How can energy and water suppliers get involved in climate and water protection? The Badenova Innovation Fund in Freiburg can serve as a point of reference for new topics relating to climate and water protection in a region.

Badenova’s climate and water protection innovation fund has the goal of giving a financial boost to new projects for more environmental protection. Since it was launched in 2001, the innovation fund has invested well over 30 million euros in over 300 environmental projects. The innovative power of the projects was and is always the focus, not primarily the question of the revenue that can be generated with it in the future. The fund is financed by a three percent levy from the profit distributions from badenova to its more than 90 owner municipalities. This makes the fund unique in the German energy industry. Applications for new project ideas are expressly encouraged!”  (Source: Badenova News)
In a conversation with Michael Artmann from badenova Innovationsfonds (in the center of the image) we want to find out more about the fund and its goals. For more than 20 years now, badenova has been calling for innovations and new projects relating to climate and water protection to be submitted. A committee of 10 experts evaluates the submitted applications and recommends a selection of them for funding – the final decision is then made by the municipal advisory board and the Badenova supervisory board. The approved projects receive up to 150,000 euros in funding for their implementation, in the future even up to 250,000 euros are possible.
From 2023 the conditions for the innovation fund will be changed. Beginning with 01.03. there will be 2 application deadlines per year to give applicants more frequent opportunities to submit and to shorten the waiting periods. Many of the submitted and funded projects revolve around agricultural solutions or industrial applications and have a regional focus. The field of environmental education also plays an important role for the innovation fund.
According to the statutes, all projects are also obliged to integrate public relations work in order to raise awareness of the solutions presented there (and their underlying problems). The accompanying public relations work is intended to stimulate scaling effects and opportunities for replication  – an important principle for Badenova as the initiator of the innovation fund.
Says Michael Artmann: “Of course, scalability is always the best thing – multiplying good solutions quickly promotes climate protection, but unfortunately it’s not always that easy to implement.”
Examples of projects that are or have already been funded are, for example, the greening of an entire facade of an industrial hall (via GreenCityWall – a module that can be planned in a row and which can be planted from all sides as required) – the idea is to to develop green facades as a compensatory measure for the sealing of the area happening by large halls in industrial areas, and as a solution for an environmentally friendly and natural protection against WIND – NOISE – VIEW.
The Innovation Academy organizes many interesting guided tours on environmental issues in the urban design of Freiburg.
Another very interesting funding project is the trade in climate certificates for the formation of humus in agricultural land.
Sustainable and regenerative agriculture, which is both soil- and climate-friendly, is too cost-intensive for many farmers and can hardly be operated cost-effectively with the pure proceeds from the products. However, there is a starting point here that offers a lot of potential, since soils represent the largest carbon reservoir in the world and are therefore an excellent CO2 sink, and healthy soils are an important water reservoir. To preserve and use this good, in connection with the establishment of a certificate trade for humus formation, an effective contribution against climate change should be implemented. Companies and citizens can motivate and support farmers in building up humus by purchasing CO2 certificates and thus jointly promote climate protection. For this purpose, a regionally adapted catalog of measures is to be developed for the humus build-up and a voluntary regional CO2 certificate trade established. You can find out more about storing CO2 in the ground on the CO2-Land website.
The innovation fund is generally not a partner of the projects, but badenova can enter into project partnerships.


Freiburg CVB shares content about water-related research, organizations, initiatives in their Green City with the meetings’ industry. The goal is to bring water and SDG 6 related action into the awareness of business events’ planners, as an innovative approach for meeting organizers to think in systems and to learn how to connect important sustainable development goals (like SDG for water) with the planning of meetings and events.

The global meetings industry has a strong voice and can use it to close gaps between awareness and action, impact and  purpose can be achieved through events. To directly intervene in the development of an SDG like No 6 through behaviour change, new on-site programs, governance, legacy, and demonstration of change across all sectors, is a practical step into sustainability for any conference. Use “Water” as your anchor to demonstrate engagement.


If you plan a conference and want to discuss water (or other) legacy concepts, contact:

Christina Fritsch, Project Head Freiburg Convention Bureau / MICE / Netzwerk

Tel.: +49 761 3881-15 25 • Mobil: +49 151 22 507 198  •

See you in Freiburg!


More Ideas and Inspiration for ESG / CSR applications for Corporate & Association conferences

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Johanna Fischer, ecomice /FrauBlau SDG 6 practical measures for climate adaptation in the city of Freiburg