Within Europe and Germany, Hessen occupies a leading position in terms of both economic power and sustainability. In 2018, Hessen was the first German state to include the principle of sustainability in the constitution as a state goal, which was passed by referendum. Ten years earlier, in 2008, the state government had initiated the Hessen Sustainability Strategy, taking on a pioneering role within Germany. And as early as 2000, the state government established an alliance for sustainable location policy: the Hessen Environmental Alliance: This currently has 917 Hessen companies as members. The aim is to secure the high environmental standard in Hessen and further improve conditions for environmentally sustainable economic development in Hessen.
In 2022, Hessen’s Minister of Economic Affairs, Tarek Al-Wazir, announced the state-wide initiative known as ‘WirtschaftsWandel Hessen’ (Hessen Economic Transformation). “Our mission is to transform our fossil-fuel-based, resource-intensive and nature-consuming economy into a climate-neutral, social, crisis-proof and future-proof economy,” said Al-Wazir.
The ‘WirtschaftsWandel Hessen’ service point is a central point of contact for companies. It supports innovation projects on resource efficiency and recycling and coordinates the expansion of the start-up and transfer network to strengthen collaboration between research and industry. In the future, it will run special programs to support companies that are making their production processes energy- and resource-efficient.
In economic policy, the Sustainable Economy Initiative has been formed in Hessen. This is intended to embed sustainable activities in companies in Hessen and serves as a platform for discourse, offerings and initiatives.
Hessen is also a Germany-wide pioneer in sustainable agriculture. Since 2021, Hessen has been the only federal state to support a state-wide organic model region in order to advance organic farming.
With the Hessen Hydrogen Strategy presented at the Hessen Fuel Cell Forum in Frankfurt at the end of 2021, the state has shown how the potential of hydrogen can be tapped for the economy and climate protection. This is not only about theoretical planning – specific projects are being supported and implemented throughout the state.