FAQ: CO2 compensation

Carbon compensation expenses in connection with business trips undertaken by DFG funding recipients for DFG projects

It can be found under the heading “Travel” in the relevant funding guidelines referred to in your letter of approval. Based on this regulation, compensation payments can be recognised for the purpose of DFG research funding.

Travel expenses are allocated to a specific instance of research funding. This research funding is assigned to a funding code, the DFG reference number (GZ) or a cost item number (AOBJ).

Check with your institution to see if they have already set up a central unit for acquiring certificates. If so, please ask at this unit how compensations are handled at your institution. Mention that the compensation payment for your business trip must be made in accordance with the specifications set out in the Funding Guidelines and must be allocated to the correct proof of use of DFG funding in accordance with the outflow principle.

Please note that in the context of budget-related project funding, compensation can only be made from the funds for a given calendar year if the compensation payments are actually made in that calendar year. If the compensation payments are not made until the following year, they must be shown in the proof of use submitted for the year in which the funds are actually used. There may therefore be a difference between the outflow of travel expenses (without compensation payment) and the compensation payment.

No. Since Deutsche Bahn uses 100% green power on its long-distance network, there are no CO2e emissions to compensate for and you can submit your travel expenses in the usual way. There is no further notification requirement.

You can submit the ticket in the normal way under DFG research funding and include it in the proof of use.

On-site records of the calculation and certificate acquisition are to be kept for audit purposes.

The acquisition of the certificate is your responsibility as the funding recipient.

Yes, offsetting is voluntary.

Please ensure that carbon offsetting is transparently documented for the business trips concerned. If you receive your funding using the special accounts procedure, please provide appropriate supporting documents.

The certificates are not purchased. Offsetting in accordance with the CDM standard or a comparable standard is carried out by the funding recipient.

You can use a calculator supported by the Federal Environment Agency along with the options this provides. For example:


Please feel free to contact the DFG office responsible for the financial implementation of your funding.