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.


1. teaching

The HFT Stuttgart wants to develop its students into qualified, responsible and independent personalities. In addition to the transfer of specialist knowledge, the strengthening of methodological, social and action competences therefore also plays an important role. The university consciously fulfils its educational mission in all strata of society and stands for advancement through education as well as for barrier-free access. She 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. Within the framework of the Ethics and Integral Studies programme, students can also have their knowledge and skills in this area certified in order to obtain an extra-curricular certificate

2. research

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

3. transfer

As a University of Applied Sciences, the HFT Stuttgart is particularly concerned to transfer its knowledge to society: As part of the public "ETHIKUM" series of events, since 2014 there have been approximately two theme evenings per semester on sustainable development in cooperation with the VHS Stuttgart. 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 as part of the Innovative University Funding Directive, has set itself the goal of further developing the transfer structures at the HFT. This is in line with the "Third Mission" of universities. Among other things, creative exchange formats are created and a wide variety of actors are networked with each other. The resulting transfer portal creates a new type of platform for various transfer requirements.

4. operation/institution

Teaching, research and life are thought of together. The HFT therefore pools 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 September 2017, the HFT was successfully EMAS-revalidated and is still one of the 20 or so EMAS universities in Germany.

5. governance/steering form

The Governance section addresses all regulations, functionaries and activities whose aim is to shape the university in the sense of sustainable development. Since 2017 Prof. Dr. Bastian Schröter has been HFT's sustainability officer. He has taken over the function of Prof. Dr. Tobias Popović, who remains closely connected to sustainable development as a member of the scientific advisory board of the sustainability commissioners in Baden-Württemberg and in the function of the ethics commissioner. The structural and development plan embodies the goal of further developing the university in the coming years in the sense of sustainable development and taking into account the increasing relevance of the topic. The HFT is well networked when it comes to sustainable development: 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), there is a lively national and international exchange with sustainability actors at universities. With the goal of sustainable university development in Germany, the HFT Stuttgart is a member of the network "Sustainability at Universities" HochN. The focus here is 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.