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IMAGE: Business Events Luxembourg

Luxembourg: the go-to destination

for sustainable business meetings

July 4, 2022

Corporate events are big business. The MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) industry in Europe was valued at USD$405.4 billion in 2020, anticipated to grow by $626.0 billion before 2028.

 

MICE can help to build connections, showcase new ideas and drive research and innovation, not just within the company or industry organising the event, but in the hosting region too. However, they may also leave a large environmental footprint if sustainability is not sufficiently considered during the planning stage. That’s why choosing the right location can make all the difference.

 

So, what makes Luxembourg the ideal location for your business events?

 

 

 

IMAGE: Business Events Luxembourg

The Accessible Heart of Europe

 

At the heart of western Europe, at the crossroads of Belgium, France and Germany, sits the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. This area of Europe is increasingly popular with responsible travellers and businesses: it’s something of a hub for cities making strides in sustainability, and is easily accessible without flying. If travelling by plane is necessary, Luxembourg’s international airport offers direct flights to numerous cities in Europe and further afield.

Located just outside of Luxembourg City, it’s linked to the city centre via efficient public transport.

 

Thanks to good public transport links, many major European business centres are within easy reach of Luxembourg. Local services run to nearby towns such as Metz and Nancy (France), Trier (Germany) and Arlon (Belgium), all about an hour away. Several high-speed trains per day arrive from Paris, taking just 2 hours 10 minutes. Direct trains connect the capital to many cross-border cities and towns, including Strasbourg (only 1 hour 33 minutes away), Lyon, Montpellier, and Marseilles in France, Koblenz and Düsseldorf in Germany and Liege in Belgium. There’s also an hourly service from Brussels, with its speedy connections to the Netherlands and the UK. By coach, there are good long-distance services to not just Luxembourg’s neighbouring countries, but more distant destinations such as Italy, Austria, Spain, Portugal and Romania.

 

These numerous and fast connections make sustainable travel to Luxembourg easily for your delegates, but their ride doesn’t end there. In March 2020, Luxembourg became the first country to offer free nationwide public transportation for everyone. This free access to the countrywide network of trains, trams and buses will lower both the costs and carbon footprint of your event.

 

IMAGE: Business Events Luxembourg

Your attendees can also access Luxembourg City's highly developed bicycle share programme, vel‘OH!. Both electric and pedal bikes are available from more than 100 stations in Luxembourg City and the surrounding area. The bicycles have USB ports to charge smartphones and safety features such as front and rear brakes and 24/7 lights. The newer bikes also have an anti-theft system in place. Visitors can use the vel’OH mobile app to select and unlock a bike, search for nearby stations and check how many bikes are available.

 

As a safe country with wide sidewalks and dedicated walking paths, Luxembourg is also ideal for exploring by foot; the ultimate way to travel sustainably!

 

 

IMAGE: Business Events Luxembourg

A Warm Welcome

 

It’s easy to feel comfortable and connected in cosmopolitan Luxembourg. It has a well-deserved reputation for safety, friendliness and openness, and there are more expats in Luxembourg than in any other European country. Multilingualism is the norm, and there are three official languages: French, German and Luxembourgish. English is also widely spoken (Luxembourg was graded as “very proficient” in the 2021 EF English Proficiency Index), as is Portuguese. This will make things easier for you and your delegates during your stay.

 

Luxembourg City has free, city-wide Wi-Fi, making it easy to do business wherever you are, and the temperate climate, with few temperature extremes, make it a great all-year-round destination.

 

 

IMAGE: Business Events Luxembourg

A Respected, Thriving EU Capital

 

Luxembourg is one of the three official capitals of the European Union, and home to several European Union institutions, including The Secretariat General of the European Parliament, The Court of Justice of the European Union and the European Investment Bank.

 

Luxembourg is also ranked as the number one country ‘most open for business’, according to U.S. News & World Report. It has the second-highest GDP per capita in the world, with a thriving economy that has continuously adapted throughout the years. Much of its wealth stemmed from its mills and mines, which thrived in the 19th century industrial revolution, but today the country is a frontrunner in the industries of the future. It’s not just well-known as an important financial hub, but also leads the way in health technology, cyber security, automotive components, and space mining. Other key economic sectors include agriculture, clean technologies, creative industries, manufacturing, maritime and science.

 

The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is also a leader in sustainable finance with expertise in investment funds, insurance, capital markets and banking, ranking as the 2nd financial centre in the EU. In 2020, Luxembourg began selling sustainability bonds to mobilise investments into projects with positive environmental and social outcomes.

 

Luxembourg has been the host country of choice for several notable finance events, including The Conference of The European Confederation of Institutes of Internal Auditing at the European Convention Center and The China Finance Forum at Cercle Cité. The second edition of the Sustainable Finance Forum was also held in Luxembourg at the Philharmonie, where more than 600 guests explored how to bring sustainable finance into the mainstream.

Luxembourg's booming economy and its reputation for research and education attract great minds from around the world.

 

Its low energy costs, reliable electricity grid, growing data-storage sector and stable governance make it an ideal hub for the 21st century information economy.

 

IMAGE: Business Events Luxembourg

What makes Luxembourg so sustainable?

 

Although the term 'sustainable' is often used synonymously with 'environmentally-friendly', it has a wider meaning. The 1987 Brundtland Commission report for the United Nations defined sustainability as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.

 

There are three main pillars of sustainability: the environment, economy and society, and Luxembourg is committed to sustainability across all three pillars. The creation of the High Council of Sustainable Development to coordinate national sustainable development policy, together with the involvement of citizens, is helping the country work towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Luxembourg is on track to achieve many of the SDG indicators.

 

IMAGE: Business Events Luxembourg

Environment

 

Luxembourg is leading the way environmentally, having reached 1st place amongst other EU Member States on the 2019 Eco-Innovation Index. The country's Climate Law, adopted in 2020, introduced a target of 55% emission reduction by 2030 and climate neutrality by 2050. The law includes annual emissions targets for each sector.

 

Energy

 

Renewable energy capacity in Luxembourg is on the rise, moving towards reducing the country's dependence on fossil fuels. Wind power capacity more than doubled between 2015 and 2020, while solar capacity continues to increase.

 

In 2021, 6.7% of electricity generation was made up of renewable energy and 9% of energy consumption was derived from renewable resources.

 

Sustainable Mobility

 

Luxembourg is committed to sustainable mobility and has implemented several initiatives, including free public transportation and a bicycle-sharing scheme. To incentivise people to leave their cars behind and cycle, there are an increasing number of cycling boulevards, where cyclists have priority over vehicles.

 

IMAGE: Business Events Luxembourg

Urban Development and Green Spaces

 

Despite the pressure for urban development, particularly in the city, sustainable urban development is a priority.

 

  • A new 4.5-metre-wide bicycle and pedestrian bridge linking the City’s districts of Cents and Neudorf with the Kirchberg Plateau is planned for completion by 2025.

  • At the Place de l’Étoile, a section of road will be diverted through a tunnel, creating a ground-level area for a major transport hub. This will include an underground bus station for regional buses, extension of the tramway network towards Strassen, vel’OH! Bike rental stations, and paths for pedestrians and cyclists.

  • The Faiencerie project is redeveloping the 253-year-old Villeroy & Boch site between the Limpertsberg residential district and the Bambësch forest. Eco-responsibly designed housing and offices will be built alongside amenities such as cafés, cultural hubs and sports facilities. The historic “Le Carré” Building will be preserved and become the focal point of the neighbourhood, with restaurants and conference facilities.

  • The City Gardens project will transform the site of a former office and retail building near the city’s train station into a predominantly residential development with roof gardens and courtyards.

 

The Klouschtergaart is a terraced garden at the foot of the Bock in the Grund Valley, which aims to reintroduce forgotten plant varieties and preserve the indigenous crops of the region. The Parks Department gives away collected seeds for free to promote the reintroduction of traditional crops into school and private gardens. The City also runs several community gardens and supplies an expert to train gardeners in ecological gardening and provide support for the first year. There are allotment gardens throughout Luxembourg, supervised by the Luxembourg Land and Home League, and the City also leases municipal land to residents who wish to grow their own produce or flowers.

 

Outside urban areas, the Government’s 'The Forestry and Climate Change Fund' helps farmers sustainably manage deforested rainforests and secondary forests in collaboration with several banks and an insurance company.

 

IMAGE: Business Events Luxembourg

Luxembourg's Climate Pact, established by the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Infrastructure, provides financial support to local authorities to implement sustainable development. These include energy supply, mobility and spatial planning, as well as circular economy measures such as promoting the 'product as a service' model, planning modular buildings and boosting the 'sharing economy'.

 

Reducing Waste

 

The City of Luxembourg’s Cup2Go project aims to encourage people to bring their own reusable cups when buying their coffee to go. Participating businesses reward reusable cup-users with a discount, stamps on their loyalty card or a treat such as a biscuit or a cake, and they are in turn rewarded with publicity from the City.

 

Economy

 

Adopting circular economy approaches is embedded into the Government's strategic planning, and this commitment is outlined in the 'Circular Economy Strategy Luxembourg', published in 2021. A joint effort between the Ministry of Energy and Spatial Planning, the Ministry of the Economy and the Ministry of the Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development, the Strategy outlines a collaborative approach to ensure that Luxembourg continues to thrive across existing and new sectors. Transitioning towards a circular economy not only leads to better control over raw materials and reduced pressure on natural ecosystems, but also provides opportunities for Luxembourg to drive innovation and take the lead in new circular services including accounting, auditing, consultancy and safe data management. 'The Circularity Dataset Initiative', launched by Luxembourg's Ministry of the Economy, aims to facilitate the move towards circularity by enabling industry and consumers to access reliable data on a product's circular properties via a 'Product Circularity Data Sheet'. This industry-standard regulated framework will enable the gathering of circular data throughout a product's value chain, from the raw materials phase to the finished product and throughout its use, re-use and recycling stages.

 

As a country with a diversified range of expertise, Luxembourg is a promising testbed for emerging circular economy business models. It continues to lead the way due to its entrepreneurial tradition and openness to new approaches.

 

IMAGE: Business Events Luxembourg

Society

 

In 2017, Luxembourg was the country with the highest Human Rights Protection score in the world. The country has the highest minimum wage in the European Union and ranks 5th in the world for economic freedom. Despite this, some people still struggle. Luxembourg’s newly announced ‘Klimabonus’ scheme aims to target ‘energy poverty’, helping households—particularly those on low incomes—fund sustainable renovation projects. It covers sustainable mobility, renewable energies, protection of biodiversity and sustainable housing, and will not only help those on lower incomes reduce their energy bills, but also incentivise the shift towards renewables.

 

Research Luxembourg is a joint initiative of the main actors in Luxembourg public research, supported by the Ministry of Higher Education and Research. Its research includes areas such as the consequences of migration, energy transition and labour market developments, and questions of identities, heritage and nationhood. Luxembourg’s national research and innovation strategy aims to achieve “continuous and sustainable development of the well-being of its population, including health, environment and education factors,” by focusing on four areas that feed into each other: personalised healthcare, 21st century education, industrial and service transformation, and sustainable and responsible development.

 

A Smart City is a More Sustainable City

 

Digitalisation can help cities become more sustainable in all areas. Besides its fast, free, city-wide Wi-Fi, The City of Luxembourg is currently assessing plans for the installation of sensors to collect environmental, mobility and other data, which they could use to keep citizens informed and improve services. The City already publishes a wealth of publicly accessible data, and its Citymap Geoportal, mainly aimed at its residents and visitors, provides an interactive map and information on everything from cinemas to transport. It can direct users to the nearest gardens, inform them about local air quality and even tell them about the suitability of their house roof for solar panel installation.

 

There’s also an augmented reality app that allows users to scan an icon at a bus stop or certain historic sites for more information. At bus stops, additional real-time information is shown as a superimposed image, showing bus departures in real time, an interactive map and any changes to routes due to public events.

 

IMAGE: Business Events Luxembourg

Organising Your Sustainable Event

 

The Luxembourg Convention Bureau, created by the Ministry of the Economy and the City of Luxembourg, is the country's official representative for the business events sector. A dedicated team of experienced events professionals can not only connect you with industry experts, but they can also help plan your entire eco-event in Luxembourg, from venue and accommodation to catering and entertainment, as well as supplying visitor information and marketing material. If your business falls under one of Luxembourg's key sectors, you can benefit from industry-specific expertise when organising your event.

 

The experience of the Bureau and Luxembourg’s many benefits as an event location mean that the country regularly hosts major events. 'Luxexpo The Box' recently hosted ARCHITECT@WORK events including the MATERIALS EXHIBITION: FANTASTIC FUTURE by Material District, which focused on biobased or recycled sustainable materials. In January 2023, the venue will welcome more than 70 exhibitors from seven nations to the 'EXPO Creativ Luxemburg', a huge event in the calendar of all those interested in creative design and handicrafts, from fabrics to glasswork.

 

IMAGE: Business Events Luxembourg

The Green Events Logo

 

The Ministry of the Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development created the 'Green Events' scheme, dedicated to helping organisers integrate sustainable and eco-responsible criteria into events and raise public awareness. It enables event organisers to apply for a 'Green Events' logo, which is awarded for meeting mandatory criteria across various categories, including marketing, mobility, food and drink, water, waste, energy and environmental engagement. Previously only open to public events, it will soon be available for business events too, allowing them to showcase their commitment to sustainability. Business event organisers will have to meet criteria across four main pillars: zero waste, zero net carbon, sustainable catering and inclusive events.

 

A new Green Events checklist has been published this year to help organisers ensure they’ve covered as many sustainable criteria as possible. The Green Events team can help you arrange anything you require, from a sustainability education stand staffed by Natural History Museum experts to a temporary bike rack or shuttle bus service. They can also signpost providers who rent out everything from plants and furniture to glasses or a ‘spullweenchen’ (a trailer with full dish service, including a dishwasher).

 

Venues

 

With more than 70 venues to choose from, you will be spoilt for choice. Besides meeting and event hotels, conference and exhibition centres, there are special unique venues such as the Abtei Neimënster (Neimënster Abbey) or the Château d'Urspelt.

 

The Abtei Neimënster (Neimënster Abbey) is a beautiful, historic building offering conference rooms of various sizes, reception halls and dining rooms. Large open-air events can also be held on the Parvis, accommodating up to 2,000 people. The Château d'Urspelt is an 18th-century castle classified as a National Monument, suitable for seminars, meetings, team-building incentive programmes and high-status events.

 

IMAGE: Business Events Luxembourg

Sustainable Dining

 

Luxembourgish cuisine is a delightful combination of French, German and Belgian cuisines, deeply rooted in local farming and produce. Luxembourg boasts locally grown potatoes, cabbage and beans, and it’s also known for its sausages, honey, cheese, mustard and wine. Guests can sample Gromperekichelcher (potato pancakes), popular at festivals, fairs and other events, which are served warm with apple sauce or Luxembourgish mustard.

 

 Luxembourg boasts an impressive 10 Michelin-starred restaurants and there is no shortage of sustainable dining options. The We're Smart Green Guide awards between 1 to 5 ‘radishes’ for the sustainability of plant-based dishes based on culinary creativity, ecological footprint and social impact. Three-radish eateries here include 'Ma Langue Sourit' in Moutfort, 'Léa Linster' in Frisange and 'Fani', in Roeser. Two radishes were awarded to 'Mosconi' in Luxembourg-Ville, 'Apdikt' in Steinfort, 'Oro e Argento' and 'La Cristallerie' both in Luxembourg city and 'Two6Two' in Strassen. 'Ma Langue Sourit', 'Léa Linster', 'Fani' and 'La Cristallerie' are also Michelin-starred restaurants.

 

'La Distillerie' in Bourglinster is the only establishment to be awarded 5 radishes, and has been named as the We're Smart Green Guide’s best vegetable restaurant in the world for two years in a row. It’s also the only restaurant in Luxembourg to receive a Michelin Green Star. Green stars are awarded to restaurants with a commitment to sustainable gastronomy and are only held by 359 restaurants worldwide. Head Chef René Mathieu was named 'Chef of the Year' title in the A Taste of Luxembourg 2021 guide.

 

Eco-Friendly Accommodation

 

Luxembourg has an array of green accommodations certified by the EcoLabel Lux. EcoLabel Lux is a joint initiative between the Ministry for Tourism and the Ministry and Ministry of the Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development, and is managed by non-profit OekoZenter Lëtzebuerg. Established in 1999, the certificate is awarded to accommodations that meet a rigorous set of eco-criteria, including not just sustainable measures in the hotel but support of public transportation and cycle-hire options for guests. Businesses are audited before receiving an EcoLux Label and then reassessed every three years by an independent auditor.

 

37 accommodations across Luxembourg have been awarded the EcoLabel Lux, ranging from youth hostels to luxury hotels. For guests planning to stay in Luxembourg City Centre, certified hotel options are:

 

Hôtel Le Royal (12 Boulevard Royal. L-2449)

Meliã Luxembourg (1 Park Drai Eechelen. L-1499)

Novotel Luxembourg Kirchberg (6 Rue du Fort Niedergruenewald. L-2226)

 

In the city centre you will also find 'The Park Inn by Radisson' (45 Av. de la Gare, L-1611), the only hotel in Luxembourg to hold the Green Key eco-label. The Green Key is a global standard of sustainability in the tourism sector, assessed against strict environmental management and education criteria.

 

On the outskirts of the city are EcoLabel Lux holders the ‘Parc Hôtel Alvisse’ (120 Route d'Echternach. L-1453) and ‘INNSiDE by Meliã Luxembourg’ (12 Rue Henri M. Schnadt. L-2530). Further out of the centre are the ‘Mercure Luxembourg Kikuoka Golf & Spa’ (Scheierhaff. L-5412 Canach), the ‘Mondorf Parc Hôtel’ (Avenue des Bains. L-5601 Mondorf-les-Bains) and the ‘Ibis Esch Belval’ (12 Avenue du Rock'n'Roll. L- Esch-sur-Alzette).

 

IMAGE: Business Events Luxembourg

See the Sights: Team-buildings and Incentives

 

If you want to book breakout activities, team-building trips or incentive breaks, Luxembourg is the ideal destination. There’s plenty to see and do, and Luxembourg offers an array of team-building activities that can be organised by multilingual professional organisers, from treasure hunts to GPS orienteering. It may also be worth investing in the Luxembourg Card. Offering free or discounted admission to over 90 places of interest throughout the country, from art galleries to sports facilities, the Card can be purchased for 1, 2 or 3 days. Days remaining on the card can be used at any time throughout the year. It can either be printed out or held on your mobile phone as a QR code.

 

The City of Luxembourg’s Old Quarters and fortress, and the ‘casemates’ (17 km of underground tunnels) are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and not to be missed. For a tour of the city’s highlights, your delegates can use the City’s VdL-AR app to follow a discovery trail around the Royal-Hamilius, the Place d’Armes, the Cercle Municipal, Place Guillaume II, the Grand Ducal Palace, the Chamber of Deputies and the old Fish Market (Marché-aux-Poissons). The AR feature shows old photos of each site, historical films, animated models and 3D plans, which are superimposed on the camera images.

 

For informal meetings and get-togethers in the fresh air, the city has several parks. They include Edouard André Municipal Park, a green, landscaped oasis in the city centre and Merl Park, not far from the centre, with a restaurant overlooking a large, peaceful pond.

You’re never far from nature or outdoor activities in Luxembourg, and it has one of the densest networks of hiking trails in Europe. Over 20% of Luxembourg City's surface area is forested. The largest is Bambësch Forest, part of the Mamer and Eisch Valley LUOOO1018 habitat zone and Natura 2000 network, to the north. The smaller wooded area to the south includes the forests of Hamm, Cessange, Kockelscheuer, Tawioun, and Birelergronn in Sandweiler. Most of the forests have marked fitness trails to follow, between 2.4 km to 7.5 km in length. If you prefer cycling, the ‘Bike Promenade’ leaflet describes four bike routes, between 5 km and 13 km, to help you explore Luxembourg City.

 

Your delegates may also like to visit the Moselle Valley in the southeast, home to many delicious, high-quality grape and wine varieties. A glass of crémant, Luxembourg’s own branded sparkling wine, is a great way to finish the day, however they have spent it.

 

IMAGE: Business Events Luxembourg

Luxembourg: A Little Country with a Lot to Offer

 

As an official European Capital, Luxembourg has experience in hosting large-scale events, and the Convention Bureau will be there to offer their local expertise every step of the way. If you wish to visit beforehand, they can assist with site inspections and organise familiarisation trips, helping you choose the venues and activities that are right for your event.

 

Your event can tap into Luxembourg’s lively research and innovation sector, allowing delegates to network with and learn from its government departments, research institutes, academics and businesses, from startups to multi-nationals. And when the hard work is done, you and your attendees can enjoy the many attractions offered by this little country with a big heart.

 

 

 

 

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