TU Graz is working to achieve its climate goals with an intelligent bundle of measures across central areas of university activity.
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Since the start of the project a lot has already happened on the way to climate neutrality. This is documented in the progress and evaluation reports (in German):
The award-winning mobility management of TU Graz, which is based on the promotion of cycling and public transport, is being further promoted and the incentives for switching to soft forms of mobility are being further increased.
Already, a record-breaking 40 percent of all employees at TU Graz ride their bikes to work. In the future, the TU Graz bicycle campaign will be expanded to include the promotion of e-bikes, cargo bikes and folding bikes, the expansion of the bicycle path network around the campus will be promoted together with the City of Graz, and additional covered bicycle parking facilities will be built at all campus locations. For electric cars, more than 200 e-charging stations will be installed on campus and the e-car sharing service will be further expanded.
The use of public transport by TU Graz employees is promoted by subsidies for the Graz annual ticket, the Klimaticket Styria and the Klimaticket Austria. In the future, parking permits for the three campus locations will be issued according to tougher guidelines – except for social reasons – and a climate protection fee is charged for parking fossil-fuelled vehicles.
Share of means of transport of commuting TU Graz employees vs. commuting employees in Graz
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In energy management, TU Graz focuses on energy savings by increasing efficiency and on the production of green energy on- and off-campus. For example, roof areas at Campus Inffeldgasse are being equipped with photovoltaic systems on a large scale and participation in external PV systems and wind farms is being examined. In addition, TU Graz is gradually – and from 2025 onwards exclusively – procuring electricity from 100 percent ecolabel 46-certified renewable and regional sources. Heat pumps and geothermal energy storage systems are used in new buildings, and the use of waste heat, for example from large computer systems, is being optimized. With these measures alone, TU Graz achieves an emission reduction of over 12,000 tCO2e per year.
The Inffeldgasse Campus will become a Living Lab for energy systems of the future, referred to as the Innovation District Inffeld.
According to the motto Stay grounded, but keep connected, a cultural change at TU Graz is aimed at further reducing the amount of CO2 emissions caused by travel (includes business trips and leaves of absence).
Employees will be able to call up their individual carbon footprint via their own monitoring tool, and wherever it makes sense and is possible, video conferences will replace business trips. Air travel is to be kept to a minimum; for travel within Europe, rail travel is to be preferred to air and car travel.
The use of trains, long-distance buses and overnight trains will be financially supported by TU Graz in order to avoid short- and medium-haul flights as far as possible, and a climate protection charge will be introduced on air travel. The goal is to reduce CO2 emissions caused by air travel by TU Graz employees on business trips by 50 percent by 2030.
Comparison of means of transport for business trips, international staff and student mobility
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For new buildings, TU Graz, in cooperation with Bundesimmobiliengesellschaft BIG (the public-sector property management company), is focusing on the climate-optimized construction of sustainable university buildings based on the position paper of the Alliance of Sustainable Universities in Austria. This provides for the integration of sustainability and climate neutrality right from the start of university construction projects, for example, as well as a life-cycle assessment and the climate-optimizing renovation of existing buildings. Greening measures at all TU Graz campus locations complete the plans.