Recent "ETH-News" on Sustainability
Searching for the origin of freshwater in the ocean
On the third and final stage of the Antarctic circumnavigation, the expedition travels to remote islands and through a conveyor belt of icebergs before reaching Cape Town, its port of destination. Alex Haumann talks about his impressions, the changing water cycle, and its important role for Earth’s climate system. Read more
13.03.2017 | ETH News
More biological diversity in agriculture
From the wealth of agricultural biodiversity in Switzerland, only a few old fruit and vegetable types find their way to the major distributors. However, these old crops could help overcome the genetic bottleneck in farming. Read more
28.02.2017 | ETH News
Sustainable ceramics without a kiln
ETH material scientists have developed a new method of manufacturing ceramics that does not require the starting materials to be fired. Instead, they are compacted under high pressure at room temperature in a significantly more energy-efficient process. Read more
Other Sustainability News
Student-organized Sustainability Week 2017
Already in its fifth year, the Sustainability Week took place from March 6 until March 11, 2017. This event series is organized by students of the five Zurich higher education institutions ETHZ, UZH, ZHdK, ZHAW und PHZH. In workshops, excursions, and exhibitions, different facets of sustainability were presented at the five institutional venues. All events are free of charge and public.
No plans for next summer yet?
Then pack your laptop and hiking boots and join the ETH Sustainability Summer School on “Mountain Forests & Risk Management“.
Date: July 1 – 9, 2017
Place: Pfäfers, SG
Eligibility: all disciplines and all academic levels
Application deadline: March 17
Colloquium "Research for Development (R4D)”
ETH Global and NADEL - Center for Development and Cooperation hold the annual colloquium «Research for Development (R4D) - Theoretical Approaches and Field Studies» for doctoral students as part of the lectures at the Department of Humanities, Social and Political Sciences (D-GESS). Prof. Isabel Günther, Nadel (D-GESS) and Dr. Barbara Becker (ETH Global) form the teaching team, doctoral students across several departments participate.
E4D Call 2017 now open
The Engineering for Development (E4D) doctoral scholarship programme promotes development-relevant products or methods. It awards two doctoral fellowships per year and promotes projects which are directly relevant for improving the livelihoods of poor people in developing countries. The grant sum is 175'000 CHF to cover the salary costs of the doctoral student for three years.
ETH Zukunftsblog wins scientific blog award 2016
17.01.2017 The silver medal of the scientific blog award 2016 goes to ETH Zukunftsblog. With this award, “Science communicates” honors understandable and yet accurate blog posts about ETH research covering climate change, natural ressources, energy, world food system, and cities of the future. As part of Corporate Communications, ETH Zukunftsblog steadily ensures that ETH-researchers journalistically communicate their findings. Congratulations on this successful and distinguished illustration of scientific work.
Read more about the award.
Winter School: 'Cities for all' in Cartagena/Santa Marta, Colombia
30.11.2016 Held from 4 - 18 February 2017, this winter school will combine theoretical and empirical field research, engaging with local practitioners and stakeholders, to explore the requirements to make cities more inclusive for all. This winter school will challenge you to work in an intensive, cross-cultural setting identifying new development potentials in complex, real-life contexts for the two cities of Cartagena and Santa Marta, Colombia.
The Chair of Architecture and Urban Design (U-TT) is looking for motivated PhD and Master students from ISTP, D-ARCH and D-BAUG with a strong interest in urban development and socio-spatial exclusion. Students from other institutions can also apply.
More information: u-tt.com/teaching/2017winterschool
Contact: Marie Grob,
VSETH KeepCup - the sustainable coffee cup
18.10.2016 Available now in all ETH Stores: the reusable VSETH KeepCup. After only 15 coffees KeepCup manages to compensate the CO2 emission of a common disposable cup. With KeepCup, all ETH cafeterias and bistros charge you 0.30 CHF less for a coffee or a tea until the 30 October 2016.
More information about KeepCup
Technology contributes to more equal opportunities
The Cybathlon is designed to ensure that the needs of people with disabilities have a more direct influence on the development of novel technical solutions that will substantially improve quality of life. At the world-premiere Cybathlon athletes with disabilities compete with each other using innovative assistive devices. The event facilitates discussion between technology developers and people with disabilities and fosters conversation between academia and industry.
The public competitions that will be broadcasted on TV as well as the public podium discussion prior to the Cybathlon contribute to a better understanding of the daily issues that those with disabilities face.
More information about the competition on October 8th, 2016.
ZHAW Wädenswil excursion
22 September 2016 - This year's excursion brought the Sustainability Network to the gardens of ZHAW Wädenswil on campus Grüental. ETH Zurich's Sustainability Network subsumes ETH-staff and associated external members who share an interest in sustainability related topics. The aim of the excursion was to broaden the participants' perspectives on applied research and education in sustainability. More information
Student-organized Sustainability Week wins ISCN-Award
14 June 2016 - The student-organized Sustainability Week wins the Excellence in Student Leadership award of the International Sustainable Campus Network (ISCN) at its annual conference in Siena. The award distinguishes student contributions increasing sustainability on campus, also by means of motivating others to bring in their ideas and initiatives to further sustainable development. The next (and fifth) Sustainability Week will take place between 5 and 11 March 2017.
For further information, read the article published in University of Zurich's news portal.
Bea Johnson at ETH Zurich
6 June 2016 - Bea Johnson, author of internationally recognized book "Zero Waste Home" gave a talk at ETH Zurich within the framework of the event series "Pioneers in Sustainability". After her input, she was joined by three students on stage for a panel discussion. To revisit the event, watch the video here.
Final workshop of project “Sustainable Catering ETH Zurich”
14 April 2016 - At the final workshop of the project “Sustainable Catering at ETH Zurich” partners from system catering and administrative bodies of ETH Zurich, as well as further interested stakeholders from industry, NGOs, and other universities participated. Students of University of Zurich and ETH Zurich presented their recent findings from the interdisciplinary, three-year project managed by ETH Seed Sustainability in collaboration with the World Food System Center. From the results, the project team derived strategies aimed at reducing consumer-sided food waste, for example. Finally, the team presented an institutional program proposal. The proposal puts parts of the developed strategies to practice and outlines necessary steps towards sustainable catering at ETH Zurich. In a first step, caterers are motivated to become part of a carbon footprint reduction scheme. In a second step, a holistic sustainability program shall be developed based on intra-institutional dialog about relevant aspects in system catering at ETH Zurich.
Double "Gold" for sustainable buildings
14 January 2016 - The two new laboratory building projects of ETH Zürich, the BSS in Basel and the GLC in Zurich, have received the SGNI pre-certificates “Gold” by the Swiss Sustainable Building Council (SGNI). The SGNI system is a means to objectively assess the sustainability of buildings. It allows a comprehensive evaluation of the quality throughout the whole life cycle of the building. Beyond the consideration of ecological, economic and socio-cultural aspects, the standard recognizes technical, process, and location specific qualities of a building. The two buildings are scheduled to be opened in 2020.
Seed sustainability bachelor thesis wins Migros environmental award
With her seed sustainability thesis, ETH student Laura Germann won third place of the "Migros Umweltpreis".
This award is granted to the three best theses dealing with environment- and climate-related value chain issues. Laura Germann analyzed company- and productspecific enviromental balance data of a bakery. The analyses were performed to raise customer satisfaction and to increase environmental friendliness in offers and production as well as sales figures of the bakery. Congratulations to Laura Germann for her outstanding third place, which she achieved in competition with about 80 other participants.