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4. Helmholtz Sustainability Summit

The 4th Helmholtz Sustainability Summit took place at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) on 10 and 11 October 2023. True to the guiding principle "Shaping sustainability through dialogue!", the summit was open to the public for the first time so that interested parties, students and members of other research societies/universities could participate in the dialogue. The event created a framework for an informative and constructive exchange in all fields of action of the Helmholtz Association's sustainability guideline. There were presentations, modern workshop formats, best practice examples in workshops and through optional guided tours at KIT, a keynote speech and a panel discussion followed by a get-together.
Between the presentations on the first day, there was plenty of time for small meal breaks, walks to the nearby Karlsruhe Castle to stretch your legs and, of course, enough time for networking and socialising. In the evening, the opening event of the parallel KIT Science Week took place for those interested, with internationally renowned scientists discussing challenges and solutions in the areas of energy supply, climate protection, raw material extraction and mobility through to the sustainable transformation of cities.

The second day of the Helmholtz Sustainability Summit focussed primarily on the workshops, which were largely interactive. The topics were:
1. organisational governance: the new guideline on sustainability reporting - means to drive change or reporting for reporting's sake? Top-down and bottom-up perspectives on CSRD
2. research: Citizen science as a driver for sustainable transformation; open science - how to promote cultural change?
3. communication: The art of sustainable revolution: empowering communities
4. personnel: Diversity & inclusion in research institutions as a contribution to the UN's sustainability goals: instruments and success factors
5. buildings and infrastructures: Presentation of the competence network climate-friendly construction - challenges in research construction/FZJ Living Lab Energy Campus - science, practice & civil society jointly develop an innovative energy system
6. supporting processes: Opportunities and hurdles in sustainable purchasing and modern mobility concepts - DLR practical examples

Overall, the summit showed that sustainable measures need to be implemented at the highest possible speed. At the same time, it created the opportunity to share mistakes made, successfully implemented projects, problems and tips, as well as to make new contacts, thus creating a positive spirit of optimism.