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Sustainability Council

The Sustainability Council shall advise and make recommendations on the development of the sustainability strategy and an implementation concept. Vice-Rector for Sustainable Development is Prof. Dr. Kirk W. Junker.

The council consists of 12 voting members: one professor per Faculty, two academic staff representatives, two administrative and technical staff representatives, and two students. The Vice-Rector for Sustainable Development is the council’s chairperson, with an advisory vote. The Sustainability Council regularly meets twice a year, each time during the current semester, to discuss and develop statements and recommendations.

The Sustainability Council replaces the Sustainability Working Group (GER) including the Advisory Group.

Voting members of the Sustainability Council (alphabetical)

Ella Bent

Ella Bent is a student at the UoC and the ecology and infrastructure officer of the AStA.

Professor Dr Marc Oliver Bettzüge

Professor Dr Marc Oliver Bettzüge holds the Chair of Economics, Energy, and Sustainability at the Faculty Management, Economics, and Social Sciences and is Director of the Institute of Energy Economics (affiliate institute). In addition to his management duties, Professor Bettzüge is primarily concerned with institutional, economic, and strategic fundamental issues of the energy industry and energy policy. In August 2020, he was appointed by the German government as a member of the Council of Experts on Climate Change in accordance with the German Federal Climate Change Act (Bundes-Klimaschutzgesetz).

Christiane Biehl

Christiane Biehl is Head of Department 93 International Mobility and Deputy Head of Division 9 International Affairs as well as Senator of Employees in Technology and Administration. One strategic topic in her area of responsibility is the question of how mobility can be made more sustainable. She also strives to take the Sustainable Development Goals into consideration in international projects, event, and exchange formats.

Professor Dr. Christiane Bruns

Professor Dr Christiane Bruns is Director of the Clinic of General, Visceral, Cancer and Transplant Surgery at University Hospital Cologne and Vice Dean for Structure and Strategy at the Faculty of Medicine. She is also a member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.

Professor Dr. Susanne Crewell

Professor Dr Susanne Crewell holds the Chair of Meteorology at the Department of Geosciences of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. She is also a recipient of the Alfred Wegener Medal and a member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. She conducts research on the atmospheric water cycle using remote sensing methods.

Dr Thomas Fischer

Dr Thomas Fischer is akademischer Rat at the Institute of Anorganic Chemistry and coordinates its Sustainability Initiative. He conducts research on sustainable materials and is committed to the development of new courses and green labs. He has been a member of the Sustainability Working Group at the UoC since 2020.

Lukas Giesbert

Lukas Giesbert is a student of Law and member of Students for Future Cologne (SFF). (In 2019, together with SFF, he presented demands for climate protection at a student general assembly with 1.670 participants and brought them to the Senate together with the student union AStA in 2020. Since then he has been a member of the Sustainability Working Group).

Professor Dr Joachim Hennrichs

Professor Dr Joachim Hennrichs is Vice Dean for Planning, Finance, and Equal Opportunities at the Faculty of Law, Chair of Civil Law, Accounting, and Tax Law, Director of the Institute for Corporate Law, and member of the board of directors of the affiliate Institute for Sustainability, Business Law and Reporting (INUR).

Professor Dr Kate Rigby

Professor Dr Kate Rigby is Head of the Department ‘Multidisciplinary Environmental Studies in the Humanities’ (MESH) and has held an Alexander von Humboldt Professorship at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities since February 2022. She conducts research in the interdisciplinary field of Environmental Humanities, with particular expertise in ecological literary studies and religious studies.

Maria Schrempp

Maria Schrempp is Director of the Staff Unit Marketing, Press, and Public Relations of the University and City Library of Cologne (USB). She coordinates the creation of a Green Team and Green Spaces at the library.

Dr Jan Springob

Dr Jan Springob is Head of the School Network & International Team at the Centre for Teacher Education (Zentrum für Lehrer*innenbildung, ZfL). One focus of the Centre’s work will be the integration of sustainable development into teacher training.

Prof'in Dr. Ursula Stenger

Prof.'in Dr. Ursula Stenger holds the Chair of Educational Science with a focus on Early Childhood and Family at the Faculty of Human Sciences. Her research focuses on epistemological questions in the face of planetary boundaries and ethical-ecological transformations of learning cultures in early childhood. She is committed to activities around sustainability in the Faculty of Human Sciences.


Chairperson of the Sustainability Council

Prof. Dr. Kirk W. Junker

Prof. Dr. Kirk W. Junker is Vice-Rector for Sustainable Development and, in coordination with the Rectorate, is responsible for the integration of sustainable development in all areas of the University of Cologne. He is chairman of the Sustainability Council and is supported in his tasks by the Sustainability Office. He is Chair of U.S. Law at the Faculty of Law and Director of the Center for Environmental Law.


Former members of the Sustainability Council

Prof. Dr. Günter Schwarz

Prof. Dr. Günter Schwarz, as Rectorate representative for innovation, research infrastructure and sustainability, was chairman of the Sustainability Council from April 2022 to September 2023. He holds a chair in biochemistry at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.


Prof. Dr. Michael Schemmann

Prof. Dr. Michael Schemmann was a member of the Sustainability Council from April 2022 to July 2023. He is Scientific Director of the Professional Center and holds the Chair of Adult Education / Continuing Education at the Faculty of Human Sciences.