Sustainability at MPIA

This is the webpage of the Sustainability group at MPIA.

We are a (yet) loose group of colleagues who aim to improve the sustainability efforts of our institute.

If you (as a MPIA mamber) are interested in our work you can subscribe to our mailing list and come to our meetings.

At the moment (as of  January 2024) we meet every first Tuesday of a month in the star box at 10:00-11:00 (zoom link:, where we discuss ongoing projects and anything sustainability-related. Feel free to join!  Announcements of our meetings are send around via the mailing list.

We are part of the  MPG-wide Max Planck Sustainability network (MPSN).


NEW Projects


Integration of the sustainability group into MPIA (“Institutionalization”)

As a yet loose group of colleagues with the common interest of sustainability, we want to institutionalize our efforts, and integrate it into MPIA.  With that, our efforts will be more visible and also more efficient. We think that in present times, MPIA as a leading scientific institute must advertize its sustainability efforts in public.

We are working on a proposal in this respect and will share it to all colleagues asap.

Food offers in the canteen

We works on a proposal that will suggest to have more sustainable food options in our canteen. We are aware that tastes are different and that there are as well financial and organisational constraints.

MPIA gardening

We work on a proposal how to improve the MPIA ground with higher biodiversity in designated conservation areas on campus,  a pollinator garden to support local pollinators, and a raised bed garden to growth some herbs or vegetables. This will both help the MPIA place to become a more natural area (despite being already located in a forest), and provide colleagues with the opportunity to experience happiness through gardening. 

Bike service station

We are elaborating together with the administration to install a bike service station at MPIA, as we have many colleagues cycling uphill to Koenigstuhl several times a week. 


Past Projects


Solar panel proposal

We have compiled a solar panel proposal with an example solution for MPIA to the MPG headquarters 2019 that could set an example for other MPI's as well.

November 2023 we received the great news that MPIA will receive solar panels soon.

Sustainability report

We have assessed the 2018 CO2 footprint of our intitute. The report can be found here.

We have also presented our results at the various colloquia in our institute. One example presentation from the astrotechtalk.

Our CO2 assessment lead to a publication
( in the Nature Astronomy climate issue
Further contributions to this issue were lead
( and co-authored
( by people from our group.

Geothermal heating proposal

We have compiled a proposal that the 3rd department and canteen construction should evaluate a geothermal heating system with synergies to the old building.

We collected 106 signatures from colleagues and with the support from our directors, this was sent this to MPG central head quarters.

AstroTechTalk – Sustainability  

We have prepared several talks and presentation which we presented (in Englisch and german) in-house and to extern institutions. Examples are below.  

>> Video

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