Decarbonization Projects and Programs

Scope 1. We have begun replacing fossil fuel burning lawn maintenance equipment with electric powered versions.

Scope 2. We collaborate with our local energy provider to source renewable energy, and are actively working to take part in a program to source 100% hydroelectric power. This project, in addition to the solar energy generated by our traditional solar panels and our innovative mobile photovoltaic system, help us eliminate our Scope 2 campus emissions.  

Scope 3. In addition to campus composting and recycling programs. we have diverted our Dining Hall food waste towards a Biofuel program.  We are working on policies for sustainable procurement and purchasing to reduce our Scope 3 emissions. We hold workshops on sustainable Academic Travel and have a launched stakeholder carbon market (the ACT Program) to address study abroad and business travel. 


FUS GO ACT: Academic Travel Carbon Trading

Academic Travel has historically been the university-funded activity that generates the largest amount of carbon emissions by the Franklin community each year. In order to reach carbon neutrality, Franklin needs to reduce its emissions, but it cannot give up on its AT program, which is a core component of the
curriculum at the university. The GO designed the ACT Program to address the climate impact of AT. ACT stands for

Academic Travel  

The unique feature of the ACT Program is that it is a stakeholder carbon market, which targets carbon offsetting projects specific to the university (also known as insetting). The design of the program aligns the 'insetting' projects funded by the program’s carbon credits closely to the interests of university stakeholders.

The ACT Program is composed of three parts:   

Calculate: It starts with understanding your carbon footprint when you travel. With your help, the Green Office will be calculating every academic travel's carbon footprint this year. When you know your impact on the environment, you can make a commitment to reduce or offset that impact. 

Reduce: Commit to reducing the carbon footprint generated by your AT trip by identifying ways to travel more sustainably. To get your started, the Green Office is compiling a list of resources that we will make available to the FUS community. 

Offset: Dedicate a portion of your travel budget to a carbon credit thru the Green Office. The ACT carbon credits will be applied to a campus program that reduces or eliminates FUS-generated carbon emissions on-site. By participating in the ACT program, your trade will help to reduce the total amount of carbon emissions generated by the FUS community each year by supporting programs that reduce emissions generated by the FUS community elsewhere. 

2022 - 2023

During the Fall 2022 semester, the ACT initiative will focus on the replacement of heavily polluting landscaping equipment with sustainable electric powered equipment. Lawnmowers, leaf blowers, hedge trimmers and other landscaping equipment on our campus are currently powered with fossil fuels that greatly contribute to FUS-generated greenhouse gas emissions.  We also considered the following factors:

  • Gas powered equipment emits harmful air pollutants that are unhealthy for operators and those nearby to breathe. 
  • Electric powered equipment is more economical than equivalent gas powered equipment. 
  • The need to transport, store and use flammable gasoline is eliminated with electric powered equipment.
  • Gas powered landscaping equipment is noisy, often running at over 85 decibels which can damage hearing over time. 

Our goal, in time, is to help FUS reach carbon neutrality. Put simply: a shift to zero-emission landscaping equipment is a step towards reaching that goal, and is a relatively simple way to reducing our campus emissions, while improving local air quality, reducing noise pollution and saving costs over time.

The 2022-23 ACT Program Summary Report can be found here

2023 - 2024

For Fall 2023, the carbon credits offered by the ACT Program will finance the replacement of existing light bulbs with more energy-efficient versions in the North Campus Lowerre Academic Center, focusing on the hallways, office spaces, and top floor of the building. This project impacts our electricity use, which is a Scope 2 emission. We are currently working to source 100% hydroelectricity. In the meantime, 55.75% of our energy is hydroelectric energy and another 9.19% is based on other forms of renewable energy. This means that approximately 35% of our energy supply is not renewable. With this energy factor in mind, each new energy-efficient light bulb will save us 74 KwH and will reduce an equivalent of approximately 2.02 kg CO₂ emissions per light bulb. The project includes the replacement of approximately 145 light bulbs.


FUS GO Grant Program: Orienting Curriculum around Sustainability

The Green Office Sustainability Programs launched the FUS GO Grant Program: Orienting Curriculum around Sustainability (the "OCS Grant Program") in Fall 2023.

The OCS Grant Program is open to FUS faculty who would like to expand their teaching and research around sustainability. Faculty who teach an existing course that does not currently include a sustainability lens are especially invited to participate. Each OCS Grant totals 1,000 CHF and is awarded in two parts: 500 CHF for the development of a syllabus and 500 CHF for a course offering.

The OCS Grant Program builds on pioneering curriculum change initiatives that have been used by a diverse range of universities across North America.  The program is based on the Piedmont/Ponderosa Model and is designed to engage, inspire and support faculty. The program consists of three parts: 

  1. A Faculty Curriculum Building Workshop. Led by Rebecca Mills, Jean Wu and the Green Office Scholars, the workshop will provide faculty with the resources needed to incorporate sustainability themes into existing courses and to aid in the creation of new courses. The workshop will cover course design tools, pedagogical approaches, interdisciplinary insights, adaptive strategies and reflection + discussion sessions.
  2. Syllabus. Following the workshop, faculty will have time to develop a proposed syllabus that incorporates sustainability topics, using the resources and course design tools introduced in the curriculum building workshop. Participants will be awarded the first part of their OCS Grant upon submission of a proposed syllabus meeting the goals set out in the workshop.
  3. Course offering. The ultimate goal of the program is to both increase the number of courses at FUS that include consideration of the sustainable development goals in their curriculum and to broaden the range of courses that address the sustainability challenges facing our planet and the people on it.  Participants will be awarded the second part of their OCS Grant when their course is officially offered in the FUS Academic Catalog.

Applicants from all academic areas are encouraged to apply. No prior coursework in sustainability or environmental studies or social justice or any other particular field is required.

The 2023 - 24 cycle of the OCS Grant Program is completely full. Stay tuned in Fall 2024 to participate in the next cycle.


*   *   *

Dear Faculty,

We invite you to take part in the FUS GO Grant Program: Orienting Curriculum around Sustainability

Sustainability encompasses urgent, complex, multi-faceted challenges. The key to meeting these challenges with scale and speed requires the involvement of a multitude of people, equipped with a broad variety of skills, and fluent in sustainability knowledge and competencies. 

At FUS, we are an important part of the effort to train professionals, scholars and leaders who will help address sustainability challenges. In order to educate students to think critically about sustainability, so that they can better grasp the interrelated and intersectional nature of sustainability issues, it is vitally important that we embrace a multidisciplinary approach. This means that sustainability needs to be included as a focus in a broad variety of courses and we need to widen the circle of those involved in researching and teaching about sustainability.

    We invite you to apply and be a part of the global intellectual and academic efforts to address some of the many sustainability challenges facing our world today. 

    The Green Office

    Sustainability Literacy Modules

    The Green Office is launching a series of Sustainability Literacy Modules as a campus resource to equip students, faculty and staff with the knowledge, skills and mindsets that will help them contribute to sustainability efforts on and off campus. Community members will be able to access these modules in Sping 2024 with their credentials via Moodle. The modules will cover environmental and social sustainability topics.

    Climate Action Plan and Sustainability Report

    For the 2023 - 24 academic year, the GO team is working to update Franklin's Climate Action Plan and produce a voluntary Sustainability Report based on the framework of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.

    Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System reporting (STARS)

    The FUS Green Office is working to update the university’s “Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System” report (STARS).  STARS is a transparent, self-reporting framework developed by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.  By updating our STARS report, we hope to help Franklin identify, develop and reach our sustainability goals.


    Right Here, Right Now Education Coalition

    Franklin University Switzerland is proud to be a partner in a newly formed worldwide education coalition in support of the Right Here, Right Now Global Climate Summit.

    The Right Here, Right Now Global Climate Summit | University of Colorado Boulder brings together thought leaders, youth activists, and scientific, political, educational, cultural and industry experts from around the world for keynote addresses and panels exploring how climate change impacts fundamental rights, including the right to food, safe water, housing and health. 

    The summit is hosted by United Nations Human Rights and the University of Colorado Boulder and will take place virtually and in person on the CU Boulder campus from December 1 - 4.  As a coalition member, the Franklin University Switzerland Green Office will hold a discussion and a live, virtual viewing of the panel “Understanding Climate Change as a Matter of Human Rights” on Friday, December 2, 2022 (6pm – 9pm) at the LAC Conference Room.

    In addition, once recorded summit events become available, the Green Office will hold additional viewing sessions and discussions on the topics explored at the climate summit.

    To raise awareness of these issues, CU Boulder has partnered with multiple educational organizations, including the Franklin University Switzerland Green Office. The Right Here, Right Now Education Coalition partners also include the Association of American Universities (AAU), American Council on Education (ACE), Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), Association of Public & Land Grant Universities, Global Council for Science and the Environment, Second Nature, the International Sustainable Campus Network and the University Climate Change Coalition (UC3). Through this coalition, the summit is already connecting with thousands of educational institutions and related entities around the world.

    “The summit organizers want to thank our amazing partners,” said Heidi VanGenderen, CU Boulder’s first chief sustainability officer and co-chair of the summit’s steering committee. “To solve the world’s climate crisis, young people from all nations need the chance to learn about how climate change is affecting their own communities. These organizations are helping to share those opportunities with the next generation of global leaders.”


    Campus Compost Program

    The FUS GO Sustainable Garden program is building a campus composting program.  Here’s what students need to know:

    What can I compost?  Fruits and vegetables (including peels and seeds) Fruit juice and pulp Crushed eggshells Tea bags Nut shells Bread Dry pasta (both cooked and uncooked) Shredded paper or newspaper or card board Coffee grounds and their filters Houseplants Leaves Hair and fur (from pets!)


      FUS Sustainable Garden - Updates


      Gardiner's Garden, the FUS Sustainable Garden located on North Campus, is happy to update that our winter carrots, radishes and potatoes are coming in nicely. We are havesting and sharing with the campus, so keep an eye out before they're all gone.





      Members of the Green Office / Sustainable Garden team participated in a service project at a community garden in Chamonix, France during the Fall 2022 Academic Travel season with Professor Brack Hale, where they also had the opportunity to learn more about permaculture gardening.  Read more about it here (Reflections from a GO Sustainable Gardener).

      Earth Day Summit

      The Green Office hosts an Earth Day Summit as a weekend conference showcasing multidisciplinary approaches to sustainability. By convening a diverse group of academic and community leaders, the Summit addresses the interconnectedness that explains why Sustainability is a Shared Goal.

      The 2023 Earth Day Summit included faculty, students, and community advocates from Ticino and beyond. The weekend emphasized the unique connections we have to each other and our planet. Summit participants attended panels that deepened our understanding of sustainability; meals that explored sustainability themes; and interactive, engaging activities that built community while learning.  

      The full agenda for the 2023 Earth Day Summit can be found here and the recordings of the following panel sessions are available below:


      Green Office Swap Shop

      The Green Office hosts a campus Swap Shop, where community members can exchange items, share resources, and contribute to sustainable living on campus. The Swap Shop is a student-run initiative that seeks to promote a circular economy and a culture of reuse and sustainability within our university community. Community members can swap gently used items such as decorations, electronics, kitchen appliances, and more.

      By participating in the Swap Shop, you can reduce consumption, divert waste disposal, and help create a more connected and supportive campus environment. Most students come to Franklin from farther locations, meaning they have to buy a lot and get rid of a lot as they come and go from campus. This contributes to the accumulation of a lot of waste. In addition, having a space where students can get items they need at no cost will be very beneficial to all students, but especially those on our campus who may struggle to afford certain items. Students are encouraged to bring items they no longer want or can not bring when they leave campus to this space, as well as to stop in and pick up some items!

      Guidelines for using the Swap Shop can be found here.

      The Swap Shop is available outside normally posted hours by appointment. To make an appointment, please email To view the regularly updated Swap Shop Inventory List, click here.


      The FUS GO organizes several Student Engagement events throughout the school year. We collaborate with partners in the community and on campus, such as the Franklin Franks Program.  Some of our events include:

      • Sorengo Neighborhood Clean-up Days
      • Gently Used Item Exchanges and Gear Swaps
      • Sustainability Scavenger Hunt
      • Green Day Festival (volunteering and field trip)
      • Ticino Sostenibile and Lugano Sostenibile events
      • Volunteering with the World Wildlife Fund and ProNatura

      Events are announced through the FUS app and through Instagram. Sign up to take part in future events.


      At Franklin University Switzerland, sustainability is a shared goal. As experts in their fields, Franklin faculty work to embed sustainability within course offerings and curriculum.  Some examples include:

      Learn more about academic programs in sustainability at FUS:

      • The Social Justice and Sustainability major offered at FUS - Link
      • The FUS Master’s Program in Responsible Management and Climate Action - Link


      FUS GO Newsletters

      Read the FUS GO Newsletters to stay up to date on our sustainability initiatives and programs.