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University Leuphana

Photo credit: University Leuphana

100% Renewable Energy Goal:

Carbon-neutral University by 2012


University Leuphana, Lueneburg


Germany's Leuphana University plans to achieve a carbon-neutral campus by 2012. The Leuphana University of Lueneburg has recognized and accepted the need to engage in sustainable development quite early as one of the first universities worldwide. The “sustainable university” was started in 2004 with funds from the Volkswagen Foundation. The following questions stand at the center of the current three-year research and development project, “sustainable university.”

Six sub-projects will develop and test innovative concepts in teaching and research also in treating the university as a work place and living space.  The project is organized in an interdisciplinary manner. Researchers from all faculties of the university, as well as representatives from other campus groups, will participate.

A special feature of the project is its integrative perspective: The research results of the individual sub-projects will be brought together. Their connection to the overarching question allows the research results to be transferred to other units. 

The transferability of approaches for sustainable development within universities is also the focus of an article in the current issue of the IJSHE.  Further topics include the development of key competences for sustainable development, the management of sustainable communication within a university setting and the comparison of the Lüneburg project within an international context.

The first issue of the International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education appeared in 2000. The refereed scholarly journal is published in conjunction with the Association of University Leaders for a Sustainable Future (ULSF) and focuses on an international level upon topics such as environmental management systems, sustainable development and Agenda 21 within institutions of higher learning."We've installed projectors in the cafeteria that show how much energy is currently being consumed in various buildings," said Wolfgang Ruck, professor of environmental chemistry at Leuphana University.

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