Mannheim Auf Klimakurs (Mannheim on a climate-friendly course)
City/Region : City of Mannheim , Germany

The City of Mannheim is committing itself to greater climate protection under the slogan and campaign MANNHEIM AUF KLIMAKURS (Mannheim on a climate-friendly course). Mannheim wants to strategically bundle energy and political climate protection measures and make them much more visible. The campaign consists of four spheres of activities. Mannheim is focusing on its own effect as a role model (Role Model City), sustainable district development (Sustainable District), strengthening climate protection awareness and commitment (Local Commitment), as well as focusing on the dedication of companies to sustainable economic activity (Active Businesses). With this citywide campaign, Mannheim is able to reach all the local stakeholders.

EU Green Deal Policy Areas Addressed
Climate actionSustainable mobilityBiodiversity
Sustainable agricultureEliminating pollutionClean energy
Public spaceBuilding and renovatingFrom Farm to Fork
Sustainable industry
Pathways followed
  • Ensure equal access to municipal services
  • Involve citizens through participatory implementation
  • Encourage local private and civic engagement
  • Promote social innovation supporting inclusion
  • Nurture a sharing economy
  • Capitalise on local economy and production
  • Pursue a shift towards a circular economy
  • Wisely select and apply smart technologies
  • Accelerate sustainability and innovation through public procurement
  • Support open data standards
  • Ensure new policies take socio-cultural changes resulting from innovative technologies into account
Action Spar dir dein Auto! (live carfree! - user awareness); Source: City of Mannheim;

With its position as a major conurbation in the Rhine-Neckar-Region, Mannheim considers itself to be in a special position with responsibility to implement innovative concepts for the supply of energy, efficient construction and sustainable mobility as part of its ecological urban development. With its 2020 climate protection scheme, the local council has decided on an ambitious climate track, with the aim of reducing local CO2 emissions by 40 percent, by 2020.

Mannheim is a growing city and prospers from the diversity and heterogeneity of its inhabitants. The approach and activation of the whole city society poses a particular challenge. The importance and difficulty of the compatibility of mitigation and adaptation is important to Mannheim, which is already heavily influenced by climate impacts (e.g. urban heating effect) (

Mannheim wants to strengthen the connection between participants, stakeholders, partners and experts and highlight the opportunities for advice, funding schemes and scope of action.

In Action
Action FlurfunkE - energy check in the office; Source: City of Mannheim

In order to serve all communication channels, the campaign was put on a broad footing from the beginning. The first step was to develop a city-specific logo, which shows that Mannheim has a positive course and with which the city actors can identify. A large number of different actors were already involved in the creation of the logo. To activate the relevant local stakeholders the campaign was supported with information material on support programmes, actions and projects, press articles, radio and television broadcasts. Step by step more projects could be built up and realised, so that Mannheim has now a large number of activities and projects to show, which are reflected in the four spheres of activities.

ROLE MODEL CITY: The city intends to concentrate its actions on making climate protection a crossover topic where the entire city’s administration takes responsibility. This means networking and implementing urban climate protection activities in all main spheres of activity such as energy, mobility, and conservation of resources.

“Our aim is to have energy self-sufficient sewage works, through which we can make an important contribution to reducing the City’s CO2 emissions.” (Alexander Mauritz, Manager of City Sewage Works Mannheim)

SUSTAINABLE DISTRICT: The city is promoting climate-friendly district development and is involved in a large number of local campaigns and projects. The key to success is to win all the relevant stakeholders for the implementation of integrated district schemes and climate-friendly urban development.

“We want to demonstrate potential savings, make positive examples visible locally and help by providing advice for their implementation.” (Sebastian Bohnet, Energy advisor Climate Protection Agency Mannheim)

LOCAL COMMITMENT: The city sees itself as both an instigator and a platform for everyone who shows commitment. Climate protection is possible everywhere at a local level.

“The world needs new heroes, who lead the way and show what a responsible approach to our planet looks like.” (Katarina Ressel, Project manager Climate Protection Agency)

ACTIVE BUSINESSES: Mannheim wants to win over industrial firms, small and medium-sized companies in Mannheim, as well as the city’s own enterprises for greater environmental and climate protection and make the commitment by the active businesses visible. Especially for the diverse industrial city of Mannheim, it is important to activate all channels and involve local businesses, which are aware of their environmental responsibility.

“Environmental protection and energy efficiency are part of our corporate policy and also bring economic success.” (Jörn Fries, Environmental Officer John Deere factory)

Greening Promotion Programm and 3rd winner of the environmental award 2015; Source: City of Mannheim

More than 60 climate protection measures have been implemented in Mannheim and more and more are being added. Here is a selection of activities:


  • FlurfunkE: “Energy and climate protection” action programme for the city council:
  • Climate protection as a topic of discussion with the series of events called “MANNHEIM AUF KLIMAKURS – Consultations”
  • High energy standards for the City‘s own buildings
  • Street lighting: Gradual conversion to LED technology
  • Supplying the city council with 100% green electricity
  • Public transportation tickets, car sharing, service bicycles: CO2-free business trips
  • Involvement in regional and european networks




  • Climate Protection Alliance, self-commitment of companies
  • Environmental award from the City of Mannheim “Economies for the future”
  • Energy advice for trading, commercial and service companies “energy caravan”
  • Business mobility management

A regular report on actions and projects, reviews the reach of the campaign and shows consistently positive responses to the climate protection strategy. MANNHEIM AUF KLIMAKURS has established itself as a local trademark and brand. Mannheim has made the whole region aware of climate protection activities.


The campaign MANNHEIM AUF KLIMAKURS has an impact on all sustainability areas: social, ecological and economic. The stronger participation offers has led to the beginning of a "culture of sustainability" in Mannheim.

The acceptance and interest in local climate protection efforts could be strengthened over a period of years by evaluating the measures and integrating them into the campaign. Climate protection was included as an official goal of the sustainable development of the City of Mannheim in the strategic objectives of the administration. This is accompanied by a corresponding budget for the activities of MANNHEIM AUF KLIMAKURS.

Mannheim's advisory and support programmes have led to increased communication between the public and the administration, with funding  increasingly being used, and energetic refurbishment, as well as measures of greening being implemented. In the area of the inner city, already 20 applications for subsidised greening were set up in 2016 in the framework of the newly launched funding programme. In 2016, FlurfunkE counted 2,000 active participants. More than 103 school classes work together with the Climate Protection Agency Mannheim on environmental education tasks. More and more local businesses are signing an agreement on self-commitment to climate and environmental protection.

17,600 inhabitants of the City of Mannheim are currently addressed by the integrated neighborhood concepts "Energetic urban regeneration" (KfW-Nr. 432) and 246 hectares of urban area are covered by neighbourhood restoration programmes, which have a climate focus.

Furthermore CO2 emissions are falling continuously in Mannheim (2012: -16%; 2014: -23,1%). The CO2 emissions are continually updated by an institute, and a further action plan for the evaluation of the existing measures and the establishment of new activities in the period up to 2030 is in progress.

The number of employees in the Climate Protection Centre and the Climate Protection Agency, Mannheim have risen from 1 to 10 employees in recent years.

Challenges and lessons learned
COP 20 in Paris_Mayor Mrs. Kubala with 450 climate messages from Mannheim; Source: City of Mannheim

In order to stay on course, we need the commitment of all stakeholders. To achieve this, it is necessary to change behaviour. It’s important to reach peoples' minds and hearts and show them that everyone can do something for our climate. We pick citizens up where they are and provide individual projects where we not only inform them, but also provide action and competition: whether it’s at work, at home, as a tenant or home-owner, or in school. The local level and the previously explained four spheres of activities are crucial for the city and can be transferred to almost all cities.



ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability
European Secretariat

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