Sustainable development and environmental protection at the HFT Stuttgart

The HFT Stuttgart wants to live and implement sustainable development in the sense of generational justice. The joint resolution adopted by the German Rectors' Conference (Hochschulrektorenkonferenz - HRK) and the German Commission for UNESCO (Deutsche UNESCO-Kommission - DUK) in 2010 emphasises the social responsibility of universities in this context. For this reason, sustainable development is given a high priority in the structural and development plan of the HFT.


What is hidden behind the five design fields?

The HFT Stuttgart wants to develop its students into qualified, responsible and independent personalities. Therefore, in addition to imparting specialist knowledge, the strengthening of methodological, social and action competences also plays an important role. The university consciously perceives its educational mission in all strata of society and stands for advancement through education as well as for barrier-free access. It sees differences in life path and origin as enrichment.

All students at the HFT have the opportunity to pursue further education in the field of sustainable development alongside their studies. As part of the Integral and Ethical Studies program, students can also have their knowledge and skills in this area certified in order to obtain an extra-curricular certificate.

Interdisciplinary, application-oriented and third-party funding are keywords that can be used to describe research at the HFT. The topics (urban) space, energy and economy occupy a central place - and with them the topic of sustainable development. Three research centers explicitly deal with these topics:

As a University of Applied Sciences, the HFT Stuttgart is particularly interested in bringing its knowledge to society: As part of the public event series "ETHIKUM", approximately two theme evenings per semester on sustainable development have been held in cooperation with the Stuttgart adult education center (VHS) since 2014. And as part of the service learning program, students work in social institutions - both the students and the institutions benefit from this.

The "M4_LAB" innovation laboratory, which was launched in 2018 within the framework of the Innovative University Funding Directive, has set itself the goal of further developing the transfer structures at the HFT. This is done in the spirit of the "Third Mission" of universities. Among other things, creative exchange formats are being created and a wide variety of actors are being networked. The emerging transfer portal creates a new type of platform for various transfer requirements.

Teaching, research and life are thought of together. The HFT therefore bundles its knowledge and skills in order to also advance the field of operation/institution in the sense of sustainable development: Since 2014 the HFT Stuttgart has been following the environmental management system EMAS (Eco Management and Audit Scheme). In June 2020 the HFT was successfully EMAS-revalidated and is one of the 21 EMAS universities in Germany.

The Governance section addresses all regulations, functionaries and activities that aim to shape the university in terms of sustainable development.
Since 2017 Prof. Dr. Bastian Schröter has been the HFT's sustainability officer. He has taken over the function of Prof. Dr. Tobias Popović, who remains closely connected to the HFT as a member of the scientific advisory board of the sustainability officer in Baden-Württemberg and in the function of the ethics officer for sustainable development.
In the structural and development plan, the goal is anchored to further develop the university in the coming years in terms of sustainable development and to take into account the increasing relevance of the topic.

The HFT is well networked when it comes to sustainable development: there is a lively national and international exchange with sustainability players at universities within the framework of national conferences such as the Department of Ethics in Technology and Science (rtwe) and the Universities of Applied Sciences for Sustainable Development (HNE).
With the goal of sustainable university development in Germany, the HFT Stuttgart is a member of the network "Sustainability at Universities" HochN. The network focuses on questions of how a common understanding of sustainability and transformation can be achieved within the university network or what contribution can be made to the sustainable development of universities in the fields of sustainability reporting, governance, teaching, research, operation and transfer.

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