Environmental issues are critical aspects of countless challenges that the “leaders of tomorrow” will need to engage with. As follows, the Graduate Institute must lend a greater focus to such issues if it is to adequately prepare its students to take on these challenges. The Environmental Committee, founded in 2010, is the students’ environmental association that brings together students interested in sustainability and environmental issues to give a clear voice to these issues within the Institute. All students are encouraged to get involved, regardless of the programme, semester or level of experience.
May the Forest be with you!
The EC aims to be a major forum for environmental discussions both at the institute and in international Geneva. We organize debates, panel talks, excursions, film screenings and other events that raise awareness about environmental issues and provide opportunities for constructive dialogue and networking. The Environmental Committee has been organizing Green Weeks every semester since its start-up, engaging students in numerous activities. Over the years, a wide range of international experts and leaders in the environmental field have participated in EC events. Furthermore, the EC offers incoming students welcome activities in Geneva, for example an organic wine tasting tour or a sustainable city walking tour.
We work for a greener campus together with the administration, the city of Geneva and the cafeteria services. Our projects include improved recycling, the installation of proper bicycle racks, and continous dialogue with the cafeteria to accomodate sustainability standards, i.e. proper food waste management and environmentally-responsable menus. Top-universities across the globe are already well aware of their own footprint, IHEID should be no exception.
The EC works towards making sustainability a greater focus in the curricula of Masters programmes and in individual courses by working collaboratively with professors, academic directors and the Center for International Environmental Studies. Climate change and other environmental issues pose numerous problems for future generations yet most courses at the Graduate Institute don’t make the connections between economic activities and the environment. There is a need for students to have greater exposure to sustainability issues and relevant concepts and theories.
With the hopes of engaging everyone, we seek to raise awareness about everyday behaviour and activities that concern our own health and ecological impact. The Environmental Committee advocates for responsible lifestyles, through activities such as the One World Challenge, but also through sustainable food initiatives such as our regular vegetarian lunch with locally-sourced products. We also support SCOOP, the student food initiative that brings organic foods at reduced prices from local farmers directly to the campus.
As living in Geneva is a great opportunity for everyone interested in sustainability, the Environmental Committee is trying to connect people from different horizons to share experiences and learn more about Geneva as an environmental hub. Moreover, the Environmental Committee is part of the Swiss Federation of Sustainable Development Student Association. The umbrella organization offers an opportunity for students at the Institute to travel across Switzerland and connect with other students with similar interests.
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