06 August 2019

Made in Germany: Where sustainability is an expert matter

Discover Germany's innovative ecosystem for events in the environment and energy sector

Sustainability has become one of the most prevalent terms of our time. Movements such as Fridays for Future or Extinction Rebellion are very clear in their message about the future of our planet, creating extra urgency in the public debate. Germany has long been a country that puts energy and environmental topics very high up on the agenda, be it in politics or society in general - and the domestic event sector matches the country's top expertise in this area with pioneering sustainability initiatives.

Sustainability pioneer Germany

It is no coincidence that sustainability expertise "made in Germany" is in demand worldwide. Time and again, politics and business are providers of innovative ideas, establishing the country as a sustainability pioneer. As early as 2000, the Renewable Energy Sources Act was put in place and has since served as a model for almost 50 other countries. German green-tech products are an important driver for growth and employment, contributing to the country's position in world trade. Plus, Germany's sustainability goals are above average, with the government aiming at covering at least 80 percent of electric power consumption and at least 60 percent of the entire energy consumption through renewable energy by 2050.

Destinations and suppliers with the sustainability factor

For the German event community, be it event venues or destinations, sustainability has been a key issue for years. Meeting planners can therefore expect very experienced partners and industry professionals, including lots of innovative ideas. Based on the latest "Meeting- & EventBarometer-2018/2019" survey, just over 40 percent of event venues in Germany already have a sustainability management system in place. Trendsetting, local projects such as the new "Sustainable Meetings Berlin" initiative and platform work with customer-centric and practical tools. "Sustainable Meetings Berlin" offers an online planning tool, providing direct access to sustainable and certified suppliers and service providers in Berlin, including hotels, venues, catering and even tech.

Ecosystem for innovation in energy and environment

The German capital has been on a dedicated path to sustainability for years now and regularly hosts international events in the energy, environment and green tech sector, such as the “Our Climate – Our Future 2019” conference or the annual Berlin Energy Days. Companies and organisations operating in the energy supply and resource use space should look at Dresden where “Cool Silicon” clusters more than 60 companies and three technical universities and research institutions in an innovation hub developing electronics that consume considerably less energy than conventional technologies. In this environment, meeting planners can expect all the latest know-how, interesting speakers and lots of opportunity for engaging local insights outside the meeting room.

Similar ecosystems where energy and environmental expertise mingle with entrepreneurial ideas are scattered across Germany, enabling the creation of customised programmes around different topics. Bremen, for instance, hosts the international wind energy conference DEWEK every two years. The world’s biggest solar technology event takes place in Munich every year and, as Germany’s UN city, Bonn regularly welcomes conferences on sustainability.

German event industry: putting sustainability centre stage

The German event industry’s own ecosystem is also very well placed, engaging in targeted initiatives that firmly integrate sustainability as a core aspect of the business. This includes “fairpflichtet”, a sustainability codex of the German-speaking event industry that was set up in 2012 by the GCB German Convention Bureau jointly with the European Association of Event Centres (EVVC) with, by now, 240 organisations, representing more than 600 business units, as members. In the same year, the GCB launched a special sustainability training programme with the aim of establishing professional standards and building up a network of ambassadors that spread the word in their organisations – so that sustainability in event organisation is never just a second thought.