On this web page, we present different ways to make a practical contribution to sustainability at UZH. The list is not exhaustive, and we work to continually expand it.
Table of contents
Getting involved in a student-run sustainability initiative
Integrating sustainability in teaching
The Sustainability Team presents a non-exhaustive list of supporting tools for integrating sustainability in teaching.
Replacing business trips by virtual meetings
Although virtual meetings and presentations cannot replace all aspects of face-to-face meetings, they do offer many advantages and have by far fewer emissions than all travelling options. Aside from eliminating emissions (several tons of CO2 per person for a standard intercontinental flight), they also save time and money. The CO2 released by Internet use for a virtual meeting, on the other hand, generally amounts to just a few kilograms.
Travelling by train in Europe
For business trips within Europe, which cannot be replaced by virtual meetings, travelling by train is the most environmentally friendly option.
Bikes and public transportation require substantially less space and energy per passenger kilometer and also emit less CO2 per unit of energy than cars. Travelling by train also has significantly fewer emissions than travelling by car and travel time can be used productively.
Food and Catering
Favoring vegetarian menus at the cafeteria
Taking the whole production chain into account, the cafeteria’s vegetarian meals generally leave a smaller ecological footprint than the average cafeteria meal.
Ordering sustainable refreshments
The Guideline Sustainable Catering supports you in organizing sustainable refreshments.
Extending the service life of devices
Digital devices are made of rare materials and require high energy consumption in production. Moreover, the social conditions under which raw materials are produced – and the finished products manufactured – are often unacceptable. Extending the service life of devices is thus even more important than energy-conscious use. Devices that are no longer in use but still serviceable should be recycled for further use, for instance via the device exchange.
Sharing print media and avoiding printing of electronic documents
The actual use of print and electronic media is decisive for the environmental impact thereof. Sharing print media with other persons and not printing electronic documents are the best options. In case something needs to be printed, using a central printer has less environmental impact in terms of CO2 emissions than using a workplace printer.
Pulling the plug from devices
Disconnect devices with high standby power consumption from the power supply, especially during long absences.
Paper and office supply
Using recycling paper
Since fall 2018, UZH has a one-paper-strategy: UZH offers only one type of copy paper in its store and recommends its employees to use this paper. The selected paper (Refutura) consists of 100% recycling paper and fulfils the strict requirements of the environmental label «Blauer Engel». By choosing this type of paper, you decide for an environmentally friendly paper: The production of fresh fibre paper causes more than 2.5 times more greenhouse gas emissions than the production of the paper of the one-paper-strategy (Refutura).
Reducing print jobs and printing double-sided
In 2018, UZH purchased around 110 t of photocopy and printing paper (excluding print products and envelopes). This can be reduced by conscious printing.
Platform for office supply
Instead of disposing unused office supply such as folders or envelopes, UZH employees can pass this on for free to other employees. Employees can either pick up the material themselves or have it delivered via internal mail.
Book cabin for book exchange
Instead of throwing away books, you can bring books which you no longer need to the book cabin in the main building, where others an take them for free.
Adjusting the delivered volume of UZH print media to the actual need
You can change your subscription of the UZH Journal and UZH Magazin individually.
For changes to the order of your department for the UZH Journal, please send an email to Fabiola Thomann.
For changes to the order for the UZH annual report, please send an email to Marita Fuchs.
Disposal of Waste
The Waste Disposal Guidelines define how to dispose waste properly at UZH. Short information on the disposal of general waste, paper/carton, glass, PET bottles, metal, aluminum, printing cartridges and Nespresso capsules can be found on the website for UZH staff.
You can find further recycling stations on the website Recycling-Map.