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Sustainability at Messe Berlin

We assume responsibility – for the benefit of humanity and our environment

Hosting the world – as an organisation of international standing we assume responsibility for our guests, business partners and employees just as we do for the environment. Every year people from all over the world visit our events to find out about innovations, establish contacts and exchange views. We aspire to offer our guests the perfect trade fair experience – one that is sustainable and responsible at every level.

Sustainable business is one of Messe Berlin’s strategic goals and as such is firmly established in Messe Berlin’s Code of Conduct (PDF, 1.3 MB)

“Responsible economic thinking and action, security, confidentiality and data protection, integrity, diversity and open communication as well as social responsibility and sustainability. Those are the values upon which our day-to-day business is based.”

Whether if affects projects that involve social responsibility or measures concerning environmental and climate protection, sustainability has played an important role at Messe Berlin for many years. By submitting a correlation statement regarding the German Sustainability Code for the first time for the fiscal year 2020 we also paved the way for a Sustainability Report. The German Sustainability Code (DNK) assists companies in establishing and building their sustainability strategy. You can find more information in our first publication, the 2020 Sustainability Report (PDF, 3.3 MB)


Trade fairs and congresses – business drivers in Berlin and a platform for the future

Messe Berlin gathers people from all over the world in the capital, making it one of the most important drivers of business and tourism for the local region. Whether a hotel overnight, taxi fare or restaurant visit – according to a recent report by Investitionsbank Berlin, one euro in trade fair and congress turnover generates around six euros of purchasing power in Berlin. Trade fairs and congresses not only generate substantial purchasing power but new jobs as well. In 2022, 6,300 new jobs were created and secured. Moreover, trade fairs and congresses are innovation drivers and “platforms of the future“. This is where industry representatives from all over the world meet to present future trends and establish new customer ties.


Reduce, reuse, recycle – waste management at Messe Berlin

Whether packaging, construction material or food waste – it is not possible to avoid waste at trade fairs and congresses. By implementing innovative concepts our goal is to gradually reduce the amount of waste at events, by reusing materials and processing useful materials for example.

  • Separate collection of useful materials and returning them for processing
  • An Innovation Board work group: exchanging views on and developing approaches to efficient waste management together with the waste disposal company ALBA
  • Cooperation with the Berliner Senate Department for the Environment, Mobility, Consumer Affairs and Climate Action on the ReUse Berlin, zero waste initiative in order to further recycle stand construction materials
  • A number of events, including the International Green Week and Fruit Logistica, have taken moves to combat food and resource waste and support the needy: they donate food leftovers to the food bank Berliner Tafel.


Reducing energy consumption, CO2 emissions – our energy concept

Lighting and sound engineering for trade fair stands and stages, heating and cooling in the exhibition halls – energy is indispensable for our events. In order to reduce our energy consumption and the resultant CO2 emissions we initiated a comprehensive energy concept ten years ago:

We are building Berlin’s largest sun deck, Germany’s fourth largest rooftop photovoltaics array.

Key facts:

  • 15,000 solar panels are to be installed on rooftop surfaces covering around 50,000 m² by 2025.
  • The system will come into operation step by step.
  • Annual output will be 5 GWh, equivalent to the energy consumed by 2,500 private two-person households
  • The PV system will result in CO2 emissions savings of 1,900 tonnes / year

Additional energy measures:

  • The company’s combined heat and power plant (BHKW) satisfies more than 50 per cent of the trade fair’s energy requirements.
  • Since 2017 we have been buying electricity from renewables only.
  • Together with the energy company E.ON Messe Berlin is realising a future-oriented energy-saving project: heating and cooling on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds is to be converted to climate-friendly technology by 2025. In future, the aim is for a combination of heating sources to achieve significant energy, CO2 emissions and cost savings.
  • Since 2015 our energy management system has been DIN EN ISO 50001 certified. This standard helps companies set up systematic energy management and continually improve energy efficiency.
  • We use energy-saving LED technology for lighting on the exhibition grounds and intelligent switching programmes to ensure illumination is on only when required.
  • Messe Berlin participates in the Energy Scouts Programme by the Berlin Chamber of Commerce. As part of the Energy Transition and Climate Action Initiative for SMEs, trainees learn how to help identify and put energy-saving methods into practice at the workplace.


From electromobility to public transport – climate-friendly mobility at Messe Berlin

Whether the topic is visitors travelling to and from Berlin from all over the world or transporting exhibits and trade fair stands – for us as a trade fair company, mobility is an important topic. Our aim is to reduce transport-related CO2 emissions, to raise awareness for sustainable mobility among our visitors, exhibitors and employees and to provide relevant options:

  • A subsidised ride-to-work public transport ticket in cooperation with BVG
  • Bike leasing for our employees
  • Electrification of our vehicle fleet by 2030
  • E-mobility: electric vehicle rentals for employees and a total of 16 EV charging points for employees and visitors
  • We offer our visitors and exhibitors a DB return train fare to events, enabling them to save costs and reduce CO2 emissions. Energy for DB rail services is sourced 100 per cent from renewables.
  • Flight offsetting programme by Lufthansa Group
  • The VisiFair planning system helps make access to the Berlin Exhibition Grounds more efficient and sustainable. An electronic slot booking system helps smooth out congestion peaks that otherwise occur during construction and dismantling and avoids waiting times. This affords planning certainty to exhibitors and partners. At the same it reduces traffic volume and CO2 emissions.
  • Messe Berlin plans to have a fully electrified vehicle fleet by 2030.
  • Messe Berlin participates annually in the international STADTRADELN initiative aimed at motivating employees to undertake climate-friendly transport. Over a period of 21 days they are to take as many daily trips as possible by bicycle, thereby helping to protect the climate.


Fairness, diversity and gender equality – social responsibility at Messe Berlin

As an organisation that hosts the world the well-being of our visitors is a priority. Treating each other fairly and with respect is an important part of our corporate culture. That is why we assume responsibility and are committed to diversity, equal opportunities and social justice. As an enterprise owned by the Land of Berlin we want to make our contribution to the city of Berlin – whether by building a Covid vaccination centre or providing accommodation for refugees from Ukraine.


Social responsibility – for Berlin and people around the world

Messe Berlin and its events support numerous social projects and initiatives:

  • Together with partners around the world, ITB Berlin supports and promotes responsible tourism projects. ITB has signed the Code of Conduct protecting children against sexual exploitation in tourism and is a founding member of the Roundtable on Human Rights in Tourism. Moreover, the programme at ITB Berlin also addresses sustainability and social responsibility. The aim is to promote a dialogue among actors along the entire tourism value chain and together to initiate change.
  • The International Green Week (IGW) and FRUIT LOGISTICA have collaborated with the food bank Berliner Tafel for many years. In 2023 a total of 5.6 tonnes of food were collected at the Green Week. At Fruit Logistica 2023 a total of 65 tonnes of fruit and vegetables were collected which were donated to the food bank. This contribution by Messe Berlin helps the needy in the capital.
  • In addition CCG, a subsidiary of Messe Berlin, regularly donates food to charities such as Arche, Bahnhofsmission and Menschen helfen Menschen etc.
  • Berlin is a “Fairtrade Town“. As an enterprise owned by the Land of Berlin we support this initiative by buying fair trade coffee for example.
  • Since 2018 Messe Berlin has regularly participated in Schichtwechsel, an initiative by Berlin workshops for the disabled.
  • Messe Berlin participates in the mehrwert Berlin initiative, an association of public enterprises aiming to collectively further a sustainable future in Berlin.
  • As a partner of Berlin, during the coronavirus pandemic Messe Berlin assisted the Land of Berlin with technical know-how, expertise, organisational talent and service structures in order to set up a coronavirus treatment centre on the exhibition grounds as well as all state-owned coronavirus vaccination centres and to prepare them for operations.
  • Messe Berlin has also supported primary care efforts helping refugees from Ukraine. In spring 2022 it also set up an arrivals centre for refugees in the exhibition halls. Since early summer, as a partner of the Land Berlin, Messe Berlin has assisted in setting up and operating the welcome centre in Tegel.


From diversity management to a company pensions scheme – assuming social responsibility for our employees

Behind every successful event are many employees committed to making it work. For that reason it is important for us to offer them the best possible conditions.

  • A flexible working hour model and remote working options.
  • Wages according to TVÖD and flexibility supplements.
  • A public sector pension scheme.
  • Company-sponsored health management: regular measures supporting employees’ physical and mental health (ergonomic workplaces, height-adjustable desks, attention training, healthcare etc.)
  • Support for balancing family and work obligations (flexible working hours model, offices adapted to parental/child needs, breastfeeding/quiet rooms etc.)
  • As a member of the "Bündnis gegen Homophobie" (Organisation against Homophobia) and a signatory to the "Charta der Vielfalt" (Diversity Charter), Messe Berlin pledges to actively support diversity within the enterprise. The principles of the charter aim to ensure a working environment free of prejudices.
  • Since 2022 Messe Berlin has supported the declaration #positivarbeiten by Deutsche Aidshilfe. As a signatory, the company pledges to provide HR and works council colleagues with training on “living with HIV“, so that in future they can be available to offer counselling if required. In addition, the workforce is to receive further information on how to avoid discrimination at the workplace.
  • Developing ideas to better assist the integration of disabled persons in the enterprise – together with disabled colleagues and their company representatives.
  • Establishing and implementing a 2018-2024 support plan for women in order to increase the proportion of women in senior positions.
  • Whether trainingto become an events specialist or combined event management studies – vocational training has a high priority for us. Since 2020 Messe Berlin has been a certified outstanding place of training as approved by the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK).
  • In December 2014 Messe Berlin was examined for compliance with equal pay requirements, with successful results.
  • In an effort to promote lifelong learning we also offer employees extensive vocational training – ranging from IT courses, versatile project management to negotiation techniques.