Project Overview 2022/2023
With these projects, students of the 2022/2023 cohort of the Managing Climate Solutions certificate contributed to shaping the future of the University of St.Gallen (HSG).
Our solar crowdfunding project aimed to progressively shift the power supply of HSG towards renewable and green energy. Over the last 10 years, HSG has already significantly reduced its electricity consumption per student. However, there was still ample room and potential for further progress. The overarching goal of the project was to secure funding for a photovoltaic system on the roof of the university's sports hall. In this context, the team aimed to use a structured and comprehensive marketing concept, primarily targeting local investors, not only to raise as much money as possible for the project but also to raise awareness of the urgency of climate change and the potential of renewable energy as a solution. Individuals got the opportunity to become an investor themselves and receive not only a solid financial return but also make a direct contribution to the future of our planet.
Scaling School Days
From Insight to Impact - true to the motto of the University of St. Gallen, this group wanted to ensure that the generation of tomorrow is aware of the immense significance of their actions for the world. The next ten years are crucial to curb climate change, therefore the team aimed to raise awareness for the issue and its urgency in local schools, calling for action through a Climate Day. On this day, students were taught vividly about facts regarding climate change and potential solutions to climatic challenges. Additionally, the group seeked to scale the idea of climate education by supporting students at pedagogical universities in bringing the topic closer to school students.
Wind Energy X HSG
The goal of the project was to conclude a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) between the University of St. Gallen and a local wind farm. A Power Purchase Agreement refers to a long-term electricity supply contract between two parties. The planned Oberegger wind turbine project was particularly considered as a potential contracting partner, and our task involved communication with the contracting party. By entering into a PPA with a local wind power plant, not only was a secure energy supply for the University of St. Gallen made possible, but also support for the region. Additionally, the awareness of regional wind energy at the University of St. Gallen was increased.
St. Gallen, the city of stairs. Many students at the University of St. Gallen face the daily challenge of climbing the stairs of Dohlengässlein. With each step, body temperature rises, and by the last step, heads glow in a reddish hue. Similarly, the climate warms year by year, in Switzerland even twice as fast as globally. That's why we wanted to clad the staircase steps in the colors of the Climate Stripes, drawing attention to the problematic effects of climate warming for the local population and students.
Climate Politics Course in the Assessement Year
How can our society be rapidly transformed based on scientific facts to mitigate climate change? The University of St. Gallen (HSG) aims to educate the leaders of tomorrow, which is why it holds a special responsibility in addressing this question. In collaboration with the responsible authorities at HSG, we designed a new Assessment Year course (planned from the spring semester of 2026). This course is intended to provide approximately 1,800 students with foundational knowledge of political science through the lens of climate protection policy, offering insights into climate solutions. The resulting insights aim to encourage students to engage with sustainability issues throughout their (university) careers.
Green Monday @ HSG
The Green Monday @ HSG project aimed to spotlight the vegetarian options in the cafeterias of the University of St. Gallen. The overarching goal included designating a specific day of the week when exclusively vegetarian dishes are offered to reduce the negative environmental impacts of meat consumption at the university. However, the project not only involved changing the menu offerings in the cafeterias but also included an informational dimension intended to inspire students and all university members to reflect on their food consumption outside the campus in terms of negative environmental effects. The project aimed to encourage enjoying meatless dishes equally or, ideally, even favoring them in future decisions.
Less flying without flight shame? Tripster is an online platform for all those who want to share their travel adventures or seek inspiration for exciting low-carbon journeys. This group aimed to showcase possibilities for experiencing thrilling flight-free travels without spreading flight shame.
On our platform, Tripster, individuals who have undertaken inspiring journeys without airplanes, can share their experiences with other enthusiastic travelers. Tripstees, individuals seeking a travel destination, can find inspiration on how and where they can travel without airplanes. In this way, we aim to make traveling by train, bus, ship, or bicycle an exciting and accessible experience.
The InnovationHack originated from the collaboration between four students from HSG, the Canton of St. Gallen, and the University of Applied Sciences in Eastern Switzerland. As part of the project, multiple teams had the opportunity to creatively devise solutions for issues in the areas of 'Biodiversity,' 'Photovoltaics,' 'Heat Protection,' and 'Monument Protection,' defining concrete steps. Subsequently, participants were offered the opportunity to continue working on the projects they propose, supported by the Canton of St. Gallen. In essence, the civilian population, in collaboration with experts, was encouraged to look at their surroundings with a new perspective. At the same time, the initiatives born out of the InnovationHack were intended to bring about sustainable changes in this environment.
The group researched the challenges and opportunities for all stakeholders involved in drawing up a PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) as a university. A Power Purchase Agreement refers to a long-term electricity supply contract between two parties. In distinction to the other PPA group in this cohort (see above), particular attention was paid here to how a university like the HSG could benefit from a PPA as part of their net-zero strategy. To learn from best practices, Interviews with different universities around the globe were conducted and the learnings were presented.
Team behind PPA for Wind and Solar
Paul Walsh Thornton, Chloé Ligner, Kanita Sabanovic