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The university’s new sustainability manager: Anja Grabmeier

Sustainability is to become the principle of action in the use of resources at Hof University of Applied Sciences. Anja Grabmeier has now been introduced as the new sustainability manager in order to drive the topic forward with all her might and to develop and implement ideas. She talks to Campuls-digital about her exciting field of responsibility.

Together for a sustainable university (from left): Prof. Dr. Manuela Wimmer, University President Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c.. Jürgen Lehmann, the new sustainability manager Anja Grabmeier, and Christina Fischer, Presidential Advisor; Image: Hof University of Applied Sciences;

Ms. Grabmeier, in a nutshell: how should one imagine the work of a sustainability manager?

“In a nutshell, my work as sustainability manager at Hof University of Applied Sciences involves developing and implementing strategies, goals and measures to promote sustainability – environmentally, socially and economically.”

How did you get this job?

“The foundation stone was laid by the sustainability concept for Hof University of Applied Sciences, which I designed based on the initiative of Professor Dr. Manuela Wimmer. In addition, I developed an application-oriented seminar module on the implementation of sustainability in companies for the project Digital Recruiting high N (N for sustainability). The decisive factor for my task was in particular the combination of knowledge and competences on project management as well as sustainability and the intensive involvement with sustainability at Hof University of Applied Sciences. In addition, I know the university from different perspectives, as a student, graduate, lecturer and research assistant at the Institute for Sustainable Water Systems.”

Where would you see Hof University as of today in terms of sustainability?

“Hof University has potential in terms of sustainability and many individual sustainability-related activities are already being driven forward. These must now be integrated into a planned, systematic and, above all, long-term process for the sustainable development of the university and sustainability must be advanced through further as well as stronger integration into the fields of action of teaching, research and operations. At the same time, a strong dynamic can be seen in the university environment with regard to sustainability.

Some universities are currently one step ahead of us in the area of sustainability, others are not. But we now have the opportunity to become active, to push sustainability further and to position ourselves well.”

Anja Grabmeier

Conceptually, you are well advanced…

“That’s right, by now we are already beyond the conceptual phase. I am deliberately talking about we here. That is primarily Professor Dr. Manuela Wimmer, head of the master’s program “Sustainable Water Management and Engineering” and the research group “Sustainability and Project Management in Water Management” at the Institute for Sustainable Water Systems, as well as deputy women’s representative at Hof University of Applied Sciences, and Ms. Christina Fischer, personal assistant to the president. By we, I also mean all those who have supported me on my journey to become a sustainability manager and who continue to work with me to advance sustainability. And I thank everyone who is already contributing to sustainability.”

Can you already reveal any further steps or projects?

“The goal is to develop a sustainability strategy for Hof University, based on the sustainability concept, by the end of the year. The sustainability strategy is intended to anchor goals, binding measures and indicators to strengthen sustainability. Other projects include, for example, the integration of sustainability into the onboarding for teachers, researchers and employees as well as into the introductory days for students. At the Night of the Sciences, the two program items “Crime Scene – Sustainability at Hof University of Applied Sciences” and “Searching for Traces – Sustainability at Hof University of Applied Sciences” will be offered. In addition, the existing sustainability-related activities will be further consolidated and recorded. In the coming year, a sustainability report will be prepared.”

Can people contact you directly with ideas on how to advance sustainability at the university?

“Sustainability is a shared responsibility and all members of the university – students, teachers, researchers as well as all employees can contact me with ideas. The functional e-mail address nachhaltigkeit@hof-university has been set up for this purpose. Students can also submit suggestions for improvements in the area of sustainability.

Of course, all university members can also contact me directly at any time with ideas. So, dear university members: let me know your ideas!”

Anja Grabmeier

Should you want to advance sustainability at the university in your own field of activity and are still looking for ideas, let’s enter into a joint exchange.”

What role does “Change it, Stud!” play in this context?

“Change it, Stud!” is improvement management together with students at Hof University of Applied Sciences. Students can submit concrete suggestions for improvement on specific topics every semester and thus participate directly in the university’s change management. Against the background of strengthening sustainability at the university, this semester’s topic area is sustainability – ecological, social, economic. More information on the process will follow soon!”

Thanks for the interview!

Rainer Krauß

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