Grafiken zur Nachhaltigkeit

Sustainable Living for the New Decade

UZH has been stepping up its efforts to develop sustainably since 2014. One key goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the running of the university. This is an area where UZH members can contribute through their day-to-day actions. We’ve put together information on a number of sustainability initiatives as well as some practical recommendations.

By Alice Werner; translated by Caitlin Stephens

22020. As a new year and a new decade is ushered in, we make the usual long list of resolutions, full of good intentions to do more sport, get less stressed, eat more healthily, lose a few pounds, spend more time with the family. Another goal that many have set themselves for 2020 is to live more sustainably. You don’t have to be a futurologist to predict that the 2020s will be the decade of ecology and climate protection.
Living sustainably is a good resolution to make: Because most people understand why it makes sense, they will be more motivated to stick at it. Sustainability breeds optimism – and stimulates the desire to join in and contribute, where you can, to the common goal of humanity. A good place to start is at work. Why not avoid printing out documents for a week? Choose a vegetarian or vegan meal at the cafeteria? Keep using older IT devices that still work, even if they are not the latest model? And travel to the next conference in Paris, Prague or Pisa by train?
The UZH Sustainability Policy, developed by the Sustainability Commission, has been in force for one year now. The policy sets out the university’s responsibilities in terms of sustainable development. In addition, in spring 2019 we published our first sustainability report, a situation analysis which highlights the achievements of UZH in the field of sustainability and identifies areas for action. The policy is accompanied by two implementation strategies (“Research and Teaching” and “University Administration”) which are currently being revised following a UZH-wide consultation process and are set to be approved by the Executive Board of the University during this semester.
“To be able to meet the sustainability goals we need the engagement not just of Executive Board members, institute directors and heads of departments, but of every individual member of UZH,” says Lorenz Hilty, UZH sustainability delegate. “For a successful implementation of the sustainability policy it is crucial that members of UZH also take individual responsibility for sustainable development.”
You can find out about existing sustainability initiatives at UZH and how to get involved in the “Focus” section of this issue of the UZH Journal. We also give you tips on how to act more sustainably in your everyday working life.