Social responsibility

Children's Day at ATB (Photo: ATB)


ATB is committed to the sustainable design of research and administrative processes. Sustainability should - in the sense of the 17 UN goals for sustainable development - become a visible and self-evident part of our daily work.

The options for action include measures to ensure sustainability in the research process, sustainable human resources management, sustainability in the operation of buildings and infrastructures as well as in procurement and mobility.

Research in social responsibility

We are researching for a sustainable intensification of the production and holistic use of biomass for a bio-based circular economy. With our research, we provide solutions to current societal challenges: food security, the holistic use of biomass, climate and environmental protection as well as animal welfare.

ATB takes responsibility in the research process through its voluntary commitment to "ensuring good scientific practice". Following the recommendations of the German Research Foundation (DFG), ATB scientists are committed to the rules of good scientific practice as basic principles for ensuring the honesty, integrity and professionalism of scientific work.

ATB's own guideline on research data management regulates the sustainable use of research data.

Managing resources sustainably

ATB uses material and non-material resources in its scientific work: employees, infrastructure, equipment, materials, raw materials, supplies, energy, financial resources and knowledge. A responsible use of these resources in everyday work is the basis of our organisational culture at ATB.

With its human resources management, ATB takes social responsibility for its employees and offers an attractive working environment in which emphasis is laid on the compatibility of career and family and equal opportunities for men and women. Qualification and further training enable ATB employees to meet new challenges. The careers of young scientists are accompanied by structured support.

Concerning buildings and infrastructure, the aim is to provide an infrastructure that is adequate to the ATB's scientific objectives and to manage this infrastructure sustainably. Construction, modernisation and operation of the institute's infrastructure are based on the principles of sustainability. The focus is not only on media consumption and operating costs, but also on occupational safety, security and user satisfaction.

With its research building CIRCLE, opened in 2019, ATB has created an inspiring and future-oriented working environment for its employees. Planning and construction were carried out in line with energy and resource efficiency, cost-effectiveness and design quality. A particular focus was not only to provide employees with modern office and laboratory space, but also to create new space for meetings and communication.

With the new building, ATB is also implementing a sustainable heating concept for the campus. The heat supply will be gradually converted to wood chips from poplars grown on ATB's own short-rotation plantation. In doing so, ATB is reducing heating-related greenhouse gas emissions by about 35 percent.

Mobility and procurement

In addition to the purchase of office materials made of recycled or renewable raw materials, we are considering further possibilities for a sustainable procurement policy. The entire life cycle of products is increasingly being taken into account when assessing their cost-effectiveness.

ATB has equipped its fleet with two e-bikes and an e-cargobike for business trips in the local area. A charging station for e-vehicles is planned. ATB supports the possibility of an eco-friendly travel to and from the workplace by public transport and is thus partially covering the costs of so-called job tickets.

Sustainably into the future

We are currently evaluating further possibilities for a voluntary commitment to implement specific sustainability measures.

The basis for our sustainability management at ATB is the handbook "Sustainability management in non-university research organisations", which was published (in German) in 2016 as part of the joint project "Guide to sustainability management in non-university research organisations" (LeNa) in cooperation with the Leibniz Association, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and Helmholtz Association.


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