The JKU Aims to be Climate Neutral by 2030

As part of the university’s current 2022-2024 performance agreement, the JKU Linz has declared its commitment to becoming CO2 neutral by 2030.

Simon Moser und Maria Buchmayr
Simon Moser and Maria Buchmayr

The JKU has partnered with the Energy Institute to pool and implement a number of new measures, including a finished ‘roadmap’ by the end of October 2023.

As a progressive university with a pioneering role in the community, the JKU takes its social responsibility to heart. Over the years, the university has initiated projects and measures designed to support a viable and sustainable environment on campus as well as in the surrounding area. In 2021, the JKU was among the first universities to commit to the Climate Alliance, not only focusing on biodiversity and species diversity at the JKU, but also to support energy efficiency (when constructing or renovating buildings on campus). In an effort to further support sustainability and the local region, the JKU also organizes various eco-friendly events, such as WeFair Day, and a local farmers' market, etc. The JKU cafeteria also uses locally grown, organic ingredients. Click here to learn more about various climate-friendly measures at the JKU.

Climate Neutral by 2030

JKU Rector Meinhard Lukas remarked: "We are now systematically pursuing this approach. As outlined in the 2022-2024 performance agreement, the JKU intends to reach its set goal and be climate neutral by 2030. In other words, as an organization, the JKU and its stakeholders aim to eliminate or minimize climate-damaging factors and focus on strengthening our commitment to protecting the environment and our climate. We would like to inspire and serve as a role model for other universities and scientific institutions."

Maria Buchmayr at the JKU Office for Sustainability added: "Given the university’s pioneering role in paving society’s path toward the future, the JKU would like to do its part and apply its diverse scholarly expertise toward sustainable development, particularly in lieu of the global climate crisis and the current threat to vital resources. The order of the day is to try our best to strive toward becoming climate neutral and creating a roadmap is a crucial and decisive step forward."

In order to become climate neutral by 2030, the university intends to collect more data and implement a number of new measures. The university recently commissioned the JKU Energy Institute, a non-academic research institution and a Partner of Innovation, to support and assist in the process of creating a viable roadmap that will not only outline the steps needed, but also define the order in which these steps are to be taken.

Simon Moser (JKU Energy Institute) explained: "Becoming CO2 neutral by 2030 will be challenging. We must address the complex issues in the right order and when creating various measures, we have to look at the cause-and-effect relationship. The ‘roadmap’ will help us address and solve these issues in the best way possible."

The JKU’s transition to becoming a CO2 neutral environment will not be a single action; it will be made up of many intertwined, moving parts combined with other individual measures such as, for example, when purchasing and using heat and electricity. Mobility will also be an issue. Outlining the objectives and the intermediate steps needed to reach the targets will not only improve the planning stages, but also help avoid any uncertainties.

Simon Moser added: "As part of the process and to create the roadmap, the Energy Institute intends to work together with various stakeholders and experts at the JKU and those associated with the JKU. The goal is to not only clearly define the objectives in the form of a shared vision, but also discuss the individual steps needed. By involving the stakeholders early on, we can better facilitate our partnerships; everyone will be on the same page and will better understand their roles. We can all pull together."

The roadmap to becoming climate-neutral is expected to be available by the end of October 2023.