The University of Lausanne’s main campus is located on the shores of Geneva Lake. This picturesque landscape of the Alps and lake provides the ideal setting for approximately 16,900 students and near 3,700 staff and researchers to study and do research. Moreover, Lausanne is situated in the heart of the French-speaking region of Switzerland, found it the center of Western Europe, is strategic, allowing the seven faculties to actively pursue a policy of local and international collaboration. An emphasis is also placed on an interdisciplinary approach, with close cooperation between students, teaching staff and professors.

The commitment to sustainability issues of the University of Lausanne begun in 1989. In 2011, sustainability became an institutional priority with the appointment of a Vice-Rector for Sustainability & Campus. UNIL is now one of the few academic institutions in the world to have a member of its senior management directly responsible for sustainability issues. More recently, for the period 2022-2026, the Rectorate has set itself the general objective of reducing the impact of UNIL’s activities to within the ecological limits of the planet while fulfilling its social mission. It is no longer a question of multiplying initiatives in favor of sustainability, but of reversing the perspective by starting from the proven concept of planetary boundaries and applying it at the scale of UNIL. This paradigm shift involves, on the one hand, quantifying UNIL’s current environmental impacts and, on the other, identifying impact reductions that will enable the institution to respect global limits. To support it in this immense task, UNIL relies on its Centre for Competence and Sustainability, which brings together around twenty staff at the interface between academic research and the operational challenges of implementation.

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