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Our aim is to educate responsible leaders for serving our economy, environment and society. By signing the SDG Accord letter in October 2019, the University of St.Gallen commits to further integrate sustainability and responsibility into the curriculum.

Teaching & Learning Approach

The University of St.Gallen aims to educate responsible entrepreneurially-minded students whose actions are informed by environmental and social grand challenges. Thereby, the HSG lives up to the responsibility of higher education institutions to equip students with the skills necessary to navigate current and future sustainability challenges in an increasingly complex world.

Building on a wide variety of courses and programmes that integrate sustainability-related topics, HSG is committed to further embedding sustainability in its curricula. Following an integrative approach, we are expanding our academic offerings to include sustainability across all levels and in all disciplines, while simultaneously promoting corresponding co-curricular activities. In doing so, we intend to promote a learning environment that fosters the development of transformational leadership skills and sustainability expertise.

Managing Climate Solutions (MaCS)

Starting in fall 2020, students at HSG, have the possibility to add a sustainability-related certificate to their studies. The certificate program MaCS-HSG “Managing Climate Solutions” addresses one of the biggest societal challenges of our time. Climate change is now widely acknowledged, but how can it be successfully tackled?

This is the key question to be answered by future leaders in business and society. Through the additional qualification in Managing Climate Solutions, students will complement their core Master`s program at the University of St. Gallen with dedicated courses enabling them to understand the magnitude of the challenge, to explore the range of possible solutions, to craft behaviorally informed strategies, and to shape a positive future in a carbon-constrained world.

Integrative Sustainability Management (SuM)

Integrative Sustainability Management (SuM-HSG) is a new certificate programme that bachelor students can pursue alongside their main course of study at HSG.

Starting in fall 2024, the SuM provides students with the tools and skills to understand and effectively tackle complex sustainability challenges. Students will learn to build partnerships, make decisions, devise solutions, and implement initiatives essential to driving progress towards a sustainable future.

The SuM-HSG, granting 24 ECTS, is open to all bachelor’s students after the assesment year – at no extra cost!

Sustainability-Related Courses

At all levels of education, HSG offers numerous courses and several programmes that integrate sustainability-related issues. This comprises both the integration of grand challenges into core programmes, as well as offering specialized courses, mostly as part of the Contextual Studies track. Contextual Studies form one of the most important and unique distinguishing features of the University of St. Gallen. It is a core element of all our degree programmes at HSG and conveys insights and allows building skills that make a difference in the economy, society, and politics of the twenty-first century.

For all courses, we distinguish between courses that deal with sustainability as a core topic and courses that deal with sustainability as one topic amongst others. A comprehensive yet non-exhaustive list of sustainability-related courses and modules on all levels of education can be found below. Similar lists from previous years can be provided upon request.

SIMagination Challenge

The SIMagination Challenge is an essential curricular pillar of the Master of Arts in Strategy and International Management (SIM-HSG). The course is tackling contemporary grand challenges in a practical way, using a transformative approach. The 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals guide the SIMagination initiatives, which promote prosperity for people and the planet while addressing at least one of the SDGs, looking at the greatest need(s) and impact, and using education as a tool towards achieving the other UN goals. The initiatives are passed on from class to class, evolving to create sustainable impact and lasting change that evolves over generations and emphasises collaboration, trust and confidence.

Study Programmes

Various HSG study programmes integrate sustainability into their curriculum. The list below presents a selection of those programmes. More information on how they integrate sustainability can be found on their respective websites.

The efforts to further embed responsibility and sustainability topics in all our study programmes are ongoing. If you are interested in learning more about specific examples, you can find more information in our latest PRME report on page 29 & 31.

Sustainability Curriculum Development

We encourage, support, and accompany the in-depth change towards embedding sustainability in the HSG curriculum through both new and existing courses. We use innovative teaching methods wherever possible to enhance the learning experience for students. Our goal is to make the transition as smooth as possible, and to create a lasting impact for all parties involved. To this end, we collaborate with various internal and external stakeholders to provide the best and most inclusive support possible.

A customized support system has been developed to meet the needs of both programme managers and faculty teaching at HSG. The support system covers various activities that are carried out by HSG support service staff, faculty colleagues, students, and/or external stakeholders.

The support system respects the freedom of teaching granted to each faculty at HSG and does not impose any specific ways of integrating sustainability into a particular course. The faculty in charge of the course always decides on the content and the way of teaching.