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Kollegienhaus Universität Basel (img: Christian Flierl)


The University of Basel defines sustainability targets

The University of Basel has prepared a plan of measures designed to meet concrete sustainability targets. Among other aims, the University will be striving to reduce its energy consumption by 20 percent within the space of ten years. Sustainability issues will also increasingly be integrated in the curriculum.

The University of Basel is targeting a leading position in the field of sustainable development at Swiss institutes of higher education, as outlined in a press release issued by the university. The press release explains further that the university was ranked in the upper midtable (5th place) in a recent WWF study. As Jens Gaab, who is responsible for diversity and sustainability at the University of Basel, explains in the press release, this ranking is not quite good enough for an institution that is “consistently focused on excellence”.

Based on a report published in the summer by its specialist sustainability department, the University of Basel has now devised a comprehensive series of measures. This plan is aimed at helping the university to focus on long-term sustainability and secure a place in the upper echelons of the sustainability rankings. “Temporary effects which fade away again are of no interest to us”, Gaab explains. The attainment of concrete targets formulated in the plan of measures is to be verified using consolidated key metrics.

One of the measures relates to the usage of electricity and heating in the university’s buildings. In this context, consumption rates currently stand at around 54.5 gigawatt hours per year and should be reduced by 20 percent within the space of ten years. Moreover, the university is planning to increasingly integrate sustainability-relevant issues into its curriculum. Gaab commented: “No student should be able to claim at the end of his or her degree course that they never covered the topic of sustainability at our university”.

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