Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH (HMC) ensures sustainable management in its operations. Hamburg’s distinction as the “European Green Capital 2011” creates special obligations for environmental improvement.
As a public corporation, HMC has a part to play in implementing the climate action policy of the City of Hamburg. The major lines of this policy have been set out by the Senate (Hamburg’s government) in climate action principles.
HMC likewise attaches the greatest importance to sustainability in its principles of corporate responsibility. It always aims for sustainable solutions, as an exhibition organiser, as an employer and as a site operator.
Energy efficient action
HMC has state-of-the-art exhibition halls with low energy consumption. The new exhibition halls are equipped with a heat recovery system, i.e. the warm exhaust air is used to heat the halls.
HMC is increasingly using economy lamps for lighting, and installing passive infrared detectors in corridors and staircases.
Hamburg Messe sources exclusively electric power which is generated by 100% environment friendly methods from hydro and of wind power. HMC uses exclusively environment-friendly district heating to heat its buildings. It has determined emission levels occurring in the operation of its buildings and equipment, obtaining an emission inventory as early as 2010, based on the “Global Emission Model for Integrated Systems (GEMIS)” of the Institute for Applied Ecology.
The wastes occurring at Hamburg Messe are managed in a segregated disposal system. HMC offers its customers recycling of used paper, glass and packaging waste. In individual cases, arrangements can also be made for recycling other waste materials. The residual waste materials go to environment friendly waste incineration plants, which are subject to the strict emission limits set by federal emissions legislation.
Segregated bins are provided in the public areas for cardboard/paper, glass and packaging.
HMC employees segregate waste occurring in their offices.
Used glass and batteries are collected centrally and sent for recycling.
Sustainability is an important factor at trade fairs and exhibitions organised by HMC. For example the WindEnergy Hamburg, which gives the onshore and offshore wind industry a global platform since 2014, has been certified with the WindMade label. That means the event is powered 100% by electricity generated from wind energy.
INTERNORGA is making a strong stand against the waste of food and resources and people in need of help: The exhibitors will donate leftover food to the Hamburger Tafel on the last day of the exhibition.
Many exhibitions also have special exhibition areas and accompanying conferences on environmental themes.
HMC’s location is extremely well connected to public transport and to road, rail and air routes. For consumer fairs, HMC normally gives visitors who have used public transport to travel to the event a discount for purchase of admission tickets.
HMC employees have the option of a reduced-price annual season ticket for public transport.
HMC is committed to promoting responsible, sustainable forestry management. HMC is increasingly using papers from sustainable forestry management for its printed materials, as certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), or else containing recycled paper. For internal operations it mainly uses paper produced 100% from recycled paper.
In selection of service providers for printing and publication, HMC also looks for FSC certification of existing and potential suppliers.
Many of the stand components, such as carpet tiles and individual panels, are also used for several events.
Cleaning and winter snow clearing service
The company which provides the cleaning and winter snow clearing services for HMC uses biodegradable cleaning agents wherever possible.
The machines used for cleaning are mainly powered by electric or gas systems which operate without the use of chemicals.
The paper towels used at HMC comprise 75% recycling material and 25% primary fibres from sustainable forestry, and are sent for recycling after use.
A blend with 20% salt is used on surfaces with higher risk of accidents; otherwise grit is used.
HMC’s catering service partner uses exclusively biodegradable cleaning and dishwashing agents. All newly purchased electric appliances meet the highest criteria for energy and water efficiency. Waste food is processed to make biogas.
The caterer makes every effort to source ingredients from sustainable sources, selecting them on a seasonal basis and from regional suppliers, to keep transport distances short for the sake of the environment. Meat and sausage products come from regional producer groups; fruit and vegetables and bakery products come from local suppliers. The range of regular products includes certified organic and fair-trade products.
Wherever suppliers are unable to meet these standards, the caterer looks for alternative products.
Social and regional responsibility
HMC is well aware of its fine record over the years for the City of Hamburg, and takes its responsibility for the region very seriously.
HMC has been engaged for many years in activities aimed at giving young people a good start in professional life by means of training and qualification. It continuously takes on up to 20 trainees in 5 different professional areas. And alongside these conventional positions in vocational education and training, the company also offers university students places within the “dual system”. In the "Hamburg's Best Training Companies 2019" competition, HMC was awarded the "5-Star Seal" for the third time after 2015 and 2017. The competition was launched by Professor Werner Sarges of the Helmut Schmidt University Hamburg, the IMWF Institute for Management and Economic Research, Hamburger Abendblatt, and PR Consultancy Faktenkontor.
HMC participates regularly in vocational guidance programmes, in order to recruit suitable young talents. It offers interested school students a wide range of information platforms, such as internships, and participates in nationwide campaigns such as “Girls' Day – Future Prospects for Girls” and “Boys' Day – Future Prospects for Boys”.
Since 2008, the staff of HMC have been supporting “Ace of Hearts”, a charitable foundation in Hamburg. The charity’s premises are a place of refuge for the homeless. Homeless people can go there anonymously and benefit from a services and advice – for a shower, clean clothes, a postal address, a meal or to rest or get advice for an appointment with the authorities.
HMC helps employees to combine family life and work – for example by means of a flexitime system and opportunities for part-time working and home office.
In 2008 HMC formally committed itself to Diversity as a key goal in its corporate culture. HMC signed the Diversity Charter in the same year, undertaking to create a work environment free of prejudice and exclusion, regardless of gender, nationality, ethnic origin, religion and beliefs, disability, age, sexual orientation and identity of employees.
The Diversity Charter is a voluntary initiative by German companies and organisations. Its goal is to establish and cultivate a corporate culture that is characterised by mutual respect and esteem of every individual. The result at HMC: a heterogeneous team of male and female colleagues, younger and older employees of different nationalities and ethnic origins.
In April 2015 HMC was honoured for its commitment to “Mixed Leadership” with the Helga Stödter Prize of the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, an initiative of the Chamber of Commerce and the Helga Stödter Foundation. Thus HMC’s major goal of “Promoting Diversity” is not only successfully put into practice, but also publicly acknowledged.
With the “Hamburg Family Award” HMC received again another award as an employer at the end of 2018. This award acknowledges family friendly employers, confirming the special commitment of an organisation for compatibility of family life and work. The Hamburg Family Award is presented by the Hamburg Alliance for Families, an initiative of the Hamburg Senate, the Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber of Crafts. Already in 2015, HMC received this award.
In addition, Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH once again received three stars in the competition "Hamburg's Best Employer 2019". The HMC has done particularly well in the areas of reconciliation of work and family / private life as well as health promotion. The company also offers numerous opportunities for preventive healthcare. Apart from organising the annual flu vaccination, it promotes a range of in-house sporting activities such as yoga, football and athletics.
HMC also cooperates with various restaurants in the neighbourhood, providing support to help ensure a wide range of lunch options for employees.
HMC also maintains close partnership with the nearby childcare centre Karolinenstrasse. Since 2011 the company has provided support for care and maintenance of the playground there.