Continuous Monitoring of Processes: the Sustainability Steering Group

Who is involved in the sustainability steering group?

It all started with the desire to take a structured approach to addressing the topic of “sustainability” at the University of Bamberg. In autumn 2016, the University Executive Board set up a task force for this purpose, which has been acting as a steering group since autumn 2019.

From the University Executive Board’s remit:

“The University Executive Board has discussed the issue of sustainability and has decided to form a task force to handle its realisation in the areas of teaching, research, and infrastructure. It is especially tasked to ascertain what sustainability means for the University of Bamberg and to assess the situation in the above-mentioned areas. In addition, the task force is to identify concrete fields of action and questions and, if applicable, prospective certifications.”

Open working groups with dynamic goals

In order to be as effective as possible and be able to work purposefully on different topics, the members of the steering group are divided into smaller working groups in which competencies and interests are concentrated on one topic/area. One to three members of the steering group are responsible for a working group. These are open to interested parties from all areas of the university. The working groups act independently, developing suggestions for improvement or for linking up opportunities in their areas.

The following teams are looking for reinforcements:

Infrastructure and Campus Management Group
Coordinator: Dr Dagmar-Steuer-Flieser
Members: Björn Chilla
Remit: to gradually illuminate and analyse the administration’s sustainability issues and implement them according to defined objectives, e.g. to examine the introduction of a waste separation system or analyse and compare the optimisation potential of university buildings. Review operating conditions, evaluate user behaviour, communicate where adjustments can be made and energy-saving possibilities.

Communication Group
Coordinator: Samira Rosenbaum
Current members: the working group coordinators
Remit: to monitor the activities of the steering group and working groups, visualise activities and results, manage an event calendar, internal communication and information.

Sustainability Week (NaWo) Group
Coordinator: Dr Yelva Larsen
Members: Fiona Knieling, Kathrina Schafhauser, Martin Mai, Simone Ziegler, Dr Sofia Pagliarin, Prof. Dr Fritz Reheis
Remit: to prepare and realise the annual sustainability week.

Studies and Teaching Group
Coordinators: Prof. Christian Proano, Dr Felix Stübben, Dr Yelva Larsen
Current members: Nicole Höhn, Dr Jana Costa
Remit: to define criteria for “sustainable courses”, compile examples; develop strategies to increase motivation, e.g. labeling courses in UnivIS, if necessary extension studies certification; concept for assistance from instructors.

Survey Group
Coordinator: Prof. Dr Björn Ivens
Current members: Prof. Dr Stefan Hörmann, Fiona Knieling
Remit: to assess the sustainability situation within the university, provide the steering group with prioritised recommendations for action.

UniGardening Group
Coordinators: Dr Yelva Larsen, Dr Annamaria Pfeffer
Current members: 43 persons  
Remit: to view the university as a creative space and establish a livable environment – through activities such as university gardening, beekeeping seminars, renaturation of areas etc.

Networking Group
Coordinators: Dr. Carolin Brix-Asala, Prof. Dr Stefan Hörmann
Remit: to link the university steering group with sustainability stakeholders outside the university including, for example, the German Federal Government’s Council for Sustainable Development, the Bavarian Network for Sustainability in Higher Education, the Forum Ökologisch-Soziale Marktwirtschaft internationally known as Green Budget Germany, Network n – a network of student sustainability initiatives.

Academic Learning and Research Group
Coordinator: Prof. Dr Björn Ivens
Members: Prof. Paul Bellendorf, Dr Jana Costa, Anna Luib
Remit: to coordinate and compile research projects at the university on the topic of sustainable development. To facilitate links between scholars; collect and disseminate information on research funding, etc.

EMAS Group
Coordinator: Dr Dagmar Steuer-Flieser, Dr Carolin Brix-Asala
Current members: Elisabeth Breinbauer, Paul Brockmann, Björn Chilla, Andreas Crone, Dorothea Gran, Prof. Dr. Björn Ivens, Joanna Kirschner-Roth, Lea Lauchstedt, Marie Lindner, Annelies Maier, Prof. Dr. Proaño, Mathis Röder, Dr. Felix Stübben, Andreas Ulfig, Sabine von Witzleben, Mirjam Ziegmann
Remit: Introduction and establishment of an environmental management system in accordance with EMAS

Fairtrade University Group
Coordinator: Dr Carolin Brix-Asala
Current members: Dr. Dagmar Steuer-Flieser, Martin Zielke, Lea Peter
Remit: Encouragement and support of fair trade initiatives, as well as structured preparation for Fairtrade University certification.