Sustainability at the University of Münster<address>© WWU - Designservice</address>
© WWU - Designservice

Sustainability at the University of Münster

Fridays for Future, plastic waste in the oceans, renewable energies – sustainability is a much-discussed issue. We should treat natural resources with care and not live at the expense of future generations. Research undertaken at the University of Münster can make its contribution. In a six-month dossier from January to June 2021, we illuminated sustainability in its many facets.

Freie Universität Berlin: sustainability affects the entire institution.<address>© Dirk Laubner</address>
© Dirk Laubner

How other universities live sustainability

In this dossier over the past six months, the Communications and Press Office at the University has shed light on the issue of sustainability, and its many facets, and on the challenges it entails. To round off the series, we look further afield, beyond Münster University.

The Botanical Garden<address>© WWU - Malte Papenfuss</address>
© WWU - Malte Papenfuss

Dossier-video series: The Botanical Garden

The Botanical Garden is a popular attraction in Münster, and at the same time it contributes to sustainability at the University of Münster – not only by offering guided tours which deal with issues such as climate change, but also because of the diversity of its plant life and its location in the centre of the city.


Promoting sustainable education: Münster University researchers are developing research approaches and support concepts so that a future-oriented transformation of society can be successfully accomplished.<address>© WWU - Kathrin Nolte</address>
© WWU - Kathrin Nolte

"Learning to take responsibility for the future"

Sustainable education aims to empower people to think and act in a future-oriented way and, at the same time, understand the effects which their own actions have on the world. Prof. Christian Fischer is a member of the "Sustainable Development of Potential" research team at the University of Münster, and in this guest commentary he describes what sustainability means in education.

Landscape ecology students Julia Binder and Thomas Middelanis initiated their research project entitled “Monitoring modern agroforestry ecosystems” to create a more sustainable agriculture through trees and woody plants on farmland.<address>© Binder/Middelanis</address>
© Binder/Middelanis

More sustainability on farmland

Landscape ecology students Julia Binder and Thomas Middelanis have initiated a project entitled "Meeting points for agriculture, civil society and science: monitoring modern agroforestry ecosystems", and their aim is to design agricultural areas in a more sustainable way through "agroforestry".

Many scientists at the University of Münster are researching the use of sustainable bioresources.<address>©</address>

Experts research the use of sustainable bio-resources

With the end of the "petroleum age" – i.e. replacing oil with sustainable bio-resources – renewable raw materials are becoming increasingly important for commerce and industry. In this interview, Prof. Jochen Schmid talks about the potential in "biologizing" processes and products.

<address>© WWU - Malte Papenfuss</address>
© WWU - Malte Papenfuss

Students investigate fine particle emissions during the corona pandemic

What impact is the corona pandemic having on the climate? This is a question which landscape ecology students looked at in a project run by the Climatology working group. During the restrictions on contacts last year, they used a cargo bike fitted with various measuring devices to record the particle emissions in Münster.

For more sustainability: The aim of the team of researchers led by project coordinator Jens Matthies Wrogemann is to create a more environmentally friendly lifecycle for batteries – from the selection of resources and their transportation to production, disposal and recycling.<address>© WWU - MünsterView</address>
© WWU - MünsterView

For a greener carbon footprint

In 2019, 83.7 million lithium-ion batteries were sold in Germany. The carbon footprint they create is currently significant, especially in their production. In the project entitled "Green Electrochemical Energy Storage", the MEET Battery Research Centre at the University of Münster is engaged on a research programme to develop a more sustainable lifecycle for batteries.

Two researchers of the research projekt &quot;MikroPlaTaS&quot;<address>© WWU - Malte Papenfuss</address>
© WWU - Malte Papenfuss

Video series “Sustainability at Münster University”: The MikroPlaTaS research project

Plastic in the environment and in the oceans is a well-known problem – and now a lot of inland waters are also affected. Dams and reservoirs have hardly been looked at, though. And this is precisely where the “MikroPlaTaS” project kicks in: researchers from the University of Münster are examining microplastic in wastewater treatment farms in Münster.

A women with an iPad looking at the blog.<address>© WWU - Malte Papenfuss</address>
© WWU - Malte Papenfuss

Dossier-video series: The blog “Thinking Sustainably” by the ZIN

How do we want to live? What makes for a good life? What has a sustainable future as far as environment, society and democracy are concerned? These questions are something that the blog being written by the ZIN (Centre for Interdisciplinary Sustainability Research) at Münster University is looking at. The blog not only provides insights into current research, but also considers social issues.

The “Form your Future” project trains young people as “ambassadors for sustainability”.<address>© WWU - Form your Future</address>
© WWU - Form your Future

Learning through research – for more sustainable behaviour

In the "Form your Future" project, research staff from Münster University’s Experimental lab "MExLab ExperiMINTe" train young people as "ambassadors for sustainability". The aim is to develop and produce research issues and campaigns which deal with the topics of atmosphere and climate change, water and soil, and waste and recycling.

The Münster branch of the “Scientists for Future” initiative supports sustainability with a variety of campaigns and projects.<address>© private source</address>
© private source

Using knowledge transfer to publicize climate change

Knowledge transfer for more sustainability: scientists at the University of Münster are active in the "Scientists for Future" initiative. With its interdisciplinary projects, the group aims to attract more attention to the climate crisis. In this guest commentary, Prof. Clemens Leonhard describes what the group does.

Cotton as a fibre plant for clothing: In the workshop programme “Very attractive – what fibre plants can do!”, organized by the Münster University Botanical Garden, children of primary school age learn what biodiversity and sustainability mean.<address>© WWU - Botanical Garden</address>
© WWU - Botanical Garden

Children’s workshops beat the drum for more sustainability

The project entitled “The Political Plant”, in which Münster University’s Botanical Garden is involved as a project partner, aims to promote biodiversity and sustainability by means of educational and transfer activities. The workshop programme “Very attractive – what fibre plants can do!” is designed to enable children of primary school age to get to know various fibre plants.

March 5 is the annual Energy Efficiency Day.<address>© WWU - Kathrin Nolte</address>
© WWU - Kathrin Nolte

Energy Efficiency Day: Expert Andreas Löschel on sustainable instruments

March 5 is the annual Energy Efficiency Day – reason enough for Kathrin Nolte to talk to Prof. Andreas Löschel about meaningful instruments relating to energy and climate issues. Löschel holds the Chair of Microeconomics with a Focus on Energy and Resource Economics at the University of Münster.

Not only electric cars are used at Münster University – electric freight bikes are also used a lot for transporting things in the city.<address>© WWU - Central Services department</address>
© WWU - Central Services department

Saving resources and protecting the environment

Münster University has around 45,000 students and 7,250 staff, making it one of the largest German universities. Münster is committed to the idea of sustainability – in many areas. These include for example the administration, building work and information technology. These guest commentaries give an insight into everyday work at the University.

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