Green Campus at the University of Haifa, Israel Oren Kidar and Michal Nachmany
In 2008, the University of Haifa was certified as a “Green Campus”, as part of a national initiative led by the Israeli Ministry of Environmental protection. The goal of the "Green Campus" initiative is to promote environmental awareness in academic institutions at three levels- the academic level, by offering relevant courses, pursuing to educate the next generation with environmental values; the administrative level – by prevention and treatment of environmental hazards and by wise use of natural resources; the community level – by promoting local environmental initiatives in cooperation with student body and staff. A campus which wishes to be recognized as a "Green Campus" is required to meet various criteria, such as establishment of a green-council (students and staff), pursuit of an ongoing local environmental project, and establishment of a resource efficiency program. There are currently 13 certified campuses in Israel, including 3 universities and 10 colleges. The University of Haifa, certified two years ago, chose a student as coordinator for the project, in order to strengthen the cooperation between the students and the university authorities. The university authorities were responsible for the technological and infrastructure changes, and students and staff worked together in order to achieve high awareness and behavioral change. The main activities performed at the University were as follows: A. Energy efficiency:
Old, inefficient air-conditioners were replaced with new and efficient ones
Heating facilities, based on diesel and electricity, were replaced by new efficient ones
Incandescent light bulbs were replaced with fluorescent lamps (LFL and CFL)
Heating and cooling facilities were adapted to be turned on only during activity hours
Campaign conducted for turning off lights and air conditioning when leaving class or office
B. Water consumption efficiency
Toilet tanks were replaced with dual-flush ones
Water savers (plug in) were attached to all taps
Planting of local vegetation in the campus was water-saving oriented (local plants are used to water stress).
Collection bins for paper and cardboard, drinking bottles and used batteries were disseminated around the campus.
Collection and recycling contracts were signed with recycling companies that employ handicapped people, thus contributing to the environment and to the community
Campaigns for raising awareness to recycling were conducted
Campaigns for wise use of paper by students and staff were conducted (print less, print double sided)
D. Community project
The University of Haifa is located on the Mount Carmel, in the middle of the Carmel national reserve park. A project which was led by the university, in
cooperation with others, was the rehabilitation of polluted valleys near the campus. Primary results The abovementioned activities resulted in savings of 22% in electricity consumption (4.5 mwh, nearly 0.5 million Euro), 64% in diesel oil consumption (347,000 Liter), and 11% in water consumption (18,000 Liter). There was an 8% reduction in paper consumption, and 15 tons of electronic waste were recycled, despite lack of national infrastructure for recycling of electronical and electrical waste.
Recycling cans for plastic and paper waste in the campus (photos by Oren Kidar)
Some of the university employees taking part in cleaning a conservation national-park near the campus1