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Responsibility & Sustainability

at the University of St.Gallen

We envision a University of St. Gallen where sustainability is deeply embedded in all aspects of university life.

In doing so, we aim to contribute to solving grand sustainability challenges of our time, such as climate change, biodiversity loss and social inequality. This mission guides our actions in transforming HSG towards sustainability.

Happening now

Sustainability TAP 2023

Are you teaching at HSG and seek ways how to better embed sustainability into your class?

Then don’t miss the opportunity and choose from two options – the Sustainability Thematic Block for course evaluations and the Sustainability TAP – to get the focused feedback on sustainability you need.

(1) The Sustainability Thematic Block is a fixed set of 3 questions addressing different aspects of sustainability that you can add to your course evaluation.  Because these questions are bundled to address one topic, they count as only 1 question of the 2 customized questions allotted to lecturers.  You can select to include these questions via the course evaluation platform.

(2) Sustainability TAPs are specially designed Teaching Analysis Polls (TAPs) jointly developed by the HSG Delegate’s Team for Responsibility & Sustainability 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 don’t hesitate – register for a Sustainability TAP and add the Sustainability Thematic Block to your course today – please find more information on the HSG FacultyWeb Intranet.

Sustainability TAP and the Sustainability Thematic Block are elements of the broader HSG Sustainability Curriculum Support System created to meet the objectives of HSG Strategic Plan 2025. For more information on the Support System visit Responsibility & Sustainability – University of St. Gallen (

Author: Julian Boemelburg

Date: 2. November 2023

Gift Dembetembe joined the Delegate’s Team for Responsibility & Sustainability

In September 2023, Gift Dembetembe joined the Delegates Team for Responsibility and Sustainability at the University of St. Gallen as a Research Associate (Sustainability Curriculum Development) and doctoral researcher. Building on his broad teaching experience, Gift will be working on realizing the HSG vision and Roadmap 2025 supporting the implementation of sustainability in the curriculum at HSG.

Gift is passionate about sustainability especially with regards to climate change and sustainable extraction of minerals. His research focuses on the organizational responses to conflicting societal demands and how these responses affect sustainable development. Gift examines the implications of these organizational response strategies in the context large companies in the Global North and small-scale mining organizations in the Global South.

Previously, Gift worked at the Institute for Economy and the Environment in the teaching and research team where he assisted in several sustainability courses at master and PhD levels. Gift is a beneficiary of the Swiss Government Scholarship from 2020 to 2024 under which he conducts mining related research. He holds a master of mineral science degree where he focused on mining technology and has also consulted for the civil society sector in Zimbabwe where he gained vast experience related to sustainable development.

Alongside his new role in the Delegates Team for Responsibility and Sustainability, Gift will continue to work on his PhD research which he aims to finish in 2024.

Author: Lasse van Look

Date: 9. October 2023

The Empathy Imperative in an Era of Radical Transformation

Are you interested in exploring how empathy helps us to tackle the grand challenges of our times? Then join us on October 13 for an interactive keynote by Anita Nowak, PhD on ‘The Empathy Imperative in an Era of Radical Transformation’

In today’s world, marked by #climatechange, technological advancements, misinformation, and polarization, the significance of purposeful empathy cannot be overstated. It holds the key to shaping the future of #democracy and humanity. High-performance organizations emphasizing sustainability, diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging are expected to embrace empathic #leadership. The good news? #Empathy is ingrained in our human nature and extending it not only benefits us individually but also empowers us to address the major social and ecological challenges we face.

Drawing from neuroscience, leadership studies, and positive psychology, Anita Nowak, PhD, will delve into the vital role of empathic leadership in addressing contemporary #grandchallenges during this interactive keynote at the Universität St.Gallen (HSG). She will introduce a powerful six-step practice and explain how embracing empathic leadership can enhance health, happiness, and performance. Additionally, she will shed light on the profound connection between empathy and business success, making this event a must-attend for anyone passionate about #TransformativeLeadership.

Anita is an empathy expert, award-winning educator, podcaster, and the author of ‘Purposeful Empathy: Tapping Our Hidden Superpower for Personal, Organizational, and Social Change’. As a certified coach, she assists family foundations in translating philanthropic goals into meaningful social impact. Anita is dedicated to teaching and mentoring the next generation of changemakers. She serves as Faculty at the McGill Executive Institute and is renowned for her expertise in Leadership, Ethics in Management, and Social Entrepreneurship & Innovation.

Join us on this interactive keynote by Anita Nowak at SQUARE (HSG) as she unlocks the transformative potential of empathy, and let’s explore together how empathic leadership can steer us toward a brighter, more compassionate future.

This public event is co-organized by the Mentoring-Programm der Universität St.Gallen, ECOnnect, & Agenda 2030 – Netzwerk St.Gallen. We are looking forward to seeing you there!

Author: Lasse van Look

Date: 9. October 2023

Creating Positive Impact by Jointly Transforming HSG

Are you attending the HSG Alumni Community Festival on September 30? Join our workshop ‘Creating Positive Impact by Jointly Transforming HSG’!

Our world is facing several grand challenges, and HSG is committed to preparing its students to become future leaders in a world that must solve these serious ecological and social crises. In this bilingual workshop (DE/EN), you can explore what HSG is currently doing to educate change agents for a safe and just future, bring in your perspective as a key stakeholder on what skills are needed, and let’s discover how we can collaborate to transform HSG and create a positive impact together!

When? September 30, 13:10 – 14:30

Where? SQUARE, 1st floor, room 11-1091

This event is co-organized by the HSG Delegate’s Team for Responsibility & Sustainability and the HSG Alumni Sustainability Club. We are looking forward to meeting you there!

Author: Julian Boemelburg

Date: 21. September 2023

HSG Faculty Peer Exchange on Sustainability

Sustainability Teaching exchange is back on September 26th!

Are you teaching at HSG and seek inspiration how to embed sustainability into your courses? Then join the upcoming Faculty Peer Exchange on Sustainability in Teaching on September 26!

Once a semester HDZ, CAT and R&S join forces to provide a space to enable a teaching exchange on sustainability as part of the HDZ Teaching Exchange Series. We will focus on faculty exchanging concrete teaching best practices at HSG to further inspire and support each other. We hope to foster an impactful peer learning experience for all!

When? September 26, 12:00 – 14:00

Where? MeetingPoint

Please register here

Author: Julian Boemelburg

Date: 19. September 2023

The HSG Impact Scholar Community – Dialogue and collaboration among scholars

The “HSG Impact Scholar Community” – a community of purpose-driven early-career researchers –  is looking for support to further develop the dialogue and collaboration among scholars.

The community was launched two years ago in a team of 2 PhD students and 2 Post docs with institutional & moral support from various people. The purpose is to connect scholars aiming to conduct research that positively contributes to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Over the course of the last two years, we have (co-)created around 15 events with about 250 people attending in total and sent out around 20 newsletters to a list of about 80 community members.

We want to make sure that the community flourishes in the future. We are, therefore, launching a call for collaboration: if you are excited about what the community stands and aims for and could imagine supporting and shaping the further development of the community, please reach out to ! You can also find some additional information in the call below.

HSG Impact Scholar Community Call For Collaboration

Author: Tabea Bereuther

Date: 19. September 2023

HDZ course on responsibility and sustainability in teaching

The HSG Center of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (HDZ-HSG) is organizing an upcoming seminar on the topic “From insight to impact: Tackling the sustainability challenge in teaching”.

Led by Prof. Dr. Judith Walls and Prof. Dr. Bernadette Dilger, this introductory course explores basic concepts of responsibility and sustainability (R&S) and discusses pedagogical considerations for incorporating these topics into any university course. By presenting concrete examples, this course wants to encourage faculty to rethink their own teaching. Discuss with peers and experts how to integrate R&S in teaching in their own discipline/field and be part of the change.

This seminar takes place on October 3rd and is open to everyone teaching at a higher education institution and interested in learning more about how to foster sustainability and responsibility in their course.

Author: Julian Boemelburg

Date: 7. September 2023

HSG publishes 2023 report on its water-related activities

Since 2016, HSG has been a member of the Blue Community initiative. As part of this commitment, we produce an annual report on our water-related activities. In the latest edition, published today, you can read more about:

  • HSG’s latest water consumption figures
  • the course ‘Global Water Governance’
  • last year’s achievements of SIMagination’s PureDrops initiative
  • UN Special Rapporteur Pedro Arrojo-Agudo’s visit to HSG in January
  • and our involvement in the Blue Community network

The report is only available in German. Please find it here: Blue Community Annual Report 2023

Author: Julian Boemelburg

Date: 30. August 2023

Upcoming Events

Circular Lab Konferenz

11. December 2023

Standort: University of St. Gallen, SQUARE

Von: 11.12.2023, 10:00
11.12.2023, 17:00

Mit inspirierenden Vorträgen, anregenden Diskussionen und interaktiven Workshops von Expertinnen und Experten aus Wirtschaft und Wissenschaft wollen wir neue Impulse setzen und die Akteure im Bereich der Circular Economy überregional miteinander vernetzen. Lasst uns gemeinsam die neuesten Entwicklungen auf dem Weg in eine zirkuläre Zukunft diskutieren und vorantreiben. Ziel ist es, eine gemeinsame Stossrichtung zu erarbeiten.

Für Circular Lab Kern- und assoziierte Partner ist die Teilnahme kostenlos, alle anderen zahlen einen kleinen Unkostenbeitrag von CHF 50.- für die Verpflegung. Darüber hinaus können wir fünf Gratistickets exklusiv für interessierte Studierende der HSG anbieten – meldet Euch dazu bei Interesse an.

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