Campus - 21.11.2012 - 00:00 

oikos measures carbon footprint

The student initiative Carbon Neutral Campus has measured the HSG’s carbon footprint. The report serves as a basis for the improvement of the climate balance sheet.


22 November 2012. Students of the oikos sustainability initiative at the HSG have measured the HSG’s carbon footprint for the first time and presented the results to the President’s Board. “This initiative dovetails very well with the HSG’s traditional commitment to sustainability,” says Thomas Dyllick, Professor of Sustainability Management and the President’s Delegate for Responsibility and Sustainability. “We are working together with the HSG to ensure that we burden the environment with as little carbon dioxide as possible,” says Roman Burst, Project Leader of the student initiative Carbon Neutral Campus of oikos St.Gallen.

Results of the study
The footprint established by oikos St.Gallen reveals that the University and its students emitted a total of 6,900 tonnes of CO2 equivalents a year. The largest part of this, namely 2,891 tonnes, was caused by the commuting of students, faculty as well as institute and administrative staff. This is followed by business trips (such as congresses, international teaching activities and research cooperation ventures), which account for 1,477 tonnes per annum. Next, the emissions of the buildings amount to 1,320 tonnes of CO2. Finally, student exchange semesters occupy fourth place with 1,040 CO2 equivalents a year. On the basis of these results, oikos St.Gallen has developed a package of measures as to how the HSG can reduce its carbon footprint.

Measures for environmentally friendly University operations
First measures have been initiated by the University: The HSG has found a competent partner in the Energo Association to monitor and improve buildings and IT systems in terms of energy. Administrative staff have attended specialist courses in building management. The implementation of optimisation measures is planned and monitored by a steering group headed by Thomas Dyllick. The results of the climate balance sheet and any improvements that have been made will be published in regular reports.

International and climate-friendly: a mobility dilemma
“A great challenge for the University is the international mobility of students and faculty,” says Professor Dyllick. “Being cosmopolitan and internationally mobile while reducing the carbon footprint at the same time is quite simply incompatible.” As one of Europe’s leading education and research institutions in the field of business, the University of St.Gallen has to have an international presence and be able to educate its students internationally, emphasises Dyllick. “Emissions which are caused by travelling and commuting cannot be curbed to such an extent as we would wish with regard to the carbon footprint.” For this reason, the University intends to focus more strongly on the optimisation of buildings, IT and campus operations.

Picture: Photocase / Seraph

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