Nachhaltigkeitskonferenz in Nürnberg 2024
Shaping the future

Strong voices at the sustainability conference

A big turnout for the first Sustainability Conference 24 at the "Auf AEG" cultural centre in Nuremberg. Science journalist Ranga Yogeshwar and Carla Reemtsma from Fridays for Future Germany had travelled to the event. CEO Peter Ottmann sat on the podium on behalf of NürnbergMesse, the city's major economic player.

It only took two weeks for the event to be fully booked. 350 participants wanted to be part of the discussion on the sustainable future of the city. "The sustainability conference provided a very good opportunity to discuss the sustainability goals and their concrete implementation in the city of Nuremberg with many committed people," said Nuremberg's environmental officer Britta Waltheim.

Climate-neutral city: pick up the pace, increase efforts

The Franconian metropolis has defined clear goals based on the 17 sustainability goals of the United Nations and adopted by the city council in 2022: A climate-neutral city administration by 2035 and a climate-neutral city by 2040. Greenhouse gas emissions have been reduced by 43.6 per cent since 1990, while final energy consumption has fallen by 26.7 per cent.

Sustainability conference in Nuremberg 2024

In addition to the panel discussions, the participants also had the opportunity for personal dialogue. The programme also included excursions and workshops on a wide range of topics. 

In a Germany-wide comparison, Nuremberg is ahead of the pack, both in terms of per capita final energy consumption (18.6 to 28.1 MWh) and per capita GHG emissions (5.9 to 7.5 tonnes CO2eq). Nevertheless, Britta Waltheim is self-critical: "We are moving in the right direction, but the pace is too slow and we need to significantly increase our efforts." In addition to concrete goals, the city is building a sustainable future in many areas: organic and regional food in daycare centres and schools, Fairtrade, eco-labels, social standards and sustainable procurement.

NürnbergMesse energy concept an important building block for the city's climate neutrality

At the sustainability conference, the city presented itself to its citizens in workshops on sustainability monitoring and climate protection strategies for tourism, district heating and groundwater in urban areas. Participants went on excursions to see best practices live on site: the Nuremberg Innovation and Start-up Centre Nkubator, the climate-neutral sewage treatment plant, the "green" Weststadt and the energy concept of NürnbergMesse.

Panel discussion with Ranga Yogeshwar and Carla Reemtsma and others

At the Sustainability Conference 2024, Ranga Yogeshwar and Carla Reemtsma discussed climate protection efforts with various stakeholders from the region.

Gerald Weiß, Head of Facility and Event Management at NürnbergMesse, presented the photovoltaic system on the exhibition hall roofs with its second-life battery storage system. A practical example of how the exhibition company is tackling the issue of sustainability with all its might. "We are a big player in the city of Nuremberg, but as an international exhibition organiser we also have a big footprint," says CEO Peter Ottmann, "which means we also have to do our homework." The first step is to achieve a climate-neutral energy supply by 2028, and NürnbergMesse is well on the way to achieving this with 95 per cent. The city also welcomes this. "The strong expansion of in-house solar production on the roofs of the exhibition centre is in line with the city's plan to install as many photovoltaic systems as possible on the roofs of Nuremberg and is therefore a further building block on the way to climate neutrality for the entire city," says Britta Waltheim.

"There really is a long-term masterplan"

Carla Reemtsma recognised the measures taken by the city: "When we talk about sustainable living, we need to design the infrastructure in such a way that climate-friendly living is possible." Ranga Yogeshwar was impressed by the sustainability conference: "There are events like this where you realise that you really do have a long-term master plan." And he is confident, "because we humans have always shown throughout history that we can change".

Redaktionsmitglied Reinhold Gebhart
Reinhold Gebhart
Online Editorial // Editor for Vincentz Network
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