Hansa Green Tour 2014: Raising Sustainability Awareness Across Europe

Claire Connacher

The northern European Hanseatic region has long been one of the most advanced regions in sustainability and renewable energy innovations. Hansa Green Tour provides national sustainability and clean-tech organizations and initiatives the opportunity to share available knowledge so that an optimum use of the available best practices and technology can be made.

The fifth Hansa Green Tour, covering the Netherlands, Germany, and Stockholm, was held from June 25 to June 28, 2014. Participants drove electric, hybrid, green gas and hydrogen vehicles, and visited several sustainable initiatives in several countries across Europe. The tour concluded in Copenhagen, EU Green Capital 2014 and a leading city in the world for sustainable development. The city, which aims to become the world’s first carbon-neutral capital by 2025, showcased its green initiatives to tour participants.

During this year’s tour, participants took part in high-level networking meetings along the route. Together with Hansa Green Tour partners like Sharing Copenhagen, Cleantech Cluster Copenhagen, Baltic Development Forum, the Danish-German Chamber of Commerce and the Dutch Embassy, a program was organized to discuss and learn from Copenhagen about its various green initiatives as well as how will the city of Copenhagen realize its ambitious goal.

Hansa Green Tour was driven as an Eco-Challenge by executives and policymakers in all kinds of environmentally friendly cars. The first part of the tour took place in the Netherlands, beginning in the city of Groningen. Participants visited the new plant Eneco, the largest 50 MW biomass plant in Western Europe, and Attero, the largest waste-to-energy factory in the Netherlands.

In the second leg of the tour, the participants visited the new Audi e-gas plant in Germany, which converts wind energy into synthetic methane or ‘e-gas.’ The tour also made a pit stop in Lathen, a municipality that managed to produce 300% of its energy requirements through solar, wind and biogas installations within a few years. Upon reaching Denmark, the tour also visited the second largest Mercedes-Benz production plant in the world in Bremen. A networking evening was also organized in Hamburg, together with renewable energy associations such as the German Wind Energy Association Hamburg and Renewable Energy Hamburg.

After successfully holding this event for five years, Hansa Green Tour now plans to take this innovative project to different parts of the world, connecting entrepreneurs and policy makers in other regions with sustainable solutions and technologies. Global Energy Initiative believes that scaling up of the Hansa Green Tour will encourage companies and governments to embrace new ideas, technology, and practices in sustainable mobility.

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