Nominations for the inaugural RTCC Climate Change Awards, due to be presented at UNFCCC COP19 in Warsaw
Unity College, Maine, USA
Unity College was the first US college to commit to divest from fossil fuels as part of Go Fossil Free campaign in November 2012, and since then Unity College President Stephen Mulkey has emerged as a leading spokesperson advocating for divestment. The College is leading on climate action at university level in US according to 350.org.
Copenhagen University, Denmark
Copenhagen is on track to meet its impressive sustainability targets by the end of 2013. The targets were set in 2006 to reduce energy consumption by 20% and CO2 emissions by 20%, and by the end of 2012, the University of Copenhagen had already achieved a 24.1% reduction in CO2 emissions compared to 2006.
The university is recognised globally as a sustainable leader for universities for buying CO2 neutral power from wind turbines, and for its Green Lighthouse building in the Faculty of Science, which was Denmark’s first public carbon-neutral building.
University of Zambia and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana
In 2013, these two universities introduced the first of planned master’s-level education programmes on Integrated Rural Development, Sustainable Urban Development and Management of Mineral Resources.
Since 2008 they have worked with UNU-ISP, the African Development Bank, and the Japanese Ministries of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology to explore jointly establishing a postgraduate programme on sustainable development in Africa and to shape a new generation of professionals to face the challenges of Africa’s sustainable development.
The University of Zambia also introduced a ‘keep UNZA clean campaign’ in February 2013, while KNUST’s mission is “advancing knowledge in science and technology for sustainable development in Africa”.
University of Plymouth, UK
Ranked number two in the UK Green League 2013 for the second year running, the university has this year installed a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) system supplying heat to nearly 50% of its main campus and is on target to achieve annual savings of over 350T of CO2.
The success of the project has stimulated a desire to undertake similar projects – reducing carbon, improving efficiency and reducing maintenance and operating costs.
Plymouth City Council has identified the University as a primary source of heat supply for a City Wide District Heating System and could potentially serve this wider communal network.
Deakin University, Australia
A significant strategic effort has been made in 2013 to improve both on campus and intercampus transport between the Geelong Waterfront and Geelong Waurn Ponds Campuses.
This has included the introduction of a Park and Ride service between the two Geelong Campuses, free hourly WiFi-enabled Intercampus Bus service (usage has tripled from 124 daily in 2012 to 450 a day in 2013), new bike lanes and designated shared roadways, two new bike hubs, bike rack upgrades,improvements to video-conferencing and a communications campaign about sustainability.
The university was a finalist for carbon reduction in the Green Growth Australasia Awards 2013.
Lappeenranta University (LUT), Finland
A new Minor in Sustainability has been introduced for all the students at LUT this year, with the campus becoming Finland’s first large-scale smart grid pilot. This creates 160MWh solar energy production per year and wind turbine capacity for 20kW with electric bikes and cars.
LUT uses a range of sustainability-related technologies alongside behavioral change initiatives to integrate innovations around renewable energy, energy storage, environmental management and energy efficiency into university life.
Heriot-Watt University, Loughborough University, the University of Sheffield and University College London
It was announced in May 2013 that these four UK universities will set up Centres of Excellence in Sustainable Building Design, in collaboration with the Royal Academy of Engineering. The new centres will form a national network to demonstrate and exchange best practice in teaching and research for a more sustainable built environment.
TERI University, New Delhi
TERI University’s Professor Ramanathan received UNEP’s Champion of the Earth Award in 2013, the UN’s highest environmental accolade.
Additionally, TERI-NA organised the fourth US-India Energy Partnership Summit with Yale University, with the theme of ‘Stimulating Technology, Trade and Development’.
It was announced that its joint research and development programme will have the participation of 95 government and private entities in the next five years, and will focus building energy efficiency, solar and biofuels.
TERI was also featured as one of ‘Delhi’s green buildings’ this year as the Vasant Kunj campus is reported to save 60% energy and have reduced consumption of water by 25%.