The eco­lo­gical hand­print of HNU

13 sta­tions of liv­ing sus­tain­ab­il­ity at HNU - a Cam­pus­Tour

As a university, we are very proud that we have already implemented numerous projects and initiatives to increase our ecological handprint. Our commitment to climate and environmental protection has already enabled us to make significant progress and we are determined to continue working towards a sustainable future.

It is important for us to present our projects and initiatives publicly to document and acknowledge our efforts.
Only through transparency and cooperation can we bring about change together and make an important contribution to the preservation of our environment.

# HNU's understanding of sustainability

    A healthy understanding of sustainability opens up the possibility for us to cultivate a more conscious and responsible approach to our valuable resources and our environment. It enables us to understand and actively minimise the impact of our actions on the environment. In this context, Neu-Ulm University of Applied Sciences (HNU) takes on a significant mission by actively shaping sustainability through teaching, research and transfer, thus becoming a positive element of social change. A healthy understanding of sustainability goes beyond mere knowledge around environmental issues. It creates an awareness of the links between our actions and the environmental, social and economic impacts. This understanding enables us to make sustainable choices aimed at protecting the environment and preserving our resources for future generations.
    The document "Sustainability Understanding of HNU" was adopted by the Sustainability Steering Committee / Governance Working Group in November 2022. It serves to ensure a future-oriented approach and to shape the daily work at HNU:

Sustainability understanding as of 11/2022 (opens in a new window)

# Network University & Sustainability Bavaria

  • CONCEPT: On the basis of a common understanding of sustainability, the actors in the network join forces to integrate and implement sustainability institution-wide in the fields of action research, teaching, operations, governance, transfer and student initiatives. Information and good practice examples are exchanged in working groups and joint projects are designed and implemented.
  • HNU REPRESENTATIVES: HNU is also a member of this network. The two delegates are Vice President Prof. Dr. Julia Kormann and Prof. Dr. Judith Mayer.
  • CONTACT: Network University & Sustainability Bavaria


# Climate protection concept of the HNU

  • OBJECTIVE: In order to achieve the goal of climate neutrality, HNU has employed a climate protection manager since December 2022. The climate protection concept will be completed by the end of 2024 and then implemented in a follow-up project.
  • CONTACT:  Climate Protection Manager M. Wimmer

To the climate protection concept

# Sustainability Steering Committee

The Steering Committee sees itself as a driving force to promote positive sustainability effects at HNU: "Become active yourself!

  • CONCEPT: Together with students, staff, professors and external stakeholders, sustainability at HNU is shaped in an interactive and iterative process and further developed in 7 working groups.
  • COMPOSITION: The steering committee is made up of the following working groups:
    Working Group on Governance - Working Group on Mobility - Working Group on Transfer - Working Group on Operations - Working Group on Research and Teaching -
    Working Group on Student Engagement - Working Group on Communication, Transparency & Participation.
  • INITIATIONS OR CONTRIBUTION BY MAIL: Sustainability Steering Committee
  • PROJECTS: Already completed projects of the individual working groups can be viewed (only) by university members in moodle under PG: Steering Group Sustainability.


# Energy saving


At HNU, water from the adjacent lake is used as a toilet flush with the help of the grey water system. This significantly reduces the consumption of drinking water in buildings and makes a valuable contribution to environmental protection. In addition, the costs for HNU's water consumption are reduced.


HNU's photovoltaic system generates about 20,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year. This can supply a three-person household with electricity for six years.

Future expansion is planned, but can only be carried out after repairs have been made to the roof of the A-building.


HNU's well system can save up to 600,000 litres of fresh water annually. The use of well water to irrigate the green spaces helps to significantly reduce drinking water consumption. This conserves water resources and reduces the pressure on the local water supply. At the same time, the cost of water consumption is also reduced, allowing efficient use of financial resources.


Considerable savings in energy and costs can be achieved with environmentally conscious and thoughtful heating. According to the Federal Government's Energy Saving Ordinance, it is not permitted to let the room temperature rise above 19°C in public buildings such as the HNU.

Therefore, the temperature in offices, seminar rooms, lecture halls and corridors is limited to a maximum of 19°C (measured on the thermostat between levels 1 and 2).

Thanks to these measures, about 385 MWh of thermal energy was saved at HNU. This amount could heat a household with three people over a period of 40 years. In addition, considerable financial savings were achieved, especially in view of the fact that district heating prices have almost quadrupled.


In a continuous process, the previous light sources at the university are being replaced by LEDs. 
By replacing the fluorescent tubes, HNU hopes to achieve electricity savings of more than 60%.


To reduce water consumption, all taps at HNU will be converted to touchless taps in the long term: After washing hands, the flow stops either automatically or after a preset time. This reduces water consumption and also prevents flooding.

A positive side effect: the lack of contact also means that no germs are transferred to the tap.

# Fair Trade

Support for fair trade is a priority at HNU and is supported through various projects:

FAIR TRADE COFFEE & TEA in the refectory:
For that caffeine kick in between? Espresso, latte, latte macchiato & Co - coffee and tea in the HNU canteen and cafeteria come from fair trade.

"THE FAIRTEILER"  - a foodsharing cuboard at HNU: "Too good to throw away - just right for the fair share"
Since 2022, there has been a cooperation with the foodsharing association. The association campaigns for more food appreciation: Food that has been produced too much or is superfluous is placed in refrigerators (> Fairteiler cupboards) to be taken away and can be removed and eaten free of charge. "foodsharing" is a volunteer-run association that organises itself via an online platform and cooperates with numerous businesses and companies. The organisation also looks after and cleans the collection point.
Location of the fair partition cupboard: House B, ground floor, copying room

HNU graduate Enrico Berardone wants to change the world with his bamboo toothbrushes in 2018. His idea: for every fairbrush sold by his start-up, a toothbrush will be donated to needy children in Thailand. In addition, the children are educated about the importance of oral hygiene and environmental protection with the help of training courses. He tells us in an interview how he reconciles all this with his studies: A conversation about motivation, pride and sustainability.

TO THE INTERVIEW (opens in a new window)

To become a Fairtrade University, a university must demonstrably fulfil five criteria concerning its commitment to fair trade at different levels:

Criterion 1: University resolution - Criterion 2: Steering group - Criterion 3: Products at events - Criterion 4: Products in shops and restaurants - Criterion 5: Media and public relations (Fair Trade events on campus at least twice a semester).

Since 2017, the student team "Move" has been preparing for the desired certification as a "Fairtrade University", e.g. a coffee blind tasting or chocolate tasting. Both events were aimed at raising awareness of Fairtrade - fair trade and fair payment.

# MOVE student team

The student representation "move" is about student engagement (primarily) on a voluntary basis.

  • MOVE stands for MoreOpenness, Responsibilityand Engagementat the University and is a contact point for more sustainability and social engagement.
  • ZiieL: Within the framework of ZiieL (Centre for Interdisciplinary, International and Involvedtes Lernen), move is one of the offers for students that promotes interdisciplinary, international and engaged learning.
  • SUSTAINABILITY: Numerous projects have already been initiated and implemented by move, for example:

    The organisation of the Sustainability Days 2017 - focusing on electric mobility, sustainability in everyday life, plastic-free living and energy consumption | Three Fairtrade events: 2 coffee blind tastings and 1 chocolate tasting

    The organisation of the Sustainability Days 2018 with the 1. Info market "Fair Cosmetics" as part of the presentation day of the student initiatives | Mobile phone collection campaign in cooperation with the city of Neu-Ulm | Two interviews with the founders of the start-ups "Fairbrush" and "Klare Kante Unverpackt"

    The organisation of the Sustainability Days 2019 with a workshop on "Plastic-Free Living" | 2nd fair trade event in the foyer of the HNU. Clothes swap meet in the foyer of HNU | 3rd coffee blind tasting at the Christmas party of the Neu-Ulm district | Sustainability quiz at the 25th anniversary party of Neu-Ulm University

    Clothes swap meet in the Founders Space | Mobile phone collection campaign in the Library


# Sustainable mobility

Emission-reduced mobility can be implemented not only by using bicycles and public transport, but also through car sharing and the switch to electric mobility. At the university, e-mobility is supported as follows:


  • HNU's CARPOOL: The HNU fleet has 1 plug-in hybrid passenger car (model: VW Passat GTE). It can be booked through the building management.
  • CHARGING STATIONS: Two e-charging stations are available in the student car park in front of building A.
  • FOUNDERS SPACE has three sustainable company vehicles: the e-bike "Frank" and the e-bike sibling "Frida & Karl".
    The company bikes were generally purchased for the founders of Founders Space, but can also be requested and booked by HNU employees if required: Frank[at]hnu[dot]de | Frida[at]hnu[dot]de | Karl[at]hnu[dot]de


As a "Healthy University", we want to make the use of bicycles more attractive and promote a healthy and CO2-free alternative to conventional transport.  

For this reason, a bicycle service station has been offered on the HNU campus since summer 2023. The new service station has equipment to make life easier for cyclists: An air pump station to inflate tyres quickly and easily, as well as tools such as a screwdriver, angle spanner set, Torx spanner, open-ended spanner, roller fork spanner and tyre lever. This can be used to carry out minor repairs independently.

Location:House B, rear

BIKE LANES IN ULM/NEU-ULM (opens in a new window)


The "Deutschland-Ticket" gives people new opportunities to be mobile in Germany - in everyday life, during leisure time or even on holiday. It motivates people to switch from car to local transport in a climate-friendly way and will make public transport more attractive in the long term. 
The "Bayerische Ermäßigungsticket" is a Germany ticket subsidised by the Free State of Bavaria for a reduced price of 29 euros instead of 49 euros. HNU students can now purchase the "Bayerische Ermäßigungsticket" with earliest validity from 1 September 2023.
For students of Neu-Ulm University, the solidarity contribution for the semester ticket is credited, so that the ticket only costs 23.67 euros per month. Due to a special regulation, the current certificate of enrolment is sufficient as proof of eligibility for the ticket for students of Neu-Ulm University-the aforementioned eligibility form is not required and is not filled out by HNU.

ORDER (opens in a new window)


How can mobility at HNU be made more sustainable? Students of the Business Psychology programme dealt with this question in the form of a design sprint. Several teams developed and tested different solutions, which they presented to the practical partner Robert Schwarz, Staff Office Future Issues and the Environment and Mobility Department of the City of Neu-Ulm.

The victory in the pitch competition was shared by the team "Semesterticket+", which integrated animal scooters for the last mile into the semester ticket in addition to public transport, and the team "Heute Nachhaltig Unterwegs" with a parking fee concept that makes parking less attractive and counterfinances sustainable alternatives.

Contact: Dr. Tobias Krüger

PROJECT DETAILS (opens in a new window)


In order to determine the mobility needs of employees, two internal surveys were conducted by the Steering Committee Sustainability / Mobility Working Group :
1. Mobility survey (05/2022):
"Survey on an electronically operated company vehicle at HNU"
2. Commuter survey (11/2022): "Survey on mobility behaviour at HNU".

The survey results can be viewed by university members in moodle under PG: Steering Group Sustainability.

TO THE SURVEY RESULTS (opens in a new window)


Since 1 August 2023, all civil servants of the Free State of Bavaria (>>including HNU) have the opportunity to obtain a company bicycle. All civil servants who are in an active, non-dormant employment relationship directly with the employer at the time of the conclusion of an individual leasing contract can participate, insofar as and as long as there is an entitlement to current remuneration. Eligibility is automatically checked during the ordering process.

(As of September 2023: Job bikes not yet for salaried employees of the Free State of Bavaria)

DETAILS (opens in a new window)

# Contributions of the library

"Book sharing" is sustainable per se. The first"lending libraries" were already established in the 19th century.

The library owns numerous media on the topic of sustainability - in printed and electronic form. It also publishes exciting facts and figures in two issues of the library newspaper "Nachhaltigkeitspresse".

The HNU sustainability tree offers the opportunity to add your own suggestions for sustainability to the "treetop"; projects that have already been implemented form the "trunk". The new suggestions are taken up by the Sustainability Steering Committee and implemented as far as possible (e.g. water stations at HNU).
The tree designed by the library is currently located in House B: Copy Room B.0.03.
Suggestions are welcome!

In the sense of the "waste avoidance hierarchy" REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE, the library pays attention to the reduction of packaging waste, the conscious use and reuse of paper as well as the controlled foiling of print media.

In the spirit of reuse, older editions of print media that have been discarded from the collection are not disposed of, but offered for further use at a reasonable price. The flea market is located in the entrance area of the library.


HOMEPAGE (opens in a new window)

# Waste management

Separation of waste is the first essential step towards efficient recycling. The goal is to achieve closed cycles so that as few raw materials as possible are lost. Valuable resources can be recovered from (packaging) waste. In addition, waste incineration can be reduced at the same time and thus the emission of greenhouse gases.

At HNU, waste is separated according to the following recyclable materials:

    Colour-coded paper waste bins (white) and residue waste bins (black) with black plastic bags are available in the offices and lecture halls.
    Packaging of this type from official business should be sorted into the "yellow bag". The bins provided are in the waste rooms. "Yellow sacks" are available from the building management or the caretaker's office. Please send your request centrally to the Building Management | Location of container: waste room, rear of building A + B / next to refectory or cafeteria.
    Cardboard boxes from official business must be disposed of in the large mixed paper container in the rubbish room and shredded before being thrown in | Location of paper container: rear of building A + B / next to the refectory or cafeteria.
    There are two red and white metal boxes in the mailroom where the appropriate batteries are collected, sorted by size. The boxes are located vis-a-vis the entrance door at the bottom of the compartment. The full boxes are disposed of properly by the building services department.
  • CDs:
    CDs from official business can be thrown into the collection bin in the administration's registry by staff members | Location: House A, 1st floor, next to the social room
    On the initiative of "move", collection boxes for mobile phones will be set up in the university library for a limited period of time. Mobile phones that are no longer needed can be handed in here. The mobile phones will then be professionally recycled and the proceeds donated to educational institutions. The campaign takes place in cooperation with Handyaktion Bayern and aims to highlight the social and ecological impacts of mobile phone production.
    Small electrical appliances and wood waste are disposed of by the caretakers at the recycling centre in Neu Ulm.
    For larger quantities of waste or paper, please contact the building management, which will process your request or forward it internally: Mail to Building Management | +49 731 9762-0 | Main Building A, A.168