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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

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


For a successful purpose-driven business world, inspired employees are key. The HSG student association IGNITE is convinced, that this is achieved through inspirational leadership, company culture and a new approach to corporate governance.

Inspirational leadership focuses on transmitting the passion of the vision to the employees. Company culture ensures the purpose and core values of the company are lived on an everyday basis in an environment where employees feel at home. A new approach to corporate governance addresses two aspects: firstly, including the vision in the decision making process across all levels within the company. Secondly, giving more independence by organisational design to every single employee to allow them to live to their full creative potential. IGNITE views these pillars as highly interdependent – thus, they should be looked at in combination.

 ​The 2022 IGNITE Conference on Saturday, April 30 at SQUARE will facilitate practice oriented exchange and mutual learning in 7 interactive workshops, 2 keynotes and 1 employee-centered startup panel discussion. Embark on a learning journey and get first-hand insights from best-practice cases and thought leaders, including Sophie Wade, Founder & CEO Flexcel Network LLC), Camilla Perotti (Chief of Staff & Lead Analytics, Planted Foods AG),  Pascal Dulex (Culture Coach & Creative Director, FREITAG) and Andreas Slotosch (Chief Growth Officer & Co-Founder, Beekeeper AG).

Check out the programme, sign up and see you on April 30 at SQUARE!

Author: Sandra Ramme

Date: 27. April 2022

Sustainability Thesis Slam

During the oikos Sustainability Week 2022, the President’s Delegate for Responsibility and Sustainability team organized a Sustainability Thesis Slam.

14 institutes, centers and chairs presented their research on sustainability, ranging from sustainability strategy, finance, marketing, education, accounting, diversity & inclusion, computer science and more. Around 30 interested students took the chance to exchange with faculty on possible thesis topics. It was a lively dialogue between faculty and students, which was fruitful and beneficial for both sides. The event showed the diversity of sustainability research projects at the HSG and the great interest of students in those topics.

If you are interested in writing your thesis on the field of sustainability, check out the slides and learn more about the different research projects here: Slides Sustainability Thesis Slam 

Author: Tabea Bereuther

Date: 20. April 2022

Co-founder of HSG VeganClub: Founder of the Year 2022

During the START Summit on Friday, March 25, 2022, Raffael Wohlgensinger has been named “HSG Founder of the Year 2022” on behalf of the company Formo. The award is combined with a prize of 10,000 Swiss francs from the Werner Jackstädt Foundation.

Raffael Wohlgensinger founded the food startup “Formo” together with Dr. Britta Winterberg in 2019. Since the cheese lover was not satisfied with previously available cheese substitutes based on soy or nuts, he began to “recreate” the product in the lab. With “Formo,” he wanted to produce real dairy products without milk from cows, sheep and goats. Formo translates to “I mold, I form” in Latin, and its historical origins is closely linked to ancient Roman cheesemaking traditions. The food tech says the name better reflects its mission to bring consumers authentic, hedonistic European cheeses, but made ethically and sustainably.

Wohlgensinger’s startup Formo, which was initially called Legendairy Foods, does not produce cheese on the usual animal or plant basis, but builds its products with the help of microorganisms. Now, Formo wants to expand its product range, which currently includes soft cheeses such as mozzarella and ricotta, to include aged cheeses such as cheddar and gruyere, as well as expand its fermentation technology. To this end, the Berlin-based startup Formo received $50 million last year, the largest Series A financing for a foodtech in Europe to date.

Raffael Wohlgensinger was co-founder and vice president of the “VeganClub@HSG” during his studies at the University of St.Gallen. Together with Nucleus Capital, he has been supporting new startups in the fields of Synthetic Biology, Climate and Food Tech since 2021. Learn more about Raffael in this interview.

Author: Tabea Bereuther

Date: 4. April 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