of our planet. We strive to implement sustainability in our daily work:

Organisational work

IBG is part of the self-declaration of  Bergwaldprojekt on climate-friendly behavior! What does that mean? We want to do something about climate change and commit ourselves to the following three points in our daily work:    

  1. We renounce domestic flights and flights for travel up to 1,000 km.
  2. We minimize our energy consumption in the office and use power from 100% green electricity.
  3. We renounce meat from conventional, industrial production and use, as far as possible, only biological, seasonal and regional or fair food in our trainings and events.

Trainings & Travel reimbursements

Meals at our trainings and seminars are usually vegan. Why? Here you can find 8 reasons why we aim to eat less meat.

We do not reimburse travel costs for domestic flights and travel costs for cars only up to an amount of 150 Euros. For train bookings, we can reimburse you also for the costs of a CO2 offset.

Many volunteers travel medium or long distances to reach their Workcamp. We recommend that all participants think about offsetting the CO2 emissions of their trip and choose the most environmentally friendly means of transport. Here you can calculate the CO2 emissions of your trip to the workcamp with different means of transport.

Traveling more sustainably doesn't just mean choosing environmentally friendly means of transport. It also means paying attention to social justice, respecting foreign cultures and keeping the negative impact of your trip on the environment as small as possible. Here are a few tips to make your trip as sustainable as possible.

In an international group in particular, it is often exciting to discuss the topic of sustainability and to get to know different approaches to solving the climate crisis from various regions of the world. We motivate all group leaders of our work camps to choose a motto for their camp. This means, for example, trying to do without plastic, reducing waste, buying fair coffee, etc. Read more about how to choose your camp's motto.

Become an IBG-Eco-Messenger!

You think the topic is important and want to get involved further? We are looking forward to your participation! You can support us in various ways:

Become an Eco-Messenger!
As an Eco-Messenger, you visit a work camp and give a small input on a topic of sustainability; for example, water, consumption, mobility, upcycling, etc. We will refund your travel costs and help you with the planning and implementation of your workshop!

More Info

Want to read more about sustainability? Here you will find some articles about how we practise sustainability in our workcamps, while travelling and with our daily office work.

How to travel more sustainably
How to travel more sustainably
Within our network, the Alliance of European Voluntary Service Organizations, more than 20,000 volunteers travel to international work camps around the world every year. This exchange often has many positive effects on the volunteers, and also on the local communities and organisations which are involved in organising the projects.At the same time, participating in an international work...
World Water Day: Accelerating Change
World Water Day: Accelerating Change
How our drinking water is related to the climate crisis About two thirds of our planet is covered with water. However, only a fraction of it is fresh water and even less of it is so clean that it can be safely used as drinking water. Even if in Germany we mostly only notice in summer that there is too little water for agriculture, parks and gardens in many places - from a global...
Reducing waste - what can I do?
Reducing waste - what can I do?
Have you ever paid attention to what we throw away every day? On average, every person in Germany alone produces over 220kg of packaging waste per year. The resources for the production of plastic, paper, etc. are very limited. It uses large quantities of water and oil for the production of plastics. Often plastic waste also ends up in the environment, where it takes several decades to...