Sustainability and innovation are the hallmarks of working at the AWI – a voice for polar and marine research in the transformation process
We draw on our diverse expertise to convey the importance of the polar and marine regions for the planet as a whole, including human and non-human life alike; to illustrate paths to increased sustainability; and to warn of the risks entailed by certain types of societal behaviour.
We maintain an active public presence and pursue a scientifically sound and accessible dialogue on our research with society. We place great importance on providing science-based consulting for political, economic and societal decision-makers.
In all areas of the Institute, we promote new inventions and environmentally friendly innovations. We have an internal innovation fund to support the development of innovative technologies, services and business ideas. The development of sustainable technologies including transfer- and start-up-oriented training and continuing education options, as well as collaborations with corporate partners, is intended to maximise the impact of sustainable solutions arising from our research findings.
In keeping with the definition put forward by the Brundtland Commission in 1987 and the “Guidelines on sustainability management at non-academic research organisations” (LeNa project) from 2016, we view sustainability as an integrative concept that combines environmental, economic and social dimensions. In the context of making our facilities and infrastructures more sustainable, we pursue solutions for climate-friendly and environmentally friendly construction, renovation, operation and use. In addition, we place great importance on sustainable organisational management and staff development, as well as knowledge and technology transfer. At the AWI, upholding high standards for occupational safety, occupational health and environmental protection is a matter of course.
Strong community, strong team
Offering employees an attractive workplace characterised by diversity and equal opportunities is one of our top priorities. Day-to-day interactions at the Institute are shaped by people from various disciplines, with diverse views and personalities. Here, mutual respect is the foundation for successful collaboration. This also includes properly acknowledging achievements by sharing thanks and praise. In open communications, everyone contributes their own views and assumptions. These differing attitudes, observations and views are recognised and continually reflected (on) in a dynamic process so as to arrive at a consensus. Mistakes, hurt feelings and conflicts are unavoidable in day-to-day collaboration. Addressing these conflicts openly and early on, and working to find mutually acceptable solutions, is part of our Institute’s culture.
We also promote collaboration between science, technology and administration at all of our facilities. Collegial conduct and fostering teamwork and independent project management are essential aspects of our Institute’s culture. One of our guiding principles is to combine lifelong learning with sound, independent and responsible behaviour at every workplace. We reject discrimination and racism in all forms and cultivate an open, freedom-based research culture, which also extends to international collaborations. We support the Ten Theses issued by the Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany, which call for safeguarding academic freedom, resisting all efforts to curtail it, and strengthening it for future challenges.