ISCN Virtual Events for 2020

ISCN Virtual Events

The disruptive effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have changed the way we communicate, share ideas and move our institution’s mission forward. In line with this, ISCN leadership is exploring online platforms and developing a robust calendar of virtual events that will soon be shared with ISCN members. This series of virtual events is aimed at energizing, engaging and informing ISCN members.

Confirmed Virtual Events so far – via zoom/YouTube channel from 15:00-17:00 CEST, Swiss time:

  • 14th of May 2020 ISCN Awards Ceremony 2020
  • 28th of May 2020 ISCN Student-led sessions (exact title tbc)
  • 24th of June 2020 Presentation of the results of the ISCN Working Group on the Times Higher Education Impact Ranking. (Exact date and time tbc)

Call for Virtual Event Proposals

ISCN would also like to invite its members in identifying ideas for virtual events (and possibly organise them) and now launches  a Call for proposals for virtual events.

If you are interested in hosting a virtual event or would like to share an idea or theme, please send us an email to with the following subject headline: ISCN Virtual Event Proposal. The deadline for submissions is May 15, 2020.

Virtual events proposals led by more than one ISCN Member are highly desirable and will be given preference. They will be programmed from September 2020 onwards (about one event per month). Please note that ISCN members who propose virtual events might be expected to dedicate the necessary resources to bring the event to fruition (identifying and securing keynote speakers, structuring and designing the event, logistics, etc.). The ISCN Secretariat will support this process by providing visibility and publicity, communication to the ISCN community and beyond and by providing technical support for the virtual events if needed.

We are looking forward to receiving your proposals and ideas. If you have any questions or need any additional information, please feel free to get in touch with us.

With kind regards,

The ISCN Secretariat


ISCN Awards 2020: Winners announced!

ISCN is pleased to announce the winners of the ISCN Awards 2020. We received numerous high-quality nominations, reflecting the commitment and progress towards sustainability across ISCN. The winners were selected based on the aggregated results of the ISCN Awards Jury.

Congratulations to the WINNERS of the ISCN Awards 2020!!

Whole Systems Approach

Chalmers University of Technology and KTH Royal Institute of TechnologyThe Climate Framework

Partnerships for Progress

LUT University – LUT Junior University - case “Lappeenranta Junior University

Cultural Change for Sustainability

Thammasat University – Thammasat Campus Life: No more single-use plastics

Honorary Member Award

McGill University – Vision 2020: Climate & Sustainability Action Plan

Find out more about each of the winning submissions here.

Join us at the virtual Awards Ceremony to celebrate and learn from the experiences of the Awardees.

ISCN Awards 2020: Awards Ceremony

14th May 2020

15:00-17:00 CEST

(Check your time zone here)

Join via this link: (Meeting ID: 972 378 967)

ISCN 2020: Accelerating Climate Action and Sustainability in Education Postponed to June 2-4, 2021

ISCN 2020: Accelerating Climate Action and Sustainability in Education 24-26 June 2020


New Dates: June 2-4, 2021

The ISCN Board of Directors, in accordance with the global efforts to manage, contain and minimize the effects of COVID-19, has decided to postpone the ISCN’s 14th International Conference, ISCN 2020: Accelerating Climate Action and Sustainability in Education to 2-4 June 2021 on EPFL Campus in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The ISCN Board of Directors, Advisory Committee, Secretariat and Conference Planning Committee would like to thank all ISCN members and other Conference contributors who have worked hard to bring ISCN 2020 to life. We look forward to collaborating with you going towards ISCN 2021! The Conference Program that was planned for ISCN 2020 will be kept for ISCN 2021 to the extent possible.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to send us an email:

With our very best wishes to you and your families during these challenging times,

The ISCN Conference Organizing Committee

ISCN establishes partnership with the Earth Day Network

As part of its strategic priorities, ISCN is actively working to:

  1. Enhance member value through robust exchange and engagement platforms
  2. Elevate ISCN’s presence with key peer networks, agencies and funders
  3. Mobilize the network around key themes/projects to focus activities, and to
  4. Increase student involvement with the network

In line with this priorities, ISCN has established a collaborative partnership with  the Earth Day Network.

For more information on the Earth Day Network and their current global campaign, Mobilize U,  please refer to the text below.

MobilizeU, Earth Day Network

Colleges and universities have been the central figures of Earth Day since its beginning in 1970. The higher education community is pivotal in creating the next generation of environmental leaders needed to protect our planet. Earth Day Network’s ever-growing international network of universities and students are creating change on their local campuses; through the MobilizeU campaign their voices are united and amplified, forming a global call for action that cannot be ignored.

There are 3 main ways to contribute to the collective impact on April 22nd, the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

  1. By organizing Earth Day teach-ins, forums, and cleanups and, most importantly, registering them on our global map, your campus can join thousands of others around the world standing up for our planet and empowering students to further this mission.
  2. The innovation and organizing capacity of your students cannot be underrated. Encourage your passionate students to register as the MobilizeU Ambassador for your campus. These students will receive the support and tools they need to lead their peers in activism on Earth Day.
  3. Finally, join the MobilizeU Newsletter to stay updated with resources, opportunities and tips for universities to make the most impact on Earth Day.

ISCN Awards 2020: Deadline for Submissions March 4, 2020

ISCN Awards 2020: Deadline for nominations closing soon

Wednesday 4th March 2020

The ISCN Sustainable Campus Excellence Awards promotes landmark projects that demonstrate how the environmental, social and economic issues of our time provide opportunities for university administrations and faculty alike to improve campus infrastructure and university administration and recognize opportunities to integrate them into their research and learning activities.

The ISCN Awards 2020 are a great way to recognize the hard work, leadership and creativity that go into building sustainability at your institution. The ISCN Awards acknowledge international excellence in the areas of Whole Systems Approach, Partnerships for Progress, and Cultural Change for Sustainability. An additional Honorary Member Award is granted to outstanding projects at non-member institutions.

The deadline for nominations will close next Wednesday 4th March 2020. If you have not yet submitted your nomination, there is still time to do so.

Apply in three easy steps:

  • Identify the suitable Award Category and read the Conditions of Entry
  • Download and complete the application form (available here).
  • Email the completed application to, before midnight March 4th, 2020.

Winners of the awards will present their winning projects, either in-person or online, at the Award Ceremony as part of the ISCN 2020 Conference, Accelerating Climate Action and Sustainability in Education, at EPFL, Lausanne, June 24-26, 2020 (virtual presentations for winners unable to travel will also be possible).

Announcement: UAS Spring Campus Conference 2020 launches call for oral & poster presentations

Spring Campus Conference 2020: “Commitments for Future: Sustainability in Higher Education”

We are delighted to announce that the calls for abstracts for oral & poster presentations for the 5th Spring Campus Conference of the University Alliance for Sustainability: “Commitments for Future: Sustainability in Higher Education” are now open. The conference will be hosted at Freie Universität Berlin from March 30 – April 3, 2020.

Program focus and objectives

In 2019, social movements raised the awareness of climate change and sustainability in public and scientific discourse, urging political leaders, business executives, and public institutions to “act now, not later”. This discourse has also reached Higher Education Institutions around the world. While sustainability has been increasingly rooted in research, teaching, and on the university campus, the current development has brought a new political and social dimension to campus:

  • How do universities as public institutions respond to calls for action from their community and stakeholders?
  • How do universities shape their governance structures in light of new participatory demands?
  • How does the current discourse impact the societal and political role of universities?

The Opening Day on March 30th will address those commitment questions in key notes as well as in a panel discussion focusing on the core pillars of Higher Education Institutions: research, teaching, campus & management, and transfer & outreach activities.

On Tuesday and Wednesday (March 31 – April 1), we will continue with a program of parallel research and management workshops:

  • Workshop I: "Financial Markets and Sustainable Development in Times of Climate Change" organized by Prof. Kurt Hübner (University of British Columbia), Dr. Berthold Kuhn (Freie Universität Berlin) and Prof. Itay Fishhendler (Hebrew University)
  • Workshop II: "From Innovation to Acceptance: Challenges and Potentials of a Sustainable Energy Transition" organized by Dr. Maria Rosaria di Nucci and Bettina Tacke (Freie Universität Berlin)
  • Workshop III: "Higher Education for Sustainability in Turbulent Times"  organized by Prof. Inka Bormann, Dr. Mandy Singer-Brodowski and Nora Große (Freie Universität Berlin) and Prof. Robert VanWynsberghe (University of British Columbia)
  • Workshop IV: "Digitalization: Opportunities, Challenges and Impacts on Sustainability Management in Higher Education" organized by Andreas Wanke and Katrin Schweigel (Freie Universität Berlin)

We invite researchers, practitioners, PhD students to submit contributions for the research and management workshops. Additionally, a PhD Workshop will be organized, which will conclude the Spring Campus Conference with a two-day meeting on Thursday and Friday (April 2 – 3). Further information and the calls for contributions for the Spring Campus Conference 2020 are available on this website: In case of any questions you are welcome to contact UAS network manager Katrin Schweigel (

ISCN direction image , International Sustainable Campus Network

Special Announcement: ISCN Presidency Transition

Dear All,

After three very enjoyable years as president of the ISCN Board I am pleased to hand over this exciting task to Etienne Marclay from EPFL who I am sure will be an excellent president and who will help to further develop the network with great enthusiasm. Over the past three years ISCN has taken important steps towards reaching its ambitious goal, i.e., to become the global network for sustainable transformation within universities. Much of the achievements have been due to some outstanding people who have put a lot of passion and enormous efforts into building a community that has now taken ownership of the network, which is a prerequisite for being successful in the future. In particular, I would like to thank Victoria Smith as well as Heather Vickery and Bernd Kasemir who have done a marvelous job in running the network and who have made it very easy for me to “play” president of the board. ISCN would also not be where it is today without Melissa Goodall, Heather Henriksen and the whole AC who have made sure that the network has kept its momentum and continues to do so. Thank you all very much! And, last but not least, I thank my colleagues of the ISCN Board for a very pleasant and fruitful collaboration. I am leaving the board with one laughing and one crying eye since being involved in the leadership of this great network has been a real pleasure which I will miss, at least a little bit ……. I wish ISCN all the best for the future and KEEP GOING!

René Schwarzenbach
ISCN outgoing President

Dear ISCN Members,

It is my great pleasure to take over ISCN Presidency as of 1 October 2019 and I would like to thank the Board and the Advisory Committee for this vote of confidence.

First of all I would like to express my warmest and most sincere thanks to René and Bernd for having made ISCN what it is today: an outstanding global network of academic institutions dedicated to working together to shift the world to a more sustainable path.

The ISCN team at EPFL and myself are very much looking forward to working with all of you to further strengthen the network as a global leader and make it an example of transparency, inclusiveness and diversity providing strong value for the ISCN members. I’m very pleased to be able to continue to count on the very important support of Victoria Smith from UBC and the contributions of the AC under the  leadership and strong dedication of Melissa Goodall from Yale, and Heather Henriksen from Harvard.  One of the key instruments to implement these goals is the ISCN strategic plan that has been developed by Victoria through a wide consultation process of ISCN members. The strategic plan will be shared with all of you in the next ISCN newsletter.

We are also very excited to announce the next ISCN conference that will take place at EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland from 24-26 June 2020. The conference will focus on Sustainability in Education: Institutional and Student Perspectives. We really encourage you to be an active part of the ISCN community and attend the conference to jointly identify efficient solutions for a more sustainable future.

Etienne Marclay,
ISCN incoming President

EPFL new logo, ISCN partner, International Sustainable Campus Network

Special Announcement: ISCN Secretariat Transition

Dear ISCN members,

It has been a great pleasure and privilege to be able to work with all of you over the last years in developing the ISCN into the organization for experience sharing and innovation concerning campus sustainability. As discussed at the São Paulo conference, after 13 years of building up the ISCN together, we have the bittersweet task to say goodbye to you and wish you all the best in your further development as a network. With many exciting new initiatives in the pipeline, we are confident that the ISCN will continue to strengthen its collective efforts and bolster the impact of network in the years to come.

As of October 1, the team of Silvia Hostettler at EPFL, in collaboration with Victoria Smith at the University of British Columbia, will be taking the executive lead of the ISCN, at the same time that the ISCN Board presidency changes over to Etienne Marclay of EPFL.

For further information, please direct your inquiries to

If you would like to keep in touch for issues beyond the ISCN, you may reach us at the following addresses:

Bernd Kasemir:
Heather Vickery:
Charlotte Meissner:

Warm regards,
ISCN Secretariat

Climate change image, Road in the mountains, ISCN, International Sustainable Campus Network

Smith College launches Year on Climate Change

Smith College is launching a Year on Climate Change, designed to bring a uniquely liberal arts approach to this urgent challenge.

"The Year on Climate Change is a college-wide initiative to critically examine the complex and urgent issue of climate change. As a college of and for the world, this program is an invitation to the entire Smith community, no matter your background or passion, to engage in a manner that is uniquely liberal arts - through deep and authentic collaboration, critical thinking, listening and action. All students, staff, faculty and alumnae are encouraged and invited to create and attend events throughout the year."

To read more, please visit:

ISCN Members welcome, International Sustainable Campus Network

Universidad Científica del Sur joins the ISCN!

We are thrilled to formally welcome Universidad Científica del Sur into the ISCN!

Universidad Científica del Sur, located in Lima, Peru, forms leaders committed to human, social and environmental development. It offers quality education for the world of work, based on a personalized education and approach to each profession from the first cycle. The University has a modern infrastructure and the necessary components to become a competitive professional. It has five faculties of Health Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Business Sciences, Human Sciences and Veterinary and Biological Sciences, and a Postgraduate School where it offers important Masters, Specialties, Diplomas, Specialization Programs and courses in Health, Environment, Veterinary and other areas.

"Universidad Científica del Sur, from its origins, was conceived as an institution at the service of man (through its humanistic model) and the care of the environment. Therefore, we established our Campus in Villa El Salvador, which borders the only protected natural area of ​​international importance in Lima: the Los Pantanos de Villa Wildlife Refuge - RVSPV. This is an example of our permanent commitment to environmental care.

In turn, we have been working on the development of a sustainable campus, where we are responsible for our solid waste, water use and carbon footprint.

We have an Operational Environmental Committee that involves academics, researchers and administrative managers, its main function being the promotion and strengthening of environmental management among all members of the university community.

The Plans of Study of all the careers offered by the university count, as part of their theoretical and practical content, the environmental commitment. In this line, we incorporate the environmental dimension in all races, an important differentiating element for us. This is aimed at strengthening their capacities, generating changes in consumption habits, as well as promoting research that contributes to entrepreneurship and sustainable development in the country.

Along these lines, we share with our students the subjects consolidated in the Sustainable Development Goals, recognizing the importance of these goals at the international level."

For more information on sustainability at Universidad Científica del Sur, please visit:

“We are delighted to welcome Universidad Científica del Sur into the ISCN and look forward to providing a platform for international value exchange and partnership on campus sustainability” says Bernd Kasemir, Secretary of the ISCN Board.

For more information on the ISCN, please visit:

For inquiries, please email: