With its "Energy Offensive", NürnbergMesse began saving energy and conserving resources many years ago. In this interview, Eckehard Wohlgenannt, Environment and Energy Manager at NürnbergMesse, explains how it can effectively save energy.
What do you mean by energy management at NürnbergMesse?
Eckehard Wohlgenannt: NürnbergMesse had itself certified to DIN ISO 50001 back in 2014. In the process, we audited the complete energy consumption of NürnbergMesse and defined an energy policy with specific energy-saving targets. The targets are measured and evaluated on an ongoing basis in order to derive new measures. We made this assessment for all our three energy sources - electricity, district heating and natural gas. As a result, NürnbergMesse has been able to keep energy consumption constant despite economic growth.
What measures have now been implemented or strengthened since the beginning of the energy crisis?
NürnbergMesse has set up an internal "Energy Task Force". There, employees from various corporate divisions discuss possible measures for energy supply security. As a result, for example, the central heating system was converted to bivalent burners so that we could now also use heating oil in addition to natural gas.
Secondly, we are considering how we can further reduce energy consumption. For example, increased attention has been paid to lowering temperatures in the halls as well as in the offices, keeping the hall doors closed and switching off the lights when not in use. In addition, all exhibition halls are being converted to LED lighting, which will enable NürnbergMesse to save around 80% of its lighting power consumption.
Do these supposedly simple measures have a relevant impact?
Yes, because they have massively increased everyone's awareness of the need to save energy. If it's cooler in your own office, you also remember to close the doors in the halls. Conversely, I have also received reports that employees are now too warm in certain rooms. Through good communication, exhibitors and guest organizers have been able to allay fears of negative repercussions.
How can employees contribute their ideas on energy management?
We actively asked for this via the intranet. We received around 50 suggestions in a short time. These often involved individual measures such as motion detectors in certain rooms. Overall, it is clear that interest in both sustainability and energy is growing.
How much has NürnbergMesse saved overall as a result of the measures?
We have around 1,500 measuring points on the site. Within the short period from September to December of last year, we managed to save around 27% of energy compared to 2018. Admittedly, this figure depends on many influencing factors, because not every trade fair year runs the same way and temperatures also fluctuate. However, after taking these factors into account, there was still a saving of over 18%.
What are NürnbergMesse's medium- and long-term goals?
One goal is to increase the energy self-sufficiency of the exhibition center and ideally even become completely self-sufficient. NürnbergMesse also wants to continue to reduce energy consumption and thus become more sustainable. Milestones will be the photovoltaic systems and the planned hybrid power plant. For me, it is clear that the topic of sustainability is an essential pillar in environmental and energy management and remains central in the exhibition industry. Together with our customers and partners, we can achieve a lot in this field.