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WSO Educational Award: Brandenburgische Technische Universität

An Institution, Company, Training Entity, Individual, etc., with an above-average program of educational nature in the fields of environmental/occupational safety and health, fire science and safety, public safety, healthcare safety, transportation safety, or similar programs; actively (and above average in) contributing to the protection of people, property, resources and the environment through innovative programs; with distinctive concern for the education of professionals and general public in the disciplines of safety and allied fields.

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Brandenburg University of Technology | Cottbus-Senftenberg, Germany
With 9,000 students, BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg is the second largest university and the only University of Technology in the Federal State of Brandenburg. 20 percent of its students are from over 100 different countries around the world with eleven study courses that are entirely taught in English and a large number of double degree courses being co-organized with other international partner universities. BTU’s strongest areas of research and teaching is the environment. Other research-orientated fields include: energy, particularly energy efficiency and sustainability, smart regions and heritage as well as biotechnology and health.

In 2009, BTU Cottbus-Seftenberg became the first University in Germany to successfully implement an environmental policy that is accredited by the EMAS and ISO14001. Today, the institution is one of Germany’s leading universities in areas of environmental management offering 3 Bachelor, 6 Master, and a PhD degree in environmental studies including several other degrees in health, safety and allied matters.

The university has implemented projects directly targeting environmental protection such as; e-SolCar project PV plant, Green printing system (with use of only recycled paper), waste prevention/management project (having a highly efficient on-campus waste separation mechanism), the E-mobility & car sharing in Regensburg which aims in the reduction of air and noise pollution, protection of natural areas and landscapes and increasing urban quality of life, Bicycles’ parking projects (reducing vehicle emissions and encouraging green economy), and encouraging student environmental groups (GUM, UIKW, etc.).

In 2014, BTU changed to 100% clean energy, decreasing CO2 emissions significantly. The university’s faculty of Environmental Sciences and Process Engineering offers Bachelor and Masters modules in safety technology covering areas such as, theory of heat explosion, fire protection, explosion prevention, reaction safety, theory of pressure relief, basics of experimental determination of safety data and pressure relief devices, experimental development of safety data used for the determination of storage and transport conditions according to national and international standards (EU, UN) and based on experiments, case studies -team work-model development and simulation of dynamic process based on numerical methods, study objects of self-ignition to mention but a few. Other study teaching areas include atmospheric dispersion and impact assessments.

BTU currently promotes International innovation in the field of green energy through the effective use of heating energy in buildings, proposals of marketable models that allow cost benefit for thermal insulation and ventilation, increased use of renewable energy in German-Polish infrastructure, and increase the use of renewable energy sources for electricity production and transport.

Through the BTU’s environmental management system, the institution has between 2013 – 2014 achieved the following; 2.5% reduction in electricity consumption, 42.3% reduction in CO2 emissions, and a 37.5% reduction in water consumption.

In a survey carried out to determine the effectiveness of the BTU environmental system on the university’s community (staff & students), it was discovered that 70% of respondents separate wastes, 72.5% considers energy conservation important and 60% strongly believes that OSH are important aspects that exists in the university with clearly understandable signs and instructions.