Sustainable responsibility

By rolling out Sustainable Development as a strategic area, BFH is playing a significant role in helping to transform our society and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals through its teaching, research and continuing education, and by choosing to lead by example.

Sustainable development at BFH

Sustainability is one of the most pressing and complex developmental tasks facing society. Global ecological, social, economic and cultural problems are posing major challenges to humankind. Because of the ethical and socio-political role they play, universities are expected to encourage reflection upon the issue and stimulate social change that will bring about greater sustainability.

The measures for sustainable development highlight in concrete terms how and what the BFH can contribute. With our “Whole Institution Approach” we lay the foundation for a shared and an experience based understanding of sustainability, a reflective and critical sustainability dialogue as well as a targeted ongoing development of the BFH as an organisation in the field of sustainable development.

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. 

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 2030 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. 

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. 

Sustainable Development Committee

The Sustainable Development Committee sets goals and policies for sustainable development at BFH in line with the cantonal and federal sustainability strategies and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. It advises the President on all strategic matters relating to Sustainable Development. It has developed a vision that outlines the next steps as we progress towards becoming a sustainable and responsible university. 

Project examples

Circular Economy in Swiss Companies

Why is the ability to transform so central to competitiveness for the Swiss economy? In the video, Prof. Tobias Stucki, Head of the Institute for Sustainable Business at the Department of Economics, explains what is so crucial about this and how companies can achieve this goal.

Biomass from plant substances

Alternatives to petroleum? Plant substances make it possible. By means of an extraction process, the biomass obtained from them can be used sustainably. Prof. Ingo Mayer, head of the BFH Wood Resource and Material Centre, is pleased that the climate balance of many products can be decisively improved thanks to this process used for the first time.

For students


One of the first interdepartmental projects at BFH was the launch of the SUSTAINS platform in 2020. Aimed specifically at students, it is designed to help them develop and launch sustainable projects. BFH and its students are to act as stakeholders, supporting the ongoing transformation process in various ways as we move towards greater sustainability in business and society.  

Association for Sustainable Development at Bern Universities (BENE)

BENE is a meeting platform for students and staff at Bern’s universities. The interdisciplinary group of students and staff brings together different views of Sustainable Development and is resolved to tackle and solve challenges holistically.

BFH diagonal – Optional modules for students

With BFH diagonal you can study beyond your own subject areas, expand your skills and individualise your degree profile. The new optional offer comprises over 100 modules - including many on the topic of sustainability.

Master of Science Circular Innovation and Sustainability

The BFH has developed a new interdepartmental Master Circular Innovation & Sustainability, which specifically trains professionals who want to actively shape the transformation to the circular economy. Interested?

News + Events

News + Events