UZH itself becomes a research object for sustainability


Zurich – The University of Zurich (UZH) is promoting real-world laboratory projects by its employees. This new funding instrument is intended to explore their ideas for a more sustainable operation of the university. It is crucial that researchers work together with people from technology and administration.

The University of Zurich is building on the ideas of its employees to make its own operations more sustainable. At the beginning of this year, they were able to submit ideas for so-called real-world laboratory projects aimed at reducing UZH’s greenhouse gas emissions. According to a press release, UZH itself is becoming a research object with real-world laboratory projects.

It is crucial that researchers collaborate with technical or administrative staff. This is unusual for many people. “To achieve UZH’s climate neutrality target, we need to rethink existing processes and habits,” explains Vice-Rector and Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs Gabriele Siegert. “The real-world laboratory projects combine science and practice and thus help to understand which adaptations actually contribute to a reduction in climate-damaging emissions.” At the same time, UZH is “learning to apply scientific findings to itself and at the same time gaining knowledge about its own structures and processes”, says UZH’s Delegate for Sustainability, Lorenz Hilty.

UZH has selected five real-world laboratory projects from the submissions and is supporting them with a total of 228,000 Swiss francs. The topics range from reducing flight-related greenhouse gas emissions to plastic recycling in the laboratory, reducing electricity consumption in radiology and vegetation management on the Irchel campus. ce/mm