A sustainable university

We attach great importance to the prudent use of resources across all our teaching activities, research work and services, and to promoting increased awareness of sustainability among our students and staff. We believe that acting sustainably is all about having the right attitude, and seek to strengthen this attitude at the PHSG by implementing numerous curricular and extra-curricular promotional activities.

Sustainable development policy

The PHSG has incorporated its understanding of sustainability into its vision statement. It adheres to the principles of sustainable development in all its activities, and treats the human, natural and capital resources with which it works with care and consideration. In the context of socially responsible development, it strives to involve all its staff and students in the process of deciding what the PHSG’s development strategy should be. The university moreover promotes respect for other people’s differences, and insists that its staff and students treat each other with care and appreciation. 
The topic of sustainability is extremely wide-ranging, affecting all areas of study at the PHSG, as well as all research and development activities and all university and university campus operations.

Blue University

The PHSG is committed to its status as a Blue University:

  1. The PHSG recognises that water is a human right.
  2. The PHSG is an advocate of ensuring that water services remain a public good.
  3. The PHSG encourages people to drink tap water as opposed to bottled water.
  4. The PHSG has a network of international partnerships aimed at sharing knowledge on water.

The PHSG entered into its commitment to uphold the Blue University principles together with other St.Gallen-based universities, the St.Gallen administrative authority and the St.Gallen Stadtwerke public utility company.

The PHSG offers drinking bottles to its students to encourage them to drink tap water. Within local authorities and in university canteens, jugs of fresh tap water are served to employees and students. The PHSG moreover implements various measures to reduce the amount of water consumed through its operational activities.

As part of the north-south partnership programme organised by éducation21, the PHSG cooperates with Dicle University in Diyarbakır, southern Turkey. The topic of water was chosen as the programme focus for the 2016–2018 partnership period.

Sustainable campus

Where possible, the PHSG operates the three campuses at its Gossau, St.Gallen and Rorschach locations based on sustainable criteria. It is supported in this respect by the owner of the campus buildings, the canton of St.Gallen. Where financially viable, the canton has any necessary construction and renovation performed according to sustainability principles. Since 2012, the PHSG has focused its operational sustainability efforts on the following areas:

•    Sustainability in energy and water consumption
•    Sustainability in operational, maintenance and renewal activities
•    Sustainability in waste disposal and recycling

Key measures implemented within its building management activities include the following:

•    Operation of a wood pellet heating system, solar panels and a rainwater harvesting system
•    Monitoring and regulating monthly energy and water consumption levels
•    Ongoing conversion to low-energy devices such as LED lighting and A++ appliances
•    Use of a cleaning system certified as environmentally sound
•    Recycling: the fermentation of biowaste in a biogas plant and the conversion of cooking oils into biofuel

Moreover, our students and staff regularly contribute new ideas and suggestions for sustainability projects.

Verantwortliche für nachhaltige Entwicklung an der Hochschule