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  • Sustainability Report 2023

    Campus of Bielefeld University
    © Bielefeld University

Sustainability Report of Bielefeld University


Dear Readers,

It is with pleasure and pride that we present this first Sustainability Report of Bielefeld University. As Vice-Rector for Science and Society and Chancellor of the University, it is important for us to give you a comprehensive insight into our efforts and progress in the field of sustainability.

The implementation of sustainability and climate protection is undoubtedly an enormous challenge, of which we are fully aware as a university. Given the global urgency of these issues, we take our responsibility very seriously. We understand that it is essential that our university plays its part in shaping a sustainable future.

With the adoption of the Sustainability Mission Statement in July 2023, our university set out to bring about a sustainable transformation that does equal justice to environmental, social and economic aspects. We are committed to promoting and integrating sustainable thinking and action in all areas of our institution.

However, we would also like to emphasise that a university such as ours poses particular challenges, especially with regard to the building fabric. Nevertheless, we are not discouraged by these obstacles. On the contrary, they motivate us all the more to develop innovative solutions and to do our best. However, we cannot achieve this alone, but depend on support from the state government, for example.

As a university, we stand first and foremost for research and teaching, and we are aware that as an academic department we can play a significant role in finding solutions to the pressing challenges of our time. Therefore, we take on this task with special care. However, all our goals and measures must also remain compatible with precisely our tasks in research and teaching.

Prof. Alexandra Kaasch
Alexandra Kaasch and Stephan Becker © Bielefeld University

In this report, we would like to show you transparently how we are facing all these challenges so far. This report is an important milestone on our way to a more sustainable university. Aligned with our mission statement, it displays the status quo of our efforts, documents our progress and makes it clear that we want to continue to develop. We are aware that this is a process that requires perseverance and shared commitment. We are determined to further intensify our efforts in the coming years and to plan ambitious measures to continuously implement the goals from the Sustainability Mission Statement.

Finally, we would like to thank everyone who was involved in the preparation of this report. Your dedication and expertise have helped to ensure that this report provides a comprehensive picture of our sustainability efforts.

Yours sincerely

Prof. Dr. Alexandra Kaasch, Prorector for Science & Society

Dr. Stephan Becker, Chancellor

Pitkogram of an unfolded report.

This first Sustainability Report of Bielefeld University was conceived and written on behalf of the university management, coordinated by the Prorectorate for Science and Society and under the leadership of the Sustainability Office.

It is a status quo report that provides information on the sustainability activities of Bielefeld University in the fields of study and teaching, research and operations. It is based on a comprehensive understanding of sustainability with ecological, economic and social perspectives along the lines of Bielefeld University's Sustainability Mission Statement. The report also explains the structures and strategies for dealing with sustainability at Bielefeld University (see Governance section).

This Sustainability Report is the starting point for regular monitoring and quality management in order to create transparency about the process and the status of achieving the goals formulated in the Sustainability Mission Statement. Its main features are based on the university-specific German Sustainability Code (HS-DNK).


The Sustainability Report is published exclusively as a web version. This saves considerable resources compared to a print medium and makes it easier to link to more extensive information and related topics.

Data Selection

The selection of indicators and data is based on the HS-DNK and the Sustainability Mission Statement of Bielefeld University. Quantitative and qualitative data are presented. The quantitative data (especially the GHG balance) cover the period up to and including 2021 (data for 2022 will be available from the next report). The qualitative data (e.g. on research projects) were included up to and including the first half of 2023.

Currently, not all necessary data is available to the same extent and quality. In subsequent reports, we anticipate an increasingly better and more complete data situation, which will increasingly enable us to better record and present developments and trends.

In other respects, too, this Sustainability Report makes no claim to completeness: in particular, the projects presented in the various fields of action often reflect only a selection. They are intended to give an impression of the various activities with which the topic of sustainability is being advanced at Bielefeld University.


A laptop on whose screen the university's sustainability cycle is depicted.

Sustainability Mission Statement of Bielefeld University

From April 2022 until the end of 2022, the central project in the development of a sustainability strategy at Bielefeld University was a comprehensive participation process that gave all university members the opportunity to take part in the development of a Sustainability Mission Statement. In July 2023, the Sustainability Mission Statement of Bielefeld University was adopted. For a comprehensive account of the process and the mission statement itself, read here further...


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Sustainability Office of Bielefeld University

Room UHG V7-103

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