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What can I do as a student?

Saving energy, thinking and acting sustainably:

The climate crisis, gas crisis and energy crisis mean that the University of Cologne wants to – and must – save energy. It is taking part in the national energy-saving campaign from the winter semester 2022/2023 onwards for this reason, thus helping to maintain a climate friendly and crisis-proof energy supply system. As a student at the university, you may not even notice at first the many energy saving activities that are taking place. Lots of these measures will be managed centrally by the building management department and many things will be happening unseen in the background. However, it is vital that we all pull together to achieve real and effective savings at the university. Saving energy starts with the smallest actions and many isolated measures can add up to make huge savings. Therefore, we ask you – the students at the university – to help your alma mater over the next few months. It will all depend on your support. Together we can make huge energy savings at the university!

Remember: We can make a difference!


  • Please turn off anything that is not being used. For example, turn off the lights when you leave a room or switch off the coffee machine after you have made your coffee.


Reducing the room temperature by 1 °C will save around 6% in heating energy.

  • Please turn off the heating when you intend to leave a room for a long period of time.
  • If possible: Please set the heating or thermostatic radiator valve to 19°C.
    Thermostatic radiator valves: Set the valve to one mark lower than the setting "3" (3 = 20°C, one mark is approximately 1°C).


  • Please only air rooms in winter by fully opening the windows for 5-10 minutes.
  • Turn off the heating while you are airing the room.
  • Please do not leave the windows on tilt to air the room.


Conscious behaviour when using digital devices and tools can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save energy.

Search engines: Every single search entry requires the use of several servers that pass information back and forth. A single Google search produces between 0.2 and 7 grams of carbon dioxide emissions. Seven grams is roughly equivalent to driving a car 15 metres.

Video streaming: One hour of video streaming produces 55 grams of carbon dioxide emissions – roughly equivalent to using an average kettle three times.

Emails: emails sent to multiple contacts or containing large amounts of data can generate up to 50 grams of carbon dioxide.

What you can do:

  • Stream on a smaller screen (the carbon footprint of streaming on a 50-inch TV is about 4.5x that of streaming on a laptop).
  • Limit streaming to content you really want to watch and avoid running apps in the background.
  • Regularly empty your inbox, spam box and unsubscribe from unnecessary newsletters. Clear your search history and clear caches regularly.
  • Consider using Ecosia as your primary search engine. Here, emissions generated are offset by planting trees.
  • Use your current device as long as possible (wait to buy the latest technology).
  • Recycle/repair "broken" electronics
  • Unplug devices when they are charged.

Contact us!

For further questions, please see the "Questions and answers" page. If you do not find what you are looking for there, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are happy to receive tips, answer questions and provide further information on saving energy: Contact