Sustainability in Teaching

Our Vision

Issues related to sustainability and sustainability research play a key role in teaching. We develop new teaching and study offerings which are integrated into curricula as a visible part of the various degree programs. The University’s sustainability strategy is continuously further developed in a participatory process within the framework of our BOOST (Bonn Program for Sustainable Transformation) sustainability agenda. Strategic objectives and measures for teaching are being developed in a dedicated working group.

Working through a range of formats, the University of Bonn offers all its students the opportunity to engage with sustainability topics in an interdisciplinary and practice-oriented manner. In line with the UNESCO Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) program, we take on special responsibility for empowering future generations to better structure society to meet future challenges and more prudently approach the environment and our use of natural resources.

© Universität Bonn

Service Learning

Service Learning is a concept uniting research-based learning, real-life experience and social engagement, in close alignment with the goals of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). This teaching and study format is specifically designed to open up interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary perspectives while raising awareness of societal problems and issues.

Eine Wissenschaftlerin und ein Wissenschaftler arbeiten hinter einer Glasfassade und mischen Chemikalien mit Großgeräten.
© Annette Scheersoi

Project: StadtKlimaWandeln: Sustainable Change for Bonn’s Spaces

This multi-year project will see students play an active role in designing (urban) green spaces in order to increase their biodiversity and climate resilience while also taking locals’ diverse interests into account.

As well as seminars, the project also includes public events, workshops, the creation of guidelines and a transformation festival scheduled for 2025.

Formen Nachhaltigen Wohnens_Lehre_Annika Hammer.jpg
© Annika Hammer

Seminar: “Nachhaltige Stadt der Zukunft – in Fiktion, Gesetz und Planung”

Three days, three universities, three different fields. In the 2023 summer semester, a Marsilius Bridging Seminar brought together not only different disciplines but also students and lecturers from different cities and universities. The name “bridging seminar” reflects how it serves to bridge the gap between the individual research cultures and, in this particular case, between different centers of research in Germany as well. All the contributors from Bonn, Eichstätt and Heidelberg shared a common aim, namely to gather a range of views on what forms sustainable cities might take in the future and discuss the opportunities and challenges that each presents.

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© George Milton via

Communicating sustainability

The Bachelor’s course in Film/Video Media Practice looked at sustainability issues in the day-to-day life of a student, awareness of healthy eating and food waste. In partnership with Slow Food Deutschland e.V. and the Verbraucherzentrale NRW consumer association, this produced two films that explain the various topics.  

© jp

Coffee grounds—tough luck for the trash

In a project entitled “Das interessiert uns die Bohne!” (“We do give two beans!”), Agricultural Sciences students led by Dr. Thorsten Kraska created a sustainable barbecue lighter out of coffee grounds. 

The project acted as a springboard for other student-led research projects on using coffee grounds.


The University of Bonn hosts one of only 16 UNESCO Chairs in Germany, which are characterized by outstanding research and teaching in the areas in which UNESCO works. At the UNESCO Chair in Human Water Systems, Prof. Dr. Mariele Evers and her team are studying the sustainable use of water as a resource from a transdisciplinary perspective. 

Interdisciplinary Activities

Eine Wissenschaftlerin und ein Wissenschaftler arbeiten hinter einer Glasfassade und mischen Chemikalien mit Großgeräten.
© Gregor Hübl/ Uni Bonn

Campus Ackerdemie

Run in partnership with Acker e.V., the CampusAckerdemie program shows future teachers how to set up their own school garden and integrate it effectively into the everyday life of their school.

Research-based teaching focuses on topics such as environmental interrelationships, food production and sustainable eating.

Eine Wissenschaftlerin und ein Wissenschaftler arbeiten hinter einer Glasfassade und mischen Chemikalien mit Großgeräten.
© Volker Lannert

Lecture series

All students are given the opportunity to tackle sustainability issues regardless of their degree program. Various inter- and transdisciplinary lecture series are organized that interested members of the public are welcome to attend as well as students.

Eine Wissenschaftlerin und ein Wissenschaftler arbeiten hinter einer Glasfassade und mischen Chemikalien mit Großgeräten.
© Mimi Thian/Unsplash

Joint degree program with the United Nations University (UNU)

The Master’s degree program in the Geography of Environmental Risk and Human Security is offered jointly with the Institute for Environment and Human Security at the United Nations University. It is research-based and focuses on the issues of vulnerability, resilience and adaptation.

Funding Instruments

© Colourbox

A grant program that’s diverse, sustainable and digital

The “vielfä” (“”) internal grant program is designed to further develop studying and teaching at the University of Bonn with an eye on the future.

Funding is awarded on an annual basis.

© Universität Bonn / Barbara Frommann

Sustainability poster competition

Students from all faculties and departments whose courses included aspects of sustainability were able to enter this competition and showcase their projects to a wide audience by presenting a poster.


Establishment of the Service-Learning Coordination Office


Establishment of the UNESCO Chair of Human-Water Systems


Launch of the Campus Ackerdemie pilot project

Work in progress

This web page will be added to gradually.

See also

Sustainability in research at the University of Bonn

Vice Rectorate for Sustainability and Sustainability Unit

Bonn Program for Sustainable Transformation—BOOST

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