While the city administration's potential to reduce CO2 emissions purely within its own fields of activity is limited, it is nonetheless an important role model on issues of climate protection.
The city's climate protection programme, which comprises roughly 30 individual components, exhausts every possible avenue for CO2 reduction. The most important areas are presented below. The measures outlined here will yield CO2 savings of more than 40,000 tonnes per year for the period 1990 to 2020.
Facility management engineering
Most municipal buildings were constructed before legal requirements for thermal insulation came into effect. All municipal buildings and their heating systems are to be optimised in terms of energy efficiency by 2020. The city is also considering the construction of new, replacement buildings that will consume far less energy.
Ten percent of a building's energy consumption can be avoided simply by changing the behaviour of its users. That is why the city administration is continuing its energy saving programmes, which have been run successfully in schools, children's daycare centres and other municipal buildings for many years.
Effective measures to save energy and reduce CO2 emissions are possible not only in the areas of buildings and technology. Also, when purchasing materials, equipment and vehicles a choice must be made between products with high and low energy requirements.
Energy efficiency is therefore an important procurement criterion for the city's purchasing department.
Sustainable urban development
In 2007 the City of Hannover decided to adopt comprehensive ecological standards. These are now a core component of its Climate Protection Action Programme. The objective for the coming years is to consistently implement these standards. Climate protection concerns are addressed in the context of urban land-use planning, in urban development contracts and sales of municipal property, either through particular provisions or through consultation with the developer.
The city’s ports, water treatment plants, and Hannover Congress Centrum (HCC) are run as fully-owned municipal enterprises. All of these enterprises have researched their own solutions for contributing to climate protection, and these, when implemented, will allow for considerable CO2 emission reductions. If, for example, the volume of goods handled by the city's container ports were increased by just 15 percent, this would bring about an annual CO2 reduction of 25,000 tonnes.
Consultation and public relations
The city is also hoping to motivate third parties to embrace climate protection. The instruments at its disposal are consulting, PR, information campaigns, influence through supervisory bodies, cooperation projects and public funding.
Thus, for example, private developers who purchase sites from the city are obliged to undergo energy consulting. Here they receive information on passive-house design, possible use of renewable energy, and grants available for energy-saving measures.
A similar consulting service is offered to investors from the commercial and industrial sectors. The consulting sessions offered to date have shown that the latter target groups also have an avid interest in energy efficiency.