The Environmental Sustainability Policy 2022-2026 (you can access the full policy document here) embodies our unwavering commitment to enhancing our campus life and operations continuously. The university administration pledges to allocate the necessary resources for the effective implementation of this policy. All action plans stemming from this policy will be put into action and closely monitored. We are dedicated to incorporating feedback and learning experiences to refine and improve this policy every five years. To achieve this, the policy establishes goals and action plans in
nine areas of sustainable practices, namely:
Land Resources and Ecosystem
The objectives are to enhance the well-being of its community and promote ecological sustainability through a multifaceted approach. This includes fostering physical and social health, reducing pollution, encouraging physical activity, preserving wildlife habitats, and increasing contributions to agriculture. The strategy involves planting more trees, creating attractive social spaces, and engaging students and staff in planting campaigns. Additionally, the campus is focused on sustainable land use and irrigation practices, reducing negative impacts from unplanned infrastructure activities, and significantly increasing the use of eco-friendly herbicides and pesticides to reduce its environmental footprint. These actions underscore the university's commitment to community well-being and sustainability.
Research and Innovation
The objectives are to promote a culture of sustainability research and innovation among the university's community and provide support for these efforts among students, faculty, and staff. To achieve this, actions include developing incentives, integrating sustainability into awards and research projects, fostering innovative solutions, establishing a Sustainability Chair, organizing a Sustainability Day with technical support, and communicating sustainability principles to encourage participation in related activities.
Teaching and Learning
The objective is to introduce sustainability concepts into the university's curriculum, and the actions to achieve this goal involve adding sustainability courses to both required and elective options, conducting annual faculty workshops in collaboration with the Deanship of Academic Development and Quality Assurance, establishing sustainability forums and clubs, creating necessary infrastructure for sustainability education, offering opportunities for addressing real-world sustainability issues, promoting the integration of sustainability competencies throughout the academic curriculum, and providing training and incentives for faculty to incorporate sustainability into their courses, recognizing them as Sustainability Fellows or Ambassadors. These measures collectively aim to embed sustainability education and awareness within the university community.
The objectives are to increase the adoption of sustainability considerations in tenders and raise the percentage of environmentally-friendly materials purchased. The proposed actions involve implementing regulations to include sustainability conditions in procurement processes, prioritizing suppliers with a focus on social responsibility and sustainability, ensuring collaborative purchasing aligns with high standards, offering guidance and training for purchasing personnel, and reducing the procurement of materials and equipment already available within the university through better inventory management. These measures aim to enhance sustainability in the university's procurement practices.
Health and Wellness Culture
The objective is to create a comprehensive, data-driven health and wellness program to enhance the well-being of students, staff, and faculty. The proposed actions involve integrating health and wellness into welcome events for new faculty, staff, and students, establishing regulations for managing health and wellness activities, providing information about campus walking paths, promoting gym memberships, expanding enrollment windows to include health and wellness fairs for flu shots and vital checks, encouraging early medical tests, advocating for healthy food choices at campus dining centers, and opening a wellness clinic on campus. These actions collectively aim to improve the health and wellness of the university community.
The objectives are to increase the campus's renewable energy share and achieve net-zero emissions, and the proposed actions include integrating energy efficiency and green measures in new projects and buildings, expanding the solar farm to fulfill the campus's energy demands, gradually applying energy-efficient standards to existing buildings, implementing an electricity incentive scheme for reducing electricity consumption, monitoring and analyzing energy and carbon data, raising awareness and providing training for students and employees, optimizing heating and cooling operations for efficiency, and installing sub-meters for energy audit purposes. These actions aim to advance the campus's sustainability and carbon reduction efforts.
The objective is to transform the campus into a zero-waste environment by 2026 and beyond. To achieve this goal, the following actions are proposed: conducting a waste characterization study to gather data on waste types and amounts, forming volunteer teams composed of staff, faculty, and students for awareness and cleanup campaigns, enhancing the capabilities of housekeeping and transportation department employees in integrated waste management, installing proper solid waste sorting infrastructure, offering rewards and incentives to promote recycling among faculty and students, and implementing enforcement measures as needed to support the initiative. These actions are designed to pave the way for a sustainable, zero-waste campus.
The objectives aim to improve the utilization of rainwater, minimize water losses, ensure efficient water utilities, and reduce reliance on freshwater for irrigation. The proposed actions include storing roof-top rainwater for local irrigation and aesthetic purposes, maintaining the campus earth dam for enhanced rainwater collection, installing water meters in buildings for leak detection, monitoring water consumption data for potential savings, implementing water-saving devices and efficiency standards for taps, raising water use awareness among students and staff, promoting best practices for efficient irrigation, and increasing on-site stormwater collection hardware for irrigation. These actions collectively contribute to more responsible water management on the campus.
The objectives are to raise treated wastewater usage for irrigation by 20% by 2026 and improve the quality of treated wastewater stored in the lake by the same year. The proposed actions include implementing best practices for efficient irrigation, monitoring the quality of treated wastewater used for irrigation, and enhancing treated wastewater storage in the lake through circulation improvements. These actions aim to achieve the specified goals for wastewater utilization and quality enhancement.