Sustainability Strategy

 

We are part of the Solution!

key visual sustainability

Since the beginning of 2022, the sustainability strategy and associated sustainability roadmap have been developed in a hands-on process at RWTH Aachen University. The process involved all the status groups at the University. This was approved by the Senate in December 2023.

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The Sustainability Mission Statement, which was adopted by the Senate in July 2021, formulates the joint commitment to a more sustainable RWTH and commits us to the goal of being climate-neutral by 2030.

In order to achieve the goal of a climate-neutral, more sustainable RWTH, the University has agreed upon specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and scheduled targets and has defined corresponding measures that operationalize the activities required to achieve these targets. In addition, corresponding indicators have been defined in order to monitor and control the process of achieving these targets.

The sustainability strategy defines the overarching goals that the University aims to achieve by 2030 in the areas of study and teaching, research, governance and operations.

The sustainability roadmap defines specific measures and targets that contribute to the strategy and that are implemented at an operational level.

 

Areas of Activity

RWTH Aachen University's sustainability strategy and associated roadmap comprises goals, measures and indicators for the areas of governance, studies and teaching, research, and operations. In addition, the other cross-cutting tasks of the University and the associated strategies, which focus primarily on the social sector, were also taken into account.

Objectives, measures and indicators for the individual areas of activity

  key visual governance Copyright: © RWTH Aachen

Governance

RWTH Aachen University is committed to creating a more sustainable University and to establishing the necessary framework conditions, both internally and in regional, national and international exchanges.

Objectives, measures and indicators for the area of governance.

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  Teaching and Learning key visual Copyright: © RWTH Aachen University

Teaching and Learning

RWTH Aachen University sees the transfer of knowledge and the ability to act responsibly through the ability to think critically as being a key element for the sustainable development of our society.

Goals, measures, and performance indicators for the area of teaching and learning.

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Research

RWTH Aachen University creates suitable framework conditions for research in order to contribute to sustainable development through RWTH's own integrated and interdisciplinary approach.

Objectives, measures and indicators for the area of research.

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Operations

RWTH Aachen University regards sustainability as an integral part of its activities.The necessary resources are used responsibly and efficiently in the University's operations.

Objectives, measures and indicators for the area of operations.

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  key visual social affairs, cross-sectional tasks Copyright: © RWTH Aachen

Social Affairs - Cross-Cutting Tasks

As a University whose fields of activity include studying and teaching, research, knowledge and technology transfer, RWTH aims to anchor sustainability not only in these but also in other cross-cutting tasks.

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The process for developing the sustainability roadmap

The building blocks of the roadmap - objectives, measures, indicators - have been jointly developed in a hands-on process at RWTH. The development process is designed to ensure that every member of the University can contribute and help shape the objectives and measures. This was ensured by means of an open online survey, a targeted survey of the strategies of the individual higher education institutions, such as the faculties and the Central University Administration, a workshop and other exchange and information formats such as the GreenTeams.

In the first phase of the roadmap process, input was initially collected through various measures:

  • Survey of the strategies/objectives and measures already being pursued by the faculties, central institutions, administrative units and the AStA
  • Open online survey in which all University members were able to participate and contribute their ideas, wishes, and thoughts.
  • Research and analysis of various sustainability standards and frameworks

In the subsequent second phase, the input collected was systematically processed by the Sustainability and University Governance Staff Unit and they reflected on the respective topic with the relevant experts at the University.

To kick off the third phase (prioritization), the second workshop "Sustainability at RWTH" took place on 22 March 2023. On this day, around 130 representatives from all university groups worked together in working groups to discuss the areas of governance, studying and teaching, research and operations and jointly developed goals for a sustainable RWTH. You can get an impression of the workshop in this video:

 
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