Local Renewables 2012 Conference: a sustainable event

Like any kind of event involving a large number of participants, the Local Renewables Conference can have a negative impact on local natural resources (water, energy, etc.), environment (soil degradation, air pollution, etc) and community.

The organisers of the fifth conference of the Local Renewables series, took sustainability into consideration while planning and organising the event in order to reduce the potential negative impact, as well as to turn the conference into a valuable opportunity to leave a positive legacy for the local community and to raise awareness among the participants in advancing toward a culture of sustainability.

The Local Renewables 2012 Conference - “Cities and regions explore smart grids and smart solutions” was determined to create a sustainable and responsible event.


The impact of food and drink consumption can vary hugely depending on the item itself, the supplier, and the mechanisms of production and distribution.
Supplied by the local company “Business-Catering Freiburg GmbH”, the catering of the event offered a bio menu specially prepared with seasonal and regional products. In order to minimise the food leftovers, participants were asked in the registration form to indicate the days and social events they were able to attend.



The use of plastic and disposable items was replaced by reusable dishes and glassware. Focused on reducing waste, a separate waste collection and recycling system was set up.



To reduce paper use as far as possible, the interaction and communication strategy with participants was carried out electronically (emails, mailings, phone calls, social media, website) and an online registration system was used.
A limited amount of material was printed on Recystar, a 100% recycled and totally chlorine free (TCF) paper, that was awarded with both the Nordic Swan and the Blue Angel. While roll ups and signage have been designed in a way that can be reused in  future editions of the Local Renewables series.


The recommended hotels are located within 2 Km from the conference venue and the main train station. They are well connected to the city's public transport network and within short walking distance from the city centre.


The City of Freiburg is a global leader in sustainability and one of the birth places of the environmental protection movement.
Over 20 years of collaboration, the European Secretariat of ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability has been working closely with the City of Freiburg on various projects and events such as the Local Renewables Conference series.