A district is becoming enkelfähig: Environmentally neutral Ruhrort by 2029

If you want to rethink business, you can’t do it alone. To really make a difference, we have to think outside the box and set ourselves ambitious goals. That’s why Haniel, the city of Duisburg and the companies greenzero.me and HeimatERBE have launched an ambitious initiative: Urban Zero – Ruhrort becomes enkelfähig. The goal is to make Duisburg’s Ruhrort neighborhood the world’s first environmentally neutral neighborhood by the end of 2029, creating a blueprint for enkelfähig in urban areas. The district, which has been shaped by port operations, heavy industry and traffic for centuries, has also been home to the Haniel company for over 265 years.

From 2029, human activity in Ruhrort should no longer have a negative impact on the environment and thus bring considerable social and economic added value, above all to the Ruhr residents themselves. 

Environmental neutrality goes well beyond the well-known “climate neutrality” : It covers not only climate protection but among others also the health of soils and waters and the preservation of the ozone layer. The UrbanZero initiative aims to take all these factors into account in the Duisburg district of Ruhrort. The goal is to ensure that human activity in Ruhrort will no longer have a negative impact on the environment from 2029 onwards, thus providing the Ruhrort residents themselves with a better quality of life and an improvement in their economic and social situation. To achieve this, the initiators Haniel, greenzero.me and HeimatERBE are working together with experts from science and practice.


First projects start on the Haniel Campus

By 2023, the annual environmental costs for Ruhrort are to be determined – based on scientific methods for life cycle assessment. This will include all services provided in the district, all products used or manufactured in-house, and thus all human impacts on the environment. Starting in 2023, the environmental effects will be reduced through concrete measures or the effects that cannot be reduced will be compensated for, for example, through the ecological treatment of brownfield sites or building renovations and planting. Another key component will be to involve the residents of the district in the initiative. With its support of the Impact Factory, UrbanZero is intended to help convince companies with sustainable business models of Duisburg and Ruhrort as a location and to support the companies located here in their transformation to greater sustainability. In this way, the local economy should also benefit from the project.

You live or work in Ruhrort and want to be part of it? Then get in touch!


Simone Fuchs


+49 203 806 578