Sustainable Internships

We invite companies to propose sustainable internship topics and to recruit our students.

Sustainable internships extend EPFL’s sustainability strategy to its partnership with companies. This program also meets a growing demand from our master students.

We invite companies to propose sustainable internship topics and to recruit our students.

Interested companies will be able to obtain a label for their offer(s) and benefit from the following advantages:

  • Better visibility on the internship portal thanks to a distinctive logo (UN’s SDG logo)
  • Support for the ecological transition of the company
  • A way to show and promote their commitment to working in a more environmentally friendly way

When submitting a sustainable internship topic, the company must specify the main goal, in terms of sustainability, of the technology (product, process, service) developed during the internship.

The criteria evaluated are based on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

EPFL’s Tech4Impact unit is in charge of evaluating the proposals and attributing the sustainability label.

Food (SDG 2)

  • Reducing food waste
  • Developing responsible products or improving the quality of nutrition
  • Making agricultural practices sustainable (limiting pollution, overproduction, etc.)

Health (SDG 3)

  • Facilitating access to health and to services
  • Making products or services safe for users and for the environment

Clean water (SDG 6)

  • Recovering, reusing or recycling water
  • Improving the quality of drinkable water

Energy (SDG 7)

  • Reducing the grey energy of products through an eco-designed approach
  • Developing renewable energies
  • Developing sustainable low-consumption technologies

Infrastructures, industrialization and innovation (SDG 9)

  • Developing information technology products and services and making them accessible to all while preserving a sustainable energy balance
  • Designing infrastructures adapted to climate change (resilient)
  • Developing low-cost technologies and industries (low-tech, autonomous)

Sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11)

  • Recycling materials or developing sustainable building materials
  • Improving air quality
  • Proposing modular (reversible) infrastructures and/or those with a lesser environmental impact (e.g. pooling of resources)
  • Developing technologies promoting e-governance and participatory approaches (e.g. smart city)

Responsible consumption and production (SDG 12)

  • Optimizing waste management
  • Establishing a circular economy

Climate change (SDG 13)

  • Optimizing logistics and sustainable transport
  • Reducing energy footprints and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions

Ecosystems (SDG 14+15)

  • Preserving marine and/or terrestrial ecosystems
  • Ensuring the restoration and maintenance of biodiversity

Social impact

  • Promote sustainable economic growth (SDG 1, 2, 8, 9)
  • Ensuring quality education (SDG 4)
  • Others

A sustainable internship is published like any other internship subject through the EPFL internship portal.

Registration for the “sustainable” label requires the company to choose one or more categories of sustainability criteria and to draw up an explanation of their choice.

The sustainable internship initiative is in a pilot phase during the academic year 2020-2021. The steering committee is made up of representatives from the following units:

If you have any questions, please send your request to [email protected]

EPFL has been working for several years for greater sustainability on its campus. Its ambitious strategy is based on the drafting of a Climate 2030 action plan and the implementation of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) within the framework of the Swiss Confederation’s Agenda 2030.

EPFL also supports exemplary projects such as a platform for the creation of sustainability projects for students, the adaptation of the campus’ outdoor facilities to climate change (energy, well-being and biodiversity), and the enhancement of the agricultural heritage (Bassenges) in a participative agro-ecological approach.