In the autumn semester 2020, the SUB ran a social media campaign on the topic of sustainability. The basis and goal was to communicate the "Sustainability Position Paper", which was adopted by the SUB in autumn 2019. This paper defines numerous fields of action in which the university can and should become active in order to achieve its self-imposed goal of climate neutrality by 2025. It also includes many ideas on how students can contribute to more environmental sustainability at our university without much effort.
Tip 5: Science and sustainability
Tip 7: Meat in the canteen?
Tip 8: A sustainable way of gift-giving
The rector of the University of Bern, Christian Leumann, already stated it in a speech a year ago - today the University of Bern is making it official in a media release: the university wants to be climate neutral by 2025. "The Student Body of the University of Bern (SUB) has for a long time been calling for the university to set an ambitious goal of achieving climate neutrality. We are pleased that our appeal has been heard by the university's executive board," says SUB board member Sebastian Held.
The key question now is which measures the university management will use to achieve its goal. The key question now is which measures the university management will use to achieve its goal. "Compensation must not play the main role in the university's climate plan. The key part must be dedicated to CO2 reduction," says Held. Especially in air travel and in the university's operations, an effective reduction of emissions must be achieved. In the case of compensation, it is also essential to focus on local and regional projects. The university also has a lot of potential in terms of research and teaching: in addition to investing in research on sustainability, the research itself should also be made more sustainable. This only works if ecological and social responsibility is taken into account throughout the entire research project. Furthermore, sustainable development must be integrated more consistently into teaching.
The university's announcement comes almost on time at the end of the #SUBforClimate sustainability campaign of the autumn semester 2020. With the campaign, the SUB wants to draw particular attention to its sustainability paper, which was adopted a year ago and identifies fields of action for the university. In the media release published today, the university shows its responsibility as an institution that has contributed a great deal to grasp the climate crisis. It also demonstrates the plan it is pursuing to implement its ambitious goal with the help of concrete measurements (CO2 balance and business trips).
Instead of supporting our consumer society and crowding into shops with hundreds of people, think about a sustainable gift. How about:
Today is Black Friday, the day of consumer temptation. A good occasion to inaugurate our new clothing swap rack!
After introducing our new shelf, the SUB for Climate sustainability campaign is launching another service this week: Our clothing swap rack. From now on, clothes that are no longer worn can be handed in at the SUB-Hüsli (during Corona: at the service window of the SUB-Hüsli). Please make sure that the clothes are washed. Take a look at the clothes rack: maybe you'll find something you like! During the Corona period, an Insta-clothes market is held on the first Wednesday of each month. All the clothes that have arrived by then are posted in the story and can be reserved on Insta. The reserved clothes can be picked up at the SUB-Hüsli at the service window until the end of the week.
Our demands towards the University of Bern are clear:
Do you already know about our textbook exchange shelf in the SUB-Hüsli on the 1st floor? Take a look - maybe you'll find the literature you need for your next semester there. If you find something that you can use: Help yourself! You don't need to bring one of your own books in exchange.
Do you have semester literature lying around at home that you will never look at again? Bring them to the SUB-Hüsli and make other students happy!
A year ago today, Rector Leumann announced that the UniBe would be climate neutral by 2025 - today he says: "We are examining it intensively". We demand that the University of Bern prepares an effective and concrete action plan by the end of 2020 at the latest. This should set out strategies and measures on how the goal can be achieved.
Today is Halloween. What could be scarier than an uninhabitable Earth? But the climate crisis is not a spook. It can be explained scientifically and it is real.
"According to the IPCC report of 2018, we must achieve a reduction in CO2 emissions to net 0 emissions by 2050 at the latest, which requires nothing less than a major transformation of our economic and social systems within 30 years, otherwise irreversible damage is imminent. Politicians and the economy are acting far too slowly: we are on a course to reach 2°C global warming in 2044 if the calculations are moderately optimistic. The more time passes, the more expensive and costly future action becomes. Academia is also part of these systems and must accordingly play its part in the solution. Universities are scientific institutions with an impact, which have contributed in particular to discovering and grasping the scope of the problem. They have a special responsibility to act on their research findings. Otherwise, the credibility of the university suffers. It is about changing academia so that it does not live at the expense of the climate. Moreover, universities prepare future decision-makers, which is why their role in knowledge transfer and as role models is central."
Stop by the open fridge at the SUB-Hüsli. There you can give away your still edible food or get something tasty that another person doesn't want anymore. Let's pass on food instead of throwing it away!
"Every discipline incorporates sustainable development into its course of study"
- SUB position paper on sustainability p. 12
In the field of teaching, the university is particularly active with regard to sustainability. The University of Bern already offers two minor courses on sustainable development. However, like gender equality, the topic is a cross-curricular issue. Not only in the degree programmes that traditionally deal with it, but in all degree programmes, the relevance for the subject can and must be sought, discussed, established, and evaluated. A great deal of attention needs to be paid to sustainability in every course of study. In subjects such as economics and also law (e.g. environmental law, international treaties) this is of particular importance. Especially these disciplines/topic areas have a great impact in the world and play an important role with regard to the causes as well as the management of the climate crisis.
What about you? Integrate the topic of sustainability into your next seminar paper!
Have you heard of Ecosia? The Google alternative invests all its profits in planting trees and protecting the rainforest. In addition, the servers are operated in a climate-neutral way and the search engine does not sell any data to advertisers. We think: These are more than enough reasons to install Ecosia as the default browser on the computers of the University of Bern. Several universities have already taken this step, which has resulted in thousands of trees being planted. Unfortunately, we have so far fallen on deaf ears at the University of Bern - but we'll keep at it. In the meantime, why don't you set Ecosia as the default browser on your private laptop?
"The canteens provide a sustainable, attractive, and balanced vegetarian and vegan offer. Meat or fish is not served on a daily basis."
- SUB Position Paper Sustainability p. 13
One of the biggest factors in the individual calculation of the Ecological Footprint is meat consumption. Meat production is an extremely resource-consuming industry. By reducing the amount of meat and fish on offer, canteens can already reduce their ecological footprint by a significant amount. All other food must also be locally and organically produced. This is one of the many measures proposed by the SUB for a climate-neutral University of Bern. More can be found in the position paper.
The faculty-student associations must help to raise awareness of sustainability in their departments and institutes. On the 5th of March 2020, the Student Council, therefore, assigned the Sustainability Commission of the SUB to develop a guideline for student councils. Conclusion: The possibilities for faculty student associations are manifold and holds great potential. Now we need you, dear faculty representatives!
Thomas Stocker (President of the Oeschger Centre) has been warning about the consequences of the climate crisis for a long time and urges us to take action quickly. Fitting for today's Parking Day, we use Stocker's quote to call on the university management not to park its commitment on the sidelines, but to take a pioneering role and - finally - adopt a plan on how the Uni intends to achieve its self-imposed goal of CO2 neutrality by 2025.
The climate strike action week starts today! Until the 25th of September, workshops, discussions, and various actions in Bern will show how a climate-friendly way of living can look like in the future. Of course, the SUB is part of it and calls on students to participate.
On Saturday the 30. September 2023, there will be a national climate strike demonstration. Of course, students will be there this time too. Are you with us?
Because we think: As an academic institution, our university has contributed a lot to understanding the problem. Now it has a responsibility to act.
With its research activities, the University of Bern has made a major contribution to recognizing and analyzing the current climate crisis. Now the university - and with it, the SUB - has a responsibility to respond to its own findings accordingly. Today, the SUB is launching a social media campaign to call for more sustainability that will last the entire autumn semester.
On 1 November 2019, a statement by the Rector of the University of Bern, Christian Leumann, made the student body of the University of Bern (SUB) cheer: on Sustainability Day, the university set itself the goal of being climate-neutral by 2025. In the meantime, it has become clear that while the university is resolute when it comes to acknowledging the crisis, it is very wishy-washy when it comes to actually implement its plans. "The time for pretty words has run out," says SUB board member Sebastian Held. "If the university wants to achieve its self-defined goal, then it is high time to start adopting and implementing effective measures quickly."
Between the 16th of September and the 18th of December, the SUB is running a social media campaign on Instagram and Facebook on the topic of sustainability. Part of the campaign will be tips for a more sustainable everyday life as a student as well as new SUB services and actions. The campaign was initiated by the SUB Sustainability Commission, which gives students the space to constantly reflect on the university and their own operations and to define and implement measures for more sustainability. Last autumn, the commission also published a comprehensive position paper on sustainability that formulates demands and defines fields of action. However, this was not very well accepted by the University Commission for Sustainable Development (KNE) and is to be further implemented with the campaign that begins today.