With their heat and energy consumption alone, eleven Hamburg museums emit about as much CO2 annually as nine fully occupied wide-bodied aircraft on their way from Hamburg to New York and back again. This emerges from the results of the initiative “Elf to Zero – Hamburg Museums Act”, which the actors are now presenting in the Museum of Arts and Crafts (MK

According to this, the combined ecological footprint is 8,422.66 tons per year (reference year 2019). The largest share (90.4 percent) results from electricity and heat consumption. This does not include the CO2 emissions caused by guests arriving and departing. If these are included based on estimated values, the CO2 footprint increases to almost 40,000 tons. This inclusion of guest mobility in the balance sheet gives the initiative a “pioneering role in the cultural sector,” it said.

At around 31 percent, the Hamburger Kunsthalle accounts for the largest share of the CO2 footprint. It was followed by the Deichtorhallen with around 12.4 percent. The other houses have single-digit percentages.

The balance sheets should now form a reliable data basis for strategic environmental management. The further work should be done in two strands, it said. On the one hand, the houses should develop and implement individual measures to reduce emissions. On the other hand, work should continue in the “Elf to Zero” community. The focus there is on knowledge transfer, competence building and networking. In order to support the work of the houses in the next two years, a network manager position will be created with the support of the cultural authority.

Hamburg’s Senator for Culture, Carsten Brosda (SPD), praised the initiative as “an excellent example of how cultural institutions are taking on the challenges of the future”. For the first time there is a reliable climate balance on which the houses can now build concrete savings. “Thanks to the good cooperation, everyone can learn from the best ideas.” The Senate will continue to support the initiative by promoting measures to reduce energy consumption, among other things

Jacob Sylvester Bilabel, manager of the action network for sustainability in culture and media, pointed out that the data would also be available to other institutions: “Preparatory work has been done here for all museums in Germany.” According to Alexander Stockinger, commercial director of the MK

The houses had already developed concrete steps last year and started to implement them. Smart radiator thermostats have been installed in many places, the lighting has been switched to LED, and windows have been replaced. A photovoltaic system is being planned for the Altonaer Museum.

The sustainability initiative is considered to be unique in Germany. She wants to make a concrete contribution to climate neutrality. The leadership lies with the MK