Sustainability policy for DTU's campuses

DTU’s 2014-2019 strategy defines DTU’s contribution to the transition towards a sustainable society. As an elite technical university, DTU must help drive the societal development within welfare and sustainable value creation in Denmark and internationally.

Concurrently, DTU must strive to ensure that the university’s operations and administration are in line with these ambitions. DTU is therefore taking steps to develop its operations and administration with sustainability in mind. The objectives of this sub-policy require a variety of initiatives. Everyone at DTU has a responsibility to contribute through their actions. All departments are responsible for integrating the needed measures into their activities, and departments with support functions have a special task in supporting sustainable behaviour.

This sub-policy is part of DTU’s contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (Figure 1).

UN Sustainable Goals
Figure 1: The UN Sustainable Development Goals

Aim of this sub-policy

The sustainability policy for DTU’s campuses sets the direction for decisions related to sustainability in the University administration and operations. Working with sustainability is a complex task and behind each decision is a balancing of dilemmas.

This sub-policy presents a holistic approach to sustainability at DTU’s campuses. The aim is for everyone at the University to be aware of and able to integrate sustainability into their daily activities. This sub-policy outlines the general focus areas for DTU within operations and administration.

Focus areas of this sub-policy

DTU must contribute to the sustainable transition of society through a holistic approach to the university’s operations and administration.

This sub-policy is structured according to the headings presented below in Figure 2. Each heading represents a focus area covering one or more sub-policy objectives.

Figure 2: The sustainability objectives for DTU campuses are divided into five focus areas.

The icons in Figure 2 illustrate which of the UN Sustainable Development Goals the objectives are expected to contribute to. In practice, the Sustainable Development Goals are interconnected and interdependent.

Conscious consumption

DTU must be at the forefront of the transition to a circular economy, while working to achieve high resource efficiency, phase out hazardous substances, and reduce CO2 emission

  • DTU must reduce CO2 emissions by recovering energy, increasing the share of energy from renewable sources, and reducing energy consumption—without compromising safety.
  • DTU must avoid unnecessary consumption of materials and commodities and prioritize responsible procurement.
  • DTU must promote reuse, recycling, and correct disposal, in part by choosing products designed for recycling as well as ensuring proper waste management.
  • DTU must promote sustainable transport options and seek to reduce work-related transport when possible.
  • DTU must work to ensure sustainable management of water resources.
  • DTU must contribute to phasing out hazardous substances in line with the Danish Environmental Protection Agency’s list of undesirable substances (LOUS).

Sustainable construction, landscape, and mobility

DTU strives to create functional, safe, and inspiring settings for good study and working life on its campuses. The strategic campus plan sets the framework for all planning of construction and development on campus.

DTU must choose solutions that are in line with the objectives in this sub-policy in all construction and renovation work.

  • The DGNB standards for urban areas and buildings must be used to guide prioritizations when planning campus development and construction projects. Every construction project must reach a documented gold DGNB certification level.
  • All construction work must be based on life cycle cost principles, with a focus on operations and resource efficiency.
  • The landscape design at DTU’s campuses must be carried out with a focus on recreational value, biodiversity, and climate change adaptation.
  • Infrastructure development at DTU must pay regard to safety, accessibility, and health.
  • The development of DTU’s campuses must support green mobility.

Good study and working life for everyone

Working and studying at DTU must be meaningful and rewarding, and DTU must work to support diversity and health at the University.

  • DTU must create and maintain the right conditions for a good study and working environment, with a high level of employee and student satisfaction.
  • DTU must work for equal rights and opportunities for all staff and students.
  • DTU must support health-promoting activities and services for staff and students.

Safety in study and working environments

DTU strives to maintain a safe study and working environment at the university, so students and staff always feel safe working on and moving around DTU’s campuses. There is a focus on both preventive and remedial initiatives.

  • DTU must promote an ambitious safety culture based on up-to-date risk assessments, plans, and procedures.
  • Staff and students must act carefully when performing dangerous tasks.
  • DTU must seek to protect the University against adverse events and build the capacity to respond to such events based on a holistic contingency plan.
The university as a Living Lab
Research, education, innovation, and scientific advice is done at DTU at a high international level and across a broad range of disciplines. DTU’s facilities must help support this work.
  • DTU sets its facilities at the disposal of researchers and students as a Living Lab, giving them the opportunity to develop and test sustainable technologies.


Process of this sub-policy

This sub-policy applies to all the university’s departments, and to employees, students, partners, tenants, and customers who play various roles in achieving the objectives.
Each person must follow the sub-policy’s objectives in their activities at DTU.

DTU’s departments must contribute wherever possible within their disciplines and facilities. Each department will consider which objectives in this sub-policy they can contribute to, and will include these in their planning similarly to other activities.

The departments with support functions must also contribute to the sub-policy focus areas within their activities by ensuring that the necessary tools and settings are available. The support functions thus play a special role in enabling departments and individuals at DTU to act sustainably. It must be easy to purchase products that support the sub-policy objectives, work in a safe and healthy manner, separate waste correctly, save energy, choose sustainable transport options, etc.

This sub-policy is updated every four years, or as required.