Leuphana introduces climate protection fund for more sustainability

2022-10-05 Lüneburg. Leuphana University of Lüneburg is underpinning its pioneering role in sustainability. With the introduction of a climate protection fund and new rules for business trips, it is now strengthening its commitment to the environment. For unavoidable business trips by car or plane, the resulting CO2 emissions will in future be compensated via an internal climate protection fund. The fund will be fed by the obligatory payment of a corresponding CO2 price per business trip. The funds thus made available are to be used for climate protection measures, especially on the Leuphana campus.

Leuphana has been climate-neutral since 2014, but is constantly working to further improve its environmental balance. To this end, it is now putting new regulations for business trips into effect. In consultation with the Senate Commission for Sustainability, the Leuphana Presidential Committee has decided that business trips should be replaced by digital formats whenever possible. If this alternative does not work, public transport should preferably be used for travel.

However, if business trips by car or plane are unavoidable, the resulting CO2 emissions will be compensated for from 1 October onwards via an internal climate protection fund at Leuphana. The amount paid into the fund depends on the distance travelled and the means of transport used. The calculation is based on the CO2 price set by the German government. For example, a return journey on an intercontinental flight will in future cost 100 euros, which will be paid into the climate protection fund from the current budget of the respective university department.

The university wants to use the fund money for climate protection measures, preferably on its campus, for example for the renovation of old wooden windows. "However, it is also conceivable to finance research and teaching projects outside the campus that effectively remove CO2 from the atmosphere, as far as this is permissible under budgetary law. These could then be CO2 sinks such as fens or near-natural forests," explains Christian Brei, Leuphana's full-time vice-president. The climate protection fund will initially be set up for a period of five years and evaluated before it expires.