Goal by 2030
BFH aims to be climate neutral by 2030.
Why this topic is relevant for BFH
Thanks to its wide-ranging expertise in various research areas, BFH is ideally positioned to reduce its energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. It also has the opportunity to influence future operations and resource consumption directly of the new campus projects in Biel/Bienne and Bern which will be certified with at least SNBS Gold.
Man-made greenhouse gas emissions are the main cause of climate change. These global emissions endanger the livelihood of humanity and other living creatures. In its activities, BFH also consumes energy and food, uses various resources and causes greenhouse gas emissions.
With a centrally coordinated, consistent implementation of climate protection measures in the coming years and the achievement of climate neutrality, BFH can make its contribution to the goals of the Paris Agreement and Switzerland. Necessary emission reductions can be achieved in particular through the replacement of fossil fuels, energy efficiency, mobility behaviour and sustainable nutrition.
Climate-neutral university by 2030
In the year under review, BFH updated its strategy and tightened its target by aiming for climate neutrality as early as 2030. Already in 2019, the BFH committed to emitting net zero greenhouse gases by 2040 at the latest by signing the Climate Emergency Letter (now Race to Zero for Universities and Colleges).
First measure from the mobility concept implemented: guideline for long-distance and air travel
The BFH mobility concept drawn up in 2020 lists 18 measures with which BFH can achieve mobility with less resource consumption and fewer harmful emissions. A first measure was implemented with the adoption of the Long Distance and Air Travel Policy in 2021. In this, the survey and offsetting of air travel as well as the avoidance of short-haul flights and student excursions by plane were decided. The mobility survey, another measure, had to be postponed several times because such a survey would not have yielded meaningful results in the exceptional situation of the Covid-19 pandemic.
First energy and greenhouse gas inventory
For the first time, an inventory of BFH's energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions was drawn up. In 2021, BFH consumed around 110 TJ of energy and emitted around 4450 t of CO2 equivalents. These figures provide an initial indication of the status quo but are subject to relatively large uncertainties. The informative value is limited due to the incomplete data situation.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the non-recorded commuter routes, the mobility figures are relatively low and not representative for a normal year. The dominance of heat generation, especially in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, can be attributed to the heavy use of fossil fuels in heat production in addition to low mobility.
Renewable energy sources are only partially used in heat production. While BFH-W at Brückenstrasse 73 relies on district heating, BFH-HAFL relies in Zollikofen on wood chips and BFH-AHB in Biel also relies on wood chips for 50% of its heating, all other cantonal buildings are heated with oil or gas. The energy source is not known for the rented locations.
The inventory covers the entire BFH, i.e. the seven departments as well as the President’s Office and Services. It includes the energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions caused by the operation of the buildings (heat and electricity) and mobility (business trips without commuting). Catering and procurement have not yet been taken into account in this first inventory. Further information on the survey, on calculation and interpretation can be found in this German document.