CEU_SC_Proposal (draft)

Proposal for a Sustainable Campus at CEU

 

 

 

1. Introduction

 

On January 18, 2010 a meeting was held between Liviu Matei (Chief Operating Officer), John Harbord (Director of Center for Academic Writing) and Jens Trummer (Adjunct Lecturer) to introduce and discuss the Sustainable Campus (SC) Initiative (see SC Framework Concept in Appendix 1).

 

The advantages for CEU and its community of implementing an SC are:

 

-          Practical realization of CEU’s "Sustainable Development Policy" (see Annex 2 of Appendix 1 below)

-          Help implement CEU’s mission and values

-          Promote and increase awareness and education about sustainability and related issues among CEU’s stakeholders (students, employees and the larger community)

-          Introduce, showcase, lead and promote sustainability in CEE Universities

-          Reduce CEU’s environmental footprint/impact and improve sustainability within its operations

-          Represent an additional tool to attract students and advertise the CEU and its values;

-          Complement on-going and future project and research work of the Center for Business and Society and the Center for Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Policy

-          Encourage student participation and improve faculty-student interaction (through the environmental student group Oikos or other independent initiatives).

-          Support students’ academic work through encouraging case studies, thesis, etc. on programs relating to the sustainable campus concept

-          Involve students in the design, prioritization, implementation and monitoring phases, thereby giving them a practical understanding of managing sustainability.

During the afore-mentioned meeting, it was agreed to prepare a proposal with detailed programs outlining:

 

  1. Current practices
  2. Proposed recommendations aimed at improving sustainability, and
  3. Indicating financial costs and benefits of the proposed SC programs (where possible)

 

Tasks were divided among the current SC participants:

 

  1. Center for Business and Society of the CEU Business School (Peter Hardi and Jens Trummer):

-          Overall proposal coordination and preparation

-          Catering

-          Waste Management

 

  1. Center for Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Policy (3CSEP, Diana Ürge-Vorsatz and Felix Bubenheimer):

-          Matters related to energy efficiency (lighting, heating, etc.)

 

  1. Center for Academic Writing (John Harbord):

-          Education Value of SC

 

In order to ensure continuity of the SC initiative, this proposal also includes the suggestion of a part-time or full-time staff to manage the initiatives discussed in this proposal, and who will identify, design, coordinate with different departments and manage/coordinate additional programs.

 

 

 

2. Proposal Components

 

The below proposal includes:

 

  1. Current situation, recommendations to improve sustainability and – if possible – estimated financial costs and benefits of specific programs.
  2. Rationalization and job description of a part- or full-time staff to manage and coordinate the SC thereby ensuring continuity.

 

 

2.1. SC Programs

 

 

2.1.1. Education

 

During the research for and preparation of the following SC components, the participants learned that various environmentally-sound practices are already in place (these are discussed in detail in this Section 2.1.). Regretfully, none of these programs are being communicated to CEU’s stakeholders, thereby foregoing the educational value that would encourage long-term changes of behavioral patterns among the Universities students, staff and faculty.

 

The following section why and how the SC can encourage and promote sustainability through education was prepared by John Harbord:

 

Arguably the most important thing a university can do to foster sustainable lifestyles is neither recycling nor saving energy nor avoiding waste, but educating students. While recycling and energy saving are virtues in themselves, their impact is greatly diminished if students can ignore them or assume that they are just the responsibility of the institution. The most important task during the year students spend with CEU is to make them feel that the sustainable lifestyle and habits that CEU supports and takes for granted are desirable, normal and things, habits to be taken home and inculcated into their local populations when they return to their countries, that this is ‘the way things should be done’ by civilized, socially and environmentally aware citizens.

 

Current Practices

 

At present, CEU’s performance in this regard is poor. Only paper is recycled, and this in a low-profile way where scruffy cardboard boxes lie around near photocopiers, often unlabelled. Though a good deal of plastics are used (notably in catering) no provision is made for recycling. Other recyclable materials, though they would occur in small amounts, are also not collected, thus an opportunity for educational practice is missed. Though the university performs quite well as regards low-energy lighting, students’ attention is not drawn to this fact as it could be by notices to turn out unused lights or by movement sensors that would switch off lights in empty rooms. Catering offers an opportunity to educate (for example, the basement buffet charges for plastic cups, with good reasons) but nothing is made of this, and while environmentally informed dietary choices could be highlighted, it is assumed that beyond religious or personal reasons, choice of food plays no role in society or the environment. In this regard, improvement of the present practices is very easy and relatively low cost.

 

Recommendations

 

The university should use every opportunity to draw to students’ attention the choices it has made, as an institution, towards sustainability, raising as much as possible on a daily basis the profile of the environmentally friendly measures proposed in previous sections. Students should enter the university to marvel at how carefully thought-through its sustainability policies in everyday life are, and leave with the resolve to establish similar norms in their own countries.

  1. Waste should be recycled in a highly visible, esthetically pleasing manner (the coloured dustbins used by Hungarian state initiatives are an example) with posters informing students as to what types of plastics/metals etc can or cannot be recycled, and perhaps information on how these materials are used in their recycled form.
  2. Energy-saving devices should be highlighted as such (for example, students’ attention should be drawn visibly to the fact that printers print double-sided to save paper.
  3. Individual efforts to save energy (mainly through switching off lights) should be encouraged visually with notices near light switches.
  4. Catering services should highlight environmentally sustainable choices (eg. bring your own mug for coffee) in visually appealing ways, and short, one day campaigns (eg. selling organic products on a particular day via catering services) should be promoted.
  5. Corridor and possibly classroom lights should be fitted with movement sensors to shut them off when no-one is present – lights that come on by themselves when one enters a dark room are sufficiently a novelty that they will attract attention – this should be followed up with informative notices in relevant places explaining why the university uses this measure.
  6. Where hygienic facilities are cleaned with bio-degradable non-harmful cleaning agents, notices should be posted to this effect, just as where hot-air driers are employed these should not only be adjusted to the industry agreed 45 seconds, but labeled pointing out that their non-use where possible is a further energy saving.

These just serve as examples, of which many more can be found.

 

John – do you have some practical ideas of how we can achieve this? Like making a website, brochures, placing signs, etc.? Can you maybe a add a few sentences with some practical solutions (this could be added to the job description of the SC Manager).

Maybe include your suggestion of how saving costs in some areas can help allocate a scholarship for an additional students?

 

 

2.1.2. Energy

 

Felix ‘s Section. Perhaps stress cooperation with students as these are summaries of reports from students? … and potential future cooperation?

 

 

2.1.3. Waste Management

 

Implementing sustainable processes for waste management represents a cornerstone for improving Universities’ environmental performance and reducing its impact on society.The following section was prepared by Jens Trummer:

 

Meetings were held between Jens Trummer, CEU Facilities Management (Regina Molnar, Gyorgy Finta and Zoltan Attila Kiss) and environmental waste management company Humusz (www.humusz.hu, Laszlo Perneczky) on March 31st and April 7th to discuss current practices and to identify areas for improvement.

 

Although the following analysis indicates current recycling practices, none of these efforts are communicated to the CEU community thereby foregoing the value added of educating students, faculty and staff. Additional areas for improvement are also suggested.

 

Current Practices

 

Plastic bottles: At buildings Nador 9 and 11 all empty plastic bottles distributed to staff and faculty (amounting to approximately 500-600/month) are as per instructions deposited daily in the kitchens, collected by the cleaning people and deposited in the basement. Once a sizeable amount has been collected, these are then brought by a CEU driver to recycling.

 

Drinks in plastic bottles consumed by students are currently not being recycled and this audit concluded that there is a considerable amount of plastic bottles placed daily into regular trash bins throughout both buildings.

 

Paper: All paper is currently being recycled and collected in boxes adjacent to printers and photocopiers by students, staff and faculty. This paper is then collected by a designated agent approximately once per month who pays on average HUF 4,000 per load (depending on weight).

 

Recommendations

 

Although current procedures are in place, several recommendations are made to improve CEU’s sustainability:

 

  1. Communicate and educate students, staff and faculty of current and on-going recycling practices through placement of labels & signs, update/upgrade waste collection bins (see below), website, etc.
  2. Purchase new waste disposal bins with separate colors for plastic bottles and paper. Paper bins are smaller plastic version whereas bins for plastic bottles need to be fire proof and made of metal with a lid.

 

Cost and Benefit

 

Communication/Education: Signs, labels, etc. – not known, minor cost.

 

Paper collection bins: Pilot: Approximately 20 units @ HUF 500/bin = HUF 10,000 in strategic locations such as outside library, adjacent to photocopiers and printers, etc.

 

Full scale: Purchase of bins for every office and corridor: Approximately: 500 units @ HUF 500/bin = HUF 250,000.

 

Plastic collection bins: Special fire-proof bins (made of metal with lids) are required according to the fire hazard code.

 

Pilot: Approximately 10 units @ HUF 25,000/unit  = HUF 250,000 in strategic locations such as outside library, canteens, cafes, meeting points, etc.

 

Full-scale: Purchase of bins 1 for every corridor including the above: Approximately 100 units @ HUF 25,000/unit = HUF 2,500,000

 

 

2.1.4. Catering

 

Catering has numerable environmental impacts:

-          The quality of the food it procures (organic compared with regular) and where this originates from (regional/domestic compared with imported)

-          The energy it consumes (refrigeration, cooking, baking, etc.)

-          The waste it produces and how this it disposed of.

The following section was prepared by a Business School undergraduate student Aigerim Kurmangazina and Jens Trummer and demonstrates a successful interaction between students and faculty. Aigerim’s complete write-up was used for an assignment in one of her classes.

 

Meetings were held between Jens Trummer and Aigerim Kurmangazina with Gabor Rebi who is the manager of CEU Szemester Etterem (hereafter referred to as the Caterer) on Thursday, March 25th at 10 AM to discuss current practices and to identify areas for improvement.

 

Although the following analysis indicates current environmentally sustainable practices, none of these efforts are communicated to the CEU community thereby foregoing the value added of educating students, faculty and staff. Additional areas for improvement are also suggested.

 

Current Practices

 

The Caterer belongs to a large catering company that includes 27 separate catering businesses throughout Budapest.. CEU and the Caterer have a contract that stipulates:

-          The Caterer can not charge prices higher than HUF 830/meal.

-          The Caterer must pay all his utility bills (only water and electricity) averaging HUF 100,000/month and rent averaging HUF 200,000/month.

-          The Caterer must provide an option of 3 main courses which include poultry (turkey or chicken), pork (tailored for the Hungarian clientele) and vegetarian.

 

Due to the Caterer’s clientele consisting of the same students for one year, and long-term faculty and staff to cater for, the business is under a continuous pressure to provide quality and popular meals as it can not afford to loose this customer base. The most popular meals consists of fried chicken or pork served with fried potatoes (French fries).

 

Food Procurement: Due to maximum price limit per meal of HUF 830, the Caterer chooses the cheapest possible ingredients. Due to this relatively low price, the Caterer does not have the option to choose more costly organic options, nor the country of origin. The Caterer also can not procure beef for that price which has a higher environmental impact than other meats.

 

Storage, Preparation and Cooking: Due to Caterer having to pay the utility bills, he is has a direct incentive to reduce his energy consumption. Although the current equipment is not energy star rated, the Caterer makes conscious efforts to reduce his energy consumption by having his stews, soups and gravies cooked at a nearby facility using natural gas.

 

Food Disposal: All food is freshly procured jointly at a large market outside Budapest at 3 AM every morning the day prior to consumption. It is then stored at a distribution point and delivered to CEU every morning. Food left-over and used oil are collected and transported to the food distribution center, and are then separately disposed of in an environmentally appropriate manner as stipulated by Hungarian and EU law. The Caterer sells 20 to 40 bottle drinks per week and about 20 coffees served in plastic or Styrofoam cups per day. Although these are small numbers, there is no recycling facility and empty cups and bottles are disposed off in regular trash.

 

Recommendations

 

Although current procedures are in place, several recommendations are made to improve the Caterer’s sustainability:

 

  1. Communicate and educate students, staff and faculty of current and on-going recycling practices through placement of labels & signs.
  2. Provide recycling in and outside restaurant for plastic bottles and cups (see Waste Management above).
  3. It can be considered to amend the contract with CEU providing the option to add additional main dishes consisting of organic food and/or regionally sourced foods at a price above the currently permitted HUF 830. In order to not increase the Caterers risk, this would probably have to be preceded with a survey on whether there is sufficient demand and customers willing to pay a premium price for consuming organic and locally sourced meals.
  4. A final option could be to replace the current catering equipment with energy star appliances.

 

Cost and Benefit

 

Currently none obtained.

 

 

2.1.5. Other

 

 

2.1.5.1. Nador 15 Construction and Renovation Works

 

CEU Business School are moving into Nador 15, and currently it is proposed that 2 existing floors (4th and 5th) will be renovated and a 3rd floor added underneath the roof.

 

This presents an ideal opportunity to implement environmentally friendly materials, equipment and systems aiming to improve the overall sustainability, feeling and efficiency of the building.

 

Practical recommendations are to involve at early stages of the design phase the Hungarian Green Building Council, and to inquire into whether relevant certification could be considered (LEED, etc.)

 

The educational and promotional value of having a green certified building would be invaluable.

 

 

2.1.5.2. Use of Environmentally Friendly Cleaning Materials

 

The SC understands that CEU has awarded a contractor to manage the cleaning throughout CEU buildings. A complete list of currently used cleaning materials has been obtained, and it is recommended that certain cleaning materials can be substituted for more eco-friendly alternatives without compromising hygienic standards. This could be done to reduce harmful health effects for both cleaning staff as well as students, faculty and staff.

 

This could be accompanied by a communication campaign helping to educate students as well as faculty and staff about healthier – and just as effective – alternatives.

 

 

2.1.5.3. Vending Machines

 

Vending machines at CEU sometimes share food items that need to be cooled with non-refrigerated food products and beverages.

 

An organized approach with the aim of reducing energy consumption can reduce the requirement for refrigerated vending machines.

 

As in all aforementioned programs, this initiative would need to be accompanied by a educational leaflets/signs at vending machines to communicate to CEU’s stakeholders the energy required to operate vending machines, and the impact these have on the environment.

 

 

2.2. Recommendation for Part- or Full-time Staff: SC Manager/Coordinator

 

To manage and coordinate the above activities it is proposed to hire a part-time or full-time staff. A pilot could be initiated hiring a staff for the short-term only to assess the cost savings obtained through the sustainable practices, and compare these with the benefits accrued from increased awareness and education, marketability and reduced environmental impact.
 
The SC Manager’s tasks could include:
-          Communication: Internal information campaign of on-going programs to educate students, faculty and staff about sustainability issues and solutions.
-          Communication: External information campaign to inform CEU’s stakeholders (potential students, government, etc.) about current sustainability issues and set an example for other Universities in the CEE region (website, inclusion in CEU’s brochures leaflets, etc.).
-          Waste prevention and reduction
-          Overseeing, coordinating and harmonizing recycling at dormitory and CEU buildings
-          Energy efficiency related initiatives, improvements and conservation
-          Sustainable construction of Nador 15 and future projects
-          Paper management
-          Product purchase research
-          Regulatory compliance audits
-          Coordination of student and faculty initiatives (Oikos, Earth Day, etc.)
-          Completion of annual environmental audits and CO2 foot print analysis
-          Organic and local foods initiative in the catering services

 

Can anyone think of more tasks?

 


APPENDIX 1 – SC Framework Concept

(as presented to Liviu Matei on 18 January, 2010)

 

 

 

Framework Concept:

Central European University Sustainable Campus

 

 

1. Sustainable Campus

 

On January 18, 2008 the CEU Senate adopted the "Sustainable Development Policy" (see Annex 2, Paragraph 3.1.) which states that:

 

“The University, including its ancillary operations, is committed to improving its performance in sustainability in all areas of operations. University will develop appropriate standards for managing sustainability at University. Specific targets, priorities and timetables for achieving these objectives are developed in a consultative process involving faculty, staff and students […]

 

The following Sustainable Campus Framework Concept describes the practical realization of CEU’s "Sustainable Development Policy".

 

The ‘Sustainable Campus’ concept describes a strategy to improve the sustainability performance within the University, and increase awareness among employees and students of sustainability and related issues. It should be noted here that most of the efforts pertaining to a Sustainable Campus typically focus on managing environmental issues.

 

A successful endeavor to transition to a sustainable campus involves four aspects of the university community requiring active coordination and participation:

1. Administration

2. Academic departments (students and faculty)

3. University research effort

4. Local community

 

This structured approach can help to integrate the efforts of these four aspects of the campus community toward a common goal.  It can help form the basis of planning and organizing efforts to accomplish a sustainable campus. Individual and disconnected on-going initiatives can be brought in under the overall sustainable development umbrella.

 

1. Administration
The administration has a very significant impact by the business decisions they make concerning new building design, repair and renovation projects, building operations and maintenance, procurement practices, landscaping, recycling at various levels, waste management, custodial services, energy management, transportation, food service and dining operations, and residential operations. 

2. Academic Departments
The educational side is also significant but in different ways.  The investment in the education of students on these subjects has a long term benefit.  They will eventually become leaders in their community and bring with them the important concepts of sustainability.  Service-learning is an important teaching method that allows students to learn required curriculum while applying what they learn to real world problems.  This learning model is very well suited to the university environment and is a way to integrate knowledge base with local requirements and applications.  This can have an immediate benefit depending on the nature of the service requirement.  Further educational opportunities exist with developing courses on sustainable development, informal workshops and training, as well as distance learning. 

3. Research
The research sector of the university has a significant role in terms of its near and long term impacts.  There are already on-going projects with ecological habitats and other environmental issues.  Areas for research could also include large scale composting, procurement practices, production methods, alternative energy sources, and any number of building design, construction, operations, and maintenance practices. 

4. Local Community
The local community can also provide various levels of resources to assist the sustainability effort and includes alumni, the business community, utility suppliers, transportation providers, vendors, community organizations, and local chapters of professional associations. One of the most effective structures for implementing a green and sustainable campus is the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program established by the US Green Building Council.  The certification process for existing buildings provides a list of projects and standards.  The University could establish a goal to develop a plan on how it could achieve a LEED certified existing building leading to a goal to achieve it.  The LEED Project Checklist is composed of prerequisites and creditable items in the major categories of building siting, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation in operation, upgrades, and maintenance. 

 

 

2. Advantages for CEU

 

“Sustainable Universities research in a way that the bonds with local society are strengthened. […] Sustainable Universities are organizations generating new knowledge for the benefit of the local society they relate to. This knowledge is mediated to society by the graduates founding new companies or changing old ones”
”The Ins and Outs of Sustainable Universities”, H.H. Kleizen, University of Delft (Paper from Conference: Committing Universities to Sustainable Development)

 

It is clear that the concept of a sustainable university realizes the CEU’s vision of promoting open and responsible societies throughout the world. As an integral component of this society, the CEU needs to set an example and demonstrate responsibility within its own establishment. CEU has already taken an important step in this direction by signing the Copernicus University Charter of Sustainable Development.

 

The main advantages for integrating such a program are to:

- Practical realization of CEU’s "Sustainable Development Policy" (passed by Senate on January 18, 2008 – see Annex 2)

- Help implement CEU’s mission and values

- Promote and increase awareness about sustainability and related issues among CEU’s stakeholders (students, employees and the larger community)
- Introduce, showcase, lead and promote sustainability in CEE Universities

- Reduce CEU’s environmental footprint/impact and improve sustainability within its operations
- Represent an additional tool to attract students and advertise the CEU and its values;
- Complement on-going and future project and research work of the Center for Business and Society and the Center for Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Policy
- Encourage student participation (through the environmental student group Oikos or other independent initiatives).

- Support students’ academic work through encouraging case studies, thesis, etc. on programs relating to the sustainable campus concept
- Involve students in the design, prioritization, implementation and monitoring phases, thereby giving them a practical understanding of managing sustainability.

 

3. Opportunity Cost of a Sustainable Campus

 

The decision of allocating resources towards a Sustainable Campus should include an analysis of the opportunity cost of the investment forgone into environmental and social research. Although the objective of this paper is neither to provide a detailed cost breakdown of implementing a Sustainable Campus, nor to discuss whether environmental research or the Sustainable Campus have a greater impact on promoting sustainability, a few general arguments in favor of the latter include:

-          Students are more likely to be made aware on a day-to-day basis about sustainability issues by the Sustainable Campus as their community will be actively encouraged to participate in Campus-wide programs.

-           ‘Practice what you preach’: There is a strong argument in favor of CEU including measures to ensure internal sustainability management when the university produces research and provides education relating to sustainable development issues.

 

 

4. Components of CEU Sustainable Campus

 

Practical applications at other universities provide different examples of how sustainability can be managed and related programs implemented.

 

A more precise structure shall be decided upon at a later stage. In general it should focus on the commonly accepted 3 pillars of sustainability: environmental, social and economic issues.

 

In relation to the sustainable campus concept, the following categorization can represent a starting point for further discussion:

 

Environment:

  1. Energy and resource management
  2. Purchasing, Waste Reduction & Recycling

 

Social:

  1. Health & Safety

 

Environmental and Social:

  1. Buildings, Grounds and Hostel
  2. Research, Education & Outreach (promotion of CSR among CEU’s Corporate Partners)
  3. Campus Life (substance abuse, mental health, etc.) and Students Clubs (e.g. Oikos)

 

 

5. Action Plan

 

A committee or council is needed in order to share information, understand the issues and concepts, develop plans for future initiatives and oversee implementation. Nearly every department on campus has some role to play. Some universities have established an "Office of Sustainability" to coordinate the many planning initiatives, projects, networking, and monitoring of the program's progress in achieving its goals. 

 

Management: It is envisaged that a Committee or Project Management Unit (PMU) be established jointly by the CEU Business Schools’ Center for Business and Society, the CEU’s Center for Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Policy and student representatives. Both Centers have in-depth research and project management experience in implementing such a multi-dimensional program.

 

This PMU will be responsible for:

-          Strategy development, implementation and management of Sustainable Campus programs

-          Communication and coordination with (1) Administration, (2) Academic departments (students and faculty), (3) University research efforts and (4) the Local Community

-          Benchmarking, monitoring and reporting of sustainability indicators

 

Staffing and Resources: One Project Manager should be allocated to head this PMU and it is envisaged that during the first year this person can be engaged part-time. Depending on the success of Sustainable Campus and following the first year’s evaluation, this input can be potentially enlarged to a full-time position.

 

Implementing the Campus Sustainability Program will consist of the following actions:

 

1. Analysis

-          Audit: Conducting an audit and assessing current administrative structures and procedures, and sustainability related programs in place with the objective of identifying gaps requiring necessary action.

-          Stakeholder Process: Identify CEU’s main issues and stakeholders relating to sustainability and prioritize among these based on their relative importance and impact on CEU’s sustainability.

 

2. Implementation

-          The management of Sustainable Campus programs

-          Benchmarking, monitoring and reporting of Sustainable Campus programs. This effort will consist of identifying suitable and measurable indicators, writing and publishing an annual report, and launching a website providing resources and communicating programs.

 

ANNEX 1 – CEU’s sustainability related activities to date

 

 

The following programs have taken place to date related to sustainability:
 
 
1. CEU Senate adopted the "Sustainable Development Policy" on January 18, 2008 (see Annex 2)
 
 
2. The Copernicus University Charter of Sustainable Development.
 

CEU is a signatory of The Copernicus University Charter of Sustainable Development (date unknown). A brief summary:

 

At their last conference in Bergen in May 2005, the European Ministers responsible for Higher Education adopted the Bergen Communiqué, which makes for the first time since 1999 a strong reference that the Bologna Process for establishing a European Higher Education Area by 2010 and promoting the European system of higher education worldwide should be based on the principle of sustainable development. In the light of this decision, COPERNICUS-CAMPUS as the European university network for sustainable development, is taking up leadership in the European Higher Education Area to mobilize universities and academia around the theme of sustainability and to support higher education institutions in the implementation in relation to the Bologna Process. For that reason, COPERNICUS-CAMPUS has developed strategic guidelines for the incorporation of sustainable development into the European Higher Education Area […]
 
For more information, please see:
http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/londonbologna/uploads/documents/COPERNICUSGuidelines.pdf


3.  The CEU Business School is a founding member of the “The Hungarian Business Council for Sustainable Development”.
 
 

4. An energy efficiency audit was conducted throughout the CEU in 2008 (including the CEU Business School).

 

ANNEX 2 – Copy of CEU’s Sustainable Development Policy