Sustainable Operations

Our efforts to act in a sustainable and responsible manner are reflected in many areas on campus – both in terms of environmental and social standards. Our Enivronmental Management focuses on climate protection, energy efficiency, and mobility, while involving as many university members as possible.

Upcoming projects within environmental management include optimizing technical facilities to make them more energy efficient and promoting biodiversity on campus.  Additionally, in the area of social responsibility, the university is consistently pursuing and developing its audited diversity strategy in order to include new diversity dimensions in its strategic orientation.

In May 2023, the Green Office started operating at the university. It supports students in particular in learning more about sustainability and climate protection.

Environmental Dimension

The Integrated Climate Protection Concept and Its Scope

The climate protection concept, which was developed in 2015 in cooperation with the HIS-HE (Institute of University Development) will be implemented in the years to come. Key objectives include the assessment of the current energy consumption, the identification of energy-saving potential, the initiation of suitable energy performance contracting measures, the participation of internal and external stakeholders, the implementation of a controlling system that focuses on the goals of the climate protection concept, and comprehensive public relations work. The climate protection management to be established is being supported by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment within the framework of the municipal guideline.

CO2 Emissions Reduction – Suggestions for Mobility Management

With the newly started operation of the Green IT Housing Center, energy savings of up to 2.8 million kWh and of up to 3.2 million kWh for cooling are expected annually. The investment costs for the construction of the Green IT Housing Center are expected to be fully offset in the next eight years.

The climate protection concept also addresses the mobility habits of university members. Here, the results of an internal survey on the mobility practices of university members will be used to develop and introduce climate protection measures through alternative mobility concepts.


Preservation and promotion of biodiversity is one of the key environmental management objectives at the University of Bremen. The founding of the student initiative (NUB – The Nature Conservation Group at the University of Bremen) and the establishment of a “BiodiversityHub” are supposed to trigger a broad university-wide debate about biodiversity and implement concrete measures for its promotion on campus.

Social Dimension

Recognizing, Supporting, and Promoting Diversity Sustainably

The university is consistently pursuing and developing its audited diversity strategy. The processes are audited and benchmarked against other universities on an ongoing basis. In the future, one key focus of in-house processes will be on creating a diversity-sensitive human resources policy. This policy is to be linked to structures and services in the area of anti-discrimination and conflict counseling for management and university employees.

Sustainable Gender Equality

Equal opportunities and anti-discrimination are guiding objectives and integral parts of the long-term university strategy. The DFG-funded Women Professors Programme at the university pursues set goals to ensure that women in science are especially promoted. These competitive processes encourage ongoing quality development and the advancement of fair and gender-equitable quality standards at the university.

Family-Friendly University

In the context of the re-auditing as a family-friendly university, the university is currently in the so-called consolidation phase. This means that processes and measures to make the university more family-friendly and to improve the work- / study-life balance of its members with family responsibilities are being consolidated. Currently, the effects of the university’s family-friendly measures are being evaluated in order to assess their impact and feasibility and, if necessary, to adjust and realign them. This is an ongoing evaluation cycle that has now been firmly established at the university.

Promoting and Living in a Socially Sustainable Way at the University

The University of Bremen maintains and further develops established structures on an ongoing basis; especially activities within the scope of BYRD, personnel development – e.g. for new appointees – the Barrier-Free Study Working Group, the Gender Mainstreaming Steering Committee, and the Diversity Steering Committee. In addition, a regular dialogue between the University Executive Board and the individual interest groups, such as the Staff Council, the Women's Affairs Representative, the Representative for Disabled Employees, and the Non-Professorial Academic Staff Council - KRAM, is an integral part of our daily business.

Studying With Special Needs – Accessibility and Participation

At the University of Bremen, the Office for Students with Disabilities or Chronic Diseases (KIS) advises and represents the interests of students with special needs. Additionally, the Inclusion Action Plan working group is in charge of promoting the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. There is also a close cooperation with the Representative for People with Disabilities of Bremen State, Arne Frankenstein.

InWi Model Project – Inclusion in Science

As part of the InWi model project, twelve academics with severe disabilities have benefited from support on their way to obtaining a PhD, and the first PhDs have either already been completed or are about to be completed. The experience gained from the project is going to be further utilized in close exchange with the PROMI project (University of Cologne). 

The InWi program is continuously being evaluated and the first students graduated. One of them is currently pursuing an academic career as a postdoctoral researcher.

The University’s International Orientation

Internationalization is a central objective of the university’s strategy and firmly anchored across all areas of the university. The future version of the Internationalization Strategy (currently under revision) will contain several goals and fields of action that contribute directly or indirectly to sustainable development. These are primarily:

  • Research and teaching have a responsibility to society and contribute to sustainable global development. Internationalization ensures a global exchange as a basis for this work.
  • University cooperation with partners from the Global South is a natural part of our strategy; training of young scientists from these countries/with partners from the Global South.
  • Supporting at-risk and refugee scholars through hosting Philipp Schwartz Initiative scholarship holders and engaging in the Scholars at Risk network.
  • Enabling refugees to have access to universities in the Bremen State.
  • Mobility abroad, multilingualism, and diversity competence are fundamental horizontal dimensions of our teaching across all subjects, preparing our students to take on responsibility in a globalized society.
  • Promoting a peaceful and democratic European community and European solidarity.

University Initiatives

Sustainability Forum on Campus

During the sustainability month in May 2023, up2date. online magazine reported on various sustainability initiatives happening on campus

Marko Rohlfs und Lorena Kalvelage hocken auf einer Wiese und schauen sich die Pflanzen am Boden an. Im Vordergrund steht ein Schild, das über das Biodiversitätsprojekt auf dem Campus informiert.

BreGoS Reallabore: The Campus as a Research Object for Sustainability

What is a real lab? What do they actually do? Who can get involved and how? up2date. interviewed Prof. Dr. Marko Rohlfs and ecology student Lorena Kalvelage, who explain the concept using examples from the Campus goes Biodiverse real laboratory.

Die Obstwiese hinter dem Sportturm

Campus Sustainability Best Practices

The University of Bremen has set out to becoming a zero carbon campus. A number of measures are planned: For example, a new train stop on the route to Hamburg to facilitate climate-friendly travel by public transport. But apart from such large-scale projects, there are plenty of sites between the GW1 building and the Sportturm building where sustainability is already lived and promoted – not only in environmental but also in social terms. Our photo gallery provides an overview.

Außenansicht der Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Bremen.

How Can You Be More Sustainable on Campus?

Disposable coffee cups, numerous paper copies, a crowded parking lot: Many people at a single one location cause a lot of waste and produce CO2. But fortunately, there are also numerous ways where you can save resources at the University of Bremen.