My university is doing something

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Did you know that the University of Kassel ...

... has already produced its fourth sustainability report?

... uses 100% green electricity?

... has already equipped its fleet with 7 electric vehicles and one hybrid?

... has purchased 15 e-bikes?

... has made a binding decision to use paper with the Blue Angel label ?


The university's motto is "Clever minds separate!". With its waste management concept, it makes a contribution to sustainable management and the careful use of resources.

Waste separation

  • A color-coded system makes it easier to separate and assign the different waste fractions: Paper (blue), light packaging (yellow), organic waste (brown) and residual waste (black) .

In the offices

  • The paper bins in the offices are only intended for waste paper. They are emptied weekly as part of the cleaning process.

In the tea kitchens

  • There are bins for lightweight packaging (DSD/green dot), organic waste and residual waste. They are emptied daily as part of the cleaning process.

In the copy rooms

  • Larger bins for waste paper are available here. They are emptied daily by the cleaning service provider.

Building entrances/foyers

  • Triple collection systems for paper, lightweight packaging (DSD/green dot) and residual waste are available in the foyers and entrance areas of buildings with high fluctuation.

Outdoor areas

  • Residual waste containers are available throughout the outdoor area. Bins for lightweight packaging (DSD/green dot) and waste paper are also provided near cafés and lecture halls.

Deposit rings:

Pilot project with three deposit rings for collecting returnable bottles from garbage cans in front of the canteen. The idea is that no deposit bottles end up in the residual waste bin (waste separation principle), but are recycled, which is economical, ecological  and social! Join in!

Drinking water dispenser:

Drinking tap water instead of mineral water also reduces waste and conserves resources. Several drinking water dispensers have been set up in the Campus Center and in the BiB at Hopla, in Witzenhausen and in Wilhelmshöher-Allee for the free use of drinking water. More are being planned.


Sustainable development plays a central role in all new construction, extension, renovation and building maintenance projects at the university. The aim is to maintain high-quality buildings, strive for sustainable planning and construction, promote measures for climate adaptation and a reduction in energy consumption and support the climate protection goals of the University of Kassel and the Hessian state government.


The procurement regulations of the University of Kassel were amended in 2022. Based on the sustainability guidelines, which were introduced by resolution of the Presidential Board, an addition has been made to take account of sustainable aspects in the procurement regulations (environment, energy saving, waste avoidance).

Paper Atlas university competition

The University of Kassel takes part in the university competition Papieratlas and used 29.72% recycled paper with the Blue Angel in the administration in 2021 and 47.03% in 2022. In the future, the University of Kassel plans to further increase the overall proportion of recycled paper and achieve at least 95% recycled paper by 2025. In addition, printed university publications are to be increasingly replaced by digital versions.

Central materials management equipment exchange

A sharepoint has been set up for obsolete, functional or repairable equipment and items (e.g. PCs, printers, toner, office furniture, etc.). Items and equipment can be posted here with a photo for further use within the university. Registration takes place via the university account.

Paper reduction measures(UBA, 2020):

  • Digitization of documents and scan-to-email save paper and archive space.
  • Information on the internet makes some archiving superfluous.
  • Take waste paper to its destination on foot or by bike and save additional costs, e.g. by transporting it by car.
  • The same applies to recycled paper: use it sparingly.
  • If you have a printer, use the duplex function (double-sided printing) and the reduce function (print 2 pages on 1 page).
  • Green printing software removes blank pages and unnecessary information from the file to be printed.

In addition:

University goals in the area of procurement:

By 2026, the university would like to define binding criteria for sustainable procurement in the procurement regulations and ensure compliance with them through a service directive. Sustainable procurement takes into account the entire life cycle of a product. The focus here is on climate and environmental friendliness as well as compliance with human and labor rights.

Sustainability criteria should be created for the following products, as negative environmental and climate impacts as well as human rights and labor rights violations occur particularly frequently in these areas:

  • Office supplies and paper,
  • External print jobs,
  • Office equipment and office furniture,
  • Cleaning and hygiene products,
  • cleaning services,
  • foodstuffs,
  • Marketing and gift items,
  • Flowers and plants,
  • Building materials (esp. natural stone, paving stones, wood) and construction services,
  • textiles,
  • workwear and protective clothing,
  • carpets,
  • electrical appliances,
  • information and communication equipment,
  • vehicles and vehicle fleet,
  • Sporting goods (e.g. balls).

At the beginning of 2024, the Green Office, in cooperation with Fairtrade Deutschland e.V., is organizing a strategy workshop to which, among others, the Department of Central Materials Management at the University of Kassel has been invited.


The city provides an important habitat for animals and plants and the university and its campus occupy a large place in this. The university creates an ecological niche through suitable planting and open space concepts. Ecological measures such as facade greening or the CampusGarden are intended to increase biodiversity on the campus and at outdoor locations. Measures in the area (green roofs and areas, permeable paving, trees) reduce heat islands that arise in the city center and increase the quality of stay. Insect hotels and bat and bird nesting boxes are also planned as part of the concept development.

Get involved:

With our idea workshops and Sustain Groups, we offer participation formats that aim to find innovative solutions for the sustainable development of university operations and campus life in a participatory process from the development of ideas to the conception, planning and implementation of measures.

The university's outdoor areas are to be increasingly developed in an ecologically high-quality and climate-adapted manner. A concept for sustainable open space management is also being drawn up for this purpose. Wherever possible, the microclimate and quality of stay are to be improved and biodiversity increased.

Where possible, areas are to be successively unsealed by 2029 and planted with vegetation with a cooling effect. To this end, an additional unsealing concept with a list of criteria will be drawn up to help reduce the amount of sealed surfaces. This basis is binding and must be taken into account when considering the development and use of land.


Less energy and 100% green electricity

The University of Kassel is consistently engaged in identifying and utilizing energy-saving potential and is focusing on the expansion of renewable energies. To this end, several projects with extensive measures have been initiated. As part of the joint electricity supply contract with the state of Hesse, the university uses 100% green electricity, which is certified as coming almost entirely from hydropower.

PV systems

The University of Kassel is implementing a cooperation project with the cdw Foundation with the aim of increasing the proportion of renewable energy sources in the energy supply of the buildings. In order to achieve this, a joint grant agreement with a term of ten years has been concluded. At the end of this period, PV systems with a total output of around 1.13 MWpeak will be installed on the roofs of the University of Kassel.

Saving energy

Together, we reduced our electricity consumption by 6% and our heat consumption by 22% in the winter of 2022/2023 through energy-saving behaviour and targeted technical and organizational measures. We therefore exceeded our savings targets and also made an important contribution to climate protection.

The following checklists and information show how everyone can not only save electricity (e.g. in the office, kitchenette or lecture hall), but also heat, e.g. through correct ventilation. They also show how to make your own mobility more sustainable and thus save energy.

Energy targets by 2025

  • Further expansion of renewable energies by a further 400 kWp
  • Further reduce energy consumption, by a further 5% for electricity and a further 10% for heat
  • energy consumption should be presented in an easily understandable way and made transparent for all university stakeholders
  • the installation of heat pumps in all central water heaters at the University of Kassel should lead to a reduction in natural gas consumption and contribute to heating the buildings


The University of Kassel has increased the proportion of e-mobility in its vehicle fleet and purchased 15 e-bikes, 7 electric cars and 2 hybrid vehicles. The charging infrastructure for e-cars is being further expanded and made accessible to employees wherever possible. Bicycle parking facilities for cyclists and e-bike riders are being improved. There is also a free state ticket for employees. CO2 emissions from business trips are offset.

Michael Müller-Görnert, VCD Transport Policy Officer

Cars are responsible for 40 percent of transport-related greenhouse gas emissions in Germany. Ambitious CO2 limits are a key lever for reducing these emissions. The current requirements for new cars must therefore be continuously developed.

Michael Müller-Görnert, VCD Transport Policy Officer
  • Give preference to climate-friendly means of transportation (buses and trains are superior to cars and domestic flights in terms of their carbon footprint)
  • Prefer telephone and video conferences to business trips

The AStA also has a wide range of offers:

Location Witzenhausen:

Through infrastructure and behavior-changing measures, the university is helping to increase the share of walking, cycling and public transport in the commuting behavior of university members to ideally at least 85% by 2029 (currently 67% for employees, 69% for students). It also promotes an electromobility-friendly design of the campus. When employees travel on business and students travel abroad, awareness should be raised for the choice of sustainable travel options in the interests of greenhouse gas neutrality. Domestic flights should be avoided, and public transport and rail should be preferred for intra-European flights. Awareness is to be raised for the increased organization of and participation in virtual conferences. When purchasing new vehicles, the vehicle fleet is to be gradually converted to cars with electric drives; from 2025, electric drives are to be preferred for all new car purchases. Where reduction is impossible, compensation will take effect.

Environmental research

At the University of Kassel, over 130 departments research and teach directly on sustainability issues. A large number of these departments have joined forces in the Environmental Network. There are several renowned research institutions, such as the Center for Environmental Systems Research (CESR), which is a focus of interdisciplinary, system-oriented sustainability research at the University of Kassel. Since 2022, it has been part of the Kassel Institute for Sustainability, which brings together the broad range of research and teaching related to ecological, economic and social sustainability. Up to 17 new professorships will strengthen the specialist areas and develop them further in a variety of collaborations with scientists at the University of Kassel.

Environmental science

The number of students on sustainability-related courses has risen steadily in recent years. Around 30 subject-integrated courses with service learning take place every semester. And there are international programs with an environmental science focus, such as the international Winter University and the International Summer University.


Over the course of several semesters, the University of Kassel has produced a guide to sustainable event management as part of the "Teaching for a sustainable university" project. The guide contains useful tips and suggestions on the various fields of action of sustainable event organization as well as an attached checklist.


Climate change shows that, particularly in the summer months, there may be increasingly long periods of low water levels, which have an impact on groundwater formation. Within the "Climate adaptation measures and open space management" project, strategies and measures for rainwater management are being developed, whereby in addition to unsealing, combinations of rainwater use and downstream infiltration systems are being sought.

Drinking water

Treating water sensitively is also important to the Green Office. It has been recognized as a "tap water-friendly office" by a tip:tap e.V.. In addition, several drinking water dispensers have already been installed at various university locations. University locations, with more to follow. The tap water is checked regularly and saves a lot of waste and CO2. Because when water comes straight from the tap, it doesn't have to be transported far.

Save water and conserve resources, e.g. by drinking tap water instead of buying bottled water and using our drinking water dispensers.

The university wants to reduce its fresh water consumption by using gray water and rainwater and is striving for a rainwater management system that includes a wide-area infiltration of rainwater from general pavement areas.