The 4 areas of focus for sustainable development at HFU

Mixed race woman holding green jigsaw puzzle pieces
Mixed race woman holding green jigsaw puzzle pieces

Mixed race woman holding green jigsaw puzzle pieces --- Image by © JGI/Jamie Grill/Blend Images/Corbis

With the establishment of the Office for Sustainable Development, the subject is now firmly anchored institutionally at Furtwangen University. The following are the 4 main focus areas of sustainability at the University:

Academics

Taking a degree at HFU is a unique opportunity to put theoretical subject knowledge into practice: during semester projects; practical internships; semesters abroad; and while writing the thesis. It is important for us that students can contribute to meeting current social, economic and ecological challenges during their course of studies. Lectures, projects and other activities offer multiple opportunities for doing so.

Research

In the process of writing their bachelor's and master's theses, our students carry out demanding application-oriented research and development. This is confirmed by the impressive theses which are presented at the end of the semester. The theses are often embedded in the innovation ecosystem of Furtwangen University which is explained in more detail below. The HFU Institute for Applied Research (IAF) focuses on middle- and long-term research projects working closely at doctorate level with neighbouring universities and international partner universities.

Transfer

Networking and cooperation takes place with many different partners due to the application-oriented outlook and research competences of Furtwangen University. Besides the innovation ecosystem in the form of companies (e.g. organized in the wvib Schwarzwald AG), know-how networking is also actively taking place in the sustainability start-up scene (e.g. the Smart Green Accelerator and the "Start-up Train Hall" in Freiburg). Our international outlook is also firmly established in the HFU mission statement and SEED is also taken up with our partner universities. Various initiatives such as  "Honeyversity", the "Weitwinkel – Filme mit Zukunft" film series, the sustainability lectures offered as part of the Studium Generale lecture series, and the large Health Congress organized jointly with the Schwarzwald-Baar Health Network, demonstrate the wide range of local and regional transfer and social engagement activities in which we are involved.

Operations

With the introduction of the EMAS Eco-Management and Audit Scheme developed by the EU, an environmental management system run on sustainability principles is firmly anchored in university operations at HFU. Sustainability is regarded holistically and thus given equal importance in university operations, academics, research and transfer: EMAS at HFU

The HFU university executive has decided that EMAS must play an integral role in university operations in accordance with the importance placed on sustainability in the HFU Mission Statement in the area of "social responsibility and safeguarding of the future".