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Governance for sustainability

To link the sustainability strategy to the University’s overall development strategy, the Rectorate has created a governance structure for sustainability, which includes a Vice-Rector for Sustainability, a Sustainability Council composed of students, faculty and staff, and a central Sustainability Office. These institutions accompany and coordinate numerous initiatives and have developed the sustainability strategy.

Governance for sustainability

In close consultation with the scientists and students, the Rectorate, Faculties, institutions and administration, an implementation plan is to be set up, outlining the transformation paths on how the above-mentioned goals are to be achieved. This plan is based on the mentioned measures in research, teaching and learning, commitment and transfer, as well as in organization and operational running using the overarching measures. It is a dynamic planning process, linked to Key Profile Areas and target figures, regularly reviewed and coordinated by the Sustainability Office.

Student participation remains essential

The Sustainability Office is located in the InnoDom Cologne and thus inspires the university's entrepreneurial spirit and start-up ecosystem. It develops innovative formats to actively bring stakeholders together, develop their skills, promote interest and commitment; for example, within the framework of a new overarching Sustainability Forum in which researchers, faculty and all students as well as technical and administrative staff work together on sustainability issues. In this way, all university members are sensitized to sustainable action and encouraged to participate in the further development and implementation of our sustainability strategy.

The participation of the students will continue to be an essential part of our sustainability strategy, as will the discourse in general. Through new partnerships and memberships in alliances, we will make further expertise and resources available to the university community for all areas of action of the Sustainability Strategy.

Further, cross-cutting measures to link with the UoC’s overall strategy

In particular, we strengthen communication through new support structures and thus make planned and ongoing activities more visible in web and social media, press and public relations work and events. In addition, we award the ‘University Prize for Sustainability’ for university-wide outstanding achievements and projects to promote sustainability at the UoC; e.g. innovative central or decentralized processes, teaching and learning offers or research projects.

In addition, we improve our database on sustainability within the framework of a new sustainability reporting and the participation in rankings (including THE Impact) and publish a Sustainability Report to evaluate the success of the measures defined here (including quantification of greenhouse gas emissions and the energy balance). The implementation of the Sustainability Strategy is subject to the tried and tested principles of the strategy and quality management of the UoC: Harmonization with the overall strategy, a step-by-step approach that breaks down expansion stages, initial and establishment phases, as well as regular evaluation, agile management approaches and flexibility in times of dynamic change.