Heidelberg University feels bound to actively contribute to the scientific investigation, assessment and discussion of climate change, and to the development of tools, methods and technologies for a more sustainable use of the earth’s resources. The Heidelberg Center for the Environment (HCE) makes Heidelberg University the first university in Baden-Württemberg to bring together environmental science activities in research, teaching and scientific communication across disciplines in one institution. In addition, Heidelberg boasts the state’s only institute for environmental physics. The university’s Institute of Geography and Institute of Earth Sciences also have chairs with a special focus on environmental and climate-related research.

Each semester the HCE and numerous other institutes of Heidelberg University, such as the Institute of Environmental Physics and the Institute for Political Science, offer courses and seminars dealing with environmental, climate and sustainability issues. Most of these events can be attended by students of different disciplines.

In addition to establishing environmental science as an integral part of research and teaching, Heidelberg University has also implemented a wide range of environmental and climate protection measures at the operational level. The university’s electricity has been 100% green since 1 January 2017. Besides switching its energy supply to renewables, the university has put in place a comprehensive floor-space management system and taken measures to reduce its operating costs as far as possible. All new and renovated buildings meet the low-energy or passive house standard. Since 2010 the university has employed an environmental officer in charge of water saving measures, waste management and eco-friendly procurement.

Interviews on research for sustainable development

What contribution do researchers at Heidelberg University make to fighting poverty, hunger and injustice? What can science do for climate protection, decent work or gender equality?
on at the university on the topic of sustainability.
The interviews took place in the context of the project GO FUTURE!, which was organised for school students and aims to provide knowledge-based support for schools, teachers and parents in reaching out to young people with the highly relevant topic of sustainable development.