Sustainability and Circular Economy at RWTH and ANTS

 

The topics of sustainable development and climate change are becoming increasingly important in the face of growing challenges.

Sustainability means enabling a good, shared life on our one planet Earth for us, our children and future generations. To achieve this, our actions must be future-oriented now. This means on the one hand ecologically compatible, since the environment provides the basis for our life on earth, but also socially just for our fellow human beings here locally and in other parts of the world.

The climate debate shows us what a short window of opportunity we have to implement a sustainable transformation of our society. Universities play a key role in the transformation process - by shaping students and thus the decision-makers and actors of tomorrow, but also as the innovation engine of our society. Universities are role models and can and must make a significant contribution to future-proof, sustainable action.Universities must face the growing challenges now and focus on the five fields of action: teaching, research, their own operations as well as adapted governance structures and transfer.

RWTH Aachen University is committed to sustainable development in line with the German sustainability strategy. The sustainability mission statement of RWTH Aachen University represents a joint commitment of the entire university to sustainable action.

Together with Prof. von der Aßen and Prof. Praktiknjo, Prof. Greiff is the Rectorate Representative for Sustainability at RWTH Aachen University. Prof. Greiff is responsible for the field of research.

  Portrait Professor Greiff in front of wall Copyright: © ANTS

"Everyone is talking about the concept of the Circular Economy, but it needs to be filled with more life and, above all, practical approaches. It is not enough to live with what comes out at the end; it can only be as good as what we put in at the beginning. The end-of-life must be considered, no matter at which stage of the value chain. For the ultimate goal of using fewer resources globally and thus reducing environmental impacts, such as emissions of greenhouse gases or biodiversity loss, we need to develop practical technologies and look at their effectiveness throughout the system."

Prof. Dr. Kathrin Greiff

 

Research at ANTS seeks and creates solutions to close raw material and material loops and thus support the transformation from a linear to a circular and sustainable economy - a Circular Economy.

The transformation of the linear economy system to a circular economy system encompasses all disciplines and stakeholders. To address this overarching field of research, RWTH Aachen University founded the Center for Circular Economy in December 2020. Prof. Greiff, along with Prof. Friedrich, is co-founder and spokesperson of the Center under the direction of Mohammad Chehadé.

Especially in the field of research, the Center for Circular Economy and the Sustainability Office of RWTH Aachen University work closely together. In line with Sustainable Development Goal 17, which addresses the need for partnerships to achieve the sustainability goals, we are thus strengthening cooperation within RWTH.