Increasingly spectacular amusement rides, more and more complex technologies
Munich / Rust. The "Green Amusement Park" certificate from TÜV SÜD Industrie Service is a landmark standard for assessing and confirming the sustainability and environmental compatibility of amusement parks. Europa-Park, Germany's largest theme park located in Rust, Baden-Wuerttemberg, has now been certified as the first green amusement park worldwide. Certification focuses on areas such as building services and amusement ride systems, construction, land use, transport planning and the handling of waste-water and existing contamination.
Increasingly spectacular amusement rides, more and more complex technologies – the amusement industry is constantly engaged in a battle of superlatives. However, the negative side effects are rising energy consumption, land use and emissions. In times of high energy costs and increasingly scarce resources, the amusement industry too must face the issue of sustainability. "To ensure wide acceptance by the public, amusement parks should provide convincing evidence of resource-saving operations", says Ernst Donislreiter, Business Line Manager Amusement Rides / Wind Energy at TÜV SÜD Industrie Service GmbH in Munich. "Our 'Green Amusement Park' certificate now enables amusement park owners throughout the world to demonstrate the sustainability of their amusement parks to the outside world."
Sustainability a high priority for Europa-Park
Before an amusement park obtains a certificate it must comply with a comprehensive list of criteria.
In an ambitious pilot project, TÜV SÜD has now implemented this list of criteria in practice for the first time. Home to 100 amusement rides and shows, including eleven roller-coasters, and attracting over 4.5 million visitors, Europa-Park handles around 100 million rides per year. On an area of 94 hectares, thirteen themed areas featuring European countries offer the typical architecture, food and beverages and vegetation of each country to ensure a unique holiday atmosphere. The five themed hotels of the amusement park and the camp resort offer a total of 4,500 beds. "In view of these figures, it goes without saying that safe, cost-efficient but also sustainable operation is of special significance for Europa-Park."
During a period of around six months, TÜV SÜD's experts assessed the amusement rides and the five hotels of the theme park for their sustainability, energy efficiency, environmental compatibility and technical quality. The objective was to uncover possible opportunities for improvement and energy-saving in areas such as amusement ride operation and building services engineering, to reduce the overall energy demand and to identify opportunities for sustainability and risk, particularly with a view to environmental protection and health. "Areas that were assessed positively in the certification process included the use of energy from renewable sources and the production of power by means of photovoltaic systems, heat pumps and a hydropower station." Another positive aspect was the fact that mature trees were maintained and new green areas created in spite of the continuous expansion of the park and the addition of new attractions.
Roland Mack regards the "Green Amusement Park" certificate as confirmation of Europa-Park's sustainability policy. "For us, sustainability, and the efficient use of energy and resources in particular, is far more than a trendy topic; it is an issue that concerns us and the next generations", emphasises the owner of Europa-Park. "As a family-owned company we are fully aware of our responsibility. Europa-Park is highly satisfied with TÜV SÜD's result and its certification. However, we also understand that this is only the beginning and that we have to pursue this important issue consistently", stresses Mack.
TÜV SÜD's experts ensure safe, cost-effective and sustainable operation of amusement parks worldwide – from the planning and design of amusement rides to the review of technical documentation and initial approval, periodic inspection, operational safety in accordance with DIN 4112 and EN 13814, and sustainability certification.
For further information go to www.tuev-sued.de and www.europapark.de.