Sustainability

In accordance with Fraunhofer’s guiding principles, we consider it our mission to make our business operations more sustainable. Engagement with the topics of economic security, social justice and ecological balance as the classical pillars of sustainability enables us to shape the future of our institute with foresight and responsibility. In cooperation and dialogue with employees and other Fraunhofer institutes in the Fraunhofer Sustainability Network, we are reflecting on a variety of topics and generating new ideas to improve internal processes and research in view of sustainable development.  The preparation of our second sustainability report in 2014 served as a means to record the status quo, and to identify and plan improvements.

History#

Sustainability is already a tradition at Fraunhofer ICT. We have been a member of the Fraunhofer Sustainability Network since it was founded in 2009, with the aim of identifying, developing and advancing sustainability potential within the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft.

Fraunhofer ICT’s first sustainability report was published in 2011, based on the guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).

Fraunhofer ICT was a partner in the projects "Strategy for Sustainability" and "Sustainability Report Guidelines (LeNa)” of the Fraunhofer Management Board. In the LeNa project (June 2013 - December 2014), a guideline for sustainability reporting was prepared based on the GRI report standard G4 but tailored to the requirements of the Fraunhofer institutes. In addition, a web platform was launched on which Fraunhofer institutes can obtain tips and suggestions to increase the sustainability of internal processes.

In 2013, Fraunhofer ICT established a sustainability working group, and identified improvement measures via a poster campaign and an internal workshop.

In 2014, the second sustainability report was published.

Sustainability Center at ICT#

Fraunhofer ICT is an integral part of the Karlsruhe International Sustainability Center (KISC). In the framework of cooperations with international partners, young companies and start-ups wishing to establish or further develop in the field of sustainability (e.g. energy, water, raw materials, etc.) can benefit from Fraunhofer ICT’s infrastructure and expertise. Within collaborative projects, feasibility studies, material and process developments, initial prototype developments, validation and benchmarking of products and processes, and analyses are carried out. The following research areas and topics are targeted:

  • Energy efficiency, energy storage devices and converters, safety tests
  • Sustainability in the construction industry
  • Raw materials and material developments
  • Improved efficiency
  • Alternative (renewable) starting materials
  • Recycling strategies
  • Sustainable product design and simulation of environmental influences on products
  • Sustainability in chemical processes and products
  • Analytics

As part of the joint network of the European Organisation for Sustainable Development GmbH, Fraunhofer ICT hosted the "International Greening Education Event" in October 2014 and the "Global Sustainable Conference" in June 2015, each with around 70 international participants.