University Administration and Operations

Hochschule Geisenheim University is committed to increasing sustainability across the university – in administration, university operations, property and environmental management, mobility, waste management, external and internal communications as well as all other university departments. In addition, we are pursuing the goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030. A “culture of sustainability” is to be firmly anchored in the university’s mission statement.

Our planned actions include:

  • Participatory development of a comprehensive sustainability strategy and reporting
  • Development and coordination of energy efficiency measures as well as steps to become CO2 neutral
  • Apply sustainability criteria in appointment procedures and central purchasing.
  • Aim for EMAS certification based on an integrated sustainability management

Saving Energy

Energy supply will be a key issue in the months ahead, and we are all affected. In addition to meeting the requirements issued by the federal and state government, we are all called upon to save energy. Below, we have put together some ideas and tips that are easy to implement. The list will be updated regularly. The university has also set up an Energy Crisis Team to discuss and coordinate actions affecting the entire university.

We need to build momentum and make each other aware of the need to use energy and all other resources wisely (water, paper, lab materials, plastic, etc.). This conscious approach is crucial – not only for the months ahead, but also for future generations.   

  • Dim the brightness of your screen: your eyes will get used to it quickly. Also try the dark mode for different programs (dark background, white text).
  • Check your computer’s energy saving settings and set your screen to switch off after five minutes of inactivity. This is a good backup if you forget to switch off your screen when you leave the office
  • Use bookmarks for frequently visited websites because every search engine query consumes electricity!
  • Try alternative search engines: Ecosia provides the same results as Bing but is powered by 100 % renewable energy and uses the revenue from the searches to plant trees worldwide.  
  • Avoid email attachments: place files on the server and send only a link to the document
  • Video conferences get a more personal touch when you see the other participants but turning your camera off, at least for some parts of the meeting, can reduce your energy consumption significantly. Therefore, always check if it’s necessary to keep your video on.
Electronic Devices and Lighting
  • Simple and effective: Switch off the lights when you leave a room, both in your office, but also in the hallways, stairwells and restrooms.
  • Turn off electronic devices or use them more efficiently: Do you really need that second monitor? And what about the fridge? Do you need it and does it have to be set to such a low temperature? Or can you empty the fridge and turn it off or set it to a higher temperature?
  • Are there any remote servers that can be turned off? Data migration is annoying, but servers in particular run 24/7 and consume a lot of power. The university has a centralized IT infrastructure that ensures data security.  
  • Use the dishwasher only when it’s fully loaded and select the eco-program  
  • Check your lighting: What kind of lighting do you use in your office? Is there a way to use lights more efficiently throughout the day, e.g. adjust them according to the level of daylight or even switch them off completely?
  • Coffeemakers do not have to be on all the time. Talk to your colleagues and agree on a time to make coffee for the whole team. You can even make it a nice ritual – it saves energy and creates a nice atmosphere.
  • If available, use power strips with on/off switches. Just like unplugging your appliance, please make sure they are already shut down before you switch off the strip
  • Remember to switch off your computer and monitors! Even in standby mode, your docking station and monitor are constantly draining electricity – about 6 W per hour, which adds up to 35 kWh per workstation per year!


  • Fans are noisy and need a lot of power. Can you possibly create a draft or run the fan at the lowest setting?
  • For those of you who start work early in the morning: Open the windows to ventilate the rooms and let in cool air, then close the windows including the shutters and blinds
  • For those of you who start work late: Close the blinds that face east ideally the day before.


  • Cross-ventilation is the best choice. If possible, do not close the blinds to let the sun heat up the rooms.
  • Rearrange your office furniture, if necessary. Poorly insulated windows in older buildings cause a lot of heat loss and you might feel a constant draft when you sit right next to the window. Increasing the room temperature is not an option because the draft will still be there. Try to rearrange your desk and chair to be more comfortable.
Spread the Word and Take Action
  • Take a tour of offices, laboratories and other university facilities with your colleagues to identify “energy guzzlers” and see how energy can be saved. As a team, we can reduce our carbon footprint by putting these energy saving tips into practice.
  • If you have any questions or ideas, or you need help, please contact nachhaltigkeitsbuero(at)