At Ringberg Castle your meetings are climate-neutral!
The conference center is located in the middle of the "green lung" in the forest on the mountain. The adjoining forest with 40 hectares also belongs to the Castle.
The forest of the Max Planck Society at Ringberg have been managed in a near-natural form since the 1970s.
Through single-trunk management as far as possible, we try to achieve and maintain a planter-like, structured and stepped forest. The regeneration is almost exclusively done by natural regeneration - the autochthonous mixed mountain forest parts still existing on a large area form the basis for this.
Sustainability and ecological diversity are at the forefront of all measures. In addition to pre-exploitation and compulsory felling, our utilization focus is on valuable, strong stemwood. Marketing is primarily to regional sawmills with short transport routes. Timber harvesting is still traditionally done by local forestry workers by hand.
Strong tree dimensions are the basis for a large amount of biotope trees. As lying or standing deadwood, it forms another pillar of stand treatment. This applies in particular to hardwood, which is valuable for this purpose. The nature conservation aspect is also complemented by an approx. 1.5 ha sub-area where there is no use and no intervention - a particularly species-rich flora and fauna has settled here.
It is the maintenance (mostly under the old-growth canopy) that is important to maintain a balanced mixed mountain forest of spruce, fir, beech, sycamore maple, mountain elm, and ash.
In 2016, we planted 2000 trees on a brownfield site, laying the foundation for another forest plot.
Insgesamt sind unsere Maßnahmen sehr aufwändig und kostenintensiv. Nachdem wir den Wald nicht als Profitcenter betreiben, fließen die Erlöse des Holzverkaufs wieder in die Pflege des Waldes, um auch für die nächsten Generationen einen gesunden, natürlichen Lebensraum für Mensch und Tier zu erhalten.
In the fight against harmful CO² emissions, we make a significant contribution here, because:
Our forest with 40 hectares stores approx. 520 tons of CO² per year!
Based on our average gas and electricity demand, we cause approx. 290 tons of CO² per year - this results in a positive balance of 230 tons of CO² p.a..
The castle has been supplied by its own mountain spring for over 100 years. The spring carries enough water to supply the entire farm even in summer. Our pool serves primarily as a fire pond - therefore the water is not treated with chemicals or additives, as we channel it back into the forest.
With the meal, we serve our mountain spring water (natural or carbonated). Our spring water is characterized, in addition to the delicious taste, especially by an extremely low nitrate value. Of course, our water is regularly tested in the laboratory.
All drinks are served only in returnable bottles.
Responsible use of resources and food protects the environment. From production and processing to the disposal of food: All these processes are accompanied by a high consumption of resources as well as the release of climate-damaging CO2 emissions.
We make sure that we handle food sustainably.
We have therefore kept the widespread buffets to a minimum. Because especially in the buffet area a lot of food ends up untouched in the garbage!
Therefore, with us you get a menu from the chef. In our kitchen we cook fresh every day, we largely do without convenience products. We pay attention to seasonal and regional products. The menu plan always includes vegetarian and vegan food.
When it comes to purchasing, we have bundled a lot of things together, and through good planning we try to reduce deliveries to a minimum - so we save on transport again.
When purchasing electricity and gas, we participate in the conditions that the general administration of the Max Planck Society puts out to tender for the institutes.
For lighting, we have switched almost completely to energy-efficient LED lamps.
There is no need for microphones in our meeting rooms - a sound-optimized ceiling has been installed in the lecture hall instead.
We also keep our conference technology to a healthy minimum, although you don't have to do without a video conferencing system for a hybrid meeting.
Instead of TVs in the rooms, there is an 80-inch TV for everyone in the Blue Seminar Room, and instead of a minibar in the room, you will find a MAXIbar in the Garden Room.
Due to the location on the mountain in the forest, there is a pleasant climate in the rooms even in high summer, so we do not need air conditioning.
All meeting rooms have daylight and can be easily ventilated.
For the size of the operation, we are a relatively small team with 13 full-time employees, but it consists only of experienced professionals. We also manage to run the conference center without outside personnel. The employees at Ringberg Castle have mostly been working here for many years, so we have an average length of service of 10 years (as of 2022). This solidarity contributes significantly to the fact that work is done with a great deal of understanding and care, and thus the resources are used sustainably, cost-consciously and efficiently.
Even inside the castle, there are still many green areas. There is the rose garden and the herb garden for the kitchen, the orchard, but also a wild willow.
We fertilize with natural horn meal and for pest control we still have our little helpers - the castle ducks. The ducks tirelessly roam the grounds, loosening and fertilizing the soil and eating some vermin.
The access to the castle is via a sandy road. The castle road winds serpentine almost two kilometers through the forest to the castle. The road surface allows us to do without the use of salt in winter.
All laundry in the house is cleaned and ironed by ourselves in our own laundry. We make sure that the detergent we use is as environmentally friendly as possible. Unlike many other houses that use rented laundry, we have no emissions from transport and full control over the chemicals used.
Our cleaning agents
We also pay attention to environmentally friendly products when it comes to cleaning agents. However, we also use various special cleaning machines for cleaning, which loosen the dirt purely mechanically without chemicals, only with water.
Our social program - healthy & sustainable
As a conference center in the mountains, it naturally lends itself to spending leisure time in nature. There are many hiking opportunities in the immediate vicinity, whether for the inexperienced or those with mountain experience. If you take a hike together in this fantastic area, you will offer your guests an unforgettable experience - it is not for nothing that Max Planck came regularly to the Tegernsee for many years to go hiking. (more) .
But also in the castle you can experience many things together: Making music in the music room, 4-man chess, foosball, boules, darts, table tennis, shuffleboard, Wii, ...
Togetherness is the focus of a meeting at Ringberg - it is important to us that guests can get to know each other during the activities even after the meeting, instead of retreating to their rooms.
We do without any glossy brochures and advertising flyers. Our guest folder is available as an app on the smartphone, otherwise our homepage offers all information about the conference center.