Social and environmental sustainability

How WHU fosters social impact.

Social Impact @ WHU

Conscious awareness of the world around us –
Continued sustainable development of the School.

At WHU, we aspire to be at the forefront of sustainable entrepreneurship and management and to drive positive change in the world. Our vision is to create a community of leaders who are deeply committed to economic, social, and environmental sustainability, and who possess the knowledge, skills, and values needed to create lasting impact. We believe that sustainability should be a core focus of all our activities, from research and teaching to transfer to management practice and beyond. Our goal is to generate new insights, approaches, and solutions that can address the most pressing challenges facing society today.

As a community, we commit ourselves to establish an environment at WHU that allows to reach these goals. 

This, of course, implies that we aim to reach net zero emission targets on our premises and for our operations as soon as possible. As a first important step towards carbon neutrality, we have recorded our carbon footprint of 2022 (Scope 1 and 2) in an official Carbon Footprint Repor verified by TÜV NORD CERT. This emissions report was prepared in line with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol) Corporate Standard, established by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

WHU Sustainability Management Center

Bridging thought leadership and real-world impact


WHU aims to be at the forefront in the area of sustainability, and its research ranks first among business schools in Germany and 11th worldwide in terms of SDG intensity. The WHU Sustainability Management Centers serves as a platform to share the school's sustainability-related insights and activities with the broader WHU network and beyond and to transfer them into practice.


Principles for Responsible Management Education


WHU is a member of the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME), an initiative supported by the United Nations, which was founded in 2007 and aims to address the topic of sustainability in teaching on the basis of seven principles. Acting in accordance with the PRME principles focuses on serving society and protecting our planet.


Professor Nadine Kammerlander
Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Sustainability
"Our vision is to create a community of leaders who are deeply committed to economic, social, and environmental sustainability and who possess the knowledge, skills, and values needed to create a lasting impact."

Impressive 1st place result for WHU's sustainability research

In a new study conducted by the Rotterdam School of Management that analyzes how intensely business schools focus on the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in their research, WHU has ranked #1 in Germany and #11 worldwide. The Financial Times published the results of this analysis as part of a special report on responsible business education, evincing how important contributions made by business schools such as WHU can help realize higher levels of sustainability—not only for the economy, but also for the environment and the whole of society.

Environmental sustainability at WHU

In terms of environmental sustainability, recent infrastructural improvements to the WHU campuses in Vallendar and Düsseldorf enable WHU to meet the highest environmental standards. A sustainability check was carried out to provide the School with valuable insights concerning areas where WHU could make an even larger contribution to the sustainable use of natural resources. Together with the TSB (Transferstelle Bingen) of Bingen University we are looking for ways to create more efficient and environmentally friendly energy in the areas of heating, air circulation, lighting and cooling systems. These efforts are hoped to make our campus greener by reducing the amount of resources used.

WHU offers its employees an array of offers that support environmentally friendly transportation and in turn, increase the attractiveness of the working environment at WHU. Employees can choose between four environmentally friendly mobility options: ‘Jobticket’ for public transport (VRM Job ticket for Campus Vallendar and Rheinbahn Job ticket for Campus Düsseldorf), JobRad (bike and eBike leasing), the use of car-charging devices installed on Campus Vallendar that use 100% green electricity, and e-carsharing with the use of an electric car located on Campus Vallendar.

Since April 2020, WHU has a double charging station for electric cars with 2x11-KW charging power on Campus Vallendar.The charging station is powered with 100% green energy and is there to service the e-cars of the WHU community. The charging station may also be used by the local community meaning also non-WHU members.

WHU began using its first photovoltaic system on the roofs of buildings F, G, and H in 2021. The modules installed provide total power of nearly 58 kWp (kilowatt peak). Most of the energy produced is used by WHU itself. By using this self-generated energy, WHU will be able to reduce its CO2 emission by up to 30,445 kg/year. WHU is planning to install more solar panels on the roofs of more buildings over the next few years. 

Study at WHU

All programs at WHU are designed to foster personal growth and prepare our students for a managerial position in the business world. Therefore, an entrepreneurial attitude and responsible leadership are strongly encouraged and supported in the curricula. Ethics, responsibility, and sustainability have been integrated into the curricula and program designs, courses, and other learning formats since the School’s foundation. All WHU programs include semesters or modules abroad, which sharpen intercultural competence and raise awareness about global economic, environmental, and social issues.

Students are challenged on various social impact topics in numerous courses at WHU, such as Creating Social Value , Sustainability in the Food Supply Chain, Sustainable Urban Transport, Sustainable mega sport events: Oxymoron or reality?, Sustainable Entrepreneurship and New Business Development, and Health Economics, Policy and Management.

Future Leaders Fundraising Challenge

Social responsibility – Teaching leadership through experience.


The Future Leaders Fundraising Challenge is a one-week leadership course at the outset of WHU’s MBA Program. It is designed to teach leadership through experience, to introduce topics covered in the MBA Program, and instill in students a lasting sense of leaders’ social responsibility beyond their organizations. The students work in teams and face a different challenge every day. The ideas and the funds that the students raise during the week benefit children's rights organizations. Since its inception in April 2016, MBA students have raised around €400,000 for charity.

General Management Plus Program

Develop as a leader - Create social impact.


Boost your General Management skills with the General Management Plus Program: By combining the WHU Management Essentials Program with the Capability Program, which we conduct in cooperation with BOOKBRIDGE, we offer you the opportunity to obtain a WHU Mini MBA certificate with 15 ECTS. At the same time, we empower you to transform yourself and your organization with purpose. You will enhance your general management skills in the areas of finance, leadership, strategy, and entrepreneurship. Facilitated by BOOKBRIDGE, you will establish a real-life and fully independent social enterprise in a deprived community during the Capability Program.

Student clubs at WHU that address topics such as sustainability and social impact

3 Day Startup
WHU Founders Bootcamp
In contrast to many other student events, this is not a conference, but a practical boot camp that is not just about bringing people together, but also about working together on startup ideas over three days and, in the best case, finding your co-founders. Participants work on their idea in small groups of four to six people and present it on the last day. The aim of this event is to promote startup ideas and entrepreneurship and to learn from experts in the field.
Business Meets Tech
WHU's Tech Initiative
Business Meets Tech aims to connect the tech and business world on campus through internal education (two accredited tech tracks in Applied Product Development and Applied Data Science and workshops): particularly by the organization of a 24h hackathon as a pre­-event of IdeaLab! (most recently attended by 150 students from all over Europe), supporting the digitalization of processes at WHU: e.g., developing Moodle 2.0, managing VallerLunch, and building a network (connections to top­tier tech universities and monthly events).
Diversity at WHU
Diversity and Equal Rights
Diversity at WHU is a stu­dent­ network aimed at fostering diversity-­related topics within the WHU Community. The group provides information and guidance for navigating diversity and, thereby, supports students’ under­standing of the topic and the school's measures for becoming more diverse. The group organizes an annual Diversity Week, which provides the WHU community with various opportunities to learn about all dimensions of diversity, discuss current approaches, and get in touch with each other.
Wirtschaft in der Verantwortung
Every year, over 200 stu­dents from renowned universities in Germany and the EU meet with decision­-makers from business and politics on the WHU campus to discuss cur­rent topics from the fields of business, politics, and society.
WHU Founders' Conference
The IdeaLab! – WHU Founders’ Conference is one of Europe’s leading conferences on startups and entrepreneurship entirely organized by 12 WHU stu­dents. In it’s 23rd year in 2024, it is renowned for offering a platform for the exchange of ideas and visions between students, academics, entrepre­neurs and VC’s. Attendees appreciate the quality networking opportunities and meaningful connec­tions which can be made here, such as the startup DailyDeal, which secured its first financing here and was later sold to Google for more than $100 million.
Saidia Consulting
WHU's student-run management consultancy
Saidia provides consulting services for socially engaged undertakings, e.g., voluntary and educational institutions as well as social startups. Through the combination of acquired business knowledge and practical expertise, students create further value for clients in a sustainable way. Recent projects include supporting the AMES Foundation in protection of some of the most endangered species in Africa and Children for a Better world in support of preventing negative effects of child poverty in Germany.
The WHU Impact Summit
This conference has been a unique platform since its inception, attracting more than 250 international students, entrepreneurs, young professionals and investors every year. The varied and exciting program includes inspiring talks, practical workshops, a panel discussion, the Pitch Battle, and countless networking opportunities. Over the course of two unforgettable days, participants from all over the world will be inspired to adopt effective economic behavior and social responsibility.
The WHU Entrepreneur Network
SmartUp!'s mission is to foster the entrepreneurial culture and network at WHU while helping its members acquire the knowledge and capabilities necessary to become better entrepre­neurs. SmartUp! hosts on­-campus work­shops with experienced entrepreneurs, especially WHU founders, and organizes yearly tours to a selected set of start­ups from various industries.
Startup Academy
by WHU & Deutscher Gründerpreis für Schüler:innen
The aim is to get students excited about entrepreneurship over the course of a two-day event, where participants learn more about the startup scene through interactive talks, creative workshops, and networking opportunities. Around 200 local high school students from the 10th grade onwards take part in our event free of charge.
Independently organized TED event
TEDxWHU provides a platform for revolutionary, inspiring, and creative thinkers. It is designed to stimulate dialogues through a TED­like experience. TEDxWHU is an immersive, day­long conference with numerous speakers. The con­ference offers networking opportunities between speeches, as well as a Meet & Eat during which participants can interact directly with the speakers. The 10th conference in February 2024, is organized under the motto “Risks – A Growth Catalyst?".
Tradity meets WHU
Gamifying Education
Tradity works to improve financial education in Germany through: work­shops, trading simulation for students (attended by 15,000 participants so far), cooperation with the Federal Ministry of Education, and the organization of a conference with about 100 participants on finance, banking, and programming each year.
WHU Campus for
This portfolio of annual conferences professionally organized by WHU students and/or faculty members is poten­tially the most visible sign of extra­curricular aca­demic student activity. Several of the conferences address issues of sustainability and corporate social responsibility.
WHU Entrepreneurship Roundtable
An Initiative of MBA students
The Roundtable is a platform for MBA students to dis­cuss business ideas, practice pitching, and receive expert advice about start­ups and entrepreneur­ship. The WHU Entrepreneurship Roundtable organizes world­class events to establish a network and exchange between VCs, CVCs, founders, legal experts, and business professionals.
WHU First Responder e.V.
Contributing to a valuable communal living
WHU First Responder e.V. provides qualified emergency services from students who have taken an extensive four ­month medical emergency training course, who volunteer as first responders to provide first aid before emergency personnel arrives. Members have treated a variety of medi­cal emergencies since 2003 and can be reached via the usual emergency number 112 for internal emergencies. The group has a direct and immedi­ate impact in Vallendar and the surrounding area. They are financed by donations which are used to purchase medical equipment and maintain active service. The group also conducts two blood donation drives in Vallendar every year.
WHU Sustainability Club
It is up to us to make a change.
The WHU Sustainability Club aims to clarify the true definition of sustainability in the corporate environment. We want to look at the success stories of responsible companies that serve as role models for their entire industry. We also want to look at the challenges a company may face when transitioning to a sustainable business model and learn how to overcome them.
WHU Students Help e.V.
The aim of the initiative is to “press pause” in a fast­paced world, to be grateful for what we have, and to encourage students to give back. A recurring event is the annual Christmas charity concert, in which students from the WHU commu­nity get together to perform a vivid music program. Regular projects concerning the community in Vallendar are also consistently on the agenda.

SensAbility - The WHU Impact Summit


Ever since 2010, SensAbility - The WHU Impact Summit has been a unique platform for more than 250 international students, entrepreneurs, young professionals and investors. The diverse and exciting program includes inspirational speeches, hands-on workshops, a panel discussion, the pitch battle, and countless networking opportunities. Over the course of two unforgettable days, attendees from all over the world are inspired towards impactful economic behaviour and corporate social responsibility.

Research focus

At WHU, there are a number of chairs and centers that focus their efforts and resources entirely on exploring subjects such as sustainability, responsibility, and ethics.


Center for Responsible Leadership
Center for Responsible Leadership
The Center for Responsible Leadership is research-based as well as practice-oriented and serves as a platform for interaction between companies and scientists. Its aim is to provide a basis for teaching and knowledge creation in the field of leadership, business ethics and entrepreneurship, and to create awareness for social responsibility and personal development.
Mercator Endowed Chair of Demand Management & Sustainable Transport
Mercator Endowed Chair of Demand Management & Sustainable Transport
The Mercator Endowed Chair of Demand Management & Sustainable Transport is a significant addition in the fields of logistics and digitalization. It will provide the managers of today and tomorrow with the knowledge and tools they need to align their business success increasingly with the policies of climate protection.


Our knowledge base – Generating thought leadership through research and publications.

WHU is home to an expert faculty whereby professors conduct a diverse range of projects and studies, regularly releasing publications addressing and answering relevant questions on topics such as sustainability and social impact in all areas and sectors of management.

European Journal of Operational Research Vol. 310 (3) p.992-1016

Energy cost efficient scheduling in flexible job-shop manufacturing systems

Shen, L., Dauzère-Pérès, S., Maecker, S. (2023)
Financial Markets, Institutions & Instruments Vol 32 (4) p. 221-252

Sentimental sustainability

Ignatov, K., Rudolf, M. (2023)
Energy Economics Vol. 280 #128129

Energy structure and carbon emissiony

Liu, Y., Xie, X., Wang, M. (2023)
International Journal of Production Economics Vol. 262 #108926

Dealing with donations

Akkerman, R., Buisman, M., Cruijssen, F., De Leeuw, S., Haijema, R. (2023)
Transportation Science Vol. 57 (4) p.999-1018

Cross-border capacity planning in air traffic management under uncertainty

Künnen, J.-R., Strauss, A., Ivanov, N., Jovanovic, R., Fichert, F., Starita, S. (2023)
Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice Vol. 174 #103716

Leveraging demand-capacity balancing to reduce air traffic emissions and improve overall network performance

Künnen, J.-R., Strauss, A., Ivanov, N., Jovanovic, R., Fichert, F. (2023)
Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment Vol. 121 #103817

Assessing economic, social and ecological impact of parcel-delivery interventions in integrated simulation

Bell, L., Spinler, S., Winkenbach, M., Müller, V. (2023)
Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment Vol. 121 #103851

Carbon emissions from European land transportation

Sporkmann, J., Liu, Y., Spinler, S. (2023)
Energy Economics Vol. 121 #106692

Earnings expectations of grey and green energy firms

Liu, Y., Blankenburg, M., Wang, M. (2023)
Journal of Supply Chain Management Vol. 59 (2) p.33-61

In the eye of the beholder

Woelfl, K., Kaufmann, L., Carter, C. R. (2023)
Journal of Operations Management Vol. 69 (2) p.261-283

From target to actor

Ried, L., Eckerd, S., Kaufmann, L., Carter, C. (2023)
Economics Letters Vol. 224 #111002

Climate risk and deployment of corporate resources to working capital

Ahmad, M. F., Aktas, N., Croci, E. (2023)
Journal of Supply Chain Management Volume 59 (p.66-94)

Narratives in supplier negotiations

Kaufmann, L., Schreiner, M., Reimann, F. (2023)
Proceedings of the European Marketing Academy (EMAC 2022 Annual)

Responsibility beyond the point of sale: how product stewardship forges sustainable consumption behavior

Schmitz, A.-K., Schnabl, L., Göring-Lensing-Hebben, K., Fassnacht, M. (2022)
Bodemann, M. Fellner, W., Just, V. (ed.), Springer: Heidelberg, pp. 189-205.

Digitale Lösungen mit Potenzial: Impulse und Beispiele zur Förderung von nachhaltigem Konsumentenverhalten

Schmitz, A.-K., Platzek, F., Göring-Lensing-Hebben, K. (2022)
Resources, Environment and Sustainability, Vol. 7, 100049

A study on the impact of extreme weather events on the ceramic manufacturing in Egypt

Furrer, M., Mostofi, H., Spinler, S. (2022)
Von der ökonomischen Theorie zum politischen Leitbild - Festschrift für Bernd Raffelhüschen zum 65. Geburtstag, Vahlen

Fiskalische Nachhaltigkeit

Hagist, C., Kohlstruck, T. (eds.) (2022)
Controller-Magazin, Vol. 47 (1), pp. 6-10

Nachhaltigkeit und Controlling: ein Aufruf zum Handeln

Schäffer, U. (2022)
Controlling & Management: Zeitschrift für Controlling und Management, Vol. 66 (5), pp. 32-37

Ökonomisch steht der Transformation nichts im Wege: Michael Müller im Dialog mit Utz Schäffer

Schäffer, U., Müller, M. (2022)

In the media

Do you need an interview partner for sustainable topics?
Get in touch with us!

World Snowboard Guide, January 27, 2023 | Professor Sascha L. Schmidt (WHU Faculty)
Technology is fundamental to a sustainable ski industry

Stadionwelt.de, January 26, 2023 | Professor Sascha L. Schmidt (WHU Faculty)
Sports Venues 2019/2020

Deal-Magazin, December 16, 2022 | Katrin Mohr (WHU Alumna)
Katrin Mohr wird neue Geschäftsführerin des Digital Hub Cologne

Handelsblatt Online, December 13, 2022 | Thomas Mersch (WHU Alumnus)
Vordenker Gebäude: Umbauen für das Klima

Markenartikel Online, October 21, 2022 | Professor Nadine Kammerlander (WHU Faculty)
​​​​​​​Normen für Nachhaltigkeit sind hilfreich

Solarify, October 16, 2022 | Professor Nadine Kammerlander (WHU Faculty)
Standardisierung als Hebel zur Umsetzung von Klimaschutz

PR Contact

Contact our PR team –
Get in touch with our experts on sustainable topics.

Our public relations department is the interface between the business school and the public. For your interviews, we convey experts who will provide you with qualified information concerning various sustainable topics as well as studying at WHU.

News & Stories

The New Sustainability Management Center Says Hello!

The New Sustainability Management Center Says Hello!

Professor Kammerlander to hold online info session on WHU’s New Sustainability Management Center on February 71

Coordinating and Advancing Action on Sustainability

Coordinating and Advancing Action on Sustainability

Newly founded WHU Sustainability Management Center gets to work

German Sustainability Award for Companies 2023

German Sustainability Award for Companies 2023

Jury member Professor Arne Strauss evaluated companies active in the field of transport and logistics



We look forward to hearing from you.
Professor Nadine Kammerlander
Professor Nadine Kammerlander
Associate Dean DEI & Sustainability