In the interests of nature

Sustainability at Europa-Park

Germany's largest theme park is one of the nation's most popular destinations. Across an area of 95 hectares, 17 european countries inspire the whole family with detailed architecture, accurate vegetation and authentic gastronomy. More than 100 attractions and shows are guaranteed to get hearts racing, alongside 13 spectacular rollercoasters. The Rulantica water world, which is in close vicinity of Germany's largest theme park, has welcomed guests since November 2019 with numerous slides, a large wave pool and much more. While fun and variety may be the main focus at the Europa-Park Resort, the family business also attaches great importance to sustainability. They pursue a holistic approach, with work continuously being carried out to improve ecological, economic and social aspects of sustainability.

The Europa-Park Resort takes many measures to conserve resources, protect the environment and promote its employees. In the meantime, almost 4,600 solar modules cover a portion of the electricity requirements of Germany's largest theme park. These can generate up to 1.4 million kilowatt hours of green electricity per year, which corresponds to the needs of more than 350 four-person households. Combined heat and power plants, groundwater heat pumps and water-saving fittings and showers also ensure conservation of resources. The area surrounding the Rulantica water world may look to some like a local recreation area. 400,000 bees have been settled on the site. As blossoms and herbs provide a rich habitat. Europa-Park is already characterised by a centuries-old tree population and many green areas. Over the years, the Mack family has planted around 7,000 trees.

Europa-Park differs from other amusement parks in many ways. Alongside the the many attractions and shows, the distinctive park landscape, old trees and open spaces are among some of the unique characteristics of Germany's largest theme park. With its rich flora, Europa-Park fits perfectly into the idyllic landscape of the Rhine Valley and is criss-crossed by the natural course of the Elz. Implementing a comprehensive sustainability strategy is also important to Europa-Park in order to preserve its unique nature. This respectful treatment of nature has also been reflected in the expansion of the resort to include the Rulantica water world and the ‘Krønasår’ hotel, in which great importance was attached to the balance between economy and ecology. The mission statement of the family company says: "We are aware of our responsibility towards the environment and culture and maintain this responsibility through careful and sustainable use of the landscape, energy, raw materials and buildings."

From beginning to end

“We think in terms of generations, not quarterly figures,” emphasises the Mack family. According to the UN, sustainability is ‘a development that meets the needs of the present without risking that future generations will not be able to meet their needs’.

Since Europa-Park was founded in 1975, the management has been committed to environmentally-sustainable action. From the very start, protecting the environment and using resources responsibly have been the basic principles of the owner-managed company. In the beginning, the main focus was on preserving nature and on disposal and recycling, but today, numerous other tasks such as clean energy and water management have been added. The company was able to benefit from many years of experience in sustainability when creating the large-scale Rulantica project. In order to protect both nature and local species, an extensive catalogue of compensatory measures was drawn up in advance, which included the planting of over 2,000 trees, 18,000 wild shrubs and 60,000 flowers, the installation of 274 nesting boxes, the creation of biological corridors for wild animals and bats and the establishment of the bee pavilions that support eight bee colonies. 

The sustainability strategy also includes employees, for example through training courses in our own academy. Around 10,000 training participants now attend 700 seminars a year. Company health management also sets standards and has received the ‘Corporate Health Award’, the most prestigious award in Germany for excellent corporate health management.

I.    Landscape

Europa-Park is characterised by a rich park landscape, centuries-old trees, plenty of green spaces and the gentle course of the Elz. When it looks to expanding its overall offering, Germany's largest theme park is therefore always careful to preserve its unique natural treasures: Since opening, the natural stock has remained almost unchanged and is also integrated into new concepts as much as possible. An infrastructure was created around the Rulantica water world that takes into account the existing habitats of animals and plants to protect them in the long term. In addition, the largest theme park in Germany is located in the rural area between the Black Forest and the Vosges and is surrounded by large protected areas.

Frequent south-westerly weather conditions drive masses of warm air from the western Mediterranean region into the Rhine Valley. This produces a mild climate and good air quality. To ensure that this remains the case in the future, the emissions of all relevant facilities are regularly checked in order to avoid unnecessary environmental pollution. For example, 180 electric vehicles and 150 bicycles are available to employees for getting around and transporting goods at the car park.

When it comes to electromobility, Europa-Park goes one step further: Thanks to a concept jointly developed by the municipality of Rust, Europa-Park and the energy and environmental service provider ‘badenova’, 10 electric charging stations were installed in 2018 at three locations around Germany's largest theme park. The car park of hotel Krønasår and the Rulantica Water World has also been equipped with charging stations for electric vehicles in order to encourage eco-friendly driving and provide additional convenience for visitors. Since the charging stations were installed, their monthly use has more than doubled. Almost 50 charging stations have now been installed, with more planned. Electric bikes are also available for hire at Hotel Krønasår.

In addition, Europa-Park promotes sustainable projects beyond its own borders and supports, among other things, the maintenance of the Elz-Wiesen flood plain. For several years now, thanks to this commitment, the historic traps have been back in operation and traditional meadow irrigation has been ensured.

II.   Energy

Europa-Park was using the first energy-saving lamps as early as 1988; today - wherever possible - LED light sources are used. Most of the lighting in the indoor area of the Rulantica water world is also provided by low-energy-consumption LED lights. In 2009, Germany's largest theme park will install a comprehensive energy management concept, due to both economic and ecological aspects. In addition, the specially founded department ‘Energy Management’ has existed since 2019, which has the task of saving energy costs with special consideration of renewable self-generation of electricity.

Located in the sunny region of southern Baden, a photovoltaic system over 300 metres long was installed in the car park of the main entrance in 2001. In addition, there are 3,000 more solar panels in the car park at Rulantica. The photovoltaic carport covers half of the parking spaces and generates more than 1.1 million kilowatt hours of electricity, which corresponds to the annual requirements of 300 to 400 households and saves more than 600 tons of CO². 

Since 2014, Europa-Park has also utilised two combined heat and power plants (CHP), which supply the company's own workshops and administration. The CHPs also contribute to the heat and power supply of the building.

Two more CHPs were built on the 45-hectare resort extension in 2019 and provide a reliable basic supply for the 4* superior hotel ‘Krønasår’ and the Rulantica water world. All four CHPs together produce 15.5 million kilowatt hours of electricity each year.

For over ten years, Europa-Park has been using renewable energies for new buildings and renovations. The park's own 4* superior hotels ‘Bell Rock', 'Colosseo' and 'Santa Isabel' as well as the Camp Resort, the conference room 'Ballsaal Berlin' and the Italian themed area are heated in winter by groundwater heat pumps and cooled in summer. Over 25 locations in Europa-Park are air-conditioned with the low-cost energy source. By using this ecologically valuable system, CO2 savings of several tonnes per year are possible.

A hydropower plant on the Elz also generates around 500,000 kilowatt hours of environmentally friendly electricity per year, which is roughly comparable to the annual energy requirement of 200 four-person households. The interaction of these various measures also contributes to a drastic reduction in energy consumption and the production of clean electricity.

III. Raw materials

Water plays an important role in many areas for Europa-Park. Balthasar Castle, built in 1442, is surrounded by a unique park that is characterized by magnificent trees and lush flower beds, the Elz river, natural watercourses, lakes, fountains and water features. In addition, lovingly-planted themed areas and numerous water attractions inspire visitors both young and old. As the water and many green areas contribute to the relaxation of visitors, they are used in Germany's largest amusement park in a variety of ways. The private water supply with process water is particularly important for the irrigation of the extensive botany. This is ensured by a dedicated deep well system. A broad network and the use of innovative cleaning and filter systems also reduce water consumption.

Innovative technologies have also been utilised at the Rulantica water world in order to save water and energy. The water from the outer rapids ‘Vildstrøm’ is pumped into an underground tank overnight. Thanks to the excellent insulation, its temperature remains constant, like in a vacuum flask. This pumping system allows the water to be renewed each day without wasting it. A special filter system also ensures that around 80% of the pool water can be recycled. Only 20% of Rulantica's daily water requirements come from the mains water network. This water is then pumped through to two deep wells where it is treated.

Over 6 million people have visited Europa-Park in the past few years. Germany's largest themed park has developed its own disposal and recycling policy for the resulting waste and its disposal. Among other things, the company has an eye on avoiding unnecessary packaging material. As far as possible, goods are not ordered and delivered in individual parts, but in bulk. In addition, reusable boxes are used instead of cardboard boxes. The park employee’s own recycling centre also sorts the waste into 20 different sections, which are then sent to a specialist company for recycling and recycling. Through strict waste separation as well as targeted purchasing and logistical measures, the total amount of waste may be reduced by more than half.

When it comes to selecting its suppliers, Europa-Park also attaches great importance to sustainability. In the departments of park and hotel catering, seasonal, regional products are preferred and processed. Germany's largest theme park also specifically supports reliable trading partners and good working conditions. Guests staying at the 4* superior hotels can also enjoy delicious honey produced by the 400,000 bees, which reside in the purpose-built pavilion at the gates of the Rulantica water world.

IV. Buildings

In addition to the block-type thermal power stations and heat pumps already mentioned, Europa-Park has installed high-performance building management systems (BMS) in its six hotels, as well as in all larger systems and meeting places. The BMS is part of modern facility management and enables fast and effective information processing. This allows technical equipment to not only be efficiently monitored and controlled, but also for a significant reduction in energy requirements and other operating costs. This is why innovative building control technology is now active in almost 80 percent of all corresponding structures in Germany's largest theme park.

In addition, Hansgrohe EcoSmart products make a significant contribution to reducing the energy and water requirements in the Europa-Park hotels as well as in the Rulantica water world. A pilot project in the 4* superior hotel 'Santa Isabel' showed that the water-saving fittings and showers cut water consumption by around 30 percent, without affecting the comfort of the guests.

Since 2007, Europa-Park has also been using efficient frequency converters (FC) in ventilation systems in both new buildings and conversions. The amount of air is automatically adjusted, taking into account the room temperature and the air quality, saving a lot of energy. When it comes to water hygiene, Europa-Park also relies on FCs to save energy.


In July 2022, Europa-Park was awarded the ‘Germany's Best Sustainability’ seal by ‘Focus Money’ magazine, proof of the company's great commitment to the ecological sector. The park-owned hotels 'Bell Rock', 'Colosseo', 'Santa Isabel', 'Castillo Alcazar' and 'El Andaluz' were awarded the 'DEHOGA environmental check’ in 2023, receiving the gold rating. ‘Krønasår - The Museum-Hotel’, which opened in May 2019, also received the coveted Viabono award, which recognises environmentally and climate-friendly travel.

The complete sustainability magazine ‘Sustainable – Ready for the Grandchildren. A family business since 1780’ can be viewed at: www.koppelstaetter-media.de/de/pages/default/page