The EMAS Process

Environmental Policy

On 26 February 2004, the BTU university senate determined the Environmental Policy from the unanimously approved environmental guidelines. With the implementation of the guiding principles described therein, the university would like to continuously reduce negative effects on the environment. Through the realization of a common intention, a long-term contribution to sustainable development will also be made. In addition, in applying this policy, the BTU would like to fulfil its role within the society as an exemplary institution.

Click to view the BTU Environmental Policy

COPERNICUS-Charter - The university charter for sustainable development

In accordance with the senate’s decision, the COPERNICUS Charter was signed by the officiating President on 04 March 2002.


The COPERNICUS Charter, which arose from the Conference of European Rectors, is based upon AGENDA 21. This Charter defines the role of universities in the process of sustainable development. Ten guiding principles can be derived from this, such as knowledge and technology transfer, networking, continuing education and the comprehensive integration of environmental aspects within research and teaching.

The Charter is a commitment, and it has been signed by more than 300 universities from 37 European countries.

AGENDA 21 is a document, which urges for sustainable development and describes this as a model for the future. It was adopted in 1992 at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, where 179 countries, including Germany, committed themselves to following this document. 

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT is “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (Brundtland Commission, 1987).

Environmental Objectives

The Environmental Objectives of the Brandenburg Technical University Cottbus are derived from:

  • the environmental guidelines (Environmental Policy)
  • the current environmental aspects and
  • the current environmental statement

Where possible, environmental Objectives should be quantifiable. Based upon this, the environmental Objectives are annually compiled by the Central Environmental Officer and released by the university President. The environmental management team consults and supports the environmental officers of the individual faculties and institutes, as well as the administrative departments environmental protection and occupational safety.

On the basis of the environmental review and the consumption data from the period 2009-2012, the following objectives were set for the subsequent three-year period (2013-2015):

  • Reduction of specific electricity consumption by 5%
  • Reduction of specific heating energy consumption by 5%
  • Reduction of specific CO2 equivalent emissions arising from electricity and heating energy consumption by 20%

Specific water consumption and specific waste generation are relatively low and should be maintained at the average level of the years 2010-2012.