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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

Maturandinnentag 2022

Liebe Maturandinnen

Anbei findet ihr die Slides für die Gruppenarbeit.

Wir wünschen euch gutes Gelingen!

Maturandinnentag 2022 Workshop

Author: Sandra Ramme

Date: 22. November 2022

oikos St. Gallen released their framework for climate neutral event management

Climate neutrality.  An important goal to limit global warming. This topic is also of great concern to the University of St. Gallen, which is why the topic of last year’s ECOnnect x SHSG Challenge was climate neutrality and how university associations can contribute to achieving this on campus. 

In the context of the ECOnnect x SHSG Challenge 2021, which created a supportive environment for student associations to become carbon neutral, the jury awarded oikos St. Gallen and START Hack as winners.  

The team pulled together best practices in climate neutral event management and produced a guide and framework for event managers. A dedicated “Framework Team” from the student club oikos St. Gallen, a chapter of the international student organisation oikos International coordinated, managed, and led the initiative in collaboration with START Hack, a HSG student association that organises Europe’s most entrepreneurial Hackathon. The project was also supported by academic advisors at the university and the Delegate for Responsibility & Sustainability team’s ECOnnect platform that supports student initiatives around sustainability, as well as the University of St. Gallen Student Union (SHSG). 

After several months of dedicated work toward the development of the framework, the START Hack event was the first to use and successfully apply the oikos framework, achieving a climate neutral START Hack 2022 event . 

Now, oikos St. Gallen has finally released the result of their work, which is represented by the first final version of their Framework for Climate Neutral Events.

The guide was especially developed for student associations in St. Gallen and will be implemented with the help of workshops held by oikos St. Gallen. Now, the time has come to spread the framework and foster sustainable actions on the HSG campus and in the event planning.

Make your events at the University of St. Gallen more sustainable and support the goal of reaching climate neutrality. 

Download the framework here and take on the challenge! 

Author: Sandra Ramme

Date: 14. November 2022

Join the Sustainability Curriculum Innovation Lab: a Professors & Students collaboration platform to better integrate sustainability into HSG courses!

Are you a student?

Join the first interactive workshop! Come & collaborate with Johanna Gollnhofer to identify concrete options to further integrate Sustainability in a Marketing Course at HSG.

Are you a professor?

If you are interested in this format to find ways to further embed sustainability into your existing or future course together with students, feel free to reach out to Clementine Robert to plan the next workshop.

When? Mon, November 14th, 14.00 – 15.30

Where? SQUARE, Hilti-Room 2 (11-1081)

Registration: https://rb.gy/niz19o

With this Sustainability Curriculum Innovation Lab participate in creating a positive impact at HSG:

  • Become a changemaker
  • Give faculty/students direct feedback to integrate sustainability in an existing course at HSG
  • Inspire faculty/students, learn from each other and co-create the future of teaching

Any questions related to the Sustainability Curriculum Innovation Lab?

Contact

This workshop is a pilot part of a bigger initiative to transform HSG by embedding sustainability action as an integral part of the HSG culture and programs.

Author: Sandra Ramme

Date: 11. November 2022

Green HSG campus: habitat for many plants and animals

The HSG campus on St.Gallen’s Rosenberg is certified for its near-natural design. More than 60 different plant species grow and various wild and small animals live in the University grounds.

When all the students, researchers and members of staff leave the HSG campus on St.Gallen’s Rosenberg late in the evening, the grounds belong to nocturnal animals: the large, park-like area of 47,500 square metres is home to foxes, martens and badgers. They find their habitat around the University building, where 28 tree and 38 shrub species grow. The surrounding meadows, which are mown only once a year after they have seeded, provide a habitat for insects, birds and other small animals. Fertilisers and pesticides are not used; instead, a great deal of manual work is involved. Two employees of the HSG’s Construction and Technology Department exclusively work on the maintenance of the surroundings.

In many places, this green area looks overgrown; however, this does not involve less work. Indeed, there is an intention behind this wild vegetation: on the Rosenberg campus, nature is deliberately left space to develop. Since 2007, the HSG has been certified for the near-natural design of its environment by the Nature & Economy Foundation, which promotes nature in residential areas and honours exemplary areas and environment planning. “A near-natural design does not only foster biodiversity but also ensures a high degree of exterior space and residential quality,” the Foundation writes on its website.

Green Campus

Façade and roof greening implemented
With progressive climate change, a green environment in cities is becoming increasingly important. At the HSG, too, several buildings have been greened: thus when the Library was renovated in 2021, a near-natural roof garden with a small biotope was created. On the SQUARE, a total of approx. 1,350 square metres have been extensively greened. And also in 2021, the façades on the classroom cabins behind the sports grounds were greened: on a wire mesh in front of the cabins, indigenous climbers grow upwards. This increases the shade, which is also intended to improve the indoor climate of the cabins.

A biologically diverse campus design also means giving preference to indigenous plants whenever possible. However, since the University area used to be owned by St.Gallen’s Kirchhofer textile dynasty, whose members brought plants home from their travels, a few exotic plants can be found here, too: the best-known examples of this at the HSG are three imposing giant sequoias (Sequoiadendron giganteum). These trees are hardy; they also resist the St.Gallen winter and thus have their firm position among the HSG’s trees. Wherever possible, however, non-indigenous species – such as decorative shrubs in front of buildings – are removed and replaced by indigenous plants. The HSG staff of Construction and Technology conduct regular inspections with external experts of biologically diverse environment design. On these occasions, they discuss options of how the campus can be edged even closer to nature and developed along these lines.

Ready more news here: Green HSG campus: habitat for many plants and animals | Knowledge | University of St.Gallen (unisg.ch)

Author: Tabea Bereuther

Date: 25. October 2022

Dr. Fabian Takacs joined the Delegates Team for Responsibility and Sustainability

In October 2022, Fabian Takacs joined the Delegates Team for Responsibility and Sustainability at the University of St. Gallen as a Project Manager (Sustainability Curriculum Development) and post-doctoral researcher. Fabian is passionate about environmental protection and sustainability. His research focuses on the Circular Economy and business model innovation, focusing on the entrepreneurial implementation of resource conservation and closed material loops.

Fabian works at the team of the Delegate for Responsibility and Sustainability on realizing the HSG vision and Roadmap 2025 supporting the implementation of sustainability in the curriculum at HSG. In addition, he continues to research the Circular Economy’s entrepreneurial implementation with various academic and practice partners.

Previously, Fabian worked at the Institute of Management and Strategy (IfB) at the University of St. Gallen and conducted research in an SNF research project (Laboratory for Applied Circular Economy, NRP73), for which work he received the HSG-Impact Award in 2020. Fabian holds a Ph.D. in Management (Ph.D. HSG) focusing on circular transformation through business model innovation and ecosystems. Fabian is also involved in various non-profit organizations, among others, in local culture promotion.

Author: Sandra Ramme

Date: 24. October 2022

HSG joins Alliance for Research on Corporate Sustainability (ARCS)

The University of St.Gallen has been accepted as an institutional member to the Alliance for Research on Corporate Sustainability (ARCS).

ARCS is a global partnership of top academic institutions on sustainability research in management. “Joining ARCS is a wonderful step forward in the university’s sustainability strategy. It provides a network of top scholars and universities for research on social and environmental grand challenges in the context of business”, says Prof. Dr. Judith Walls. She is Professor of Sustainability Management and Co-Director of the Institute for Economy and the Environment (IWÖ-HSG) and University Delegate for Responsibility & Sustainability.

Integration of sustainability into research activities
As environmental issues, like climate change and biodiversity loss, have grown in complexity, scope and urgency, there is growing recognition that proactive engagement and leadership of the business sector is required. To support businesses in developing solutions for these challenges, rigorous and practically relevant research is key. At HSG, we aim to foster the integration of sustainability into our research activities and developing research excellence as expressed in the environmental sustainability strategy and the HSG Strategic Plan 2025. Being an institutional member of ARCS provides a great opportunity for HSG faculty to exchange with top researchers and gain access to data in order to promote excellent sustainability research.

ARCS was started by several elite US universities, such as Dartmouth College, Duke University, Harvard University, University of Michigan, University of Virginia, and University of Western Ontario, in 2007 to encourage rigor in research that is also highly relevant in the context of society and nature. “The University of St.Gallen is honoured to join this impressive network of 26 leading academic institutions to address some of the most pressing societal challenges through collaborative sustainability scholarship”, says Dr. Peter Lindstrom, Director of External Relations. ARCS holds a yearly conference and other sessions and activities throughout the year to provide data and networking opportunities to its members.

Author: Tabea Bereuther

Date: 20. October 2022

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

Key facts

Our engagement and activites

Research
Teaching
Campus
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