Our Sustainability Strategy
Climate protection is perhaps the greatest global challenge of our time, and sustainability is the order of the day. Universities as research and educational institutions have a central role to play in the sustainable development of our society. The University of Bayreuth is taking on this major task and facing up to the associated challenges.
To this end, in 2021, the University of Bayreuth was one of the first Bavarian universities to adopt a binding sustainability strategy. In this way, we have committed ourselves to clear, verifiable goals such as resource conservation and greater energy efficiency. In our strategy, we not only focus on the goal of climate neutrality by 2030, which is binding for all Bavarian universities, but understand sustainability much more broadly and have defined our path to becoming a "Green Campus". In doing so, we are creating the structures that will enable us to actually achieve the goals we have set.
The University of Bayreuth's Sustainability Strategy - Our Path to a Green Campus was developed over months of work by a wide range of working groups. Students, researchers, and lecturers, as well as the University Governing Board were involved in the process. The result is a 30-page paper that covers fields of action in governance, infrastructure, research, teaching, and third mission, and describes in concrete terms how the University intends to do more justice to environmental issues. The most important goals are to integrate sustainable development issues centrally into teaching and research, to increase the sustainability knowledge and awareness of University staff, to shape sustainable development in the sense of the Third Mission together with the community, and to implement and maintain an environmental management system.
Above all, this includes the plan to become climate-neutral to the greatest extent possible, and as fast as possible
We list very specific measures in our sustainability strategy. You can find an excerpt here.
- Introduction of an environmental management system based on the Eco Management and Audit Scheme
- Workshops and information services for University staff
- Expansion of the field of activity of the Vice-President for Digitalisation & Innovation to include the area of sustainability, and establishment of a corresponding Presidential Commission.
- Expansion of the existing GreenCampus team to include a salaried campus sustainability manager in Central University Administration.
- Establishment of an internal sustainability fund in the form of a cost centre to finance sustainability measures on campus
- Measures to reduce resource consumption, lower environmentally harmful greenhouse gas emissions and increase resource efficiency, sustainable use of ecosystem services, and the use of renewable energies. In practical terms, this means, for example, that we aim to use less energy, water, and paper, take regional and fair trade offers into account within the framework of procurement law, and also – in close coordination with Studentenwerk (Association for Student Affairs) – make cafeteria operation more environmentally sustainable.
- Reduction of the CO₂ intensity of our vehicle fleet and incentives to reduce CO₂ emissions during business trips
- Monitoring and promotion of biodiversity on semi-natural and re-naturalised areas across the campus
- Promote and strengthen cooperation in sustainability research across disciplinary and university boundaries
- Increase resource efficiency in the laboratories (e.g. life cycle management of equipment, avoid duplication of equipment).
- Make greater use of digital conference rooms
- Increase education for sustainable development and integrate "sustainability" as a topic into as many courses of study as possible.
- Introduction of a supplementary course of studies in Sustainability open to all students
- Expansion of existing study programmes with a strong link to sustainability, and development of new innovative study programmes
In addition, our Sustainability Strategy envisages expanding the University's educational offerings for non-university parties. In this way, we can impart theoretical knowledge related to sustainability and remain open to ideas from beyond the campus. The University of Bayreuth is committed to actively networking the resulting initiatives.