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Medical Faculty’s Sustainability Efforts Honored


The Medical Faculty participated for the first time in an international sustainability reporting exercise and ranked among the top institutions in a Switzerland-wide comparison. The initiative called "Planetary Health Report Card" evaluates measures of medical university institutions to reduce man-made environmental changes and the resulting consequences.

The integration of sustainability topics into medical teaching has been considered particularly positive. This is also shown by the recently published Sustainability Report 2021/2022 of the University of Basel.

The sustainability efforts of Swiss medical faculties were evaluated for the first time in 2023 by the international initiative Planetary Health Report Card (PHRC). The Basel Medical Faculty achieved a good result: it ranked third in the Switzerland-wide comparison, just behind Lausanne and Geneva. The faculty was able to score points in all five areas assessed: Teaching, Research, Community Involvement and Outreach, Support for Student Initiatives, and Sustainability on Campus.

For a good year, the faculty has had a project called "Planetary Health and Sustainability in Healthcare", which coordinates operational sustainability measures and the integration of sustainability issues into medical teaching. On the one hand, the project focuses on the challenges that biodiversity loss, pollution by new substances, heat waves, storms, floods, etc. for human health and the health sector as a whole.

As the health sector is also a contributor to global environmental damage, accounting for about 7% of the nationalcarbon footprint in Switzerland, students will also discuss how this can be reduced in various courses. Both main elements of the project are directly related to the mission of medicine to maintain and improve the health of the population.


Aims of the Planetary Health Report Card

The Planetary Health Report Card (PHRC) was developed in 2019 by a group of medical students at the University of California. More than 100 medical schools in 11 countries have now been evaluated.

The standardized and reproducible analysis is designed to encourage medical institutions to give sustainability a place in curricula and operational practices. In doing so, universities are helping to adapt to and mitigate the consequences of global environmental change.

Sustainability plays a significant role in teaching throughout the University of Basel. In the recently published Sustainability Report 2021/2022, the initiative of the Faculty of Medicine is highlighted in a particularly positive light.