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A culture of sustainability

At ZIS we are committed to educating our students and community for a sustainable future. We understand that the global challenges we are facing require us to continuously reflect and improve on our practices and we aspire to be an organization that leads by example.  

Our mission Learn, Care, Challenge, Lead is embedded in everything we do. We want our students to feel they have the agency to become empathetic change makers and innovators and we value the importance of understanding the relationship between social and ecological systems. 

Our Sustainability Committee consistently reviews our school practices and curriculum and guides the school leadership in making decisions that are supported by up-to-date research in sustainability best practice.

Sustainability practice is deeply rooted at ZIS and we continue to find ways to connect to our local community. We believe in acting with civic responsibility both locally and globally. At the heart of our decision making is the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. We believe that all of our students have the right to participate in understanding sustainability from a holistic perspective that recognizes both people and the planet as interconnected parts of a healthy and sustainable future. 

UN Sustainable Development Goals Logo

Planting the food forest

ZIS Lower School covering soil around the edge of her plant in the Food Forest
Group of ZIS Grade 5 students checking the aroma of a plant
ZIS Lower School boy adding his plant to the food forest
Lower School girl digging in the soil with a small pick
Two Lower School girls untangling the roots of their plants for the food forest
Early Childhood girl pressing soil down around her plant
Group of Grade 2 students in a group watching how to work with plants
Two Early childhood students crouching down next to their plants in the food forest
Two Early Childhood students looking at a work on a garden tool, one laughing and pointing

Food forest at the Lower School

ZIS is delighted to have opened Switzerland's first edible food forest on our Lower School Campus in October 2021. With sustainability becoming even more embedded in our curriculum, this is the perfect example of how we educate students to become responsible citizens, enabling them to gain the knowledge and skills to make the world a better place. ZIS is a non-profit organization and the food forest was wholly funded by donations to the ZIS Annual Fund.

The food forest is a carefully-designed garden space that mimics a natural forest ecosystem, with mainly edible plants. It offers students in Early Childhood to Grade 5 a hands-on learning environment connecting Science and Social Studies units and introduces a nature-based element to our STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) program. It is a space that increases biodiversity using native species plants, protects and nurtures wildlife, supports and protects healthy soil, increases carbon capture and uses less water – as well as being a beautiful addition for the whole ZIS community.

Architects plan of the Food Forest at the Lower School
Lower School girl working out a problem on the Smart Board
Always looking forward, always learning
Upper School student in the science lab, one student is looking through a microscope
Where students take their own path