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Responsibility & Sustainability

at the University of St.Gallen

The University of St.Gallen is committed to contributing to a socially and environmentally sustainable economy and society.

We aim to deeply embed sustainability in the HSG culture and all our core activities including research, teaching, and our campus.

Happening now

Develop & rethink your course with the support of experts in didactics and sustainability

Looking at rethinking your teaching in the context of Responsibility and Sustainability in your own discipline/field?

Join the HDZ Seminar on Fostering Responsibility & Sustainability in Student Learning this semester for its second edition!

Bernadette Dilger, Judith Walls and their teams join forces once again to provide support to whoever is interested in exploring ways to foster responsibility and sustainability into student learning.

In this course you will:

  • Understand R&S as a driver for teaching innovation at HSG.
  • Get inspired by other participants’ experiences, as well as by methodological and sustainability-related content resources.
  • Exchange with peers and experts on your challenges in designing a constructive and innovative learning environment integrating R&S (submit questions / find solutions to hindrances).
  • Rethink and innovate your current or future course and find the support you need to integrate R&S into it.

Date: 14.11.2022, 09:00-11:00 (online) & 23.11.2022, 12:00-16:00 (onsite)

More information and registration: here

Author: Sandra Ramme

Date: 30. September 2022

HSG student contributes to PRME global students

Our student Anna Kurth was recognized by United Nations Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) for her outstanding contribution to PRME Global Students (PGS).

In the past year, Anna joined efforts with other worldwide student leaders to build PRME Global Students (PGS), a global network for creative collaboration and collective action that connects, empowers, and creates value for 300+ sustainability-oriented student organizations worldwide.

The head of PRME highlights that “A large portion of PGS`s success relies upon Anna`s remarkable leadership, which proves the excellence and commitment of the University of St. Gallen (HSG)`s student body and the institution`s commitment to transforming responsible management education.”

For Anna, this experience was highly valuable. She says: “My term at PGS Regional Leader has shown me how many inspiring student initiatives can be found at universities around Europe and how empowering it can be to connect with each other on an international level. At the same time, I learnt that it is precisely the student organizations acting in the local contexts which they understand best that have the power to really make a change.”

Anna Kurth is thankful for the chance to act as a regional leader at PGS: “I am extremely grateful to both oikos St. Gallen and oikos International for preparing me to take on this role. oikos gave me the opportunity to engage, taught valuable lessons on navigating complexity and laying bricks for institutional change, all the while offering an inspiring and supportive community.”

Please find an interview with Anna Kurth here.

Author: Sandra Ramme

Date: 14. September 2022

Better Embed Sustainability into Your Course!

This fall semester, don’t miss the opportunity to get students’ support to better incorporate sustainability aspects into your course with a Sustainability TAP. 

Sustainability TAPs are specially designed Teaching Analysis Polls (TAPs) jointly developed by the Responsibility & Sustainability Delegate Team and the TAP Team. They are constructed for lecturers to get the support they need from their students to collaboratively improve the integration of sustainability in their courses – regardless of the topic, discipline or program. 

Sustainability TAPs follow the overall structure and procedures of the standard TAP, while additionally offering the opportunities:

  • for students to share their sustainability-related learning experiences in a specific course in order to improve the integration of sustainability themes in that course.  This integration, in turn, helps equip students to face existing and future sustainability challenges related to the course topic and discipline. 
  • for lecturers to gain insights on sustainability from their students via an anonymous qualitative method conducted by the TAP Team. Lecturers get customized input to keep improving the content and implementation of sustainability-related course topics. 

There are only benefits, so do not hesitate and register for a Sustainability TAP for your course by September 16th. 

Sustainability TAP is an element of a broader HSG Sustainability Curriculum Support System currently being designed to meet the objectives of HSG Strategy. Soon, more information about this overall support will be shared on Responsibility & Sustainability – University of St. Gallen ( 

Author: Sandra Ramme

Date: 14. September 2022

HSG hält Kurs auf nachhaltige Energieversorgung

Die Universität St.Gallen bleibt auf ihrem Weg zu einer nachhaltigen Energieversorgung auf Kurs. Der Energieverbrauch pro Studierende konnte ab 2014 bis Ende 2021 um ca. 25 % gesenkt werden. Gleichzeitig konnte auch die CO2-Intensität der verwendeten Energieträger reduziert werden. Im vergangenen Jahr wurden Fortschritte insbesondere durch bauliche Massnahmen im Zuge der Bibliothekssanierung sowie durch kleinere betriebliche Optimierungen erzielt.

Im Jahr 2021 konnte die HSG ihre Zielsetzung bei der Verbesserung der Energieeffizienz erneut deutlich übertreffen. Seit 2014 wurde der Energieverbrauch pro Studierende um ca. ein Viertel reduziert. In der starken Energieeffizienzsteigerung der letzten zwei Jahre spiegelt sich auch der reduzierte Campusbetrieb während der Corona-Pandemie wider. Der grossflächige Einsatz von LED-Leuchtmitteln, der Austausch alter Haustechnik durch moderne, effiziente Geräte und die Optimierung des Betriebs, z. B. mit Zeitschaltuhren für Licht und Lüftungsanlagen, stellen aber auch im regulären Betrieb eine effiziente Energieversorgung sicher. Im Zuge der 2021 abgeschlossenen Bibliothekssanierung wurden darüber hinaus bauliche Massnahmen zur Energieeinsparung umgesetzt, z. B. eine zusätzliche Dämmung des Bibliotheksdachs und ein Ersatz der Fenstergläser.

Weniger CO2 durch Einsatz erneuerbarer Energien

Die CO2-Intensität bezeichnet den CO2-Ausstoss der verwendeten Energieträger pro erzeugter Energiemenge. Durch den Bezug von Elektrizität aus Wasserstrom konnte sich die HSG hier deutlich verbessern. Im letzten Jahr wurde im Zuge der Bibliothekssanierung auf dem Dach der HSG-Bibliothek eine Photovoltaikanlage montiert und dadurch ein weiterer Schritt zur CO2-Reduktion getan.

Die Gruppe Bau + Technik um Markus Steiner, HSG-Fachmann für nachhaltiges Gebäudemanagement, verfolgt das Konzept zur Messung und Optimierung des Campus-Betriebs. Dank der umfassenden Massnahmen, die das Team in den vergangenen Jahren umgesetzt hat, nimmt der HSG-Campus im Kanton St.Gallen eine Leuchtturmposition in puncto Nachhaltigkeit ein. Durch kleinere Massnahmen und Feinjustierung im Betrieb wird die Gruppe Bau + Technik in den kommenden Jahren daran arbeiten, die bereits erzielte, grosse Wirkung punktuell zu optimieren.

Author: Sandra Ramme

Date: 11. August 2022

Report on water consumption – Blue University 2022

HSG publishes a report on water consumption and the activities as a Blue University

The University of St.Gallen has been certified as a Blue University since September 2016. The certification took place together with the City of St.Gallen, the University of Education and the St.Gallen University of Applied Sciences. In this annual report, the HSG presents the activities as a Blue University during the last year.

Please find the report here:

Blue Community Jahresbericht 2022

Author: Sandra Ramme

Date: 11. August 2022

Co-creation and Black Holes – Astrophysicist Heino Falcke at SQUARE

Can you imagine a hybrid mega-telescope spanning about 6000 km across our blue planet? It was impressive to attend the speech and discussion with Astrophysicist Heino Falcke and Prof. Ann-Kristin Zobel on “Co-creation and Black Holes: How to make the invisible visible and what Law, Management and Economics can learn from it”, that took place at SQUARE at the University of St. Gallen on Friday, June 17th.  

Heino Falcke is an internationally distinguished astrophysicist and bestselling book-author. In 2019—together with the Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration (EHTC), whose research council he chaired—he achieved a world sensation: the publication of the first image of a black hole. Already in his doctoral thesis, Falcke dreamed of making such an event possible. More than 20 years later, he achieved his goal through the global EHTC, a network consisting of eight radio telescopes and more than 200 scientists on four continents. They jointly published the first image of a black hole. In his speech, Falcke provided a deep understanding of the role of competition and collaboration within the project, that was also honored by Science as Breakthrough of the Year in 2019.

What one can learn from his talk and the discussion: Crucial skills to tackle complex challenges, such as the EHTC project, include long-term orientation and visioning, trust and the motivation to facilitate collaborative relationships, co-creational skills, intercultural competence plus changemaker qualities, such as courage and optimism to break old patterns and to act with persistence. These skills are all featured within the 
Inner Development Goals (IDG), that help developing leadership capacity to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 and building communities of practice for tackling complex planetary challenges, such as reversing the ongoing social cohesion erosion and dealing with space junk, the climate crisis, and biodiversity.

The event was hosted by the
Law and Economics Foundation St. Gallen in cooperation with the HSG Mentoring Programme, the HSG Impact Scholar Community, and ECOnnect.  

Author: Sandra Ramme

Date: 6. July 2022

HSG Impact Award 2022

This year, the University of St.Gallen (HSG) is conferring the HSG Impact Awards for the fifth time. HSG researchers will receive awards for the valuable contribution they make to society through their projects. The jury, consisting of practitioners and university members, assessed applications from various HSG research disciplines.

Three awards are being conferred: to the research project “Ethik der Covid-19 Pandemie” (Ethics of the Covid-19 Pandemic) by Prof. Dr. Thomas Beschorner and Prof. Dr. Martin Kolmar, to the project “Life Design” by Prof. Dr. Sebastian Kernbach, Prof. Dr. Martin Eppler and Prof. Dr. Sabrina Bresciani, and to “Die Zukunft der Arbeit verantwortungsvoll gestalten: Implikationen aus dem Pioneering-Projekt Resilienz und Hochleistung @Hilti” (Responsibly Designing the Future of Work: Implications from the Pioneering Project Resilience and High Performance @Hilti) by Prof. Dr. Heike Bruch, Prof. Dr. Nils Fürstenberg and Frederik Hesse.

A desription of the projects and videos can be found here.

Author: Tabea Bereuther

Date: 18. May 2022

Can electrified cars save the planet? Open Discussion with Michael Brecht from Daimler Truck

The transport sector is at a tipping point. As the recently published IPCC report on climate change mitigation shows, greenhouse gas emissions from transport need to drop drastically to keep on track with the climate goals agreed in Paris 2015. And indeed, innovations in battery-electric vehicles have started to tip the balance. Recently, the market share of electric vehicles has increased steeply in many European countries, by far exceeding most experts’ forecasts.

What does this transformation mean for the auto industry? How to involve employees in the transition, ensuring that no one is left behind? What does the auto industry expect from policymakers at the national and international levels? And how can the business leaders of tomorrow shape the future of the car?

Join this open discussion on May 09 (5.00 – 6.30 pm) to discuss these and many more questions with Michael Brecht from Daimler Truck and Dr. Adrian Rinscheid from HSG Institute for Economy and the Environment. Michael Brecht is employee representative on the Supervisory Board of the Daimler Truck Holding AG and will be Personality in Residence at the SQUARE from May 08-10. The full program for Michael Brecht’s stay at the SQUARE can be found here.

Author: Sandra Ramme

Date: 4. May 2022

Key facts

Our engagement and activites

Our contribution to the SDGs

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agreed upon in 2015 by the United Nations provide an overarching framework for addressing the world’s sustainability challenges. Find out more about the University of St. Gallen contribution to achieving the SGDs goals through our activities.

How students are shaping sustainability at HSG

Student engagement has always been a central part to campus life at the University of St.Gallen. There are several student associations that focus on sustainability and help shape the university’s sustainability activities.

Student Initiatives