June 27, 2023

Ulm University aims for climate neutrality by 2030

Climate-friendly meals in the cafeteria, planting drought resilient perennials, reducing energy usage and emissions: These are just some of the measures Ulm University is taking to become climate neutral on balance by 2030 at the latest. To meet this goal, the university has passed a concept for energy saving and climate protection, which encompasses compensating emissions, e.g. by paying into certified climate protection projects. “Ulm University has set itself a clear goal: greenhouse gas neutrality on balance by 2030. In order to find out where action is needed, we mustn’t leave a stone unturned”, says Prof. Michael Kühl, vice president for cooperations and responsible for sustainability and climate protection.

Ulm University hasn’t been sleeping on these issues: With its many buildings, the university has cut greenhouse gas emission in the areas electricity, warmth and cold by around 90 percent in the past 20 years. Additionally, an energy manager has been employed on site for many years to keep an eye on energy use. But it’s not only the university’s leadership that is engaged in operating sustainably. With a number of events, the university is looking to create awareness for sustainability and climate protection among all its members. Last autumn, volunteers planted around one hundred bee-friendly, heat and drought resistant perennials in a gravel courtyard.

The next step is the development of an official sustainability strategy. Ulm university wants to involve all its members in this process, whether student, administration employee or professor. Further events addressing different issues connected to sustainability such as business trips, mobility on campus and sustainable research are planned. Furthermore, multiple research areas are concerned with sustainability: Within the POLiS (Post Lithium Storage) Cluster of Excellence, scientists are searching for environmentally friendly batteries, and Collaborative Research Centre CATALight is researching green hydrogen and artificial photosynthesis. The life sciences are looking at how climate change, pesticides and new pathogens are affecting human and animal health; and the Master’s degree programme “Sustainable Business Management” teaches social standards, rules of sustainability reporting and social and ecological control variables.


Photo Credit: David Schmid

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