Sustainability

Think about the future

Sustainability is an important concern for us. This applies not only to our teaching and research, but also to everyday life on campus. The university management has therefore pushed central steps such as participating in the competition for the "Ökoprofit" environmental seal of approval, which has been awarded several times – as well as the progressive conversion of procurement to a sustainable supply. For many years, our students have been involved in student university groups such as the Sustainability Working Group, which not only sells ecological stationery and fair trade products, but since 2007 has also been a practical partner of the student-organised course Studium Fundamentale "Sustainability – Improving the World with Practical Projects", in which more than 1000 students from all disciplines have participated to date. In cooperation with non-university practice partners, the students test themselves in the organisation of practically oriented projects in the field of sustainability and acquire key competences relevant to their profession. This student-organized seminar has been awarded several times as an officially recognized project of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development.

Studentin auf dem Fahrrad vor der Bibo Uni Erfurt

Networks

The University of Erfurt is aware of its responsibility to anchor sustainability beyond its own campus. It therefore participates in various networks whose aim is to establish sustainable thinking and action in different areas of life in today's and future society.

University Network Education through Responsibility

Logo Hochschulnetzwerk Bildung durch Verantwortung

The University of Erfurt is one of the founding members of the university network Education through Responsibility, which was founded in 2009. The network, which is an association of universities that deal with the method of "service learning" and civic involvement of students ("community service"), aims to promote social responsibility of and at universities.

Sustainability Agreement Thuringia (NAT)

Logo Nachhaltigkeitsabkommen Thueringen

Since the end of 2010, the University of Erfurt has been supporting the Thuringian Sustainability Agreement (NAT), in which Thuringian commercial enterprises and public institutions work together to improve the framework conditions for the further economic development of Thuringia in terms of sustainability.

Innovation Network Education for Sustainable Development

Logo InnoNet

The University of Erfurt is also a major participant in the Innovation Network Education for Sustainable Development (InnoNet BNE), a regional network of actors from education, civil society, business and local government to promote Education for Sustainable Development.

More information about InnoNet BNE

Environmental label "Ökoprofit"

In 2014, the University of Erfurt was again awarded the "Ökoprofit" environmental seal of approval. It is thus one of more than 110 institutions that have received this award in Erfurt since 2000. In Germany, more than 2000 companies in over 90 cities have so far received the coveted municipal award. They are all committed to the sustainable use of resources and to making an active contribution to reducing the burden on the environment and lowering energy costs. A commission has now once again visited the university as part of an audit to assess the university's projects and measures relating to sustainability, resource conservation and occupational safety.

Measures

"We are aware of our special responsibility as an institution but also in our function as multipliers."

The university had already received the Ökoprofit label for the first time in 2001, since then much has been done to qualify for the award again. "We are aware of our special responsibility as an institution, but also in the multiplier function", says Stefan Doogs, who is the main coordinator of the Ökoprofit measures at the University of Erfurt. "That is why it is part of our daily task to consider how we can use raw materials and energy in line with demand, optimise their consumption and, if possible, return them to the cycle". In doing so, economic efficiency and environmental protection should no longer stand in opposition to each other, but should be sensibly interlinked. And this also means that when awarding contracts to non-university service providers, the university will ensure that only environmentally compatible means, processes and methods are used.

Measures for the sustainable use of resources on campus include

  • the systematic replacement of old heating pumps and the use of high-efficiency pumps on the campus
  • the energy optimization of the library with regard to lighting as well as heating, ventilation and air-conditioning technology to save energy and reduce operating costs;
  • the optimization of the cooling supply of the library's server room, including the use of water-cooled data cabinets (completed);
  • the use of water-saving fittings on wash basins and showers (completed);
  • the use of waterless urinals in the library (completed);
  • the renovation of the façade and the installation of a photovoltaic system on employee building 1, which now enables savings on heating energy and the sale of the electricity generated;
  • equipping other university buildings and the parking lot with photovoltaic systems;
  • the energetic consideration and analysis of the sports hall as a preliminary consideration for an optimization of the building;
  • the review of the waste concept and
  • the conversion of the lighting on the campus to LED technology.

Example: photovoltaic system

As part of the economic stimulus package, the external facade of the listed high-rise building on the campus of the University of Erfurt was renovated. To ensure a second structural escape route, a second escape staircase had to be built on the south side of the building. In joint coordination between the building authority, the monument authority, the fire department, the TLBV and the university, this extension was planned and executed with a photovoltaic system on the façade. The system has been in operation since 23 December 2010.

The 352 solar modules have a rated output of around 28 kWp and are expected to produce around 17,300 kWh of solar electricity per year. This means an approximate saving of about 2,500 euros per year in unpurchased electricity plus the current state subsidy of about 2,300 euros per year.

Environmental team of the University of Erfurt

Environmental team
Doreen Kranhold & Stefan Doogs

Your contact person for questions about the "Ökoprofit" environmental label:

Stefan Doogs
Head of Industrial Engineering at the University of Erfurt
+49 361 737-5341
stefan.doogs@uni-erfurt.de

Projects and university groups

Whether it is our "Puzzle Box" rummage shop, or the commitment of our students in university groups such as the Sustainability Working Group or our "Campus Bees" project - sustainability is a topic that is also reflected in the teaching at the University of Erfurt and in various projects as well as in the commitment of numerous groups. We present a few of these in the following.

Studium Fundamentale „Sustainability“

The Studium Fundamentale "Sustainability – Improving the world with practical projects", launched in 2007, offers students from bachelor programmes at the University of Erfurt and the University of Applied Sciences Erfurt the opportunity to make an active contribution to the sustainable development of society.

More information about Studium Fundamentale "Sustainability"

Puzzle box

Lehrgebäude 2 auf dem Campus der Universität Erfurt

Helping guest students to quickly feel at home in Erfurt was the idea behind the "Puzzle Box" project. Since the end of January 2011, there has been a rummel shop on the campus of the University of Erfurt, where students from abroad can obtain household appliances and other useful things free of charge, but of course they can also return anything that they don't want to take home at the end of their exchange period. After being located next to Villa Martin since the winter semester 2013/14, the puzzle box will open its doors in the basement of the teaching building 2, room 3b (-112) for the summer semester 2020.


Regular opening hours are not planned due to the different needs of the "Puzzlekisten customers". If you would like to browse in the small "exchange shop", you can simply send an e-mail to international.puzzlekiste@uni-erfurt.de to arrange an individual appointment with the team or make inquiries.

The "Puzzlekiste" is a student project of the International Office supported by the Student Council, the Exchange Student Network (ESN) and the SWE Stöberhaus.

Campus bees

Save the Bees!: Bees for the Campus

Did you know? The Germans are world champions at eating honey. It's no coincidence that sayings like "busy bees" or "land where milk and honey flow" refer to the positive perception of bees. However, the fact that bees even play a very decisive role for our ecosystem - 80 percent of all domestic cultivated and wild plants depend on pollination by bees - is unfortunately far too little known. Actions such as "Save the Bees" or city beekeeping are now increasingly drawing attention to the importance of bee colonies and the problem of bee mortality, which has been with us for several years.

Thanks to the cooperation of its department of expertise, the university communications and a committed employee and hobby beekeeper, the University of Erfurt has also joined the "city beekeepers" of Erfurt in summer 2015 and now houses two bee colonies in its school garden. An excellent and sustainable cooperation as we find. Because not only our school garden, but also the entire university campus and the adjacent meadows offer a rich variety of plants, which you will certainly be able to taste in our honey "Campus Gold". And last but not least, our prospective school garden teachers learn how to deal with the bees. And their future pupils will benefit from this in several learning areas.

Recently, the university was even honoured for its commitment to the bees: In 2018 the Thuringian Ministry of Infrastructure and Agriculture presented the plaque "Bee Friends".

University groups

Projects on the topic of sustainability are being developed by the following three university groups at the University of Erfurt, among others:

  • AG Nachhaltigkeit
  • „campusgrün“
  • „greenpeace“