Energy and environment management belong to the classic interdisciplinary fields. The main task undertaken by the energy and environment unit is, therefore, to integrate environment-related assignments into the working processes and decision-making processes of the various corporate protagonists.
As an internationally oriented university, Freie Universität Berlin has been dedicated to climate protection for a number of years – probably the most urgent and globally eco-political challenge facing society. Increasing energy efficiency is of great importance. Since 2000, Freie Universität has managed to reduce the university’s energy consumption by a quarter – 42 million kilowatt-hours – although the usage of the university grounds remained more or less constant, and through the implementation of a range of different technical and constructional measures, as well as an internal incentive scheme. Information about the fundamental elements of energy management can be found under the following links.
Freie Universität Berlin is one of just a few universities in Germany that orientates its environmental management around the internationally applicable environmental management system standard ISO 14001. In 2004 a few individual locations were certified in accordance with this standard. Between 2007 and June 2013, the entire university was incorporated into the environmental certification. The certification will be continued, after a one-year break, in 2014. The Energy and Environment Unit is currently involved in establishing an occupational health and safety management system. Furthermore, the unit is currently testing increased integration of sustainability aspects and certification in accordance with the international energy management standard DIN 50001.
Energy and environmental management belong to the classic interdisciplinary fields that are well suited to integration into different organisational levels and processes. The regulation of energy and environmental management encompasses, for example, the coordination of the environmental teams from a total of 11 university departments; the execution of annual management reviews that will ensure the continuous further development of energy and environmental management; as well as the execution of internal site inspections (so-called audits) of the university buildings. The audit scope was greatly expanded in 2011 to include the science departments.
Change begins with a change in behaviour. The support and promotion of sustainable communication with key players both inside and outside the university is, therefore, an important interdisciplinary task for the Energy and Environment Unit; although this involves not only the application and continuous development of various communication tools, but also active participation in both internal and cross-university networks.
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