CO2 Balance

Vue aérienne du campus EPFL en 2017

CO2 balance of EPFL


A detailed monitoring to understand the challenges of the campus and achieve CO2 emission reduction targets.

Total emissions (tons CO2-eq)

EPFL’s CO2 balance has been developed from a life cycle analysis established with the EPFL spin-off Quantis. The balance takes into account data from the main campus in Ecublens as well as from antennas in Valais and Neuchâtel. Data still missing: Geneva and Fribourg branches.

Feel free to contact us for any questions or information about the calculations/assumptions used.


EPFL’s electricity is 100% renewable (hydraulic and solar). Consumption has been relatively stable since 2012.


The gas consumed is mainly used for heating (60%) and for laboratory processes (40%).


Oil is used as a secondary source of heating for the functioning, in case of cold temperatures, of the Ecublens Heat Pump Power Plant (CCT). For information, with the renewal of the CCT, scheduled for 2021, the consumption of oil will cease completely.


The data are based on the mobility survey offered to employees and students. Strategies launched in 2017, such as the new parking policy, the strengthening of public transport supply and the promotion of cycling, are beginning to show positive effects with a reduction in the number of kilometres travelled by car.

Business travels

The values are calculated from data provided by EPFL’s central travel agency. Awareness-raising measures aimed at optimising travel (preferring the train to the plane and travelling in economy class rather than business/first) and the implementation of new tools for videoconferencing are part of the strategy to reduce CO2 emissions.

Radiative forcing and travel classes

Since 2018, the impact of business travel by air includes radiative forcing, i.e. the reflection of terrestrial radiation by aircraft condensation trails, a phenomenon that accentuates the effects of global warming. Travel classes (business and first), which are included for the first time in the calculation of emissions, also have a significant impact, particularly in terms of space used on planes.


The CO2 impact of collective catering and food is also introduced for the first time in the 2018 report because it represents a significant part of EPFL’s CO2 footprint. This topic is now one of our priorities for action in terms of sustainability. Values are calculated based on the number of vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals consumed on campus.


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EPFL Sustainability
BS 101 (BS building)
Station 4
CH-1015 Lausanne