The need to opt for a sustainable way of life has becoming increasingly important world owing to dwindling natural resources. Unless we adopt sustainable living, chances are we will run out of even the most basic necessities a few hundred years down the lane. Many academies and universities have also started contributing to the sustainable living movement by forming associations that support as well as promote the same. Accordingly, here are seven universities around the world that lead by example when it comes to preaching about sustainability.
Global Universities Partnership on Environment and Sustainability
Fondly called GUPES, this association is one of first programs launched by the UN Environment Program. The program deals with preaching, practicing and promoting sustainability in many universities in Africa and the Caribbean. The program rides on the success of MESA (Mainstreaming Environment and Sustainability in African Universities) in Africa and MESCU (Mainstreaming Environment and Sustainability in the Caribbean Universities) in the Caribbean.
GUPES has also reached out to over 420 universities spread across five major continents. The program aims to promote the concept of sustainability via research, teaching and community engagement as well the management, which includes greener infrastructures, facilities and operations. GUPES believes that these measures would help students as well the faculty in these universities participates actively in sustainability activities.
The International Sustainable Campus Network
This program offers leading colleges and universities a global forum to exchange ideas, information and practices aimed at adopting sustainable methods in campus infrastructure, operations, facilities, teaching and research.
The program is headed by five institutions, which include ETH Zurich, EPF Lausanne, the National University of Singapore, the University of Hong Kong and the Nanyan Technological University.
The Taiwan Campus Project
This program aims to promote sustainable living via curriculum development in several schools, universities and educational institutions located in the nation. The program has contributed significantly to reducing the environmental impact of the operations in these campuses since 2010. Over 500 schools are a part of the Taiwan Campus Project, and actively take part in sustainable activities like rooftop gardening, biotope space creation and shift to renewable energy sources.
People and Planet
Considered to be one of the biggest student networks in Britain, the People and Planet is on a crusade to protect the environment, practice sustainable living, and end world poverty. Founded in 1969, the network has more than 45 years of experience and expertise in training as well as supporting volunteers associated with campaigning groups in colleges, schools, universities and several education institutions across the nation. These campaigns encourage young individuals to work for environmental justice, and are led by democratically chosen students from these universities.
University of Copenhagen
The University launched a green office in 2008 to develop and promote actions aimed at sustainable living via efficient energy usage. Since its launch, the campus has successfully reduced its energy consumption by nearly 20% on a per person basis, and has reduced its CO2 emissions by nearly 30% on a per person basis. The campus has also shifted to energy efficient buildings with the use of LED lights, insulating pipes and other similar environmental friendly measures.
The University of California Berkeley
The University of California has come up with its own unique strategy to reduce energy costs and the associated carbon footprint. The campus has come up with an energy management initiative that urges student and faculty members to stop treating energy as a free commodity. Rather, every department would be allotted a pre-calculated amount of energy to spend, with the former earning money if it uses less energy and paying more if it exceeds usage.
The National University of Singapore
The students at this University have come up with their own initiatives to adopt sustainable living. Accordingly, they have monetary taxes of items like plastic bags. They also offer rebates for individuals who bring reusable water bottles and lunch boxes.
Sustainable living has been gaining a lot of exposure and support in the past few years. The universities mentioned above are the front-runners when it comes to preaching and practicing sustainable ways of life so that the next generation takes these ideas forward to create a better, healthier world.