2050Today Members

Graduate Institute Geneva

Signatory institution of the 2050Today Charter

Over the last two years, sustainability has become one of the Institute's main strategic priorities, which we are committed to deploying and applying across all our missions and activities. Our partnership with 2050Today is an important dimension of this strategic projection. Making a collective commitment to 2050Today is a fantastic opportunity to think together, and in so doing to accelerate and deepen all the actions we have already undertaken. We look forward to continuing this very positive collaboration and to developing ambitious, high-impact joint initiatives

Contribution to climate action

The Geneva Graduate Institute is highly engaged in climate action within its activities in higher education. The institution has implemented the Target Initiative on Sustainability in Autumn 2021 with the aim of promoting and integrating sustainability ideas across all areas of interest of the Graduate Institute, from teaching practices, research questions, students’ engagement, partnerships, to the daily habits of its community. The general objectives of the initiative are to develop and implement sustainability strategies, goals, and targets linked to the institutional strategic and operational planning processes, initiate policy initiatives, comply with relevant legislative requirements, provide an innovative forum for discussing sustainability issues, and contribute to reinforcing shared values around sustainability.

Thematic actions


In terms of biodiversity, the Geneva Graduate Institute has a Community Garden and aims continuing to promote this activity by organizing events and workshops to raise awareness within its community and encourage participation in the project. Additionally, the institution plans to create new green areas within its student residences, particularly by adding plants both indoors and outdoors.


Concerning energy, the Geneva Graduate Institute aims to reduce its emissions from heating and electricity in order to reduce its carbon footprint associated with energy. In addition, the institution aims to raise awareness among its large community of international students on reducing energy use in buildings (and students’ residences)


In the realm of food, to promote sustainable eating habits, the Geneva Graduate Institute plans to raise the portion of vegetarian meals purchased in the cafeteria and to increase the portion of locally sourced products. Moreover, the institution aims to raise awareness among students and staff about the carbon footprint associated with food choices. For coffee, recommendations will be made regarding purchasing fairtrade coffee and abandoning the use of capsules.


Regarding mobility, the Geneva Graduate Institute aims to reduce its mobility-related emissions by 25% by 2030. To achieve this, the institution first plans to enhance data collection and monitoring of these emissions. Furthermore, the institution aims to promote sustainable mobility by providing more bike parking spaces and raising awareness among its employees and students to use the bikes it provides. Additionally, recommendations will be made to employees to favor the use of electric vehicles over traditional ones.

Sustainable IT

Sustainable IT is also an important theme for the Geneva Graduate Institute, which plans to raise awareness within its community by organizing workshops and providing podcasts from the IT department and external experts on the subject. It also plans to conduct data archiving and cleaning twice a year.

Waste management

Concerning waste management, the Geneva Graduate Institute aspires to increase the number of recycling stations and reduce the amount of non-recyclable waste in the coming years, while also raising awareness within its community about proper waste management practices.

Footprint and emissions by scope

This carbon footprint takes into account the reported emissions generated by the activities of the institution over one year and was established according to international standards by Climate Services. Mobility takes into consideration business travels and commuting (on a survey basis). The CO2 impact of food includes the catering of the institution and individual consumption (on a survey basis) during working hours. Nevertheless the collected data of the 2050Today members resulting in each carbon footprint are not yet fully standardized nor entirely complete. Data collection is being progressively harmonized and improved. Therefore direct comparisons between tCO2 / employee among institutions – be it in general or per sector – are not yet possible nor relevant.


According to ISO 14064, the distribution of emissions is done by scopes.

Scope 1 represents direct emissions linked to the consumption of fossil fuels.

Scope 2 represents indirect emissions from the generation of purchased electricity, steam, heating and cooling consumed by the reporting company

Scope 3 includes all other indirect emissions that occur in a company’s value chain (i.e. purchased good or services, business travel, employee commuting).

The weight of this CO2 footprint

If we were to give a concrete weight to this carbon footprint, it would represent the weight of the following number of elephants  :

(average weight per elephant : 5’000 kilos) 

174 Elephants

The rate at which nature can absorb this amount of CO2

This amount of CO2 was emitted in one year. How many century-old cedars does it take to absorb this carbon footprint in the same amount of time ?

(a 100 year old cedar absorbs on average 25 kg of CO2 per year)

34 800 cedars are required