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Sustainability Mission Statement

The German Cancer Research Center is committed to conducting groundbreaking cancer research at the highest international level. Our work aims to saves lives and improve wellbeing of those affected by cancer. We strive to provide our employees with an environmentally sound and socially just workplace while practicing outstanding research in a responsible, sustainable and climate friendly manner.


Hollyn Hartlep
Sustainability Coordinator 
+49 6221 42-2549

The DKFZ recognizes the importance of sustainability and the urgency of climate action in today's world. As the largest biomedical research institute in Germany and a member of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers, the DKFZ is committed to excellence in research and to conducting research in a sustainable manner. We believe that groundbreaking research in cancer that saves lives and improves wellbeing, should not at the same time contribute to societal harm and environmental degradation. To conduct research in an environmentally and socially responsible manner, the DKFZ is developing a sustainability strategy in line with science-based targets for greenhouse gas emissions reductions, including goals in the areas of organizational development, research, human resources, construction and infrastructure, procurement and mobility management. The strategy is based on the guide Sustainability Management in Non-University Research Organizations (German only).

Cancer and Climate Change

The links between cancer and climate change are clear. Air pollution, ultraviolet radiation, disruptions in food and water supply, exposure to industrial toxicants and possibly infectious causes will affect cancer research and control (Hiatt & Beyeler, 2020).

At the DKFZ, we see climate action as our moral responsibility and aligned with our mission for a life without cancer. Therefore, we strive to take actions to mitigate climate change in the execution of our research. The co-benefits that climate action offers are necessary to achieve a world without cancer.

Climate Neutrality

The German government has set the goal to reach climate neutrality by 2045. Considering the special responsibility and exemplary role of science institutions, the Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany, to which the Helmholtz Association, and thus, the DKFZ belongs, has set the goal to achieve climate neutrality in its working methods and research processes by 2035 at the latest.

Sustainability Group at DKFZ

The DKFZ Sustainability Group is an employee initiative founded in July 2020 to promote sustainability at the German Cancer Research Center. In various working groups, the members address areas such as energy, waste and nutrition in which they organise awareness campaigns and information events.

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