In autumn 2018, Kiel decided to become Germany's first zero-waste city. To this end, the Wuppertal Institute, together with project partners, developed the Kiel Zero Waste Strategy on behalf of the state capital. Now the strategy is being honored with the Hans Sauer Award 2021. The city of Kiel applied for the award together with the local Zero Waste Kiel nonprofit association and the Wuppertal Institute. The prize is awarded to ideas and projects across Europe to promote innovation and creativity in harmony with ecological and social benefits.
Under the title "Circular Cities. Designing Urban Communities of Tomorrow," the Hans Sauer Award 2021 sought participatory solutions that enable a sustainable circular economy in cities. The competition focuses on social aspects and cross-sectoral cooperation that strengthen the transformation to circular, urban societies. The state capital of Kiel, together with the Wuppertal Institute and the local Zero Waste Kiel nonprofit association, received the award in the category Strategies for the jointly created Zero Waste Strategy for Kiel.
The prize has been awarded by the Hans Sauer Foundation since 2012 with a changing thematic focus and is endowed this year with a total of 20,000 euros for the five winners in the categories Strategies, Ideas and Best Practice. The Zero Waste Kiel application receives 4,000 euros.
Doris Grondke, Head of the Kiel department for urban development, building and environment, is very pleased about the award: "The Hans Sauer Award 2021 is a great recognition for the Zero Waste project of the state capital of Kiel and once again illustrates the urgency of waste prevention, in which municipalities in particular play a decisive role. Kiel has developed an ambitious Zero Waste Strategy with a high level of social and political commitment. Now we would like to assume a nationwide pioneering role by implementing it promptly."
By developing their own Zero Waste Strategy as a roadmap to a Zero.Waste.City, the state capital of Kiel aims to significantly reduce the amount of waste generated in Kiel, preserve resources and protect the climate through lower CO2 emissions. Kiel thereby intends to counter the global challenge of the increasing scarcity of resources at the local level.
The Zero Waste Strategy was developed together with more than 450 Kiel residents and was completed in summer 2020. Carina Koop, project manager of the Zero Waste Kiel project and researcher in the Research Unit Material Loops in the Circular Economy Division at the Wuppertal Institute, points out: "The workshops with the citizens were a great experience and showed how highly committed the residents of Kiel already are to waste prevention."
The local association "Zero Waste Kiel" has supported and accompanied the state capital in its project to become a Zero.Waste.City from the very beginning as an important cooperation partner. "The great participation of the citizens is a sign of the identification with the topic of zero waste. We are sure that it will inspire other cities," says founder Marc Delaperrière.
About the Zero Waste Kiel project
The Wuppertal Institute developed the Strategy together with Stakeholder Reporting and Dr. Norbert Kopytziok from the Office for Environmental Sciences and supported the Kiel Zero-Waste Team with methodological procedures such as the development of targets and the calculation of a zero waste scenario.
Part of the Zero Waste project is also the certification as the first German Zero.Waste.City by the international network Zero Waste Europe. Kiel is thus following an internationally growing zero waste movement that has already been joined by almost 400 municipalities across Europe. In this way, the state capital wants to take on an exemplary role and hopes to inspire other municipalities and cities for the topic.
The prize money will be distributed among all three project participants. The state capital of Kiel would like to use its share to promote engagement to zero waste. Within the framework of a Zero Waste Household Challenge, the prize money from the Hans Sauer Award is to be passed on directly to the most motivated waste avoiders in Kiel. In this way, the state city of Kiel would like to thank its citizens for their participation in the Zero Waste Strategy and pass on the prize and the recognition.
In a short video, the state capital of Kiel, the local association "Zero Waste Kiel" and the Wuppertal Institute present the Zero Waste project.
Background: The Hans Sauer Award
Since 2012, the Hans Sauer Award has been honoring technical and social innovations throughout Europe that focus on social and ecological added value. Hans Sauer was a successful entrepreneur, inventor of modern relay technology and founder of the foundation. The award is presented by the non-profit Hans Sauer Foundation and honors research work, inventions and best practice examples in rotation. Under the heading of circularity, since 2019 the award has honored projects that strengthen sustainable development and closed loops in the economy and society. In addition to cities and municipalities, initiatives, start-ups, non-governmental organisations and scientific institutes can also apply.
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