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Jan, Sustainability Manager
Jan, Sustainability Manager

05. May 2023

Jan, Sustainability Manager

Jan is Managing Director at CHECK24 Kredite and is primarily responsible for product management. He has also been Sustainability Manager since 2019. In this interview, you can discover which sustainability goals CHECK24 will pursue in the coming years and what you can do to contribute to more sustainability in your everyday office life.

Hello Jan, please introduce yourself briefly.

I'm Managing Director at CHECK24 Kredite, primarily responsible for product management, i.e., the websites and apps. Before that, I spent six years at CHECK24 Reise, where I helped set up the package tour comparison in Leipzig. In addition, I have been the Sustainability Manager of the CHECK24 Group since 2019.

How did you get the Sustainability Manager position?

CHECK24 has long been active in the CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) field with its CHECK24hilft initiative. When it was founded in 2016, the initial focus was on supporting disadvantaged children and young people. However, when sustainability - especially in the sense of nature conservation and environmental protection - was added, the CHECK24 founders sought someone who wanted to take care of this. Since the topic is also very close to my private heart, I naturally said yes immediately.

And what exactly are your tasks?

I am responsible for sustainability issues throughout the Group at CHECK24. On the one hand, I improve our "footprint" internally, i.e., the impact of our company operations on the environment. On the other hand, I'm also the contact person for CHECK24 Product Comparisons when offering our customers sustainable alternatives - in other words, helping them make conscious purchasing decisions.

What have been the highlights in the area of sustainability in recent years?

In just a few weeks in 2019, we made the office operations at all our locations sustainable - from recycled paper to organic food to green electricity in our data centers. A fun highlight of the project was the coffee tasting of an organic and fair trade coffee blend specially produced for CHECK24.

Our climate neutrality, which CHECK24 achieved for the first time in 2021, represents a significant milestone. To this end, we have drawn up a carbon footprint for all locations and products. The highlight was that an employee was allowed to visit our CO2 compensation project in South America on-site to see that our compensation contribution is also being used sensibly.

By mid-2021, we had set the goal of planting 100,000 trees in Germany to strengthen our native forests. This was not easy in terms of scale, but we managed to do it in a record time of less than two years! In the process, we also held planting events with students to bring them closer to nature. In the end, this was also reported on television.

I have also had the opportunity to represent CHECK24 at panel discussions on sustainability in Berlin and thus gain exciting insights into the capital's operations. We even received an award for our sustainability strategy in 2022.

What is the best thing about your job as Sustainability Manager?

Here, I can integrate my private interests from the field of sustainability into my everyday professional life.

Jan, Sustainability Manager

What are further goals in the coming years?

Our goal is to offer and label sustainable solutions in all CHECK24 comparisons. However, where this is not so easily possible, we want to integrate the option of CO2 compensation or a donation to environmental projects into the purchasing process.

In this way, we want to help our customers make sustainable consumption decisions more efficiently and create transparency - because making markets transparent and empowering consumers is CHECK24's basic idea.

Several projects are already underway here with thoroughly promising results, e.g., when booking a package tour, customers can donate the CHECK24 points they collect directly to the WWF. In addition, Mietwagen has recently enabled customers to offset CO2 in the check-out process.

The topic is also an important one for you in your private life - what challenges do you encounter daily?

I have been concerned about this topic since my school days. I try to behave responsibly and in an environmentally conscious way. This always leads to exciting discussions about what is supposedly "right" or "wrong. Sometimes it's not so easy to figure out which is the better alternative from a sustainability point of view. A good example is the decision between sparkling water in glass or plastic bottles, for which numerous studies come to different conclusions. However, it's a bit more complicated without an airplane if you want to go on vacation to a warm place.

And finally, your tips: What can every employee do in their day-to-day work to contribute to greater sustainability?

Actually, just like at home: use resources such as paper sparingly, avoid traveling by car if possible, try the vegetarian alternative at the CHECKito lunch, and take the stairs instead of the elevator - that's good for the environment and also keeps you fit!

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