Thema Sustainability

Autor: smartvillage
Veröffentlicht 15. Dezember 2021

smartvillage’s journey to climate neutrality






smartvillage is happy to announce, that we’re officially climate neutral from now on! Simply stated, this means, that our operations won’t increase the amount of CO2 emissions in our atmosphere any longer. Normally, climate neutrality can be achieved by offsetting unavoidable CO2 emissions with the help of a climate action provider that takes vital action towards a sustainable economy. We were always convinced that paying off our emissions has to be the second step after we have changed as much as possible in our daily processes before! By sharing our journey, we hope to inspire others to follow, as we have been inspired by others before.



Since our Munich-located smartvillage welcomes up to 50.000 people per year and deals with a high amount of water, electricity, and other natural recourses, taking over responsibility for our planet has become incredibly important to us. The earth’s natural resources are depleted, especially those that are non-renewable. More than one-third of natural resources have been drained in the last four decades. The world’s cities consumed 75% of natural resources, generated 50% of waste, and 60-80% of greenhouse gas emissions. Leading to the point, that becoming a greener and more consciously operating company somehow isn’t just a choice anymore, but an urgent necessity.


smartvillage uses Stylegreen as sustainable decoration element!
Our smartvillage location is climate-neutral from now on!




Lukas, our CEO and one of the founders of smartvillage explained it in the following way:


„I’m incredibly happy, that we’re a team that shares the same vision of becoming a place where sustainability and social responsibility are key values. Since we decided to become climate neutral, it felt wrong to just pay off our existing CO2 emissions. Therefore, we created behavioral guidelines to become as sustainable as possible upfront.“


On top of that – and this part developed gradually during the journey – we created a social responsibility program to help non-profit organizations or people in need with our resources, e.g. leftover food, network, rooms, and know-how. We want to stand for long-term growth without negatively impacting social, environmental, or cultural aspects that go ahead with the work that we do daily and in the long run. Therefore, we understand sustainability as a concept (you might be familiar with this) that consists out of 3 aspects, including economic and social development as well as environmental protection.


Our understanding of sustainability
Our understanding of sustainability consists out of three elements.




As we started to dive deeper into the topic “sustainability”, we realized, that our project requires a dedicated team that puts a clear focus on it. In a first kick-off workshop with the whole team, we asked for a general commitment to start this journey and formed an internal sustainability task team. Are you interested in our strategy to implement sustainability? In our handbook for sustainable choices, we summarized the whole implementation process that we’ve been through in the last couple of months.

Download our handbook for sustainable choices!
Download our handbook for sustainable choices!




Furthermore, we created a 3-phase model that should cover all aspects that have been considered important to us.


Becoming sustainable upfront
In the first phase, we asked ourselves: In which fields or daily work tasks can we be more sustainable or where should we find more sustainable solutions? Did you know, that behavior changes towards sustainability amongst employees are seen as one of the easiest and most promising methods with low financial investment to reduce emissions of an organization in comparison with other technical options that are pretty cost-intensive?


Therefore, we decided to start from here! What we needed at this stage of the journey, was a well-planned structure for all our needed measures. Especially when we tried to evaluate the footprint of an event – and we have 50.000 of them every year – many different and partly overlapping aspects needed to be taken into account. At the same time, not everything needs to be tackled at once.

Measure-Impact Scale for more sustainable choices
Our Measure-Impact scale helped us prioritizing our different tasks more efficiently.

A good place to start is identifying all the areas of impact and which activities contribute the most. Therefore, we ranked different daily actions on a measure-impact scale that helped us prioritize the most important tasks. Out of all the different actions that we’ve come up with, we eventually defined five clusters in which we’d like to set up guidelines for more sustainable daily choices. We eventually created a handbook in which we integrated all our practical To-Dos as well!





Concerning our inhouse food consumption, our long-time catering partner, who uses only regional, fresh, and seasonal food in general, became climate-neutral with us. Thank you, Mygoodgreens! In addition to that, we decided – already two years back – to offer vegetarian catering by default. So, unless a meet option isn’t explicitly requested, our catering is vegetarian! Did you know, that the average event wastes between 15% – 20% of the food it produces? Therefore, finding a long-term solution for our food leftovers (that is logistically feasible) has become one of our aimed measures. For a while, we’ve been donating our food leftovers to a local drug initiative, that’s close to our Munich location.

Our regional and healthy food!
Our long-time catering partner, who uses only regional, fresh, and seasonal food in general, became climate-neutral with us!




Due to the high amount of people that visit smartvillage every day, daily cleaning becomes essential. We have decided to cooperate with a 100% climate-neutral cleaning service. Besides that, we have started to switch to environmentally friendly detergent alternatives or – to name only a few examples – intensified our refillable bottle system for cleaning products that we have already implemented earlier. You see. Small stuff, that still makes a difference. What else did we consider in the field of cleaning? Check our handbook for more sustainable choices!




Every day, more than 1200 m² of workspaces are supplied with energy at smartvillage. At the same time, many seemingly unremarkable tasks have a major impact on energy consumption. Therefore, we began to be even more aware of how we use our electronic devices and save energy. We took care, that the air conditioner and heater switch off automatically when windows are open and installed motion detectors for lights, which allow us to manage these functions more easily. Everyone, who has visited us before, might know that we kindly ask all our guests to label their glasses and cups so that they can be used more often and don’t need to be washed several times a day. In our handbook, you can find more of our sustainable actions that have been taken in the field of energy.




Besides our hospitality area – including the café, the workshop rooms, or the community areas – we have office areas for our finance-, marketing, and sales teams. Already a while ago, we introduced an internal „digital by default“-principle. The approach was to make everybody in the team aware of digital solutions in our daily operations. In addition to that, we’d like to mention our strongly anchored upcycling culture as well as all our operations with outfitters and partners (e.g. OBJECT CARPET, Haworth, Stylegreen, VANK, WeFrame, etc.) that work with recyclable materials more and more! If you have ever visited smartvillage before, you might realize that we don’t have the newest furniture all over the place, but – following our mantra “reused, recycled or remanufactured”- try to extend the life cycle of our chairs, flip charts, and tables whenever it is possible.

Upcycling has always been one of our favorite tasks!
Upcycling has always been one of our favorite tasks! Carlo – our facility manager and upcycling professional – made new flipcharts out of our old ones!




The workshop spaces are one of the major sectors where physical materials, such as post-its, stickers, and flipchart paper, are used every day. Did you know, that a typical conference attendee produces over 1.89 kg of waste per day, the majority of which ends up in a landfill. By providing digital and eco-friendly paper alternatives, we’re trying to reduce our ecological footprint. Furthermore, we also reorganized our daily company’s orders completely. We’ve revamped our recurring shopping cart to switch to plastic-free and eco-friendly items. What else did we do regarding our materials? Check our handbook!




Behavioral changes always need to be the first step. But since smartvillage is a physical location, there will always be remaining CO2 emissions.
Behavioral changes always need to be the first step. But since smartvillage is a physical location, there will always be remaining CO2 emissions.


Since smartvillage is a physical location, there will always be remaining CO2 emissions. Therefore, our unavoidable greenhouse gas emissions have been fully offset and certified by Climate Partner – one of the leading solutions providers for corporate climate action. Our offset project is a small hydropower plant in Congo that provides electricity for about four million locals and – as a result – prevents the illegal charcoal from trees.

our unavoidable greenhouse gas emissions have been fully offset - certified by Climate Partner. So we're 100% climate neutral!
Our unavoidable greenhouse gas emissions have been fully offset – certified by Climate Partner. So we’re 100% climate neutral!




Sustainable decisions can't be done alone by taking care of environmental aspects. To improve our Corporate Social Responsibility,
Sustainable decisions can’t be done alone by taking care of environmental aspects. Therefore, we wanted to improve our Corporate Social Responsibility!


Once we had addressed the issue of sustainability, we started thinking about possible options to support some social and socio-economical Munich-based initiatives regularly and help people in need with our resources – mainly by offering our workshop location for free for their strategic workshops and team highlights, for network initiatives, or simply as a location for realizing their programs, meet-ups, and campaigns! We’re happy to introduce “socialbee”, “Green City e.V.”, and “Über den Tellerrand”.




smartvillage supports socialbee!
smartvillage supports „socialbee“!

socialbee“ is an organization founded in 2016 that helps socially disadvantaged people, especially refugees, to find a job and get permanent employment. Their support program includes financial support for public transport, free German courses, and a fixed salary. They also support companies on their way towards equal job opportunities and educate them on providing an inclusive work environment.

Green City e.V.


smartvillage supports Green City e.V.!
smartvillage supports the „Green City e.V.“! They are the biggest environmental organisation in Munich.


The Green City e.V. is a Munich-based association, which consists of 29 permanent employees and around 2500 supporters. Together, they stand up for sustainable city development by organizing more than 150 different projects in the fields of „Urban Greening“ „Mobility“, „Education“ and „Climate Action“. Have you already realized these green free cargo bikes all over Munich? The so-called „Green City Kangaroos“ project is one of their actions for a much-needed mobility change in our city.


Über den Tellerrand


smartvillage supports Über den Tellerrand!
By organizing culinary events and many other activities, they break barriers between cultures. We’re happy to support them!


MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLATE! This has been the vision of „Über den Tellerrand“ since they were founded in 2013 in Berlin! It is the second organization, that smartvillage wants to introduce and support from now on! Über den Tellerrand, which nowadays operates in more than 35 cities, brings people of different cultures together for culinary, creative, and sportive activities. They want to break barriers, reduce prejudices, and create places where common interests build a fundament for new friendships, integration, and fun. With „Kitchen on the Run“, they even bring their cooking events to different cities. By the way, we recommend visiting their „Über-den–Tellerrand-Café“ in Munich.



We created a practice guide – included in our overall handbook – that helped our team (especially in the beginning) to stick to our new, commonly defined sustainability actions and scheduled timelines for our different behavioral changes in each department. Our handbook of sustainable choices provides a good overview of the whole process we’ve been through and provides guidance and orientation for us and others.

A practice guide for more daily sustainability
We developed a practice guide with different To-Dos for more daily sustainability in five different areas.




One thing is certain: we won’t achieve our goals by pointing fingers at each other! It is a common path that we are all treading for the first time. Everyone walks this path at a different speed. Eventually, we’re here to ask critical questions and improve each other constructively. We’re here to learn from each other and – most important – to celebrate little and big steps in a better direction. It’s worth making smartvillage a greener and even more social place than ever before. That’s what we all know. And that’s where the journey begins. We’ll be happy to keep you posted on everything we’ll accomplish in the future!

Sustainability needs a dedicated team!
Sustainability needs a dedicated team that celebrates little and big steps in a better direction together.