Our actions are based on the principles of sustainability.

Our Approach

The realisation of sustainability requires worldwide societal change. Cultural exchange as well as language and educational programmes can open new perspectives on sustainability while giving impulses for politics, commerce and society.

Our commitment to the topic of sustainability focuses on the United Nations goals for achieving sustainable development. With our work, we make a contribution to a sustainable and comprehensive climate foreign policy.

In our worldwide work, we address diverse issues and solution approaches regarding sustainability and carry these forward. We enable interactions between people from different cultural and societal contexts. These gain special importance in the context of sustainability: We can only learn from another and share knowledge about the promotion of sustainable development in a dialogue with different perspectives.
  • Adolescents plant mangrove trees Photo: © Sorapong Sawawiboon
    Participants in youth camps, language courses or PASCH schools are working towards sustainable development – as here in the German camp climate project in Thailand.
  • Model of the new building of the Goethe-Institut in Dakar Foto: © Kéré Architecture
    In Dakar the new Goethe-Institut designed by Francis Kéré is constructed from locally sourced building materials such as clay using traditional and sustainable construction techniques.
  • Woman sits at a machine that shapes plastic into a vase. A man helps her Photo: © Goethe-Institut Thailand
    The Goethe-Institut Thailand has committed to following the “no plastic” principle. If plastic waste cannot be avoided, it is processed into vases or bowls, as you can see here.
  • Woman sings into a microphone Photo: © Goethe-Institut e.v. Kairo/Roger Anis
    Equality and equal treatment of women are fundamental principles of our work. The feminist and queer-positive website “Jeem” spreads knowledge on the topics of sexuality and gender in the Arabic language.
  • Three influencers are recording an Instragram video. Photo: Stephanie Hesse
    Activists from Europe and South America learn about climate protection, develop national campaigns and train their skills at the digital workshop programme “Young Influencers for Ecological Change”.
  • Discussion round in the Goethe Garden São Paulo with numerous guests. Photo: Danila Bustamante
    In the garden of the Goethe-Institut São Paulo, framed by vegetable patches and flowers, workshops or discussion groups take place on topics such as climate change, nutrition or the environment.

Our Spheres of Activity

Programmes for sustainability

We initiative and promote artistic formats and projects that address the issues of ecological, social and economic sustainability, thereby contributing to designing new concepts for sustainable societies. We promote holistic dialogue on the topic of sustainability through innovative programmes. These are aimed at target groups from different generations and societal contexts, and include representatives from different professions and academic disciplines. We work with partner organisations and cultural scenes on site and support the mutual teaching and further development of local and global solution approaches.

Become aware

Together with our partners, we develop impact-focused programmes in international culture and educational exchange that explore the ecological, social and economic challenges in an effective way. The effectiveness of our projects is also evaluated according to criteria for sustainability.

Sustainable as an organisation

In our work, we focus on the ecological, social and economic sustainability goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. We significantly contribute to the implementation of these goals in the following sectors: education, climate and environment, equal opportunities and justice.

Examples of our work

Green Libraries

Green Libraries is a multi-part, hybrid format geared to promote sustainable, local library initiatives.

Atlas of Mediterranean Liquidity

Artists from the Mediterranean region and beyond, in collaboration with scientists, are designing interactive maps that are all about water as a cultural asset. The aim is to develop a polyphonic collection of maps with exciting perspectives that tell new stories about our relationship to the element of water.

The Goethe-Institut in the world

The Goethe-Institut has more than 150 locations worldwide; some are housed in historic buildings; others in temporary pop-up premises - a reportage.

Further goals

Follow us