Sustainability at Leuphana

Out of responsibility for future generations, Leuphana wants to be a role model for shaping a sustainable society and develop as a sustainable university in research, teaching, social participation and campus operations. For Leuphana, sustainability is not just a guiding principle, but a principle of action lived out in all areas.

It has therefore established a Faculty of Sustainability / School of Sustainability in research. In teaching, it offers various courses of study in the field of sustainability. In society, it is present with many sustainability projects, including the project "Future City 2030". It is present in various sustainability networks. And for many years, it has designed its campus as a "Living Environment Campus" with a wide range of measures for climate protection, sustainable consumption and waste management, and a social living environment. The university has been EMAS-certified since 2000 as part of an environmental management system.

Our understanding of sustainability

Leuphana's understanding of sustainability is based on the Brundtland definition:

  1. Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without risking that future generations will not be able to meet their own needs.
  2. In essence, sustainable development is a process of change in which the use of resources, the destination of investments, the direction of technological development, and institutional change harmonize to increase the present and future potential to meet human needs and aspirations.

UN World Commission on Environment and Development (Brundtland Commission) from 1987.

Sustainability guidelines

The mission statement of Leuphana University of Lüneburg is based on the three basic concepts of humanism, sustainability and action orientation. To concretize the mission statement "sustainability", the eight sustainability guidelines were adopted.

In its meeting on 20.11.2013, the Senate adopted a new version of the sustainability guidelines from 2000. The new version was developed in three meetings by the Senate Commission on Sustainability. Likewise, the Senate's mandate to bundle the discussions around the topic of ethical action and sustainability and to develop an overall proposal on this topic in the Senate Commission on Sustainability was taken into account.

In view of the dangers to the natural foundations of life and growing inequality among people and societies, as well as in the responsibility to enable future generations to lead self-determined lives, Leuphana University Lüneburg is committed to the principle of sustainable development in conjunction with Article 20a of the German Basic Law on the protection of the natural foundations of life. Leuphana University Lüneburg has a responsibility to its students, future decision-makers and employees to act as a role model in the fulfillment of its tasks as well as in its daily consumption of energy and materials. In this sense, the university designs its learning and living space in a sustainable manner. Leuphana University of Lüneburg acknowledges its responsibility towards the region and society and drives a regional as well as global sustainability process. In this sense, teaching, research and study at the university shall serve peaceful purposes.

§ 1 Participation, exchange with external groups
Leuphana University of Lüneburg initiates and supports discourses on sustainability and promotes a broad participation of all its groups and branches in a university sustainability process. It strengthens self-initiatives and commitment in this process and contributes to regional, national and international exchange with groups and institutions.

§ 2 Research
Leuphana University of Lüneburg supports the public discourse on sustainability issues with its scientific competence and takes up regional, national and international sustainability topics in its research activities. In doing so, it strives to continue to play a pioneering role within the young field of sustainability science(s) and to actively help shape this field in terms of problem- and solution-oriented research.

§ 3 Education
Leuphana University sensitizes its students and employees to the challenges of sustainable development, stimulates formal and informal learning processes, and enables them to acquire design skills. The university promotes internal and external knowledge transfer that advances the process of sustainable development and transdisciplinary exchange.

§ 4 Resources, energy and emissions
Leuphana University of Lüneburg considers it its responsibility to design its material and energy consumption in a resource-conserving, risk- and environmentally conscious manner and to avoid impacts that are harmful to the environment and health. In particular, the university faces the challenges of climate neutrality, sustainable mobility and sustainable campus development. To this end, it creates appropriate framework conditions to enable action beyond the minimum requirements of all environmental regulations.

§ 5 Cooperations
Leuphana University of Lüneburg welcomes and particularly encourages cooperations with companies and other organizations that are committed to the guiding principle of sustainability. The decision for or against a joint activity with external institutions is always made according to the best knowledge and conscience of the respective responsible University members and is guided by the University's mission statement.

§ 6 Health Protection
Leuphana University of Lüneburg promotes the health and well-being of its members and implements measures for healthy working and study conditions. This is supported in particular by establishing and maintaining a family-friendly work culture and by providing sufficient opportunities for exercise and sport in everyday study and work.

§ 7 Committees and Institutions
The committees and institutions of Leuphana University of Lüneburg support disciplinary, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary initiatives in research, teaching, continuing education and administration, as well as in the student sector, to address issues of sustainability.

§ 8 Program
For the continuous improvement of the sustainability and environmental performance, the sustainability and environmental program of Leuphana University of Lüneburg defines and updates both goals and measures.