Sustainability at BFH

«BFH has set itself sustainability targets in terms of teaching, research and administration. It respects and protects the dignity of humans and nature and invests its resources in promoting sustainable outcomes.»
From the BFH mission statement

As part of its strategy, BFH has set itself the objective of consistently taking the principles of sustainable development into account in all its activities relating to teaching, research and administration. The “BFH Sustainable Development Action Plan 2018-2022” will provide the framework for this over the next few years. In addition to an understanding of sustainability and BFH’s institutional commitment to sustainable practices, it outlines the priorities and goals in the various areas – teaching, further education, research, consultancy services and operations. Since 2018, the Head of Sustainable Development and the corresponding standing committee and department of the same name have managed and coordinated BFH’s sustainable development activities.

Do you have any questions, suggestions or specific ideas regarding BFH’s work on sustainability? The Sustainable Development Committee (SDC) will welcome your input. Contact the SDC student representatives or the Sustainable Development Office.

Examples of activities and participation

BFH SUSTAINS – student support platform
As a practice-orientated university, BFH wants its students to focus even more closely on contributing to a sustainable future. This is why BFH has developed the BFH SUSTAINS support platform. It aims to promote awareness of sustainability and support student work and activities in the field of sustainable development, as well as sustainability-related skills. The platform was developed with the help of the U Change funding programme of the “Netzwerk für Transdisziplinäre Forschung”.

The Sustainability Day of Bern institutes of higher education
The Sustainability Day of Bern institutes of higher education is a project involving the collaboration of PH Bern (Bern University of Teacher Education), the University of Bern and Bern University of Applied Sciences and is supported by the three institutes’ student associations. The day is aimed at encouraging dialogue about sustainability, both within and between the three Bern institutes of higher education, by raising awareness of current sustainability-related issues regarding the teaching, research and management practices at the institutes. The event, held every two years, is also designed to promote the discussion of sustainability issues relating to politics, management, business, and society as a whole.

UN Climate Emergency Letter: aiming to be a carbon-neutral institute of higher education
At the end of August 2019, the BFH became the first Swiss institute of higher education to sign the UN Climate Emergency Letter. In doing so, it has made the following three commitments: firstly, to operate as a fully carbon-neutral institute by no later than 2040. Secondly, to invest more resources in the fight against climate change. Thirdly, to empower its students to contribute to a more sustainable future to counteract the effects of man-made climate change.


BFH committee
BFH Sustainable Development Action Plan (PDF)
WWF Report on Sustainability in Swiss Higher Education