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What has happened so far

The University of Cologne has been addressing the topic of sustainability for a long time now. In recent years, a lot has been analysed, discussed, planned and implemented within the UoC – be it on campus, in teaching, in research or in the transfer of knowledge.

An overview

Own Vice-Rectorate for the area of sustainability

For the first time, the area of sustainability is represented in the Rectorate with its own Vice-Rectorate. Prof. Dr. Kirk W. Junker was elected as Vice-Rector for Sustainability by the University Electoral Assembly.
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Decision on the sustainability strategy

The UoC officially decided on its sustainability strategy in the Senate, thus ensuring consistent commitment to holistic sustainability in the sense of a ‘whole institution approach’ in its fields of action research, teaching and transfer as well as in campus organization and operations. For the first time, objectives including specific and overarching measures to reach the defined goals have been laid down in a holistic sustainability strategy.
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Opening of the new Sustainability Office

The University of Cologne has established a central point of contact for the coordination, monitoring, advice and communication of all sustainability activities on campus.
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The first Sustainability Forum

The University of Cologne has established a central point of contact for the coordination, monitoring, advice and communication of all sustainability activities on campus.
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Establishment of the Institute for Sustainability, Corporate Law and Reporting (INUR)

The new Institute for Sustainability, Corporate Law and Reporting (Institut für Nachhaltigkeit, Unternehmensrecht und Reporting, INUR) addresses topics such as increasing regulation in favour of sustainability, ‘greenwashing’ in companies, climate complaints and ‘green taxation’. In addition, it connects the various disciplines of corporate law and brings the Faculty of Law in contact with related disciplines in an interdisciplinary approach.
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First meeting of the Sustainability Council

The Sustainability Council of the UoC, having evolved from the sustainability working group, now advises on the development of the sustainability strategy and its implementation and makes recommendations.
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Promoting business travel by rail

Travel costs for rail travel are now also reimbursed if they are more expensive than air travel. A separate justification must be provided for domestic flights. Travelling by train helps to reduce CO2 emissions.
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Switching to green electricity

Since 1 January 2022, the University of Cologne has relied entirely on electricity from renewable energy sources in order to further reduce CO2 emissions.
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Opening of a bike station with around 1,000 free parking spaces

The University of Cologne has opened its own bicycle station for around 1,000 bicycles, thus contributing to the promotion of bicycle use and hence a reduction of CO2.
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First-time determination of CO2 emissions

In addition to the determination of the CO2 footprint of the University of Cologne, its energy consumption was also determined.
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Launch of EUniWell, the European University for Well-Being

Within the framework of EUniWell, eleven universities are united in a European higher education alliance. EUniWell pursues a holistic and action-oriented approach to ‘well-being’ in order to create sustainable change for students and societies as well as for institutions and employees.
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Establishment of the sustainability working group

In close cooperation with the Senate and the Rectorate, the sustainability working group begins to draft a first sustainability concept for the University of Cologne.
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Application for a Green Office by the GO initiative

With its application, the student Green Office Initiative Cologne wants to establish a Sustainability Office based on the Green Office model, which is integrated into the structure of the University of Cologne.
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Founding of the Competence Centre Fair Trade

The Competence Centre Fair Trade was founded at the University of Cologne and is affiliated with the Global South Studies Centre in order to promote the academic study of fair trade in the German-speaking realm.
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Decision of the Student Parliament on climate justice

‘Students for Future Cologne’ organized a general meeting of the student body as part of a nationwide campaign and decided on a list of demands addressed to the university leadership. The content of the catalogue of demands includes topics such as climate neutrality, financing and education.

Purchasing recycled paper

The University of Cologne participated in the initiative ‘Papieratlas’, revealing its paper consumption and gradually increasing its share of recycled paper. In doing so, it relied on the environmental standard ‘The Blue Angel’.
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Certification as Fairtrade University

The University of Cologne is committed to sustainability in food production, fair trade relations and working conditions, thus earning the ‘Fairtrade University’ award.
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