Sustainability | Focus Areas | NDU

Focus Areas

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.


Waste Management
I.A. General solid waste
  • Developing the scope and approaches for a comprehensive, university-wide, life-cycle materials management


  • Deviating the waste from landfills
Providing adequate sorting infrastructure;
Initiating sorting campaigns;
Outsourcing the collection of recyclables;
Reducing the proportion of non-recyclable components of NDU waste;

  • Developing a waste reduction policy
Developing programs for improved management of university materials;
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.

  • Processing the biodegradable waste
Planning appropriate biological treatment of degradable waste;
Investigating the possibility of generating energy from waste.

  • Promoting a sustainable food system
Donating extra food;
Supporting local farmers and seasonal products;
Supporting innovation in agriculture;
Adopting compostable food packaging and tray-less dining;

I.B. Hazardous waste
  • Minimizing the generation of hazardous waste when possible
Promoting alternative chemicals and techniques with minimal hazardous waste generation

  • Developing a complete strategy for storage, collection and disposal of hazardous waste
Developing guidelines for handling and storage;
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 an integrated plan for management of e-waste
Developing a dedicated storage/collection strategy;
Initiating partnerships with recycling organizations.

  • Supporting and enhancing reuse programs
Improving the efficiency of current donation/reuse programs.

I.D. Wastewater
  • Evaluating current status of wastewater treatment in all campuses
Assessing the current quality and fate of effluent;
Checking adequacy of current treatment/disposal methods.

  • Ensuring adequate wastewater treatment and/or discharge

  • Reusing the treated water
Treating the plant effluent to meet the US EPA requirements for agricultural applications;
Provide the needed infrastructure to reuse the reclaimed water.

  • Managing the bio-solids properly
Processing the bio-solids to meet the US EPA requirements for land disposal of sludge or ensure adequate landfilling.


Water Conservation
  • Evaluating water usage on campuses

  • Reducing water consumption
Optimizing operations that require massive amounts of water (e.g. cleaning)

  • Reducing landscaping water use
Adopting more efficient irrigation systems;
Shifting toward plants with low water requirements;
Reusing some of the treated water for irrigation.

  • Diversifying the sources of fresh water
Initiating a rainwater harvesting strategy;
Implementing on-campus treatment for potable water supply.

Carbon Footprint Reduction
  • Establishing a monitoring system for emissions of Greenhouse Gases
Preparing a GHG inventory;
Identifying major producers;
Developing a continuous monitoring system.

  • Reducing energy requirements
Supporting behavioral changes to reduce energy consumption on campus
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.

  • Improving energy conservation
Optimizing heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, refrigeration and fire and smoke alarms.
Considering combined heat and 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.

  • Switching to cleaner renewable types of energy
Installing more solar energy systems for water heating and/or electricity production;
Connecting computers to a PV powered UPS/APS;
Exploring the potential of generating energy from biomass and using geothermal methods.

  • Starting incentive programs to offset transportation related emissions
Initiating carpooling campaigns;
Establishing funded free shuttle services.

Land Use and Ecosystem Preservation
  • Increasing green areas


  • Adopting an Integrated Pest Management approach, which allows prevention, monitoring and control with a limited need for pesticides
Replacing systemic pesticides with contact pesticide;
Gradually decreasing the dependence on herbicides;
Adopting Zeon-based insecticides to protect harmless wild insects and reduce the environmental impact.

  • Optimizing water consumption
Decreasing the water consumption by installing drip line irrigation networks to replace sprinklers to avoid over watering and minimize evaporation;
Using water resistant or low water demanding plants;
Using mulching systems to decrease soil overheating and evapotranspiration.

  • Improving resource conservation
Adopting DMPP technology for application of compost and fertilizers which has the potential of reducing nitrogen leaching and increasing nitrogen efficiency;
Composting (on-campus or through an outsourced company) the (about 150 kg) of landscaping waste generated daily;
Forbidding any burning of landscaping waste.
Sustainable Procurement
  • 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 and Service to the Community
  • Becoming a benchmark for environmentally sustainable institutions


  • Educating the community through engagement opportunities with student, staff and faculty members
Examples: Club activities, Green initiatives, pilot tests, funded community projects


  • Providing training and tools for assessment of environmental parameters
Examples: Calculation of carbon footprint; GHG inventory; Energy efficiency


  • Creating focused programs and competitions


  • Providing incentives and rewards
Examples: Issuing Awards for teams and individuals with remarkable environmental contributions; Issuing internal certificates for green offices, department, lab, etc.
Monitoring and 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
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