Shaping a sustainable future

Sustainability affects universities in various ways. On the one hand, they can address these issues in research and teaching and act as multipliers, but on the other hand they are responsible for emissions themselves.

"We are on our way to becoming a sustainable ZU with the goal of being climate-neutral by 2035. To achieve this, we are consistently reducing our own emissions and will set the sustainability as key issue in research and teaching."

Prof Dr Klaus Mühlhahn | President of Zeppelin University

As a space for ideas, university is the right place to deal with these topics and at the same time to act. ZU Sustainability Management coordinates the sustainability projects at Zeppelin University and is responsible for sustainability reporting. Since November 2017, Zeppelin University has also had a student green office which is called Zukunftsbüro.

Here you can get an overview of all the information about the Zukunftsbüro, the working group and research projects related to sustainability:

Sustainability measures at Zeppelin University

Buildings and energy

Green electricity

Zeppelin University has been using 100% renewable energy since January 2019.

Fallenbrunnen local heating network

The ZF Campus of ZU is connected to the local heating network in the Fallenbrunnen district. The energy required is generated in a combined heat and power plant, which produces electricity and heat simultaneously. Therefore it is more efficient.

Energy management system

Funded by the Climate Protection Plus program of the state Ministry of the Environment, Climate Protection and the Energy Sector, a certified operational energy management system in accordance with ISO 50001 was introduced in December 2022. An energy consultant supports Zeppelin University in this process and prepares the regular external audits of ZU energy management.


The lighting systems were gradually converted to LED lamps. The lighting in the corridors is controlled by motion detectors to save energy.

Intelligent ZF Campus of ZU

Nachhaltige Zeppelin Universität | Mensa

ZF Campus of ZU. Photo: ZU/Nicolas Piepenstock

On the ZF Campus of ZU, the ventilation and heating system in the new part of the building (through a local heating network) is controlled automatically. Speaking of ventilation: the windows were replaced in 2018, significantly improving the energy balance.

In the old part of the ZF Campus of ZU, the heating system is controlled according to usage. It automatically lowers the temperature when an office is unoccupied. Thanks to building core activation in the new part of the building, a low temperature in the heating system is sufficient. The temperature of the building core is kept constant all year round. Therefore it doesn´t have to be raised exclusively via radiators in winter. The ventilation systems of the entire campus recover heat.

Photovoltaic system ZF Campus of ZU

In November 2023, a photovoltaic system with a power of approx. 25 kWp was installed on the roof above the Graf Soden Forum on the ZF Campus of ZU. An expansion of the photovoltaic system is planned as part of a planned roof renovation of the ZF Campus of ZU.



In 2018, two small electric cars were procured for the IT and site management departments, which frequently have to commute between the two locations. Zeppelin University's small vehicle fleet is electrified with two exceptions (one diesel, one hybrid car). As part of the FRIZZ car-sharing project, ZU students and employees can register for electric vehicles that can be charged at both locations.

Cargo bike

In 2023, a cargo bike was purchased with financial support from the Zeppelin University Society (ZUG). The bike is available to all employees and is intended to facilitate commuting between the two locations. Further information can be found on ZUniverse.

Sustainable business trips

Zeppelin University's travel policy stipulates that public transportation is to be used as standard for business trips. It is not permitted to fly in a flight exclusion zone (Germany, Austria, Switzerland, parts of other neighboring countries that are easily accessible by train).

Canteen and procurement

Eating in the canteen

In the canteen, there is always a vegan/vegetarian option every day. By pre-ordering the food, only the number of meals that are required is produced and food waste is kept to a minimum. The ingredients (vegetables, meat, bread and cakes) are largely procured regionally. Zeppelin University is a certified Fairtrade University, which means that some products such as coffee and chocolate bars are Fairtrade-certified.

Reuse it!

The canteen only offers food for consumption on site. For several years, coffee has only been available from cups or you bring your own reusable cup for takeaway. We obtain mineral water and soft drinks in returnable deposit bottles from the Allgäu region.

Copy paper

In August 2020, the management decided to procure only recycling copy paper with Blue Angel certification (German ecolabel). We also take part in the annual Paper Atlas, which is a university competition for sustainable paper procurement. In 2022, Zeppelin University was awarded as "Rising Star of the Year".

Actions and events

Clean Up Days

In the 2024 spring semester, we carried out our first Clean Up Day in the Fallenbrunnen district together with our neighbors, the Swiss International School and the RITZ, as well as with the support of Zeppelin Rental, Zeppelin Systems, Sonett and the city of Friedrichshafen. In one hour, we were able to collect 170 kg of garbage.

City cycling

Every year, Zeppelin University takes part in city cycling with its own team. In this nationwide campaign, the cycled kilometers within a period of three weeks are collected. Despite strong competition from schools and large companies, the ZU team was ranked among the top 10 in Friedrichshafen.

European Mobility Week

We regularly take part in the annual European Mobility Week in Friedrichshafen in September with various activities, e.g. a test day for e-bikes and e-scooters or a panel discussion on the future of mobility.

Is something still missing or would you like to get involved? The contact persons will be happy to hear from you and put you in touch with existing sustainability projects.


Sennekamp Fabian
Sennekamp Fabian Dr
Consultant to the President & Managing Director | Sustainability Management
Phone:+49 7541 6009-1115
Room:Kolon 3.05
Time to decide

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