Fairtrade University

  Boxes with Fairtrade symbols Copyright: © Fairtrade Deutschland, Katharina Kulakow

Operations – Fostering a Sustainable Organization

We consider sustainability to be an integral part of our actions, and to this end we use our resources responsibly and efficiently in (…) procurement (…), and in all other areas of our work. (…)
Through coordinated joint action, we want to reduce the consumption of resources and energy and – where possible – rely on fair and sustainable alternatives.

This is what we – the students, instructors, researchers, and technical and administrative employees of RWTH – aim to work on together, as a university.

From the Sustainability Mission Statement


As a place of education, learning, and teaching, universities are significant as social stakeholders and important drivers of social, environmental, cultural, and economic development.

RWTH is aware of its responsibility toward society and is continuously working to make the organization more sustainable as a whole and also to incorporate Fairtrade aspects more in everyday university life.


  • creates direct market access for producers
  • relies on long-term, fair, and partnership-based trade relations
  • offers fair prices to producers
  • protects the rights of workers and small farmers and strengthens their position
  • protects the rights of children and promotes equal rights for women
  • promotes environmental protection, for example by switching to organic agriculture
  • carries out educational and political campaign work to make the rules of world trade fairer.

The Fairtrade University at RWTH initiative is intended to strengthen sustainability awareness in particular, but also to intensify regional and national networking, for example with other Fairtrade Universities.

In this way, RWTH is simultaneously contributing to international sustainable development and assumes responsibility for the effects of its own consumption in growing regions. RWTH's certification as a Fairtrade University makes this commitment visible, but above all, it helps to make the commitment visible to civil society, within the university, and to other interested parties and to motivate them to participate and follow suit.


Participate – Steering Group

Students, employees in administration, and representatives from the catering industry are all part of the steering group and are jointly committed to incorporating Fairtrade products in everyday university life. In addition, the group cooperates with various teams from the University as well as the Fairtrade steering groups of the City of Aachen, the FH Aachen, and the KatHO Aachen.


The steering group is always looking for more members – anyone who would like to get involved with the topic of Fairtrade at RWTH, organize events, or plan communication, for example via social media, is welcome to contact .


Catering at the University

In August 2021, the Rector and Chancellor issued a joint circular calling on all members of the university to actively implement Catering With Fairtrade Products. In order to promote the consumption of Fairtrade products, such as coffee and tea, but also sugar and cookies, in all areas of the university, we would like to ask for your support:


Consider using Fairtrade products when catering regularly scheduled meetings and public events at your institute, faculty, or administrative unit in the future.


You can find potential products, for example, in the RWTH Purchasing Portal (under Catering ⇒ Organic/Fairtrade).

In order to create an overview of the current status at RWTH, please enter events or meetings with catering that includes at least two Fairtrade products in your university institution in the form Catering With Fairtrade Products.



You can apply for financial support to fund projects and measures that strengthen and promote the topic of Fairtrade.

Examples of support are, for example:

  • Subsidizing catering at public events (difference between conventional and Fairtrade products)
  • Organizing events on the topic of Fairtrade, for example, subsidizing the fees of speakers and presenters
  • Co-financing information material on Fairtrade

The maximum funding for each application is 500 euros. Informal applications can be submitted by .


    Applications for funding from the Fairtrade Budget must briefly state the following things:

    • Topic/objective of the project/measure
    • Target group; expected number of participants
    • A list containing the following: financing; concrete designation of the item to be subsidized with a justification

    The following aspects are taken into consideration when deciding on support or funding:

    • Publicity/reach of the action/project
    • Self-financing
    • Purposeful/convincing overall concept

    Fairtrade Map for the City of Aachen

    For those who would like to buy their own personal fair-trade products beyond the University, the Fairtrade Map for the City of Aachen also provides an overview of stores and cafés. In addition, you can use this online product finder for individual Fairtrade products, for example, tea, flowers, etc.