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Green Office concept

What is a Green Office?

The Green Office is an initiative to empower and connect people working or interested to work on sustainability projects at our university. It is a point of intersection where everyone who is interested in the topic of sustainability comes together. Here in Marburg, it is part of the sustainability office of the university.

The goal of the Green Office is to support everyone at the University to engage in the process of sustainable transformation. Everyone can come to the Green Office to communicate ideas and projects. The Green Office will then try to kick off this idea/project using both its own resources and competence as well as by connecting interested actors and stakeholders. Only together we can make our university a more sustainable place where people can learn, grow and enjoy their study experience. 

The Green Office concept originated in the Netherlands and is widely incorporated at almost all Dutch Universities. Also in Germany, the numbers of student Initiatives in this field have grown and are starting to become a more integral part of the German University structures. 

The Green Office is supposed to …

  • connect students and employees at the University;
  • create sustainable education at the University; 
  • establish opportunities for sustainable teaching and research;
  • evaluate the current status of sustainability at the University;
  • create educational offers beyond the normal curriculum.

Why does the Philipp-Universität Marburg need more structures for a sustainable transformation process?

The climate crisis has reached Germany and is felt by the majority of Germans either directly or indirectly. We as the Green Office WG believe that universities have the responsibility to actively shape our future. Therefore, recognizing and integrating the climate crisis as one of the biggest problems of our lifetime into teaching and research must be in incorporated into the education goals of the Philipps-University Marburg. 

The university consists of more than 110 buildings with a total area of about 385.000 m2. In 2008, the university generated about 44.000 tons of CO2 of which 37.500 tons of the emissions came from buildings. The use of chemicals and other consumables in the natural sciences is not even included in these numbers. Through the establishment of a climate protection officer and the Green Office about 4.000 employees and 21.000 students can be reached. Based on a recent report of the climate protection officer, for example, 15% of energy savings can be achieved by changing user behaviors. Considering the size of the University, behavior change can have a significant impact on saving resources, financial means and CO2-emissions.

What is the difference between the Green Office and the sustainability office?

The Green Office is a part of the sustainability office of the uni- more specifically, it is the part to ensure participation opportunities of students and other members of the university in the process of creating a more sustainable university. You can contact us, whenever you have ideas for projects, want to be connected with other interested people or just want to make us aware about unsustainable practices. 

In that way, we are the empowerment structure for new projects and can integrate students´and employees´perspectives into other structures of the university.

The sustainability office as a whole also coordinates  inventories and efficiency measures of energy and CO2 emissions as well as other projects.