Campus & Student Life

Sustainability at CBS

Sustainability on our campuses

Anja Karlshaus

Creating tomorrow: sustainable studies, life, and research

Our mission is "creating tomorrow" - for a better and sustainable future. As a sustainable university, we are committed to the goals of the United Nations and have voluntarily joined the UN Global Compact. In practice, this means that over the past ten years we have established aspects of sustainable management in all areas of teaching and research. As tomorrow's experts and managers, our graduates are ideally trained to establish sustainability in companies and to manage them responsibly. We are already doing this today for more sustainability and a better tomorrow.

What does sustainability mean and why is it important?

The concept of sustainability has been around for a long time. It originated in forestry in the 1700s and meant that only so many trees should be cut down in a forest so that the forest would be preserved in the long term. Resources should be conserved in order to use them economically in the long term. In the 1980s, the idea of "sustainable development" became established in the definition of sustainability. It is based on three fundamental principles that are still valid today. The most discussed is environmental protection: pressing problems are CO2 emissions, pollution of the oceans and water, species extinction, poisoning of soils, and climate change. The second important principle is social development: employees should be treated fairly and ethically and all people should have opportunities for learning and development. The third fundamental principle is economic development: a company should be profitable and make its profits sustainably, i.e. not at any price and not at the expense of the environment or employees.

In its 2030 Agenda, the United Nations concretised these three basic principles and defined the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Among other things, it is about fighting poverty and hunger, education, justice, peace, decent work, economic growth, and climate protection.

Globalisation shows that problems such as environmental pollution and dwindling natural resources affect us all. If we do not change our way of thinking and living, we will destroy ecosystems, exacerbate inequality between rich and poor and deprive future generations of the basis of their livelihoods. That is why sustainable development is existentially important.


We have already taken numerous climate protection measures to reduce as much CO2 as possible. For example:

  • Since 2013, we have integrated sustainability into our teaching

  • Since 2015, we have been continuously involved in resource conservation and sustainable awareness-raising as part of Ökoprofit Köln. For example, we have switched to digital submission of homework and final papers, introduced a re-cup system in the refectory, purchased an electric car and charging stations, switched to recycled paper, cooperated with a local bicycle shop for staff and students, have partially converted to LED and only use green electricity.

  • In 2016, we founded the Center for Advanced Sustainable Management (CASM). Here, actors from science, business and politics network deal with questions on CSR, international business ethics, sustainability and social innovation.

  • Our CBS Eco Ambassador Team and the student initiative CSR Student Team are committed to more sustainability in teaching, research and university operations.

  • In 2020, we became a member of the United Nations Global Compact

  • Our Urban Gardening Campus Garden project makes sustainability a tangible experience on campus

Sustainable degree programmes

Sustainability is not only important to us at CBS. Companies and students also attach importance to sustainability and see it as an important success factor. And rightly so: Those who study sustainable management learn to critically question economic processes and develop innovative solutions for the world of tomorrow. We offer two sustainable degree programmes that open up the best career opportunities with a Master's degree in sustainability. In the Master's programme "Sustainable Management", students acquire a scientific and application-oriented understanding of sustainability, combined with business education and aspects of digitalisation. The growing tourism industry is also focusing on sustainable tourism. Our English-language Master's programme "Tourism and Sustainable Management" trains experts who strive for sustainable, socially just, and economically successful tourism.


Sustainable living: With these tips, you can lead a more sustainable lifestyle

Sustainable living is not that difficult anymore. There are plenty of things you can do in your everyday life to save resources and be more environmentally friendly. For example, switch to green power and buy locally. It's fun and sometimes saves time and money. Check out our valuable tips for a more sustainable lifestyle. 

Center of Advanced Sustainable Management

Our Center for Advanced Sustainable Management (CASM) aims to make Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and sustainable management an integral part of business research and management education. CASM sees itself as a network player and, together with the CBS-Eco Ambassador Team and the CSR Student Team, is committed to more sustainability in teaching, research and university operations. With this holistic approach to management education, we play a pioneering role in the German education system. If you have any questions or suggestions regarding the university's climate concept, please feel free to send an e-mail to: . More here.