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Environmental Guidelines

The Environmental Guidelines of the University of Freiburg from 2007 were updated in 2020.

Climate protection was included as a new important goal.  In these guidelines, the university commits itself to regular environmental and sustainability reports.


Environmental Guidelines of the University of Freiburg (489Kb)


Environmental Guidelines of the University of Freiburg



As places of creative forward thinking and motors of change, universities bear a special responsibility for the conscious use of our resources and the resilient, sustainable development of society.

For the University of Freiburg, sustainability is not only a continuous challenge for its own daily operations and social responsibility, but also an essential topic of academic research, teaching, export of technology, scientific further education and practical professional training, with the aim of strengthening the basis for sustainable solutions in the state, the economy and society.

With this comprehensive objective, sustainability becomes an integral part of the mission and vision of the University of Freiburg and at the same time provides its internal and social legitimacy.

These guidelines not only represent a commitment for the institution, but also, in the context of a sustainability culture, for each university community and member to use their influence in such a way that these common goals are achieved.


Development and implementation of ambitious guidelines

The university sets itself the goal of contributing to environmental conservation, climate protection and sustainability, beyond the legal requirements.


Minimization of greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts

The university commits as far as possible to avoid negative impacts on the environment and climate through its activities. This applies in particular to emissions, effluents, noise, waste, air pollution, mobility and land use. The university strives for climate neutrality as an important goal, which is also key to the strategy of the Federal State of Baden-Württemberg.


Use of resources

The economic and efficient use of all resources has top priority, with the guiding principle for the use of materials being the following sequence: reduce – efficient use – repair – reuse – new procurement.


Embedding sustainability in research and teaching

Sustainability is integrated as a crosscutting theme in research and teaching. Conscious of its function as a disseminator of knowledge, the university wishes to raise students’ awareness of the impacts of human intervention in the environment and discuss possible solutions.


Continuous improvement of environmental performance

The University of Freiburg constantly works to improve its environmental performance.


Involvement and training of employees

The environmental awareness and competence of employees is promoted and they are encouraged to set an example for students, employees and partner organizations. Employees are given the opportunity to participate in discussions on the implementation and definition of environmental goals to achieve the best possible integration of the environmental guidelines into operational practice. The university also supports internal communication with regard to the environment, and the exchange of information between all its members.


Financial support for sustainability projects

The university management particularly supports projects that primarily pursue sustainable development goals and contribute positively to climate protection. Great importance is attached to interdisciplinary thinking.


Sustainable procurement and investments

Environmental parameters are taken into consideration in procurement and investments, and preference is given to environmentally compatible alternatives. The university works towards environmental improvements with its suppliers and contract partners.



In cooperation with the federal state, the university is striving to fundamentally improve its environmental performance by refurbishing and modernizing existing building stock. Ecological aspects are taken into account from the beginning in all construction activities, and efforts are made to use environmentally friendly materials, optimize land utilization and improve resource efficiency of future management. The maintenance of outdoor areas, green spaces and water bodies is also carried out in an environmentally friendly manner. Renewable energies are given high priority.


Improvement of the work environment and extensive health protection

The health and safety of the members of the university are a priority. This is ensured by a health management system for employees and students based on leading approaches.


Effective public relations and transparent environmental reporting

Annual environmental reports and triennial sustainability reports provide information on environmental performance status and goals and present the university’s environmental policy in a comprehensible, transparent, assessable and comparable way. The university welcomes suggestions from outside in an open dialogue. Regional cooperation with business and further education programs for various target groups from outside higher education are being strengthened.