About us | Sustainability

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We think green!

Everybody talks about it, we act: Sustainability gets more and more important for Studierendenwerk Aachen. Against the backdrop of economical, ecological and social sustainability we regularly examine our offers and projects. We act with environmental awareness and deal with raw materials and energy in an economical way.

Dining Services: Regional and seasonal ingredients

It is important to us to offer sustainable hot drinks. In our coffee bars we serve coffee made from fair trade beans. The cocoa and tea we serve in our dining halls and cafeterias are bioproducts.

Buns, cakes, pretzels - all bakery produces in our cafeterias and coffee bars are supplied by regional bakeries: In Aachen, the facilities get the pastries from "Kickartz", in Jülich they come from "Mainz-Weitz". Thanks to these regional cooperations, transport distances remain short.

Leftovers of our cafeterias and coffee bars are collected by members of the association „Foodsharing“ every day. The Foodsavers take buns, wraps and pastries that are still fine to eat to distribution sites (“Fairteiler”-Stationen) all over the city. Thanks to this cooperation we can reduce waste and support sustainable handling of food.

As often as possible we cook with seasonal ingredients: In the asparagus season we serve fresh German asparagus, in the winter kale is on the menu and in the autumn we offer dishes with pumpkin from regional producers. We buy fresh meat from local butchers.

Disposable products can hardly be avoided in dining halls or cafeterias. In order to make a contribution to the environment here as well, we rely on articles produced in a resource-saving manner:

  • The napkins and paper plates used in the dining halls are made of recycled and unbleached paper.
  • The burger wrapping paper is biodegradable and compostable.
  • In Mensa Academica, the french fries are sold in boxes that are made from sustainably produced wood and are certified according to PEFC standards. The burger paper is biodegradable and can be composted.
  • We do not use plastic straws and mixing tools in any of our facilities. Upon request, guests can receive a more environmentally friendly drinking straw as an alternative. In the cafeterias and coffee bars, we use wooden mixing tools.
  • The cups at the soft drink dispensers are made from degradable cornstarch.

To reduce plastic waste, we offer the reusable MensaCup − a break-proof and dishwasher-safe cup with a lockable drinking lid.

Construction and Housing: Energy effiviency and resource saving
© Photovoltaic cells on Bayernallee

The new residence halls Hainbuchenstraße, Solarcampus II and Kawo 3 were/are built according to KfW Standard 55.

In our residence halls Rütscher Straße, Kastanienweg, Hainbuchenstraße and Solarcampus as well as the dining hall Mensa Academica we use a block-type thermal power station that produces electricity and heat according to the principle of power-heat coupling. The power station also distributes heat and electricity to neighbouring houses.

In all residence halls the heating systems were exchanged for energy efficient types and we switched from oil to gas.

The use of building automation software controlling all electrical systems of the building is increasing. The operating parameters get optimized which leads to a reduction in energy consumption and operating costs.

 

100 square metres of solar panels for producing hot water were installed on the roof top of the residence hall “Am Weißenberg”. Photovoltaic cells on the facade of the residence hall on Bayernallee produce electricity.

Climate-friendly green roofs on the residence hall “Hainbuchenstraße” contribute to good air quality and at the same time the rainwater fee gets reduced.

All residence halls are equipped with LED light bulbs and energy-efficient electrical appliances (refrigerators, deep freezers).

Vehicles: Eco-friendly cars

Quiet, eco-friendly and sporty: Since 2014, an electric car has belonged to the Studierendenwerk fleet of business vehicles. Until February 2017, an electric Smart was at the StW staff’s disposal. It was then replaced by a bigger VW “e-up”. As electric cars run on electricity instead of petrol or diesel the operation and maintenance costs are comparatively low. The environmentally friendly "e-up" does not produce any exhaust fumes and it hardly makes any noise while driving.

We prefer working with companies that value sustainability as much as we do. A great example is the company Phillip Leisten, our workwear supplier: In the Aachen City zone all products are delivered by bicycle Courier.

Technology: Carbon neutral toner by KYOCERA

Print green:

By using KYOCERA original toner 2,37 tons CO2 were saved in the climate protection project “myclimate”. Studierendenwerk received a certificate from myclimate for taking part in the project "efficient cooker for Kenia."

Electricity

As part of a reassessment of its current power supply, Studierendenwerk Aachen, operator of 24 dormitories, nine dining halls and five childcare centers, will switch completely to green electricity from 2021. The electricity supplier is Stadtwerke Jülich GmbH, which will feed corresponding quantities from renewable energy sources into the public power grid to the extent of the Studierendenwerk's actual electricity consumption. In October, a green power certificate sealed the contract, which runs until the end of 2022.