Whether discussing climate change, social inequality or resource scarcity: The challenges facing our society are significant. To create a just and sustainable world, first and foremost, we need decision-makers to possess a greater amount of knowledge, skills, and awareness about the necessity for change. Universities play a key role in this regard, as they function as training centres for future decision makers. Furthermore, universities have a special responsibility to serve as role models for society. Therefore, a clear commitment to sustainability leads to long-term positive developments in society. A sustainability-oriented education contributes to the creation of a sustainable future.
CBS recognizes these challenges and therefore, constantly strives to align teaching, research and management with principals of sustainable development and the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development. By further integrating social responsibility and sustainability into university operations, CBS seeks to take on a pioneering role in the German education landscape and continues to expand its expertise in the field of sustainable management training. Key topics such as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), economic and corporate ethics and sustainability are already firmly anchored in the curricula of CBS’s various departments.
The university began to intensify its involvement in this area through participation in the CCI Cologne’s project, ÖKOPROFIT (Ecoprofit). The economic development program Ecoprofit (Ecological Project for Integrated Environmental Technology) helps to set a framework regarding the optimal use of resources and the reduction of operating costs through environmental and climate protection measures. It is a collaborative effort between the city of Cologne, local economic actors and other partners. By helping companies reduce operational costs, the project fosters sustainable economic development. This spring representatives of prominent Cologne-based companies such as Köln Messe, Köln Bonn Airport, Kölner Zoo, EADS, 1. FC Köln and ASV Köln visited CBS to learn about the CBS sustainable management system.
With the Sustainable University project, CBS strives to include its three key stakeholder groups: employees, students and organization in the successful integration of innovative and practical approaches to sustainability. Through the project, Cologne Business School is not only striving to develop into a more sustainable university, but has also the goal of becoming a certified Ecoprofit operation by Spring 2016. Additionally, the project helps to further the goal of integrating sustainability into all academic aspects of the university through innovative and practical approaches. To help achieve this goal, a Sustainability Team was formed.
To this end, a physical checklist was installed in every CBS lecture hall, which helps to remind those using the rooms to save energy, specially reminding professors to turn off the lights or the projector and dispose of their trash.