What steps are taken by universities to become more sustainable?
In the times of global warming, when the Earth has really ‘heated’ up, the thought that prods everyone’s mind is what ‘more’ can be done to build an environment-friendly and sustainable society. On a personal level, people are trying their best to reduce the carbon-footprint by recycling various products and limiting the use of energy. On the other hand, big companies and organizations are also trying their best to inculcate sustainability and do their bit for the environment.
Leading from the front on this mission are the Universities. Education institutions are now taking a step forward in making a ‘greener’ society by practicing many new methods. Even students have become more environment conscious and have started opting for sustainable universities. So much so that getting a college degree from a reputed university, which is also sustainable, has become the latest trend in United Kingdom. For example, opting for Middlesex University MBA course will ensure a business management degree from a university that has jumped on a laudable 70th position (from 111th) on UK University Green League table.
These universities are trying their best to recognize the rising environment demands and bringing newer methods to practice sustainability.
Cycles and Electric Cars – Universities have started bicycling schemes for transportation within the campus. By the use of their I-cards, students can borrow bikes without any charge and use it in the campus. At some universities, students and staff members can also recharge their electric cars free of charge.
Social Media – To promote sustainability to their students, universities have turned their focus to social media. Funny messages, forums, eye-catching images encouraging ‘going green’ are the methods used by these institutions to make students aware of ‘going green’.
Water re-usage – Many campuses have installed taps in the walls, making it easier to re-use and re-fill water bottles. This cuts down bottled water waste and also the CO2 emissions caused by transporting them. There are also few universities that have completely banned the selling of packaged water in their campus.
Sustainable Building – Some universities go to great lengths and actually design buildings that are sustainable. Designing building that has natural light and stay cool, use of green roofs, recycled building materials, etc. are the initiatives taken by these institutions to build sustainable building.
Disposal of Waste – Similar to every other organization, waste disposal is one grave crisis that universities face. Few universities have found to deal with this problem wisely by giving the wastes to a recycling company or sending it to a farm to produce biogas and organic fertilizers.
But taking these steps won’t be enough for Universities. Active engagement of students and staff is imperative for lasting effects and long term sustainability, which will surely ensure a green campus.