KINO. natürlich – a project by AG KINO-GILDE e.V. to lower the carbon footprint in cinemas throughout Germany.

„The project of the AG Kino-Gilde shows all cinema operators ways to achieve greater sustainability in the cinema. With this engagement the cinema industry is doing its part to help protect the environment. Furthermore they playing a pioneering role in the cultural sector and thus setting an example that other institutions such as museums, theaters and concert venues could also follow.” Maria Krautzberger, President Umweltbundesamt  


Sustainability and climate protection became a bigger part for the cinema industry’s program in 2018. According to the “Studie der Programmkinos” (Study on Arthouse Cinemas) conducted by the German Federal Film Board (FFA), more than 18 million visitors came to arthouse cinemas in 2018 – this is certainly climate-relevant. The AG Kino-Gilde as projectowner is the association of more than 330 independent arthouse cinemas in Germany. Our cinemas are home to filmculture, encounters, diversity and education. Funded by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety and the Federal Environment Agency, with the project KINO.natürlich, the AG Kino-Gilde is consciously committed to greater ecological sustainability in cinemas.

The first project term was from April 2018 untill end of october 2019, the second term is from May 2020 until April 2021.

“Arthouse cinemas have always transmitted important themes and values through their diverse and ambitious film selection. With the “KINO.natürlich” project, we are assuming social responsibility for implementing the 17 global goals of Agenda 2030. With concrete climate protection measures in the reference cinemas and smaller measures in as many cinemas as possible, we want to conserve resources, efficiently develop operating processes and position ourselves as a cinema industry that is fit for the future.” 

Christian Bräuer, Head of the board AG Kino-Gilde e.V.




Our goals

Determining the environmental impact of cinemas

Showing options for action with reference cinemas to operate ecofriendly and more sustainably

Raising awareness in the cinema industry with respect to climate and resource protection

Making cinema's commitment to global issues and sustainability visible


Status analysis, areas of activity and internal survey on the status quo

Reference cinemas and climate protection measures as options

Research on support, advice, services and initiatives

Information platform for cinema operators and communicationtools

Checklists, options to act and guidelines / policy statement

Areas of activity

Resources = save and increase energy efficiency

Wastemanagement – avoid, reduce and strict waste separation

Mobility – ecofriendly and innovativ

Films– stories on sustainability, climate, nature and environmental protection and society related

Areas of activity

Resources = save and increase energy efficiency
Wastemanagement – avoid, reduce and strict waste separation
Mobility – ecofriendly and innovativ
Films– stories on sustainability, climate, nature and environmental protection and society related

Reference cinemas ‘Best Practice’

We selected six arthouse theatres with different sizes, area and business model and one Open Air Cinema. They are Member cinemas with their own ideas and a willingness to take a holistic view of their cinemas from an ecological perspective, and that develop or already have concrete measures that they can implement either on their own or with our support (as close to within the project timeframe as possible). This Operators share their experiences as a “Best Practice Cinema” during our workshops and have participated in the internal survey.

Our main goal: develop and implement measures that achieve major climate protection effects and are cost-efficient.

Examples up to now:
Waste separation, recyclable materials: paper/tableware, green or regional electricity for projections, tap water in the office, bicycle couriers, information on public transport, bicycle stands, regional products, efficient refrigerators, energy consulting, disposable items from recycling material, partnership with university, photovoltaic system for power supply, reusable tableware, 100% LED or less, company car with gas or hybrid, sustainable film program, own tram stop in front of the cinema

The possible targets:
Placing the program on recycled paper or climate-neutral print, special sustainable film screenings or events, LED all around the cinema, optimization of the air, ventilation and heating system control, timers, motion detectors, sustainable procurement, waste management in the concession area, reusable, special sustainable film screenings and events, climate control and balance, heating with green gas, ventilation system refurbishment with heat recovery, mobility concept

Climate-neutral cinemas

More options! Climate-neutral cinema means offsetting unavoidable emissions with recognized climate protection certificates. The costs vary depending on which project you support (national or regional, whether forest protection, wind energy or the construction of drinking water wells). To this end, the relevant greenhouse gas emissions must be recorded and balanced. With the voluntary offsetting, a certificate is issued to make the commitment visible in the cinema-lobby or on your website.

Here is a selection of possible institution to get your emissions balanced or to find out more about your footprint:

Low budget tips to green YOUR Cinema


ECOSIA internet search engine, green electricity and biogas, energy-efficient appliances, avoiding stand-by, light control, motion detectors, timers, ecological cleaning agents, flush-stop toilets, regional drinking water and mineral water / beverages, regional and fair organic concession goods, palm oil-free products, reducing print media, climate-neutral printing, reusable tableware and bottles, sustainable material/product/appliance procurement, Recycled material in sanitary/concession areas and in the office

Waste management

Avoid disposable cups, only recyclable or biodegradable material, goods with minimal packaging, strict waste avoidance and correct waste separation, visible waste separation containers in the foyer, professional disposal, cleaning 3D glasses, employee training, communication with cinemagoers concerning greater responsibility vis-à-vis waste avoidance/separation, no straws


Spots or shortfilms and films on sustainability and climate protection, environment and nature conservation, biodiversity and global issues in the regular program, own film series and special screenings


Encourage public transport for cinema visitors/employees, information on the website, note about the e-charging station, business trips by train, climate compensation for air travel, company vehicle car sharing or hybrid, freight bike for transport, employee bicycle/e-scooter, bicycle parking space


Plan your own  ‚CINEMA for Climate‘ Event. Or take part in a campaign for sustainability and climate protection at federal/ state level or in your city and community.

Go to FILME on our webpage and you’ll find filmtrailer and the link to the distributor as an initial selection of award-winning, committed films that are sorted according to ads as well as short and long films. Some of them have already been shown in german cinemas, but the topic of these films remains hugely relevant.

Focus of this selection: The 17 global goals of the United Nations (SDGs), environmental-, nature-, climateprotection and social issues. More information on the SDGs. 

If you can’t find the right film or have film tips for this website, then email me using the contact form. Or get in touch with distributors and on their respective websites, you’ll usually find other suitable films. If independent filmmakers approach you about showing their film in cooperation with an NGO or initiative, then check it out and feel free to let it run at KINO.natürlich.

More international films you can find at the online plattform #Films for the earth.



Every measure that saves resources and reduces CO2 emissions counts – because we choose to pay attention to climate protection and environmental aspects when running our cinema!

Let regional experts advise you on energy efficiency, ecological building refurbishment and more. They are usually also fully informed about which funding programs are currently available.

You must find the regional expert and funding consultant near you.


Passenger and goods traffic cause enormous CO2 emission rates. Climate-friendly travel options for employees and cinema-goers are enormously important. It is sensible to make your own regional information and offers on sustainable mobility transparent, for example on your cinema-website.

Get in touch with your local bikesharing company and cooparate.

Offset the unavoidable CO2 emissions from all your business trips. In the future, this should also be done for cinema-goers as part of your commitment to climate protection.


Talk to suppliers and entrepreneurs in your city, municipality or region about their holistic, climate-friendly and sustainable supply services.

Encourage your partners to switch with your cinema going green.


Modernization, new construction or expansion of the cinema considering ecological aspects is climate-relevant.  Various options at the federal and regional level need to be checked for financing. The following is an overview of the financing options at federal and regional level in Germany. But this may be different in Your country.

Options: Film funding institutions, financial institutions, variety on ministeries, foundation initiative, associations, public companies, sustainability or climateawards and crowdfunding.

We support the reference cinemas within project’s duration. Of course, we also provide advice on inquiries from all other AG Kino-Gilde member cinemas via our weekly newsletter.