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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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, 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 – in particular the planned 1-2-3 ticket – will be subsidized additively from 2022. 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 will be charged for parking fossil-fuelled vehicles.
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 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.
According to the motto Stay grounded, but keep connected, a cultural change at TU Graz is aimed at further reducing the number of business trips.
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
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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.
In future, the canteens (Mensen) will increasingly switch to low-GHG food, paper will be saved by means of a digital by default strategy and the useful life of IT equipment will be extended to at least six years.
TU Graz provides compensation models with regard to unavoidable GHG emissions. These range from start-up funding for emission-reducing research projects to projects to sequester CO2 from the atmosphere.