The Guide, by the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), identifies the challenges and opportunities of campus sustainability in terms of energy, waste, and water consumption.

Sustainability in universities is manifested in two ways – curriculum and operations. The Green Guide focuses on nine key areas:

– Campus organisation
– Campus-wide operations
– Buildings
– Green purchasing
– Transport
– Laboratories
– Communication
– Employee and student engagement
– Universities as catalysts for a sustainable society

The IARU is a collaboration between Australian National University; ETH Zurich; National University of Singapore; Peking University; University of California, Berkeley; University of Cambridge; University of Copenhagen; University of Oxford; University of Tokyo; and Yale University. 

Significant role

The new Guide states that ‘universities can play a significant role in forging the path to a sustainable future. By their nature, universities are focused on research, teaching and service and, as institutions, they are tasked with training the world’s future leaders.’

University of Copenhagen (UPCH) director Jørgen Honoré said: “At UCPH we have already achieved ambitious targets. We have reduced our energy consumption per person by 20% and we have cut our CO2 emissions per person by nearly 30% since 2006.

“Many of our buildings have been made more energy efficient, for example by replacing ventilation units, installing LED lighting, insulating pipes and making laboratory work more energy efficient.

“Universities have the opportunity to create cultures of sustainability for today’s students and tomorrow’s leaders, and to set their expectations for how the world should be. The green guide provides real-world examples to inspire innovation and creative action at universities around the globe.”

Earlier this year, edie reported that universities and colleges across the UK had signed an agreement with the United Nations Environment Programme to encourage sustainable innovation among future generations. Read more here.

Lois Vallely

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