Climate & Sustainability Strategy

We published our first Climate & Sustainability Strategy in early 2023, which was developed through the combined efforts of our vice presidencies, our various schools and colleges, and our partner organizations.

Bird’s-eye view of the EPFL campus © EPFL Jamani Caillet

The Climate & Sustainability Strategy aims to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 40% (from respectively 2006 and 2019 levels) by 2030.

In the strategy, we set out sustainability goals for our core missions of education, research and innovation. We also outline measures to reduce the environmental impact of our operations, to make our campuses more resilient to climate change, and to incorporate social aspects into our approach in order to improve the well-being of our community.

Key strategy objectives

Education, research and innovation

  • Introduce a core sustainability class for all Bachelor’s students starting in the 2024–2025 academic year
  • Introduce field-specific sustainability classes into all degree programs starting in 2023, in order to train the next generation of experts
  • Establish EPFL as a highly visible, leading and proactive university in sustainability – one that’s developing science- and engineering-based solutions that respect our planetary boundaries
  • Quantify the environmental footprint of our research activities and map out reduction measures
  • Transfer sustainable, innovative technology to society in order to reduce our energy dependence and shrink our carbon footprint; this will entail drawing on our know-how in sustainability, clean energy and carbon capture, use and storage
  • Introduce targeted programs to support new business creation in the fields of climate change and sustainability, and help startups reach their end-markets
  • Provide lifelong learning programs in sustainability-related fields for our community and society more broadly

Campus operations

  • Cut our energy-related carbon emissions by 50% (from 2006 levels) by 2030
  • Cut our travel-related carbon emissions by at least 30% (from 2019 levels) by 2030
  • Cut our food-related carbon emissions by at least 40% (from 2019 levels) by 2030
  • Cut our commuting-related carbon emissions by at least 30% (from 2019 levels) by 2030
  • Cut waste by 30% and increase our recycling rate to 80% by 2025
  • Train our community on green IT by 2025
  • Aim for a canopy index of 30% by 2030 on the Lausanne campus, in order to mitigate heat islands, promote biodiversity and improve well-being
  • Include ambitious sustainability criteria in all EPFL tenders by 2025
  • Develop and implement a transparent policy on sustainable investing and third-party funding

Strategy objectives in figures

CO2 emissions reduction targets 2019-20230

More information

Monitoring and reporting

This strategy will be updated regularly based on our experience, input from our community members, and discussions with other stakeholders in Switzerland and abroad.

We’ll also take the following steps to communicate on this strategy and our achievements:

  • We will track progress through field-specific quantitative and qualitative assessments
  • We will publish an annual greenhouse gas emissions report, broken down by source
  • We will issue progress reports on the implementation of our strategy (one at the mid-way point and another in 2030)


Agnès Le Tiec
[email protected]