Sustainability Concept

The jDPG adopted a sustainability concept on 08/28/20 to make a constructive contribution to sustainability.

More information about sustainability can be found on the A-Team Sustainability website. For questions or comments on the concept, feel free to contact the working team () or the Chair for University & Society (2020: ).


We as the young German Physical Society (jDPG) want to orient ourselves to the principle of sustainability. This declaration of intent shall provide a constructive framework for this in the form of a jDPG-wide sustainability concept.

In order to create a common basis for further discussions, our understanding of sustainability is first formulated. This is followed by a motivation for the jDPG and its individual members. Since we also want to take concrete action, we set ourselves some fundamental and annual goals. In order to work on these as efficiently as possible, approaches are explained in the Implementation section.

Based on the understanding in the jDPG that sustainability is fundamentally desirable and that we want to actively work towards it, this concept is intended to serve as a guide for sustainable action in the jDPG.

1. Understanding

We use the definition of sustainability from the Brundlandt Report as a basis for further elaboration:

"Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without
compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." [1]

This human-centered formulation incorporates ecological, social and economic aspects as a means to the end of satisfying needs. The consideration of today's needs is thereby perceived with careful consideration in relation to the needs of future generations.

Since sustainability runs through many areas of our society, the German Sustainability Code (DNK) is intended to serve as a guide [2]. It offers good ideas in the form of criteria, a subset of which may be helpful to the jDPG. These criteria include materiality, formulation of goals, resource management, climate-related emissions, and equity.

Due to the fact that sustainable development is intergenerational and intersocietal, there is a desire for our entire society to be oriented towards a sustainability system. Why we as jDPG in particular want to do our part for sustainability is described in the next section on motivation.

2. Motivation

We as jDPG would like to work for this sustainable development and see the opportunity to make an effective contribution to society here. As the largest and most active DPG association, we shape many thousands of meetings each year with our diverse offerings, where we provide orientation, create visibility for important issues, and thus help shape the future. With around 4,000 members, we are able to take the step from the work of the individual to the work of a group and thus come closer to the social goal of sustainable development.

We are convinced that as part of a physical professional society, we can enrich the community with our knowledge and our scientific perspective on sustainability. The anniversary year 2020 reminds us how we can help shape the DPG with our commitment and ideas and motivates us to be role models with regard to sustainability. In this way, we would like to give expression to the understanding in our statutes according to which "those working in science have a particularly high degree of responsibility for shaping the whole of human life." [3]

In order to concretize our desire to act, to express our ideas and wishes, and ultimately to enable their implementation, goals are formulated in the following section.

3. Goals

We want to set ourselves goals in order to concretize our common aspiration for sustainability. Basically, we want to reinforce sustainable development with our resources. This includes the following points, among others:

  • Designing events sustainably
  • Designing administration sustainably
  • Communication of sustainability jDPG-internally, externally and to the DPG

Since these processes cannot be implemented instantaneously, additional annual goals are defined and communicated by the Federal Executive Board (BuVo). This allows us to better record and evaluate our progress. In the first year, these are as follows:

  • Establish communication structures and workflows related to sustainability as described in this concept.
  • Establishment of shared knowledge regarding sustainability in a database according to 4.1
  • Identification of urgent fields of action for prioritization in the jDPG (e.g. reduction of greenhouse gases and completion of a CO2 calculator)
  • Stimulating discussion within the jDPG.

In the following and last section, we describe the implementation of our sustainability concept in order to be able to realize our goals.

4. Implementation

4.0 Introduction

Since sustainability according to the above definition is very comprehensive and far-reaching, it can sometimes be difficult to identify the "most sustainable" of the available options for action. As part of the DPG, we are convinced that this requires, beyond common sense, a factual and well-founded examination of the consequences of our actions on sustainable development. In order to achieve the goals we have set ourselves in this complex context, the approach to implementing our goals is explained below.

For this purpose, the actors involved as well as assistance and procedures are described below for the areas of knowledge, event organization, administration and communication.

4.1 Knowledge / Support

As part of the DPG, it is our self-image to pursue as scientific an approach as possible, also in the context of sustainability. In the implementation of our goals, we would like to proceed in a differentiating and well-founded manner. For this purpose, we would like to build up a database in which background knowledge and assistance for decisions in the sense of sustainability will be available. Suitable media for this are guides, information texts, source references and tools. A basic workflow for decisions on sustainability issues is also desired. The development of this database should be the task of the BuVo Office for Higher Education and Society (BuVoA HoGe) and the Sustainability Working Team (AT Nhk), with the support of all interested parties. In terms of knowledge transfer, this knowledge should be accessible to all via our website - within and also outside the jDPG.

The contact person for content-related questions on sustainability is the AT Nhk (), for questions on work processes and questions of an official nature it is the BuVoA HoGe (2020: ).

From the report parts described below on the sustainability of the Regional Groups (RGs), Working Teams (ATs) and the BuVos, as well as from the financial proposal contributions (see 4.2), an evaluation with assessment of the implementation of the objectives by the BuVos HoGe and AT Nhk should also take place annually.

4.2 Event Organization

Whether in the field of mobility, consumption, communication, or the like - the organization and execution of our events has a (positive as well as negative) impact on sustainable development.

We, as organizers of these events, strive to conduct them in the spirit of sustainability. For this purpose, we are guided by the tools described in 4.1, if available.

As a motivation and incentive, the organizers are additionally encouraged to briefly describe in a field of the jDPG financial application how sustainability is taken into account at the event according to our understanding. In addition to the BuVo Office of Finance (BuVoA Fi), the BuVoA HoGe as well as the Sustainability Working Team (AT Nhk), if applicable, should also read the contributions. While the approval of the financial application does not depend on the completion of the field, if it is not completed or obviously not useful, there should be direct feedback from BuVoA Fi as well as BuVoA HoGe and AT Nhk, if applicable. Especially in the initial phase, positive as well as constructive criticism is useful for the event organizers.

With the annual evaluation of these contributions on the part of the BuVoA HoGe and AT Nhk, this should also be used to collect ideas for sustainable event management, to make the commitment to sustainability in the jDPG measurable, and to evaluate the implementation of the goals set specifically for this purpose.

4.3 Administration

In addition to event organization, we would also like to orient the administration of the regional groups, the working teams and the federal board to the principle of sustainability. This is in the hands of the respective chairs. This includes, for example, the consideration of equal opportunities, resource management, climate-relevant emissions, etc. in the management of teams, internal communication, mobility of active members, and the like.

For the measurability of the efforts in this regard, sustainability in the administration should be reflected in a separate section in the annual RG report as well as in the BuVos report.

The database described above should provide assistance in this regard.

4.4 Communication

Since we see the commitment to sustainable development as a task for society as a whole, we would like to interact more with society in this regard. We would like to communicate our understanding of sustainability within the DPG, to our members and to external parties, and encourage them to engage with sustainability. Especially the exchange with other professional societies offers the chance to benefit from mutual ideas.

The BuVo and in particular the BuVo Office for Public Relations (BuVoA Öf) is responsible for communication with the DPG, members and externals. Furthermore, it is in the hands of each member to address sustainability.


[1] Brundlandt Report: Our Common Future  1987, page 41

[2] Kriterien des Deutschen Nachhaltigkeitskodex, 2020,

[3] Satzung der Deutschen Physiklischen Gesellschaft e.V. und Verhaltenskodex, 2020, §2.2,