The EMAS Process

Environmental Review

In earlier years, the BTU Cottbus had already conducted a survey of existing conditions and an analysis of critical or weak points. Possible improvements for all BTU buildings were sought out in the winter semester 2009/10. In connection with the consumption data, numerous recommendations were compiled for ways to reduce direct environmental impacts (emissions, leakages, waste, resource use). Moreover, the indirect impacts from the Mensa, the International Meeting Center, the student dormitories, and those arising from transport were evaluated. Based on this analysis, the objectives, measures and guiding principles were determined for the improvement of the environmental performance over the next years.

Every year, within the context of the so-called “internal audit” (internal environmental reviews), improvement measures are derived from the auditors’ results and from employees’ suggestions.

The scope of the environmental review comprises an examination of the environmentally-relevant legal regulations to be applied and complied with, as well as the facilities’ technological elements and the existent environmental management procedures, including already implemented corrective actions.

Environmental Program

Our Environmental Program (list of measures) documents the concretely planned measures for improvement of the university’s environmental performance. Each measure is accompanied by details regarding its implementation: the responsible parties, estimated date of completion and, where possible, the source of funding.

For the development of our Environmental Program, we have:

  • established an organizational structure,
  • detected critical points of environmental relevance in all BTU buildings, using the “Eco-Mapping” method,
  • conducted an online survey of all BTU members (employees and students) at the end of 2009, (View a summary of the results  here…),
  • set up an “Ideas Pool” on the Environmental Management Intranet site, for which entries are evaluated by the working group for “Environment and Sustainable Development”,
  • recommended measures in the areas energy, water, waste, emissions, procurement, transport and safety, and discussed their realization with the parties responsible for their implementation,
  • held an EMAS Ideas Competition in 2012, some ideas from which were incorporated within the list of measures,
  • derived measures for improvements from the results of the annual “internal audit” (the internal environmental review) and from employees’ suggestions,
  • updated the catalogue of measures on an annual basis, after being discussed internally and presented to the university management.