The principle aim of the Environmental Sustainability Plan 2017
, divided into seven focus areas, is to provide a clear blueprint to deliver measurable improvements in both the internal and external environmental sustainability performance on campus and beyond the campus gates.
I.A. General solid waste
- Developing the scope and approaches for a comprehensive, university-wide, life-cycle materials management
Providing adequate sorting infrastructure;
- Deviating the waste from landfills
Initiating sorting campaigns;
Outsourcing the collection of recyclables;
Reducing the proportion of non-recyclable components of NDU waste;
Developing programs for improved management of university materials;
- Developing a waste reduction policy
Giving away reusable items (computers, furniture, etc.);
Reducing on-campus usage of plastic bottles;
Reusing/reducing disposable items (e.g. adopting reusable mugs);
Providing incentives to reduce waste generation.
Planning appropriate biological treatment of degradable waste;
- Processing the biodegradable waste
Investigating the possibility of generating energy from waste.
Donating extra food;
- Promoting a sustainable food system
Supporting local farmers and seasonal products;
Supporting innovation in agriculture;
Adopting compostable food packaging and tray-less dining;
I.B. Hazardous waste
Promoting alternative chemicals and techniques with minimal hazardous waste generation
- Minimizing the generation of hazardous waste when possible
Developing guidelines for handling and storage;
- Developing a complete strategy for storage, collection and disposal of hazardous waste
Outsourcing collection and shipping;
Providing sufficient autoclaving or incineration capacity for bio-hazardous waste;
Prohibiting uncontrolled discharge of hazardous chemicals.
I.C. Electronic waste
Developing a dedicated storage/collection strategy;
- Developing an integrated plan for management of e-waste
Initiating partnerships with recycling organizations.
Improving the efficiency of current donation/reuse programs.
- Supporting and enhancing reuse programs
Assessing the current quality and fate of effluent;
- Evaluating current status of wastewater treatment in all campuses
Checking adequacy of current treatment/disposal methods.
- Ensuring adequate wastewater treatment and/or discharge
Treating the plant effluent to meet the US EPA requirements for agricultural applications;
- Reusing the treated water
Provide the needed infrastructure to reuse the reclaimed water.
Processing the bio-solids to meet the US EPA requirements for land disposal of sludge or ensure adequate landfilling.
- Managing the bio-solids properly
- Evaluating water usage on campuses
Optimizing operations that require massive amounts of water (e.g. cleaning)
- Reducing water consumption
Adopting more efficient irrigation systems;
- Reducing landscaping water use
Shifting toward plants with low water requirements;
Reusing some of the treated water for irrigation.
Initiating a rainwater harvesting strategy;
- Diversifying the sources of fresh water
Implementing on-campus treatment for potable water supply.
Carbon Footprint Reduction
Preparing a GHG inventory;
- Establishing a monitoring system for emissions of Greenhouse Gases
Identifying major producers;
Developing a continuous monitoring system.
Supporting behavioral changes to reduce energy consumption on campus
- Reducing energy requirements
Providing guidelines and a list of do’s and don’ts;
Encourage collective actions for energy reduction (e.g. in labs, departments, etc.);
Upgrading the lighting of toilets and corridors in old building into led lights with motion;
Whenever possible, buying “Energy Star” labeled computers and appliances for the buildings.
Optimizing heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, refrigeration and fire and smoke alarms.
- Improving energy conservation
Considering combined heat & power production and heat exchangers
Improving heat isolation in building (e.g. building double exterior walls or using isolation coating);
Adding shading elements at the southern side of the campus to reduce heat influx in buildings during summer.
Installing more solar energy systems for water heating and/or electricity production;
- Switching to cleaner renewable types of energy
Connecting computers to a PV powered UPS/APS;
Exploring the potential of generating energy from biomass and using geothermal methods.
Initiating carpooling campaigns;
- Starting incentive programs to offset transportation related emissions
Establishing funded free shuttle services.
Land Use & Ecosystem Preservation
Replacing systemic pesticides with contact pesticide;
- Adopting an Integrated Pest Management approach, which allows prevention, monitoring and control with a limited need for pesticides
Gradually decreasing the dependence on herbicides;
Adopting Zeon-based insecticides to protect harmless wild insects and reduce the environmental impact.
Decreasing the water consumption by installing drip line irrigation networks to replace sprinklers to avoid over watering and minimize evaporation;
- Optimizing water consumption
Using water resistant or low water demanding plants;
Using mulching systems to decrease soil overheating and evapotranspiration.
Adopting DMPP technology for application of compost and fertilizers which has the potential of reducing nitrogen leaching and increasing nitrogen efficiency;
- Improving resource conservation
Composting (on-campus or through an outsourced company) the (about 150 kg) of landscaping waste generated daily;
Forbidding any burning of landscaping waste.
- Developing a sustainable supply chain system and establishing a management system
- Consulting with and assessing NDU suppliers and help them meet NDU sustainability goals
- Favoring products with lower life cycle impacts
- Favoring local sources and services, wherever possible, to encourage local business and cut down on the need for transportation and distribution
- Buying bulk to reduce the amount of packaging
Environmental Outreach & Service to the Community
- Becoming a benchmark for environmentally sustainable institutions
Examples: Club activities, Green initiatives, pilot tests, funded community projects
- Educating the community through engagement opportunities with student, staff and faculty members
Examples: Calculation of carbon footprint; GHG inventory; Energy efficiency
- Providing training and tools for assessment of environmental parameters
- Creating focused programs and competitions
Examples: Issuing Awards for teams and individuals with remarkable environmental contributions; Issuing internal certificates for green offices, department, lab, etc.
- Providing incentives and rewards
Monitoring & Review
- Defining Key Performance Indicators
- Submitting bi-annual reports to the President of NDU
- Publishing an annual Environmental Sustainability Report online showing our objectives, methods, and progress
- Benchmarking NDU’s performance against peer institutions
- Reviewing the action plan every two years and incorporating emerging challenges and opportunities