Sustainable development

With the strategic thematic field of Sustainable Development, we have set the course for the future. As a university, we want to assume responsibility as well as support and shape the transition into a sustainable society. We are committed to these goals in our research activities, our education programmes, in the everyday running of our university and in how we engage with society. We also provide numerous opportunities for our students to study sustainable development, participate in networking activities and implement projects.

Our programme for students

We want to empower our students to contribute to a future-oriented society.

BFH diagonal – optional programme for students

BFH diagonal allows students to study topics outside their own specialist discipline. Broaden your expertise and individualise your degree profile. The new optional programme contains over 100 modules – including many on sustainability.

Bachelor of Science in Environment and Resource Management

To achieve sustainable land usage and efficient management of natural resources, such as raw materials, water, energy and soil, it will require many changes – and the people to initiate, plan and support these change processes. With a BSc in Environment and Resource Management, you’ll be in a position to assume responsibility and help shape a sustainable future.

Master of Science in Circular Innovation and Sustainability

As an expert in the circular economy and sustainability, you’ll develop and manage innovative transformations – thanks to BFH’s unique, cross-discipline master’s programme. The programme focuses heavily on practical application.

Certificate of Engagement in Sustainability

The Certificate of Engagement in Sustainability (CES) gives you the opportunity to acquire knowledge, skills and experience in the field of sustainable development as part of your degree programme and to present evidence thereof to potential employers.

Students4Sustainability – cross-university student hub

Students4Sustainability is the first cross-university hub in Switzerland for student commitment to Sustainable Development. It is run jointly by University of Applied Sciences Bern, University of Bern, Bern University of Teacher Education PH Bern and the Teacher Training Institute PH NMS Bern.

BENE is the Society for Sustainable Development of the Bern universities.

BENE acts as a platform for encounter and exchange between students and staff at the Bern universities. The interdisciplinary group of students and staff brings together a wide range of different perspectives on Sustainable Development and seeks to tackle and resolve challenges comprehensively.

Focus Sustainability – National Centre for Student Engagement

Focus Sustainability is the national centre for student engagement in the field of sustainability in Switzerland. It offers workshops, networking events and coaching programmes that bring students together with experts and stakeholders from universities and society. This enables students to fully utilise their transformation potential in the area of sustainability.

Ideally equipped for future employment opportunities

A sustainability-led continuing education programme at BFH provides in-depth, practice-driven preparation for your next career step. You will find the programme that suits you best here.

Our vision

We are guided by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda, our own principles and visions as well as the guidelines of the sustainability network DG hoch-n.

We’re driving sustainable development forward

Research for a sustainable future

We conduct application-oriented research, produce innovative solutions for society and participate in the debate on social values. Our research activities endeavour to produce technologically, culturally, economically and socially relevant innovations. They contribute towards achieving the goals of the 2030 Agenda in a variety of ways.

Sustainable programme for students

Our graduates go on to perform responsible roles in the private sector, public administration, civil society or applied research. In these positions – where theoretical knowledge and practical application converge – they can make crucial contributions to the urgently needed social and economic transformation towards more sustainable development.

Besides a high quality of tuition, this calls for the training of sustainability-relevant skills and equality of opportunity. Future skills, data science, digital tools and soft skills – such as interpersonal skills, creativity and communication – are key elements of sustainable education at BFH.

Applying sustainability

Our operations meet environmental, social and financial requirements. Our integral approach to sustainable operations covers aspects such as the consumption of resources, greenhouse gas emissions and waste. However, we also endeavour to make sustainability visible and tangible and to promote dialogue on sustainability at our university sites. The aim is to turn our campuses into places where members of the university and visitors can learn about and experience sustainability. We aim to be carbon-neutral by 2030 and to achieve net-zero emissions by 2040.

We are also a founding partner of Nature Positive Universities, a growing UNEP network of over 400 universities worldwide that promotes and conserves intact natural environments.

Social responsibility

One of our key activities is dialogue: reciprocal, partnership-based exchange of knowledge, ideas, experiences, innovations and technologies. We engage in this dialogue with other universities, partners and decision-makers in politics, public administration, civil society and the private sector as well as with staff and students within the university.

What’s most important to us

We focus on four socio-political issues where we can contribute relevant specialist expertise and knowledge from various disciplines. They are:

This priority deals with food systems in their entirety – from production to consumption.

Our aim is to establish new development paths to food systems which ensure the regenerative capability of the natural systems and enable sufficient supply of healthy food to be achieved globally.

This priority deals with the development of settlement areas from a social and ecological perspective. It focuses on upgrading spaces to improve quality of life and incorporating resilient eco-systems.

This priority deals with the transition to a circular, climate-friendly economy. A circular economy is vital if natural resources are to be conserved and climate goals attained.

This priority deals with social transformation. New visions and narratives are required to achieve this goal.

Our aim is to derive new implementation strategies that take account of social justice and planetary limits, and to place the focus on contributions from the fields of art, culture and education.

News + Events

News + Events

Research projects