If the average German reduced the amount of meat they consume (60 kg) by one quarter, this would reduce emissions by the equivalent of 0.1 tonnes of CO2. If everyone in Germany did the same, this would mean savings of the equivalent of 8.3 million tonnes of CO2. Going entirely vegetarian would lead to annual savings of 37 million tonnes in emissions. The sub-team "Nutrition" does not aim to limit meat consumption completely at the University of Konstanz, but rather “...to show that a relatively large change is possible with relatively little effort,” says Professor Thomas Mayer, speaker for the “Nutrition” sub-team in the university’s working group for sustainable development that was established on initiative of the university’s Senate.
The goal of the sub-team is, on the one hand, to reduce CO2 emissions at the University of Konstanz in the area of nutrition and, on the other hand, to raise awareness for the influence of our eating habits on CO2 emissions. The advantage is clear: “In contrast with other areas in which investments must be made in order to reduce emissions, relatively small changes in our eating behaviour can make a contribution,” the biologist states.
Among other projects, the team is discussing with Seezeit managing director Helmut Baumgartl how food at the university might become more climate neutral. Regardless of which form this might take, Thomas Mayer concludes: “If people at the university think about the effects their foods have on CO2 emissions, then that will influence their eating habits at home”.
Sub-team member Professor Britta Renner, a health psychologist at the University of Konstanz, is also offering an online lecture this semester on the topic of more sustainable nutrition in order to sensitize students for how their personal choices impact the climate. The team welcomes students and staff members who are interested in this topic to contact Thomas Mayer to find out how they can get involved.