Which universities have developed strong sustainability practices?
Besides the obvious energy savings that more eco-friendly campus operations generate, innovative schools are integrating sustainability practices in all facets of their programs, processes and student experiences. At these universities, you not only benefit from living in an environmentally conscious setting, but also have many opportunities to learn about and participate actively in sustainability practices.
Wageningen University & Research
Wageningen University & Research in the Netherlands reached climate neutrality in 2015 when it showed a higher CO2 compensation than it emitted. Students can avail themselves of several programs offering courses related to environmental sustainability—an integral part of the programs they provide.
The university has a Green Office at the heart of its campus to make it an inspiring and 100% sustainable place to work and study. The goal is to give all students and employees access to sustainable options in their workplace. In October 2018, the university hosted a Seriously Sustainable week of both fun and serious activities, events and symposiums focused on sustainability.
Algebra University College
Algebra University College in Croatia hosted 50 students to attend the ASEF program, sponsored by this non-profit organization whose goal is to strengthen ties between Asia and Europe. Teams of international students from 50 countries worked on projects dealing with sustainable tourism, with emphasis on green and eco-friendly growth. Students were also able to learn from Algebra’s experts who gave inspiring lectures on current and future digital technologies such as artificial intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain.
Aarhus University in Denmark is another campus where students see sustainability in action and can participate themselves. For example, the university strives to select eco-friendly options when hosting groups or conferences. Instead of plastic bottles, participants receive BPA-free sustainable water bottles that can be re-used. Organic lunches are served by Studenterhusfonden, a student organization that runs 12 canteens, a guesthouse, bakery and café in the area around the university. Their vision is to provide high quality food with a local identity, Nordic origin—all cooked from scratch.
Students can participate in these operations, where they learn about sustainability practices and make a valuable contribution to the surrounding community.
Tal Tech in Estonia is nurturing the next generation of engineers, advancing engineering culture in the country, contributing to the sustainable development of the society and increasing national prosperity with its innovative services. Their vision is to create an innovative Estonia in a sustainable world.
The school is an advocate and planner of intelligent lifestyle in Estonia, offering a variety of green-related programs such as Environmental Engineering and Management, and Materials & Processes for Sustainable Energetics. The TalTech campus is also home to more than 200 high-tech companies (e.g., Skype).
Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL)
Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) in Switzerland, has a new Campus 2021 project under construction and will be the first Swiss campus with “Minergie-P” standards, a highly demanding Swiss ecological designation. The university will be equipped with geothermal probes to harvest heat for the buildings, photovoltaic solar panels covering a surface area equivalent to three Olympic swimming pools, and a novel wastewater heat recovery system, which together will provide 90% of the school’s heating needs.
In the meantime, EHL actively embraces many eco-friendly practices. A sustainable vegetable garden helps create environmental awareness and enables students to learn about the importance of local, quality and sustainable resources.
Opportunities to study at an eco-friendly university enrich any student’s experience by providing an opportunity to fully immerse themselves in learning about sustainability practices and actively contributing to the environment and community around them.