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Gaia e.V.

Institute for Environmental Management, Campus Iserlohn

In 2009, one year after the undergraduate program Green Business Management (B.Sc.) started at University of Europe for Applied Sciences, the Gaia - Institute for environmental management was founded as a platform for “green” economic issues. With their main focus on “Green Science” and “Green Business” the current twelve members’ experiences contribute to the exploration of the interaction between the environment and economy.     

Due to the importance of financial issues, new “green” opportunities are worth exploring for businesses. This process requires creativity and can be implemented with the available business economics tools. Supported by the institute, it is an exciting combination of science and practice.

The name stems from Greek mythology. Gaia is the incarnated earth, who as mother goddess is responsible for birth, life and nutrition. In the mid-1960s Lynn Margulis and James Lovelock developed the so called Gaia-Hypothesis according to which the earth itself in its entirety can be seen as a living entity. By choosing this name the Gaia-Institute aims to reflect on both the fragility of the environment and the opportunity for change.


Gaia e.V. – Institute for Environmental Management

Prof. Dr. Thomas Meuser
Campus Iserlohn
Reiterweg 26b
58636 Iserlohn


fon +49(0)2371 776-541
fax +49(0)2371 776-503

Night Star Express, one of the leading logistic companies of overnight-transportation in Germany, approached Gaia asking to precisely calculate their emissions. With approximately 600 employees, 650 vehicles and 20 business partners, Night Star Express handles 4 million deliveries per year. But to what extend do the companies’ emissions influence the climate? Students and experts from Gaia were granted insight and calculated the firm’s carbon footprint. Based on the results, Gaia identified ways and measures to reduce their emission.

2011 Night Star rewarded the Gaia-Institute their in-house price for innovation.

How much CO2 is produced in a city of almost 100.000 inhabitants? The answer:  it depends. Cities are different. 70% of Iserlohns size is used for forestry and agriculture. The city is home to energy-intensive businesses in the areas of metal processing, pharmaceutics or international waste disposal. The Gaia-Institute collected data about the local conditions. How is electricity being produced? What is the heat requirement for buildings? What is the car density? All these aspects affect the carbon footprint. The conclusion: Iserlohn is a positive example of how to reduce CO2 emissions.  

What is the carbon footprint of distance learning? The Eco Investment Adviser course "ecoanlageberater“ is an official UNESCO-project. The program aims raising awareness for sustainable aspects. Due to distance learning the program’s carbon footprint is supposed to be low. However, the ECOeffekt GmbH, being the provider of the program, asked the Gaia-Institute for a detailed analysis. In fact, on-campus courses and exam periods are causing the highest CO2 emissions. Together with “myclimate” all emissions have now been compensated. Therefore the program is one of the first climate-neutral distance learning courses in Germany.  


BIU Bundesverband Interaktive Unterhaltungssoftware 3D INNOVATION CENTER 3D LABOR dpa.infografik award 2008 FABLAB.BERLIN Fraunhofer Stiftung Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin DIGAREC

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