Sustainability as lifestyle
Klaus Hölcke from Hemer takes up the course of environmental awareness
The city of Hemer has 37,500 citizens. One of these 37,500 has made his mark by his, in the most equivocal meaning, “green“ direction. As CEO of the market garden “Immergrün“ (evergreen) he makes the environment not only greener through his plants, but also his great environmental awareness is impressive and should be an example for other firms.
Environmental protection was of prime importance for “Immergrün“ (evergreen), even before words like “organic“ or “eco“ came into vogue, even before sustainability was often mentioned. In 1970 Hölcke started the cultivation of spruces without chemicals, the ecological Christmas trees. Two years later he built a biotope of 300m² size on his premises. It is the protection area for local amphibians. Since 1972 he has actively used rain water – in his firm and also home. “We at “Immergrün“ (evergreen) store circa 240,000 litres of rain water in different systems for watering, toilets and the washing machine“, explains Klaus Hölcke. Again one year later he installed a heat pump in his firm. Three up to five meters under the ground there are ten kilometres of cooling apparatuses all over the 5,000 m² area. And it succeeded: The heat pump has now been working faultlessly for more than three decades. In 1989 he built the first wind energy plant of South Westphalia, which still gives enough energy to power the firm. The rest is fed in. Again one year later the next technical renewal came: The gas heating for the green house. By that, the heat is used by 100%, because the exhaust fumes (CO2) are used for manuring in the green house. But there’s no end in sight, concerning the sustainable projects of “Immergrün“. Already 15 years ago the automobiles and trucks ran with bio diesel, today they do with local rape oil.
In the next years many other projects followed. Among others a mixed forest of 45,000 personally planted trees, although it’s not Hölcke’s job to protect the environment. First of all he cares about everything, from small gardens up to big parks. Ecologic paving is as well his area of expertise as renaturation and wild grassland. But of course “Immergrün” also likes to deal with special orders.
Like the one which came from the Luxury-Eco-Hotel “The Scarlet“ from North-Cornwall. There the 52-year-old Hölcke and his team built a 280m² natural pond in five months. This pond was so impressive, that the online magazine of the British newspaper “The TIMES“ put it on rank 14 of the world’s best hotel pools. An excellent performance of the company from Hemer.
Klaus Hölcke shows also great commitment by trying to make sustainability accessible to the people of his region. He’s the reason, why Symposium’s main speaker Al Gore is more than well known in Iserlohn and surroundings. He was the one who arranged that Gore’s movie “An Inconvenient Truth“ was shown in the local cinema. Concerning their interest in sustainability, Gore and Hölcke may have some things in common. Maybe the noble peace price laureate would also agree with Hölcke’s strong conviction:
“Green technology does not cost the earth!“