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Eleven to Zero

Hamburg museums take action

Table of Contents

Global sustainability transformation is one of the key challenges of our time. Under the auspices of the MK&G, eleven Hamburg museums, exhibition spaces and memorial sites are now taking up this challenge. In the "Eleven to Zero" project, they are joining forces to tackle the issue of sustainability and operational ecology in a structured manner in a pilot project that is unique in all of Germany. Together with experts, carbon footprints were compiled for the participating museums, thus creating a data basis for the sustainability transformation. In addition, 17 people were trained as transformation managers in order to integrate the topic of operational ecology into everyday museum life. The aim of the collective project is to advance the sustainability transformation in the museums consistently and in the long term.


How large are the carbon footprints of Hamburg’s museums? What are the biggest climate factors at the institutions? These questions are to be answered in the evaluation by measuring the guiding indicator CO2. The carbon footprint serving as basis is an as-is analysis for 2019 as reference year. This first step reveals sources of emissions and their effects so that levers for change can be identified as a way to initiate transformation.

The carbon footprint of the eleven buildings has been calculated to be 8,422.66 tonnes per year (reference year 2019). The majority of the emissions (90.4 %) result from the electricity and heat consumption of the houses. This corresponds roughly to the climate impact of nine fully occupied wide-bodied aircraft flying from Hamburg to New York and back. In an extended balance, guest mobility was also taken into account, although this is partly based on estimated values. Including guest mobility, the carbon footprint of the eleven hotels rises to almost 40,000 tonnes, four and a half times as much. By including guest mobility in the balancing process, "Eleven to Zero" takes on a pioneering role in the cultural sector. The balances now form a reliable data basis for strategic environmental management. You can access the results of the carbon footprint here.

17 people from the participating houses were qualified as "transformation managers for sustainable culture" in a further training course and now support their institutions with specialist knowledge and methodological competence. They act as translators, advocates, idea generators and doers in order to anchor sustainability in all processes and to communicate the change process to the teams.

In addition to the MK&G, the following institutions are involved: the Altonaer Museum, the Archäologische Museum Hamburg and Stadtmuseum Harburg, the Bucerius Kunst Forum, the Deichtorhallen Hamburg, das Deutsche Hafenmuseum, the Hamburger Kunsthalle, die KZ-Gedenkstätte Neuengamme, the Museum am Rothenbaum. Kulturen und Künste der Welt (MARKK), the Museum der Arbeit and the Museum für Hamburgische Geschichte.

"Eleven to Zero" cooperates with the nationwide Action Network Sustainability in Culture an Media and is supported by the Hamburg Ministry of Culture and Media.

More information about the cooperation project

Eine Grafik mit einer Vielzahl von Logos.
Ein schwarzes Logo: „Elf zu null – Hamburger Museen handeln“