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Joint USB clean-up campaign

In order to make the outdoor area around the university library a greener place for rest and relaxation, the USB is organising a clean-up campaign in cooperation with the Green Office Initiative on 24 April from 10 am to 2 pm. Gloves, rubbish bags and other utensils will be provided. Drinks will also be provided.

Further information (GER)



Sustainability in the textile industry

In cooperation with the Global South Studies Center, the Competence Centre for Fair Trade and the Coordination Office for Science and the Public at the University of Cologne, the Gesellschaft für Erdkunde zu Köln is organising a new lecture series on the topic of sustainability in textile value chains in the summer semester 2024. The five lectures will feature speakers from academia, business, politics and civil society. Admission is free.

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University of Cologne puts its own photovoltaic system into operation

The University of Cologne has put its own photovoltaic system into operation on the Student Service Centre (SSC) building on Universitätsstraße. The almost 300 photovoltaic modules generate 105,000 kilowatt hours of electrical energy per year, reducing the university's CO2 emissions by around 50,000 kilograms. The expansion of sustainable energy sources is part of the university's sustainability strategy.

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DFG promotes sustainable use of equipment

The DFG is modernising the rules for equipment funding and is calling for and promoting the sustainable use of equipment. Among other things, DFG funds can now be used for project-related repairs. Funding can also be applied for to upgrade existing equipment instead of purchasing new equipment.

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Software shows adaptation of plants to climate change

Climate change also affects the growth of plants and biodiversity in the soil. In order to make the effects tangible, researchers at TH Köln and the University of Cologne have worked with students to develop a technical solution that can be used to conduct experiments and visualise the results using software. The software developed will be freely usable as an open educational resource after the end of the project and can be used in teaching, for example.

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Call for proposals from the RheinEnergieStiftung 2024

This year's call for proposals from the RheinEnergieStiftung is entitled "Research on transformation and sustainability taking into account the 17 Global Goals". It is aimed exclusively at universities in Cologne and supports collaborative projects. Funding of up to €100,000 per university can be applied for for two-year funding projects.

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Service learning projects with sustainability focus

Enrich your studies through social and sustainable engagement: The service learning offer makes it possible to develop a deeper connection to society through active participation in projects geared towards the common good. The learning format for 3 credit points promotes the development of specialist and practical skills as well as social responsibility, interdisciplinary teamwork and project management. For the summer semester 2024, there is the opportunity to create a first digital campus map for "Places of Sustainability" at the University of Cologne or to design a social media campaign for a Swedish education and information center on the topic of biodiversity.

Further information (GER)


Further education as a sustainability manager

Would you like to familiarize yourself with the fields of action of sustainability management so that you can always think about sustainable management at work in the future? Then train together with entrepreneurs to become sustainability managers (IHK) and acquire a recognized certificate at the same time. The training course deals intensively with the fields of action, specifications, standards and legal provisions of corporate sustainability. Application deadline is 15.03.2024.

Further information and registration (GER)


Second Sustainability Forum

The second Sustainability Forum takes up the idea of sustainable action with the central theme of "Planetary responsibility - sustainability as an ethical issue in an interdisciplinary context". With a series of lectures, a panel discussion and opportunities for exchange and networking, it offers a space in which new perspectives can be opened up across disciplines and between all status groups. Registration is now open for the university-wide event on April 22, 2024

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Digital learning units for higher education

The educational concept “Education for Sustainable Development” (ESD) has steadily increased in social relevance in recent years. In this context, the Institute for Geography Didactics at the University of Cologne under the direction of Prof. Dr. Alexandra Budke developed various digital learning units as Open Educational Resources (OER) for higher education. The aim is to qualify prospective teachers and educators to teach ESD-relevant content and issues and to convey them in extracurricular educational settings.

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New branch office for ecological research

In future, ecological research at the University of Cologne will also take place in the new, sustainably constructed science center in Rees-Bienen. The cooperation between Cologne Ecology and the Nature Conservation Center in the Kleve district has resulted in a modern science center in the Rhine floodplain in the Lower Rhine region. The branch of the Institute of Zoology enables a close integration of teaching, research and practice. In addition, the new building is not only used for research into ecology, but the new building itself is also a model for sustainable structural design.

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The Geonauts: a Cologne geography podcast

In their podcast, Dr Hannes Laermanns and Dr Holger Kretschmer from the Institute of Geography at the University of Cologne deal with topics of geographical research and teaching, explain individual aspects in detail and motivate listeners to engage further with geographical content. Topics related to climate change, such as greenhouse gases and the World Climate Conference, are also regularly discussed.

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German-Italian cooperation in weather and earth observation

Germany and Italy have concluded an agreement on closer cooperation in the field of meteorology and climatology. Part of the cooperation will be a Master's degree programme of the CESOC research network, in which the University of Cologne is involved, and the University of Bologna. The aim is also to strengthen research in the field of earth observation.

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New focus area sustainability

From the summer semester of 2024, students at the Faculty of Law will be able to choose from the new focus area of ​​sustainability. The focus area of ​​sustainability law offers students the opportunity to deal with the various facets of sustainability on an intra- and interdisciplinary basis.

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Climate research in the Antarctic

Geologists from the University of Cologne are investigating the influence of past climate and environmental changes on the East Antarctic ice sheet in regions that are ice-free today.

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New Sustainability Wiki

The Sustainability Wiki of the Research Group now offers everyone the opportunity to collect practical information on sustainability topics at the University of Cologne and to build up a general knowledge database step by step. Join now.

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ASA scholarship for students

Anyone between the ages of 21 and 30 who is studying in Germany, has completed their bachelor's degree in the last 18 months or has completed vocational training can apply for an ASA scholarship until January 20, 2024. ASA is a global exchange and scholarship program for young people who want to get involved in a sustainable way. It includes a three to six-month project phase in countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Southeastern Europe as well as seminars for preparation and follow-up. One example project is the creation of transparent supply chains in coffee production in Guinea.

Further information (GER)


QS Sustainability Ranking: University of Cologne ranked 2nd in Germany

In the QS Sustainability Ranking 2024, the University of Cologne is ranked 2nd out of 48 German universities and 78th out of 1,403 universities internationally. The ranking compares universities regarding their environmental impact, social impact and governance since 2022.

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Sustainable Christmas market

Learn more about sustainability around and in everyday student life with fragrant waffles, a delicious hot drink and a pre-Christmas atmosphere: on December 6 from 3-7 p.m. at Mensa Zülpicher Straße.


“Our human rights”

The Cologne Junior University will continue soon. In addition to the "regular" JuniorUni program, upper school courses can take part in a small series of events on the subject of human rights. Registrations are possible until December 20, 2023.

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Capturing the sun

Researchers around the world are in a race to develop particularly efficient solar cells. The widely used silicon solar modules are not the only solution. Research teams in Cologne are focusing on less common materials with very special properties.

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Sustainability Office with new consultation hour for the winter semester 2023/24

For all interested parties who have questions or ideas on the topic of sustainability at the University of Cologne, the Sustainability Office now offers a consultation hour every Wednesday from 12 to 1 pm at the InnoDom Cologne. You can register for this informally at

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First dedicated Vice-Rectorate for the area of sustainability

In addition to Rector Professor Dr. Joybrato Mukherjee, the Rectorate will comprise six Vice-Rectors and the Chancellor from October 1, 2023. For the first time, the area of ​​sustainability is also represented with its own Vice-Rectorate. Professor Dr Kirk W Junker was elected as the new Vice-Rector for Sustainability.

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ESD Workshop: "Activating design potentials in teaching".

The Center for Higher Education Didactics is organizing a workshop on "Education for Sustainable Development: Activating Design Potentials in Teaching" on 27.10.23.

Further information and registration (GER)


In the current Unimagazin: Sustainability at the University of Cologne

The current issue of the university magazine reports, among other things, on current and upcoming developments in the field of sustainability at the University of Cologne.

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Lecture Series in WS 23/24: Modern Earth System Sciences - Complex, Digital, Interdisciplinary

Eight lectures provide an initial overview of different approaches and disciplines that study the Earth system. Besides the climate in the past, the current climatic conditions also on other planets or moons, processes of the Earth's surface will be highlighted. This lecture series is coordinated by the Core Profile Area (KPA) "Intelligent Methods for Earth System Science".

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EUniWell Abroad Fellowship for SDG-related projects: Call still open until July 30

Until July 30, 2023, it is still possible to apply for a fellowship abroad in the context of research or theses that are in line with the Sustainable Development Goals. Funding is available through the EUniWell Abroad Fellowship.

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First announcement of the University Award "Sustainability" in 2023

This year, in addition to the already established categories, the University of Cologne will award a University Prize "Sustainability" for the first time, recognizing outstanding individuals who have distinguished themselves through their special commitment to sustainability at the University of Cologne.

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University of Cologne adopts holistic sustainability strategy

Sustainability is to be more firmly anchored in research, teaching and transfer as well as in operations and organization. With the recently adopted sustainability strategy, the university has taken a big step forward.

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Sustainability office with successful pop-up week

The newly founded Sustainability Office of the University of Cologne could be found for one week in mid-June as a pop-up office on Albertus-Magnus-Platz. On site, a joint exchange with all interested parties of the University of Cologne in the field of sustainability took place, accompanied by a suitable supporting program.

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protoTYPES Cologne - Meet founders for a sustainable future

At protoTYPES Cologne, founders will talk about their sustainable ideas in the auditorium of the University of Cologne on June 22 from 5:30 pm. They will report on how solutions also create new challenges and why the right mindset is therefore crucial.

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Pop-Up Sustainability Office of the University of Cologne from June 16 - 23

In order to introduce themselves in more detail as the newly founded Sustainability Office of the University of Cologne and to get to know each other, the team of the Sustainability Office will be located at the entrance to the bicycle garage on Albertus-Magnus-Platz as a "Pop-Up Sustainability Office" from June 16 - 23.

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Center for Teacher Education organizes ESD Action Day on June 16

Education for Sustainable Development offers the great opportunity to leave the classroom and make teaching lively and action-oriented. The University of Cologne offers exciting places of learning and inspiring projects where students can work on sustainability goals. The Center for Teacher Education cordially invites students, (prospective) teachers, and all interested parties to get to know these learning sites and offerings on Friday, June 16, 2023 as part of an action day from 2 to 6 pm.

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EUniWell offers one-week intensive program on green and CO2-neutral cities

To deepen the European Union's mission towards climate-neutral and smart cities, EUniWell has collaborated with the University of Florence to design a one-week intensive program on "Green andCO2-neutral cities". The course will take place online as well as partly on-site in Florence, Italy.

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Successful follow-up meeting to the first Sustainability Forum

Follow-up meeting! After the promising event of the first Forum Nachhaltigkeit in February, a digital follow-up meeting at the end of April enabled participants and interested parties of the forum to come together again, to continue networking with each other and to continue their collaboration in various fields.

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Course "Sustainability Manager

The University of Cologne offers in cooperation with the IHK the course "Nachhaltigkeitsmanager:in" and the registration is now open.

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First Sustainability Forum

The first Sustainability Forum, hosted by the University and University Hospital in the MIT Lecture Hall Building, was held on Feb. 9, 2023. Approximately 250 people from across the University and University Hospital gathered to learn, network, and expand plans for sustainable transformation. The event was overshadowed by the sudden death of Ms. Kiendler-Scharr, a renowned climate scientist at our university who also wanted to be involved in this event.

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