Johannes Hengstenberg is convinced that climate protection is not abstract and complicated but, rather, a question of sound communication and access to information. Johannes studied economics at the renowned Max-Planck Institute in Germany. He left his economic research in 1987 to help found the Global Challenge Network(GCN). The GCN began as an international citizen organisation whose mission was to link various global initiatives tackling problems of war, armament and environmental destruction. Increasingly disillusioned by political debates on the growing threat of global warming, Johannes decided to devote his efforts to finding a pragmatic approach to climate change. In 1992 Johannes and a group of friends went to work figuring out how to analyze energy bills. Their goal was to make energy consumption transparent. It was from this work that CO2online developed. For this Johannes was awarded the Sustainable Energy Europe Award (2007); was one of five finalists for the German Social Entrepreneur 2008 Award for the Schwab Foundation, won the 2008 Clean Tech Media Award for sustainability and was honored with the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 2009.