The IPU - Association

The IPU is an officially recognised association organised as a network of over 300 people spread across Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
After the formation in 1993 in Konstanz mainly collegiate groups established themselves as local and study groups in the cities.
Main goal of the IPU is the promotion of environmental behaviour and sustainability based on insights of scientific psychology.

Our Board of Directors

The tasks of the Executive Board are versatile and range from internal matters, such as membership administration and support-, official- and financial matters to the external representation of the IPU. It is also important to link and support all other IPU offices. In addition, the Executive Board reflects on the content and objectives of the IPU and is committed to continuous development. The board members are elected at each Autumn Congress by the General Assembly of the Initiative Psychologie im Umweltschutz e.V. for a one-year term of office. Current board members are Sarah, Moritz, Linda, Merle, Ursa, Mara & Till.

Task Force Teaching

A lot of work is being done here to integrate environmental psychology teaching at German universities. Modul-concepts are being written for this purpose that will make it easier for universities to integrate environmental psychology into their curriculum in the future.

Task Force Critical Environmental Psychology

The working group Critical Environmental Psychology was founded at the congress „Limits of Environmental Psychology“ in May 2019 – the aim was to ask the fundamental question whether the strongly individual-focused paradigm of environmental psychology still makes sense – and how it could be expanded. An important starting point was Critical Psychology, which has a strong social-theoretical background and a clear political positioning. The working group has set itself the goal of further developing the ideas that emerged at the congress and of bringing the disciplines of Environmental Psychology and Critical Psychology more into dialogue.


Task Force Outreach

The aim of this working group is to implement its own climate protection actions. For this purpose, actions and campaigns are planned, which are then implemented locally or online. In doing so, the team repeatedly draws on findings from the behavioural sciences: We want to integrate empirically proven elements such as positive emotions, nudging or self-efficacy experiences into our actions and thus motivate as many people as possible for social transformation.


Task Force Leisure

Whether a joint sailing trip to Denmark or camping together with our partner ECOCAMPING: This working group plans joint excursions and tours, away from the congresses. In comparison to the congresses, less content is taught at the campsites – the main focus is on exchange and the common giving of strength for the commitment to climate and environmental protection.

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Our Mission Statement

What is the organizational structure of the IPU?

The IPU is democratic and organised as a non-profit association. Decisions are made through the General Assembly. The management of the association’s business is the responsibility of the honorary board. The general principle of the association is to spread the workload over as many shoulders as possible. The communication between the Executive Board, individual offices and members, as well as the decisions taken within the IPU are characterized by transparency.

The association is open to any person. The prerequisite for membership is the recognition and promotion of the statutory purpose of the association.

What Values and Principles underlie the IPU?

For the IPU, environmental protection means the totality of all measures to protect the environment with the aim of preserving the natural basis of life of all living creatures and a functioning natural balance. We (the members of the IPU) consider this objective important both out of our responsibility for the well-being of living and future human beings and out of the ethical responsibility of human beings towards their environment and all living creatures, as we consider nature itself to be valuable and worthy of protection.

We are concerned with the subject of environmental protection, but also consider it in conjunction with social, economic, political and cultural factors in the sense of sustainable development. In order to promote a sustainable society, it is important, among other things, to change people’s awareness and behaviour. Psychology, as the science of human experience and behaviour, offers significant findings and methods for this goal. Therefore, we at the IPU deal with the thinking, feeling and acting of people in human-environment units and apply psychological knowledge to situations and issues relevant to environmental protection and sustainability.

We try to make our own actions sustainable and environmentally friendly according to our values.

The IPU lives through the diverse initiative and creative commitment of its members. All of them contribute to the IPU in their own way, at their own discretion and according to their own possibilities.

Our communication is supportive and understanding and is characterized by openness, acceptance and mutual appreciation.

What are the IPU´s Objectives and Tasks?

The primary objective of the IPU is to promote environmental protection and a sustainable society through the dissemination, expansion and application of psychological knowledge.

The IPU works mainly through networking. It creates and maintains an active exchange platform for members and interested parties. By bringing together professionals and students, the IPU provides professional orientation in the field of environmental protection and sustainable development. The IPU cultivates inter- and transdisciplinary cooperation and arranges contacts with various organizations (institutes, environmental associations, academic and student organizations, and environmentally oriented companies).

The core of the IPU’s activities are its biannual congresses, which are open to all members and interested parties.

The IPU offers a learning platform to enhance competencies. This is done, for example, by exchanging practical experience, imparting environmental psychological knowledge and testing communicative and organizational skills.

Within the IPU, members meet among themselves and with external partners for the practical application of environmental psychological knowledge in environmental protection and sustainability projects or for environmental psychological research projects – the implementation of which may also be financially supported by the association.

The IPU aims to raise awareness of the importance of environmental psychology and environmental protection through its presence at universities and to promote the teaching of environmental psychology.

Last but not least, the joint meetings and roundtable discussions are simply a lot of fun and pleasure for us and motivate us to remain active in the areas of environmental protection and sustainable development.