The alarming global warming statistics has raised awareness about the issue among everyone. More and more people are realizing the need of reframing in social infrastructure to achieve the targets of Green Planet Initiative. Today, every individual is aware about the solutions that will help in eradication of global warming. One of the major objectives of this program is to promote recycling, limiting our daily energy use and buying the product that could lower the carbon footprint, This goal is extremely important in order to build a more sustainable, eco- friendly, and a healthy society. To promote the idea of sustainable resource system, with respect to this global change, many of the institutions have developed proactive environmental policies and termed them holistic management policies or bottom line policies subsequently.
The higher education societies are no exceptions. The term Green University was first coined in Stockholm Declaration in 1972. The theory was implied on, the balance between uses of carbon emanating technologies and environmental preservation. According to Foo, an environmentalist, “The University researchers suggested the climate changes initially, thus, the university must be a better contributor towards environmental sustainability”. However, the habits and values taught by university have a long lasting impact on students Therefore, inculcation of new environmental policies in higher education is an acknowledgeable initiative. The university students, teachers and helpers are expected to ensure few things for achieving the goal of Green University. The proactive habits like limited use of personal vehicle in university, use of bicycle in surrounding area, cleanliness in campus area, avoiding the use of plastic are welcomed as student’s participation in the initiative.
Several Instances of Implementation of the Green Initiative
The global universities are increasingly building a sustainable environmental infrastructure in line with their educational ethos. A Malaysian university has established a campus greenway network, A university from China, established the first ever energy and resource efficient campus of 780 acres in 2007, Many Universities in U.S. have also built a student service project in 2013 which was designed to avoid the conventional energy use for typical electronics, like air condition and lighting bulbs, tube lights etc. The initiative, farming near campus was lightened by teachers, student’s participation and resulted in developed natural and cool light around campus. The University of Denmark have built its own Green Lighthouse that generates energy from excess energy soils and rocks under the campus and roof top solar panels. While some campuses are generating energy, some preferred to go for re-use of the utilities. The installations of Hydration water stations limited the use of packaged water in campus and steamed to lower emissions of carbon and increased cleanliness. Some universities from Canada encouraged organic farming in campus and provided locally produced food to students. The universities of Switzerland and Peru focused on waste disposal; the institutions disposed the food waste and paper waste. The universities generated electricity by selling the waste food to the firm which produces organic fertilizers and biogas fuel as well as provides scholarships to economically challenged students by in cashing the amount gained from waste paper. Green transport encouragement program was established at some universities successfully. Some universities in India have provided free of charge bicycles for campus use, this benefited student’s health and it even attracted many joggers, walkers and health conscious people towards industry campus. Some American universities provided electric cars and bikes for campus travel. Many students of these university stated that they preferred electric or CNG vehicles after education also. The Indian University Grant Commission has introduced green campus initiative to compulsory promote the utilization of solar energy based systems, i.e. use of solar water heater, solar dryer, solar cooking system etc., in the campus. The use of such renewable energy thus helped in reduction of pollution in university area. The commission is eyeing a 25% reduction in fossil fuel usage in the coming five years at campus area by promoting the ideas like using a bicycle and other eco-friendly energy vehicles.
Empowering the initiative through Awareness
The progressive efforts of global universities is a result of social awareness programs organised by different commissions and corresponding institutions. Green Campus Initiative by Universities in Indonesia is among the noticeable works. The university established Green Metric World University Ranking that examined pollution levels, in different university campuses. The number of participating universities is over 400 today. People and Planet University League is also a popular competition that accounts for best eco-friendly campus, 250 global universities participated in the event last year. Besides, the green campus awareness programs held by WHO, and various country Organisations are also applaud able for their notable work. They have created significant global warming awareness and helped in reducing 12% of university pollution around the world.