DGNB, General, Worldwide
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Not a duty but a privilege: The DGNB is committed!

Anyone who is committed to sustainability and responsibility should also live up to these values beyond their day-to-day business. This is why the DGNB regularly participates in charity or help-to-help projects all over the world. If you can also use a fundraising campaign to motivate your employees to take part in sports: all the better!

The Sportzentrum Leinfelden is a well-kept, medium-sized stadium with an adjoining hall, a 400 m running track and a small grandstand. The SG Leinfelden-Echterdingen plays here and the local gymnastics club offers handball, athletics and martial arts. Every summer, the stadium is also the venue for a special event: the hand in hand charity run. Companies from the entire region let their employees start a kind of “run as you wish” race here at their own chosen speed, the laps completed are tracked by chip and the runners have a total of twelve hours. The company then donates a fixed amount for each round completed, the proceeds go to a children’s hospice. Mothers, who push their prams in front of them, compete as well as people with walking aids, experienced professionals, who have practically completed a marathon after approx. 100 laps in a row, as well as strategically working runners, who manage 221 laps, including breaks, and thus cover a distance of almost 90 km between 8am and 8pm.

Start/Finish: Each runner can choose his own speed.

More than 20 runners are competing for the DGNB this year, because the motto “We go hand in hand – goes with you” fits the company philosophy. In total, the participants in the DGNB jersey complete 430 laps for the children’s hospice.

Good mood while running: The DGNB employees have fun running … most of them at least …

From home to Africa

However, not all charity campaigns of the German Sustainable Building Council give employees the opportunity to be on site. Another project supported by the DGNB is located in African Zambia and is dedicated to the topic of sustainable energy supply, for example for buildings. According to the study “The Future of Energy Supply in Africa” by the Potsdam Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), the most frequently used energy source in Africa is conventional biomass, which is mostly used for cooking. In addition, mainly fossil fuels are burned to generate electricity. According to IASS, the use of renewable energies has increased considerably in recent years, but “from a very low starting level”. It is therefore important both for the free and self-determined development of local people and for a climate-friendly energy structure to strengthen the development of a sustainable supply system. To this end, Fosera Solarsystems, a Ulm-based developer and producer of solar systems, cooperates with Vitalite Zambia, which takes care of local sales and customer support.

Access to energy is often limited in Africa. This is a problem especially in schools.

Solar energy instead of kerosene!

In Zambia, the cooperation has already replaced 60,000 kerosene plants of lighting systems with solar lamps and thus helped to avoid approx. 220,000 tons of CO2. Private households save about 15 USD per month, with an average monthly income of a few hundred USD, a relevant amount. The solar systems can be financed in installments over a period of two years.

Supply of schools

Thanks to the DGNB donation, a grammar school and three primary schools in the Luangwa District in eastern Zambia were each equipped with a solar system, a computer and a large screen. In addition to using the computer, the solar system also supplies the rest of the school, including the lighting system. In the past, lessons could only be carried out with sufficient daylight, but now the school is independent of weather, light situation etc. and can also train the children in the use of computers.

The handover ceremony of the solar systems took place in the open air.

In 2019, the cooperation between Fosera and Vitalite won the German Sustainability Award in the field of corporate partnerships, in which the DGNB is the partner behind the architecture category.

During the handover there was also an entertainment programme with music …

The next project can come

The DGNB is proud of its commitment to sustainability – even outside the architecture and construction sectors! Which project the Stuttgart office will support next has not yet been decided. However, it will remain an important addition to day-to-day business, whether at home in the Ländle or on other continents. Until then, the DGNB will continue to support its godchild Herbert, a children’s sponsorship that was created in cooperation with the aid organisation World Vision.

One more thing …

One more thing. The DGNB employee who wrote these lines was himself a hand in hand runner and can say (after an extremely average mileage) with full conviction: It is great fun to run with thousands of people for a good cause, no matter how much the calves hurt afterwards!

Filed under: DGNB, General, Worldwide


Witold Buenger works at the DGNB in Marketing and is Project Manager Product Communication. The key to successful work is to present topics and services in an appealing and target group-oriented way, and to present special topics in an entertaining and comprehensible way. He studied media and musicology and worked in various companies and editorial departments after completing his traineeship at a publishing house.

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