FRANKFURT/MAIN, Germany & LAS VEGAS, Nevada – Germany has the largest market worldwide in virtually all fields of environmental technology and is one of the most important locations for the industry. For example, the country is number one in the field of renewable energies: Germany is the world export leader for recycling and sustainable water technologies. In addition, with more than 14 percent of globally-available capacities, the German wind energy industry is the largest in the world and sets standards for research and development.
GREEN MEETINGS – A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE OF THE GERMAN MEETINGS AND CONVENTIONS INDUSTRY
Germany’s expertise in this field is also one of the distinctive competitive advantages of the German meetings and conventions industry: many companies in various fields of business have realized that sustainable practices are an image booster and offer sound economic advantages.
German congress providers integrate climate-friendly measures in their entire preparation, implementation, and follow-up work for events. They range from eco-friendly travel to the venue and comprehensive recycling through purchasing local foodstuffs, to using leftovers to produce energy and converting car fleets.
The German Convention Bureau (GCB) offers practical support for staging green meetings on its website www.germany-meetings.com . There you will find a list of existing certificates and best practices of hotels and convention centers.
Staged together by the GCB and European Association of Event Venues (EVVC), the green meetings and events conference in early March 2011 showed that awareness of green practices and climate protection has reached the German meetings, conventions, and events industry. Around 400 delegates from all fields of the industry discussed the role of sustainability for the meetings and congress sector for two days. Another 200 registered participants were reached by the virtual tie-in event of the conference, which made its debut on the Internet two weeks later.
EXCELLENT STANDARDS FOR VENUES IN GERMANY
According to the results of the Meeting & Event Barometer, over one-quarter of the interviewed meeting hotels, convention centers, and venues in Germany (27.4 percent) have already integrated a management system with a green concept for all business activities.
BEST PRACTICE EXAMPLES
One example is the darmstadtium in Hessen. Thanks to making comprehensive use of geothermal energy, biomass and solar energy, the science and convention center in Darmstadt runs almost entirely on renewable energy sources. In late 2010, it received the Green Globe eco-label.
The event center of the Academy of German Cooperatives (ADG) at Schloss Montabaur in the Westerwald region, which opened in April 2011, is the first venue in Germany to achieve energy independence thanks to state-of-the-art technology.
In the German capital, the Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz has been setting new standards for sustainability since October 2010. The hotel solely uses energy from renewable sources. Energy-saving lamps throughout the entire house and the use of district heating and cooling lower consumption. This is the first hotel in Germany to be awarded the EU ecolabel and silver medal for sustainable building.
Deutsche Bahn’s Umwelt-Plus event ticket offers all attendees of large events carbon-free travel to the venue. This will get delegates comfortably and swiftly to the destination at a fixed price. Deutsche Bahn’s green campaign is titled “DB Eco Program.” This is a climate protection program featuring more than 20 different activities DB is using to lower its worldwide specific carbon emissions by 20 percent from 2006 to 2020 in all parts of the group.
The German Convention Bureau (GCB) based in Frankfurt /Main, markets Germany as a destination for conventions, meetings, events, and incentives both on a national and international level, and is the place to contact for all customers who are planning events in Germany.
Its 230 members include leading hotels, convention centers, and destinations, rental car firms, event agencies, and service providers of the German meetings and conventions industry. Maritim Hotels, the SevenCenters of Germany, and darmstadtium science and convention center are Preferred Partners of the GCB. As Strategic Partners, Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Deutsche Bahn AG and the German National Tourist Board (DZT) support the work of the GCB.
The GCB, an interface between organizers of meetings and conventions and suppliers of the German meetings market, offers advice and support for planning and organizing events, and provides contacts and addresses. Its website www.germany-meetings.com features an online search facility for meeting venues, newsletters, Germany guides, and a lot more.