IU International University of Applied Sciences again receives the “climate neutral” seal


The University’s neutral carbon balance has been approved by TÜV SÜD

  • Although IU International University of Applied Sciences (IU) more than doubled the number of its students in 2021, CO2 emissions remained at the same level.
  • To further improve its carbon footprint, IU relies on green energy, reviews upstream and downstream emissions and supports sustainability projects worldwide.
  • IU aims to be a pioneer in climate education, and makes climate protection a topic of study –by offering the degree programme "Sustainable Management", for instance.

Erfurt, 1. February 2022. Starting in 2020, IU International University of Applied Sciences (IU) has been the world's first climate-neutral distance learning university. For the year 2021, IU was again awarded the "climate neutral" test seal by TÜV SÜD. The prerequisites for certification were a verifiable CO2-neutral energy balance, and a system for recording and balancing all greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, IU had to define measures to reduce avoidable and unavoidable greenhouse gas emissions.

Dr Sven Schütt, Managing Director of IU International University of Applied Sciences:

"Education and climate protection are the major social tasks of our time. We are working to make both work together. As Germany's largest university, IU has a special responsibility. We want to facilitate access to education. And we are investing in measures to make education work in a climate-neutral way."

The number of students at IU doubled last year, from 40,000 to 85,000. Despite the strong growth, CO2 emissions in 2021 remained at the same level as in 2019. They did increase by 2.5 per cent from 7,451 tonnes to 7,639 tonnes, however, in relation to turnover, IU reduced its emissions by 27 per cent. According to the greenhouse gas balance sheet, IU saved emissions mainly in the areas of business travel and building heating.

IU commissioned the Institute for Energy, Ecology and Economy (DFGE) to calculate its corporate carbon footprint. Based on the international "Greenhouse Gas Protocol" (GHG), DFGE calculated not only direct emissions from its own controllable sources (Scope 1), but also indirect emissions, for example from purchased electricity or heat (Scope 2), as well as upstream and downstream emissions caused, for example, by paper consumption, service providers and business trips (Scope 3). The last two sources in particular are the main drivers of carbon dioxide for IU.

In order to compensate for its CO2 emissions, IU has developed an action plan. This includes, among other things, switching to electricity and heat from renewable sources. In addition, IU supports globally recognised climate protection projects in Papua New Guinea, Mexico and Zimbabwe. In parallel, climate protection and sustainability are incorporated as important aspects into teaching, whether through modules, projects or entire programmes such as the degree programme "Sustainable Management", which will start at IU International University of Applied Sciences in June 2022 under the direction of Prof. Dr. René Schmidtpeter.

Further information on climate neutrality at IU can be found here: https://www.iu.de/en/university/climate-neutrality/

With over 85,000 students, IU International University of Applied Sciences (IU) is the largest university in Germany. The private, state-recognised educational institution brings together more than 200 Bachelor's and Master's degree programmes under its roof, which are offered in German or English. Students can choose between on-campus study, dual study, distance learning and flexible combination models and thus shape their studies in a self-determined way. In addition, IU facilitates continuing education and promotes the idea of lifelong learning. The university's goal is to make education possible for as many people as possible. IU began operations in 2000 and is now represented in 28 German cities. It cooperates with over 10,000 companies and actively supports them in employee development. Its partners include Motel One, VW Financial Services and Deutsche Bahn. Further information at: www.iu.de/en

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