11. Usage of Natural Resources

The company discloses the extent to which natural resources are used for the company’s business activities. Possible options here are materials, the input and output of water, soil, waste, energy, land and biodiversity as well as emissions for the life cycles of products and services.

The greatest ecological impact is caused by:
  1. Surface area [m2]
  2. Waste, especially non-recyclable waste [m3]
  3. Electricity [kWh]
  4. Heating/cooling [kWh]
  5. Transport of arriving and departing trade fair and congress customers [t CO2]
The sealed terrain covered by the exhibition halls and site and the CCH is the greatest resource in the day-to-day operations of Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH (HMC). This is why one of Europe's largest herbaceous plant rooftop gardens was created on the roof of Hall H of the CCH – Congress Center Hamburg. Its purpose is to recreate some of the biodiversity and rainwater seepage surface.

© Hamburg Messe und Congress / H. G. Esch, Ingenhoven Architects
© Hamburg Messe und Congress / H. G. Esch, Ingenhoven Architects

The waste generated during trade fairs and congresses is disposed of by HMC’s contractors as required under applicable regulations. Exhibitors are provided with separate waste containers enabling them to separate waste types for proper recycling. The HMC “Green Guidelines for Exhibitors To Ensure An Eco-Friendly Exhibition“ were created to raise exhibitor awareness. The fee for the disposal of residual waste is higher to encourage exhibitors to minimise non-recyclable waste.  

The office paper used in the administration building is 100 % FSC-certified. Ongoing digitalisation measures are expected to further reduce paper waste (implementation of the "paperless office" – for example, digital minutes from meetings are implemented using SmartSheet).

To reduce its CO2 footprint, HMC uses 100% green electricity and heats its building nearly exclusively using residual heat from the district heating network, which will become more eco-friendly in future.

Regarding mobility, HMC is currently working on developing new options and implementing improvements. Electric carts, including the required recharging infrastructure, are in use, and all fossil fuel-powered cars have an emission classification of at least Euro 5-6. This is consistent with the "Guidelines For The Procurement Of Vehicles With Low CO2 And Other Noxious Emissions" (Leitlinie für die Beschaffung von Fahrzeugen mit geringen CO2- und Schadstoffemissionen), which HMC has subscribed to under the Climate Partner Agreement to minimise emissions. From mid-2021, HMC's company cars will be successively converted to hybrid vehicles. Beginning in 2022, numerous e-car charging stations will be installed in HMC's indoor car parks as part of the ELBE project.

Visitors have the option to travel to the HMC premises using a subsidised and CO2-free Deutsche Bahn train ticket. The same applies to exhibitors. Furthermore, gathering at one large, central venue to present goods and services avoids multiple supplier and customer journeys across the country to offer or inspect products because all interested parties can be together at the same time and place. A single trip to a central meeting place of all exhibitors reduces emissions by avoiding individual trips to each exhibitor.

The indicators relating to resource utilisation are detailed in Key Performance Indicators 11-12.

Also refer to: Our Contribution to The United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals

12. Resource Management

The company discloses what qualitative and quantitative goals it has set itself with regard to its resource efficiency, in particular its use of renewables, the increase in raw material productivity and the reduction in the usage of ecosystem services, which measures and strategies it is pursuing to this end, how these are or will be achieved, and where it sees there to be risks.

Sustainability, as Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH (HMC) understands it, includes “[...] a development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (Brundlandt definition from the Report of the World Commission on Environment and  Development, 1987).

Climate protection plays a key role in this context. Climate protection is per se sustainable, and not just at the ecological level. Avoiding major climate change creates stability and ensures long-term success at the social and economic levels, as well.

HMC is an organiser of leading global trade fairs which are linked to sustainability. One of these trade fairs is WindEnergy Hamburg, which showcases regenerative energy sources. But HMC not only provides a central meeting place to third parties (such as Heldenmarkt, a trade fair for sustainable consumption) but has adopted internal principles of operational climate protection in its Climate Protection Policy, as well [refer to Criterion 6].  

Climate protection is consequently a core concern from the perspective of corporate responsibility, as well. This is another reason HMC as a public-sector company is committed to doing its share to implement the climate protection policy set forth by the Senate of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg (FHH), and to contributing on a permanent basis.

To this end, HMC supports numerous continuous initiatives towards implementing the principles of climate protection. An excerpt:

General initiatives: Waste: Office supplies and administration building: Soil and water:
© Hamburg Messe und Congress / www.falconcrest.com© Hamburg Messe und Congress / www.falconcrest.com

Energy and fuels:
  • Reduction of power consumption (e. g. "Switch Me off” signs on light switches since 2021)
  • CO2 Balance Sheet
  • Energy audit according to German Energy Services Act (EDL-G)
  • 100 % renewable electricity since 2011
  • Compliance with Energy Saving Ordinance of 2014 (exhibition halls)
  • Efficiency Class A
  • On-site electric carts and charging infrastructure
  • Use of daylight instead of electric light whenever possible
  • Retrofitting of energy-efficient technology (e. g. LED lighting, motion detector-controlled light switches in corridors, illumination and media equipment)
  • Company-owned staff bicycles
  • Successive conversion of company cars to hybrid vehicles
Heating / cooling:
  • 99 % recovered waste heat from the district heating network
  • Heat recovery from ventilation systems
  • Ventilation and air conditioning systems controlled separately for each hall
  • UVC air sanitation systems (Halls B1 to B4, East and South entrances)
  • CCH: temperature inside the building during operations is controlled hall by hall and adjusted for the respective building section and season
  • CCH: Air-conditioning takes advantage of the natural cooling effect of the adjacent ‘Planten un Blomen’ Park
Additionally at CCH:
  • Air quality control:
    • natural ventilation (from Planten un Blomen Park)
    • air quality can be adjusted for number of attendees
    • guaranteed air moisture, high air throughput
  • Contaminants:
    • exclusive use of DGNB-certified construction materials
    • compliant disposal of contaminated legacy construction material

The Sustainability Officer regularly reviews all implemented and planned measures, supported by the Sustainability Project Team. Further visions and optimisation potential are being developed. The implementation status of measures is reported regularly to the Executive Board. Furthermore, HMC reports its (planned) savings to the Climate Central Office, the initiator of the Climate Partner Agreement. No internal intermediate quantitative targets have been defined in addition to the FHH saving targets (refer to Climate Plan).

HMC considers its own use of resources and that of its service partners as substantial and is committed to improving the efficiency of its material and energy use steadily. Furthermore, HMC requires its contractors to comply with all applicable environmental and social standards.

One of the key risks in HMC's business operations in terms of natural resources is proper recycling. Ensuring proper separation and recycling of waste is a highly complex task in many trade fairs and events. Exhibitors are required to give preference to reusable materials and adhere to waste separation rules. One example of sustainable material use is the provision of reusable carpeting tiles for events. In addition, certified cradle-to-cradle carpeting is offered as of 2022.

Another perpetual risk in terms of high consumption of natural resources (especially fuels) is associated with the transport of exhibitors, congress participants and visitors to and from the premises. It is not up to HMC to dictate a particular means of transport. All HMC can do is raise awareness and provide incentives (such as discounts for train passengers) (for the results of a scientific study on enhanced integration of public transport in event ticket prices please refer to reporting year 2019).

Also refer to: Our Contribution to The United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals

Key Performance Indicators to criteria 11 to 12

Key Performance Indicator GRI SRS-301-1: Materials used
The reporting organization shall report the following information:

a. Total weight or volume of materials that are used to produce and package the organization’s primary products and services during the reporting period, by:
i. non-renewable materials used;
ii. renewable materials used.

  2020 2019
Cleaning supplies (sustainable and ecologically compatible)
Sanitary cleaning agent [Liters] 110 420
Neutral cleaning agent [Liters] 160 650
Office supplies (FSC certified)
Copy paper A4 (80mg/m2) [sheets] 400.000 1.000.000
Business cards on both sides
(5,5 x 8,5 cm à 300 g/m2) [pcs.]
8.000 66.050
Envelope A4 (120g/m2) [pcs.] 6.000 4.000
Mailers (– various sizes) [pcs.] / 278.000
Complete stands
(Here one can choose from four stand construction packages (Standard, Comfort, Business, Premium). In addition, reusable materials such as furniture, spotlights, etc. can be booked).
Area [m2] 1.527 4.396
Single-use carpet [m2] 1.527 4.396
Single-use wall paneling [m2] 72 777
Carpet tiles
One carpet tile corresponds to 1 m2 or 0,25 m2 and is reused on average 25 times. It is cleaned by a machine specially designed for this purpose.
Area [m2] 33.472 212.910
Corresponding weight [t] 100 639
The values are dependent on years in which events are strong or weak. Corona-related deviations are possible.

Key Performance Indicator GRI SRS-302-1: Energy consumption
The reporting organization shall report the following information:

a. Total fuel consumption within the organization from non-renewable sources, in joules or multiples, and including fuel types used.

b. Total fuel consumption within the organization from renewable sources, in joules or multiples, and including fuel types used.

c. In joules, watt-hours or multiples, the total:
i. electricity consumption
ii. heating consumption
iii. cooling consumption
iv. steam consumption

d. In joules, watt-hours or multiples, the total:
i. electricity sold
ii. heating sold
iii. cooling sold
iv. steam sold

e. Total energy consumption within the organization, in joules or multiples.

f. Standards, methodologies, assumptions, and/or calculation tools used.

g. Source of the conversion factors used.

  2020 2019 2018
Green electricity [kWh] 6.011.005 10.043.128 11.999.346
Residual district heat [kWh] 5.135.331 6.556.458 6.934.810
Gas [kWh] 41.286 31.886 44.012
Since 2017: no values for CCH due to the revitalization.
The values are dependent on the weather, years when events are strong or weak, and energy-related renovations. 2020: Corona-related effects (hardly any event business, defective temperature regulator).

Key Performance Indicator GRI SRS-302-4: Reduction of energy consumption
The reporting organization shall report the following information:

a. Amount of reductions in energy consumption achieved as a direct result of conservation and efficiency initiatives, in joules or multiples.

b. Types of energy included in the reductions; whether fuel, electricity, heating, cooling, steam, or all.

c. Basis for calculating reductions in energy consumption, such as base year or baseline, including the rationale for choosing it.

d. Standards, methodologies, assumptions, and/or calculation tools used.

Compared to previous year 2020 2019 2018
Green electricity [kWh] -40,1 -16,3 +  7,6
Residual district heat [kWh] -21,7 -  5,4 -   3,9
Gas [kWh] +29,5 -27,6 +29,1
Since 2017: no values for CCH due to revitalization.
The values depend on the weather, years when events are strong or weak, and energy-related renovations. 2020: Corona-related effects (hardly any event business, defective temperature controller).

Key Performance Indicator GRI SRS-303-3: Water withdrawal
The reporting organization shall report the following information:

a. Total water withdrawal from all areas in megaliters, and a breakdown of this total by the following sources, if applicable:
i. Surface water;
ii. Groundwater;
iii. Seawater;
iv. Produced water;
v. Third-party water.

b. Total water withdrawal from all areas with water stress in megaliters, and a breakdown of this total by the following sources, if applicable:
i. Surface water;
ii. Groundwater;
iii. Seawater;
iv. Produced water;
v. Third-party water, and a breakdown of this total by the withdrawal sources listed in i-iv.

c. A breakdown of total water withdrawal from each of the sources listed in Disclosures 303-3-a and 303-3-b in megaliters by the following categories:
i. Freshwater (≤1,000 mg/L Total Dissolved Solids);
ii. Other water (>1,000 mg/L Total Dissolved Solids).

d. Any contextual information necessary to understand how the data have been compiled, such as any standards, methodologies, and assumptions used.

  2020 2019 2018
Water [m3] 17.332 31.771 29.958
Water use is limited to sanitary facilities, the pantries, cleaning purposes and catering (drinking water). Fresh water is obtained directly from the supplier Hamburg Wasser. Since 2017: no values for CCH due to revitalization. The values are dependent on the weather, years when events are strong or weak, and energy-related conversions. 2020: Corona-related effects (hardly any event business).

Key Performance Indicator GRI SRS-306-3: Waste generated
The reporting organization shall report the following information:

a. Total weight of waste generated in metric tons, and a breakdown of this total by composition of the waste.

b. Contextual information necessary to understand the data and how the data has been compiled.

  2020 2019 2018
Packaging / plastic [m3] 85,0 28,6 28,6
Glass [m3] 0,48 1,10 0,72
Residual Waste [Mg] 117,3 954,0 1.388,0
Paper [Mg] 5,4 18,0 25,8
Wood [Mg] 4,8 206,0 280,5
Halogen free machining emulsion [Liters] 1.550 k.A. 4.600
Batteries [kg] k.A. 163,0 630,0
Used equipment containing chlorofluorocarbons e. g. refrigerators [pcs.] 8 5 6
Fluorescent tubes k.A. 520,0 180,0
Electronic waste [Mg] k.A. 1,1 k.A.
Monitores [pcs.] k.A. k.A. k.A.
Fire extinguisher [pcs.] 12 k.A. k.A.
Used tires [pcs.] 8 k.A. k.A.
Insulation material KMF [cbm] 4,0 k.A. k.A.
Coal tar tarry products [Mg] 26,4 k.A. k.A.
Bitumen mixtures [Mg] 44,2 k.A. k.A.
Mixed construction and demolition waste [Mg] 434,0 3,1 k.A.
Bulk waste [Mg] 6,8 k.A. k.A.
Concrete [cbm] 425,0 k.A. k.A.
Brick [cbm] 88,0 k.A. k.A.
Paints and varnishes with the exception of 080111 [kg] 209,0 k.A. k.A.
Paints and varnishes containing solvents [kg] 193,0 565,0 842,0
  The values are dependent on years in which events are strong or weak. Corona-related deviations are possible. Some values may be due to construction work or retrofitting, such as the switch to LED lighting in the Lagerstrasse parking garage or the renovation of the parking garage West ceiling at Halls A3/A4. The waste disposal method is determined by the disposal company and recycled in a standard and professional manner. Waste separation is a given.

13. Climate-Relevant Emissions

The company discloses the GHG emissions in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol or standards based on it and states the goals it has set itself to reduce emissions, as well as its results thus far.

The three most significant emission sources at Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH (HMC) are (1) heating and cooling the exhibition halls, (2) the supply of electricity to the exhibition halls, the CCH and the administration building, and (3) the mobility of exhibitors, visitors and participants of trade fairs and congresses.

Since 100 % of the electricity consumed by HMC is green electricity from renewable sources, the associated greenhouse gas emissions are low. Compared with the average German electricity mix, this reduces HMC's greenhouse gas emissions by 5,800 metric tonnes of CO2 equivalent annually.

A factor of significant climate relevance, however, is the use of recovered waste heat from the district heating network which is coal-powered. The heat it generates is first supplied to other consumers, then to HMC where it passes through heat exchangers. This form of heating could be described as ‘heat recycling’. It is a good long-term option, especially since the City of Hamburg owns the district heating network and is planning to substitute the legacy high-greenhouse gas incineration stations with regenerative energy sources.

Quantifying emissions from event-related transport is a challenging task. Since it can only be approximated based on random surveys, it is impossible to provide more than estimates of these emissions.

In 2020, HMC prepared an event-independent CO2 balance sheet for the year 2019, supported by an external consultant. This CO2 footprint is based on data covering facility management, employee mobility, business trips, procurement, and company logistics pursuant to the generally accepted GHG Protocol (Scope 1-3). This data has enabled HMC to identify significant emission reduction potential. The largest emission source is externally-generated heat (37.9%). The second most significant item is emissions from the heating and cooling supply chain (18.2%). Third in line is the electricity supply chain, at 13.7 %.  A CO2 compensation scheme cannot be proposed feasibly in the current pandemic-induced economic situation. The pilot project further indicated that the data collection procedure as well as data quality need to be improved to achieve a more precise result. A calculation of the "footprint" for 2020 and 2021 is not carried out, as the volume of emissions was strongly influenced by the pandemic. The calculation of the carbon footprint is planned next for 2022. HMC intends to collect additional data needed for the CO2 balance sheet in connection with events in the longer term.

In its Climate Protection Master Plan, the Hamburg Senate has proclaimed its target to reduce CO2 emissions by at least 95% by the year 2050 compared to 1990 levels. As an intermediate goal, the measures detailed in the 2030 Action Plan intend to reduce CO2 emissions by 55% by 2030. Hamburg's public sector organisations are expected to achieve climate neutrality by 2040.

Progress towards the FHH climate targets are tracked continuously, and it is intended to make a positive contribution to the reduction of noxious emissions. The Executive Board and the Sustainability Officer are continuously monitoring the ongoing measures taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

To achieve the climate protection goals set by the Hamburg Senate for 2030 (intermediate goal), the Industrial Transformation Pathway outlined in the Climate Plan calls for a combined CO2 emission reduction from Hamburg's entire business sector by 5.5m tonnes compared to 1990 levels.

Under the Climate Partner Agreement (since 2018), HMC and 15 other public-sector companies have agreed to adopt a first-mover role by committing to reducing their CO2 emissions by 140,000 tonnes annually. The baseline year for greenhouse gas emissions as documented in the Agreement is 2012. Additional initiatives towards increasing HMC's contribution to emission reduction include HMC's commitment as an Eco-Partner (UmweltPartner) of the City of Hamburg, and its membership in the Air-Quality Partnership.

What is more, HMC invests in technology enabling significant CO2 reductions on a regular basis, including:
© Hamburg Messe und Congress

Future CO2 balance sheets will provide further input supporting HMC's efforts to monitor its climate-relevant data.

Future emission reductions will strongly focus on the emission sources described above. Since the composition of both, the electricity supply and the district heating are dictated by the shareholder, HMC sees its primary responsibility in optimising the efficiency of its energy consumption.

A good example for further emission reductions is the cooperation with the logistics provider Pakadoo, an HMC contractor since 2018. Pakadoo allows HMC employees to have their personal online orders shipped directly to the place of employment. This ensures that deliveries will never be missed and the number of failed delivery attempts is minimised. The collaboration with Pakadoo has avoided approximately 1.67 tonnes of CO2 emissions in 2020. This figure encompasses 1,802 individual packet deliveries, with one packet assumed to avoid 924 grams of CO2 emissions. This is an innovative way to reduce traffic in cities while protecting the climate.

Further major measures taken to reduce climate-related emissions include:
Also refer to: Our Contribution to The United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals

Key Performance Indicators to criteria 13

Key Performance Indicator GRI SRS-305-1: Direct (Scope 1) GHG emissions
The reporting organization shall report the following information:

a. Gross direct (Scope 1) GHG emissions in metric tons of CO2 equivalent.

b. Gases included in the calculation; whether CO2, CH4, N2O, HFCs, PFCs, SF6, NF3 or all.

c. Biogenic CO2 emissions in metric tons of CO2 equivalent.

d. Base year for the calculation, if applicable, including:
i. the rationale for choosing it;
ii. emissions in the base year;
iii. the context for any significant changes in emissions that triggered recalculations of base year emissions.

e. Source of the emission factors and the global warming potential (GWP) rates used, or a reference to the GWP source.

f. Consolidation approach for emissions; whether equity share, financial control, or operational control.

g. Standards, methodologies, assumptions, and/or calculation tools used.

  2020 2019 2018
Fleet [t CO2] 23,53 32,49 33,52
Gas [t CO2] 7,51 5,80 8,01
Since 2017: no values for CCH due to revitalization. The values are dependent on the weather, years when events are strong or weak, and energy-related conversions. Corona-related deviations are possible.

Key Performance Indicator GRI SRS-305-2: Energy indirect (Scope 2) GHG emissions
The reporting organization shall report the following information:

a. Gross location-based energy indirect (Scope 2) GHG emissions in metric tons of CO2 equivalent.

b. If applicable, gross market-based energy indirect (Scope 2) GHG emissions in metric tons of CO2 equivalent.

c. If available, the gases included in the calculation; whether CO2, CH4, N2O, HFCs, PFCs, SF6, NF3, or all.

d. Base year for the calculation, if applicable, including:
i. the rationale for choosing it;
ii. emissions in the base year;
iii. the context for any significant changes in emissions that triggered recalculations of base year emissions.

e. Source of the emission factors and the global warming potential (GWP) rates used, or a reference to the GWP source.

f. Consolidation approach for emissions; whether equity share, financial control, or operational control.

g. Standards, methodologies, assumptions, and/or calculation tools used.

  2020 2019 2018
Green electricity from hydropower [t CO2] 15,92 26,57 31,75
Residual district heat [t CO2] 1.602,22 1.829,25 2.177,53
Since 2017: no values for CCH due to revitalization. The values are dependent on the weather, years when events are strong or weak, and energy-related conversions. Corona-related deviations are possible.

Key Performance Indicator GRI SRS-305-3: Other indirect (Scope 3) GHG emissions
The reporting organization shall report the following information:

a. Gross other indirect (Scope 3) GHG emissions in metric tons of CO2 equivalent.

b. If available, the gases included in the calculation; whether CO2, CH4, N2O, HFCs, PFCs, SF6, NF3, or all.

c. Biogenic CO2 emissions in metric tons of CO2 equivalent.

d. Other indirect (Scope 3) GHG emissions categories and activities included in the calculation.

e. Base year for the calculation, if applicable, including:
i. the rationale for choosing it;
ii. emissions in the base year;
iii. the context for any significant changes in emissions that triggered recalculations of base year emissions.

f. Source of the emission factors and the global warming potential (GWP) rates used, or a reference to the GWP source.

g. Standards, methodologies, assumptions, and/or calculation tools used.

Scope 3 of 'Other Indirect Emissions' at HMC primarily comprises items such as service partner trips to and from the premises as well as transport of exhibitors and visitors to and from events. A potential method to document these emissions and a compensation approach are being investigated.  

In 2020, the most important service partners were asked to provide information on the frequency of trips, distances travelled, and means of transport used for HMC’s CO2 balance sheet.

In a scientific study conducted in 2019, visitors of two events where asked in a random survey (n = 335) about their means of transport to and from the respective event (also refer to the 2019 sustainability report under GRI SRS-305-3: Other Indirect GHG Emissions (Scope 3) in the database or on pages 39-40 of the CI document which can be found on the HMC Website).

Key Performance Indicator GRI SRS-305-5: Reduction of GHG emissions
The reporting organization shall report the following information:

a. GHG emissions reduced as a direct result of reduction initiatives, in metric tons of CO2 equivalent.

b. Gases included in the calculation; whether CO2, CH4, N2O, HFCs, PFCs, SF6, NF3, or all.

c. Base year or baseline, including the rationale for choosing it.

d. Scopes in which reductions took place; whether direct (Scope 1), energy indirect (Scope 2), and/or other indirect (Scope 3).

e. Standards, methodologies, assumptions, and/or calculation tools used.