TUM Sustainability: How we are making our university more sustainable

How can we make our university more sustainable and environmentally friendly and – in doing so – increase our contribution to global sustainability efforts? Moving forward, we have decided to embrace this challenge – as environmental, economic and social sustainability is one of the biggest issues set to define life in the 21st century. As a thought leader within society, we have a responsibility to shape a more sustainable future. Acting together, let us master the many tasks that lie ahead.

How we are forming our strategy

Together, we are identifying the building blocks required to create a holistic strategy that will act as a roadmap for our sustainability journey; an action plan fitting of a university of international standing with the power to influence society, industry and policy-makers. We are in the process of creating the necessary governance structures, building on the commitment and support of the entire university community. Communication and knowledge transfer are key success factors in the process.

Our objective: To unleash the full sustainability potential of TUM across our key action areas: research – teaching – entrepreneurship – campus & operations.

  • Sustainability office: Brings together all existing initiatives and ideas under an overarching strategic framework, supports their implementation, and generates new ideas and projects through cooperation.
  • Sustainability taskforce: In spring 2020, the taskforce wrote a comprehensive report to underpin the sustainability function’s strategy. The taskforce members remain strongly committed to the issue – both within their respective disciplines and for the university as a whole.
  • Thematic teams: Interdisciplinary thematic teams, focused on the key action areas, recommend action plans and implement projects. Sustainability initiatives are piloted at TUM, and adapted to our specific requirements. This gives us an efficient, targeted blueprint for sustainability improvements across the entire university.

“We can make the world a better place”

Four experts, one goal: How can society be won over to a more sustainable lifestyle? And what role do universities and research institutes play in this process? These questions are discussed by Prof. Dr. Thomas Brück, Foundation Director and TUM alumna Dr. María José Barragán-Paladines, student Tabea Riemensperger, and entrepreneur Dr. Andreas Sichert. Read the interview

How we are bringing sustainability to life?

Top-of-their-game scientists from around the world, excellent facilities and resources, and interdisciplinary teams all combine to inspire real innovations and valuable insights into how we can improve environmental, economic and social sustainability.

A snapshot of our research activities

Other examples

The future belongs to future generations – our students! That is why we incorporate sustainability thinking into our study programs and even place it center stage on certain courses, for instance with the unique range of programs offered at the TUM Campus Straubing for Biotechnology and Sustainability. We equip the next generation with the skills they will need to make sustainable decisions for the good of our planet and society. This is the essence of “human-centered engineering”.

A snapshot of our study programs

Our Sustainable Living Labs

Other options

Our students are active in many different projects, initiatives and societies and engage with sustainability topics in a variety of ways. By applying their academic knowledge, they embody TUM’s mission of thinking and acting like an entrepreneurial university. In the process, they have formed friendships and networks across Europe and the rest of the world.

A snapshot of our projects and initiatives

Successful tech companies have emerged from the inventions of our researchers and students. The innovations they develop bring the topic of sustainability to a wider public audience. TUM is the top German university for the number of entrepreneurs who transition their idea from the lab to the market.

A snapshot of our start-ups

Today’s start-ups are attaching more and more importance to sustainability, as revealed by a Europe-wide online survey conducted by UnternehmerTUM GmbH (05/2020).

Society needs to act together to transform our world into a more sustainable place. That is why we collaborate with our international partners to find solutions, develop technologies, and create new training and learning concepts.

A snapshot of our collaborations

  • EuroTech Universities Alliance: “Sustainable Society” is one of the main focus topics of our cooperation with EuroTech partner universities. Our research projects include smart technologies for environmental protection in the digital age.
  • International Sustainable Campus Network (ISCN): On an international level, we joined this network with universities on all continents with strong commitments and leading positions in sustainability.
  • Bavarian Network for Sustainability in Higher Education: We are part of a 25-strong Bavarian university network which, building on a common understanding of sustainability, pools its resources in support of a whole-institutional approach to sustainability.
  • European Knowledge and Innovation Communities (EIT-KICs): We work toward the sustainable production of food (EIT FOOD), develop sustainable mobility concepts (EIT Urban Mobility) and think of innovative measures to mitigate climate change (Climate-KIC).
  • TUM without borders – Development cooperation at TUM: Teaming up with local partners around the world, TUM academics, students and staff make valuable contributions to more sustainable economic, social and environmental infrastructures in developing countries.
  • TUM Seed Center: Interdisciplinary research and teaching combined with entrepreneurship is supporting the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations by focusing on sustainable, low-cost energy as a driver of development in the Global South.

Sustainability Office

As a strategic unit, we report directly to the Board of Management. We coordinate, initiate, bundle and synergize the university’s ambitious sustainability activities. In addition, we report regularly on the progress of our sustainability strategy.

Tobias Michl


+49 89 289 22897


Sustainability Manager


Sandra Huber


+49 89 289 25231



Sustainability Manager



Sustainability Taskforce

Head of the Sustainability taskforce



How we can all make a difference – starting today

Whether you’re on your way to the university, at work or having lunch, the choices you make every day have environmental, economic and social implications, and all of these impacts are interlinked. We encourage you to use and support the many sustainability activities, services and initiatives which are already in place at TUM. By getting actively involved today, you can become part of the sustainability strategy of tomorrow.

Sustainability news

    • Mobility, Sustainability, Research news
    • Reading time: 3 MIN

    Electric trucks: ultra-fast charging in the megawatt range

    Consortium developing solution for low-emission cargo transport

    It is an ambitious goal: By 2030 the German government aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 65 percent compared to 1990. But how? With partners from industry and research institutes, scientists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) are working on prototypes for an electric-powered truck and the charging station it will need.

    • Sustainability, Campus news, President
    • Reading time: 2 MIN

    Dr. Markus Söder praises cutting-edge research 'Made in Bavaria'

    Bavarian Minister-President tours climate gas sensors at TUM

    Bavarian Minister-President Dr. Markus Söder recently visited a research station for greenhouse gases in the urban environs of the Technical University of Munich (TUM). During the tour he emphasized the significance of climate change as the greatest challenge of our time. "We can only reduce emissions efficiently if we understand them. This is unique international cutting-edge research, 'Made in Bavaria'," Söder said Monday. The Minister-President was on the roof of a TUM building learning about a sensor network for measuring greenhouse gases which is unique worldwide.

  • Ein kleines Feld in der Stadt: Ziel des Projektes Essbare Stadt München ist es, neue Möglichkeiten des Gärtnerns in der Stadt auszuloten und den Austausch zwischen Stadt-Gärtnern zu ermöglichen. Über solche und ähnliche Projekte diskutieren die Teilnehmer des 14. Weihenstephaner Forums.
    • Sustainability, Campus news, Event
    • Reading time: 2 MIN

    Saving the world – Cultivating the city?

    Weihenstephan Symposium on the topic of "Urban Agriculture"

    How can urban food production contribute to a sustainable future? Is urban agriculture a trend phenomenon or can it be seen as a transformative element for the development of resilient food systems and cities? These and more are the topics of the 14th Weihenstephan Symposium on October 21 and 22. This hybrid event is organized by the Professorship of Urban Productive Ecosystems at the Technical University of Munich (TUM).

  • Wood with chemical signs
    • Sustainability, Campus news, Event
    • Reading time: 2 MIN

    New potentials of the traditional raw material wood

    TUM@Freising lecture series for the first time as a hybrid event

    The raw material wood has shaped the development of mankind like hardly any other natural material. For centuries, wood was one of the most important materials for satisfying people's basic material and energy needs. But how can we use this raw material today? At the TUM@Freising lecture series on Thursday, September 30, 2021, Prof. Klaus Richter from the Chair of Wood Science at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) will explain how wood can be optimized through innovative technology and what potential this offers for climate protection.

  • Eco-efficient fertilization protects nature, health, and the wallet.
    • Sustainability, Research news
    • Reading time: 3 MIN

    Eco-efficient fertilization

    Researchers calculate billions in environmental and health savings

    Urea is a valuable nitrogen fertilizer which is regularly used in agriculture to fertilize large areas of arable land. However, the release of urea into the atmosphere extensively affects the environment and human health. These affects can be largely mitigated by the addition of “urease inhibitors”, which reduce gaseous ammonia losses. A team of researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now calculated how the use of eco-efficient fertilizers can save billions in environmental and health expenditures.