From beehives & beer to football & fruit – Hamburg Convention Bureau shares city’s planet-friendly practices

Bees Renaissance Hotel_© Jörg Rothhaar

Earth Day, taking place today – 22 April – brings with it a very welcome focus on sustainability, one that’s all the more timely and relevant given the current crisis we’re experiencing.

The team at Hamburg Convention Bureau is celebrating Earth Day by sharing some of the positive planet-friendly practices put in place by the certified Fair-Trade city, and former European Green Capital (2011):

A sweet idea

The Laeiszhalle concert hall, Renaissance hotel and numerous other hotels and restaurants across the city all have their own beehives or support bee conservation projects. This not only benefits the environment but also translates into some sweet food and drink options for visitors. Landhaus Flottbek hotel, alongside its 25 cosy rooms and conference room, has a beehive-filled garden which delivers honeycombs for the breakfast buffet each morning. 


For nearly 20 years Hamburg Airport has been home to 200,000 bees looked after by beekeeper Ingo Fehr on the edge of the airfield. The result? A whopping 150 kilograms of honey every year!

One of Europe’s largest fruit growing regions 

One of Europe’s largest fruit growing regions is found in south west Hamburg. A popular day trip destination, a mere 40 minute train journey from the city, visitors to Altes Land can discover Nordic fruit orchards, pink fields of blossoms and a fresh Elbe breeze. Choose the right time of year and you can also pick fresh apples and cherries directly from the trees. 

Altes Land is also where many caterers, cafes and restaurants source their local, seasonal produce. The caterer for CCH – Congress Center Hamburg, Käfer, goes one step further in its approach to sustainability. As well as sourcing ingredients from sustainable sources, selecting them on a seasonal basis and from regional suppliers, the company also uses biodegradable cleaning and dishwashing agents, energy efficient electric appliances and all waste food is processed into biofuel. 

Scoring a goal for worldwide water access

Benjamin Adrion, former player at FC St. Pauli in Hamburg came up with the idea for VIVA CON AGUA de Sankt Pauli during a training camp on Cuba in 2005. He was keen to take action to address the need for schools in Havana to have access to safe drinking water and launched the non-profit Hamburg-based organisation. Since then Viva con Agua has grown but remains committed to ensuring that all people worldwide have access to clean drinking water. The water is proudly served at venues across Hamburg and there is now a network of more than 15,000 volunteer supporters across German cities, Switzerland, Austria and as well as in African countries such as Uganda, Ethiopia and South Africa.

A planet-friendly pint

It wouldn’t be Hamburg without a nod to the amber liquid. The city is Germany’s craft beer capital with hundreds of light local brews to choose from without a heavy carbon footprint. This includes Hamburg’s beloved Ratsherrn beer. The Ratsherrn Brewery located in the hip Schanzen district and offers beer tastings for groups. They work closely with neighbouring ‘beer restaurant’ Altes Mädchen which has offers over 50 beers (tap and bottle), quality local cuisine and its own event space. The nearby UNESCO World Heritage Site, the historic Speicherstadt, is home to a cluster of artisan companies selling locally produced products and offering tastings of locally made coffee, tea and chocolate in what is the largest warehouse district in the world. 

Florian Gerdes, Marketing Manager Conventions at Hamburg Convention Bureau, explains: “These innovations from across the city are just some of the many ways in which Hamburg has a firm focus on protecting the Earth. We work closely with planners to create meetings with a reduced environmental impact. 

“Beyond this, the city is constantly innovating and looking ahead – Hamburg is now working towards becoming a Climate Smart City – this means ensuring urban development in the city is geared towards climate protection, reducing energy and emissions.”

Earth Day takes place on 22 April.

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