Sustainable development

Bern University of Applied Sciences pursues the goal of sustainability in its teaching, research and administration. We believe in respecting and protecting people and nature and investing our resources in the interest of sustainable results.

Sustainable development at BFH

BFH Action Plan for Sustainable Development

As part of its strategy, BFH has set itself the goal of consistently observing the principles of sustainable development in its teaching, research and operational management. The "BFH Action Plan for Sustainable Development" presents a reference framework for achieving this aim for the years 2018-2022. The plan not only includes BFH's understanding of sustainability, but also describes how sustainability is an institutionally established cornerstone of the university's priorities and goals for teaching, continuing education, research, services and operation. The Sustainable Development Office formed in 2017, together with its associated permanent committee and a specialist service, coordinates the BFH's sustainable development activities.


In February 2020, BFH approved a mobility concept. This creates a basis for developing measures to increase usage of more efficient forms of mobility that use less energy and resources, produce fewer CO2 emissions and cause less environmental damage. As a first step, guidelines for long-distance and plane travel are scheduled to be developed and a university-wide mobility survey conducted by spring 2021.

Activities and Engagement

BFH SUSTAINS – the sustainability platform for students

As a practice-oriented university, BFH aims to place even stronger emphasis on equipping its students with the tools to help shape a sustainable future. With this goal in mind, it has developed the BFH SUSTAINS support platform, aimed at promoting student work and activities in the field of sustainable development and fostering sustainability awareness and students' sustainability skills. The platform received support from the U Change funding programme of the Network for Transdisciplinary Research.

Sustainability Day of the Bern universities

The Sustainability Day of the Bern universities is a joint project set up by Bern University of Teacher Education (PHBern), the University of Bern and Bern University of Applied Sciences and is supported by the student associations of the three universities. The aim of the day is to identify current sustainability issues relating to the teaching, research and operation of the Bern universities and to promote dialogue on sustainability within and between these universities. This event, which takes place every two years, is also aimed at facilitating exchange on sustainability issues between the universities and the social, political, administrative and business communities.

UN Climate Emergency Letter: goal to become a carbon-neutral university

BFH was the first Swiss university to sign a Climate Emergency Letter to the UN at the end of August 2019. In this letter, it makes the following pledges: firstly, to become a carbon-neutral university by 2040 at the latest; secondly, to use more resources to actively contribute towards the fight against climate change; and thirdly, to equip its students with the tools to help shape a sustainable future, in order to counteract human-induced climate change.

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