The Sustainable Development Division of the ARE visiting the Mendrisio Campus


Institutional Communication Service

11 October 2023

A delegation from the federal government was offered a close look at the commitment and projects in favour of sustainability at USI and SUPSI.

Sustainability, interpreted as achieving the 17 goals of the UN's 2030 Agenda, is a pressing topic. Academic institutions, in particular, are facing challenges in fulfilling their role as learning and research centres. The Universities of Ticino have prioritised sustainability as a strategic objective, as highlighted by USI's Rector Luisa Lambertini and SUPSI's General Director Franco Gervasoni during the Sustainable Development Division's visit to the SUPSI Campus in Mendrisio, organised by the Federal Office for Spatial Development (ARE).

"The Università della Svizzera italiana has committed to sustainable development in its 2021-2024 planning. This commitment will be further extended in the upcoming strategic plan, which will prioritise sustainability as one of the key themes", announced USI Rector Luisa Lambertini. "The House of Sustainability will be officially inaugurated in Airolo in the spring of next year, serving as a discussion venue. This venue will be complemented by several internal initiatives carried out at the institutional and faculty levels."

SUPSI General Director Franco Gervasoni recalled: "Since its inception, SUPSI has adhered to the principles of sustainability. However, the issue has gained increased attention since 2019. As a result, the Sustainability Charter was drafted in 2020, which incorporated the objectives of Agenda 2023 into SUPSI's 2021-2024 strategy. The publication of the first Sustainability Report followed this, which is a living document featuring projects and testimonials that shed light on the sustainability-related initiatives undertaken by SUPSI."

The importance of universities in achieving the 17 goals set by the United Nations was also emphasised by Daniel Dubas, the Federal Council's delegate for the 2030 Agenda: "On a global scale, we still have a considerable distance to cover to achieve our goals. The obstacles we face are ingrained within the system, making it difficult to dismantle certain constructs. Education and research can play a significant role in making progress. Research should enhance collaboration with politics at all levels, highlighting valuable knowledge to aid decision-making processes."

During the meeting at the Mendrisio Campus, the federal delegation had the opportunity to learn about the contents of USI House of Sustainability and some of SUPSI's sustainability projects.

The visit to Ticino continued on Thursday at the USI-SUPSI Campus in Viganello, where a morning dedicated to local authorities was held with the presentation of the Agenda 2030 Toolbox by the ARE Sustainable Development Division.