Sustainability Roadmap© Andreas Schmitter
Since the beginning of 2022, RWTH Aachen University has been developing the "Sustainability Roadmap" for the University in a process involving all its members. The roadmap will include targets, measures and indicators to implement the vision of a climate-neutral and sustainable RWTH by 2030. The roadmap is currently being finalized and is expected to be approved by the Senate at the end of 2023.
The sustainability mission statement, approved by the Senate in July 2021, articulates a shared commitment to a more sustainable RWTH and commits to the goal of being climate neutral by 2030.
The first RWTH sustainability report was published in 2022 as a basis for presenting the status quo of RWTH in the context of sustainability. On this basis, the process of developing and adopting the sustainability roadmap for RWTH was then initiated in order to achieve the vision of a climate-neutral and more sustainable RWTH by 2030.
In order to achieve the goal of a climate-neutral, more sustainable RWTH, the University needs to agree on specific, measurable, executable, realistic and time-bound goals. In order to achieve the goals, appropriate measures must also be defined to carry out the necessary activities. In order to be able to monitor and control the process of achieving the goals, appropriate indicators must also be defined.
The building blocks of the roadmap - targets, measures, and indicators - have been developed jointly. The participatory process - an open online survey, targeted polling of strategies of the individual units, a workshop and other exchange and information formats such as GreenTeams - ensured that all University members were able to actively participate in the process at the various stages.
How the Roadmap Process Works
In the first phase (input) of the roadmap process, various measures were initially used to gather input:
- Querying the strategies/objectives and measures already pursued by the faculties, central institutions, administrative units as well as the AStA.
- Open online survey in which all University members could participate and contribute their ideas, wishes and thoughts.
- Research and analysis of various sustainability standards and frameworks.
In the subsequent second phase (sorting), the collected input was systematically processed by the Sustainability and University Governance Staff Unit and reflected upon with the University's subject matter experts for the topic in question.
To kick off the third phase (prioritization), the 2nd workshop "Sustainability at RWTH" took place on March 22, 2023. On this day, approximately 130 representatives from all University groups worked together in groups to discuss the areas of study and teaching, research, governance and operations. Together, they developed goals for a sustainable RWTH.
You can get an insight into the workshop in this video:
A Look to the Future
The finalized sustainability roadmap will be presented to the Senate, which will then adopt it.
This process, which requires participation in all phases, aims to achieve acceptance and implementation of the sustainability roadmap throughout the University - because only together can we make RWTH more sustainable.
Which overarching goal is being pursued? What is RWTH working towards?
How can I get involved?
You are welcome to get involved in the roadmap process at any time. Be it by participating in the online consultation sessions (see above) or via various other opportunities that let you join in the discussions (GreenTeams, et cetera).
You can find more opportunities and ideas to actively integrate sustainability into your everyday study or work routine on our Help Build a Sustainable RWTH page.
If you have any questions or would like to share ideas, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org at any time.
How and where will I be informed about the progress in RWTH’s journey towards sustainability?
Current developments and the current status of RWTH’s journey towards sustainability are discussed in the various GreenTeams. The SustainTeams are open to all interested university members.
In addition, regular information about the various sustainability developments is provided via the N2 – Sustainability Newsletter and the Instagram channel Nachhaltigkeit_RWTH. Please note that these are only available in German.