Green/Sustainable agenda for educational Institutions

Arun Kumar

Chair Professor (Renewable Energy) and CSO,
Alternate Hydro Energy Centre,
Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee,
Roorkee - 247 667, Uttarakhand, India

Education and research institutions globally have started adopting on campus sustainability agenda and are implementing programmes to reduce their Carbon footprint, recycle the resources, adopt energy efficiency measures and include sustainability issues in the teaching programmes. Indian Council of IITs, premier institutions, have recently asked each IIT to set up green offices to start taking up a lead role in implementing the green agenda in the country by way of green audit of its curriculum and its institutional management practices, such as energy, water, waste, construction projects, natural resource (forest, water etc.) and biodiversity conservation

IIT Roorkee has always had sustainable initiatives at the core of all activities, despite the relatively small campus covering 365 acres with a population with 8000 students and 1500 faculty and staff. IIT Roorkee campus has significant greenery (70 acres) covering all parts of the campus, something that is appreciated by all visitors on campus.

Faculty and students have led initiatives to save significant electricity by conducting an energy audit, developing policy for reducing electricity consumption and adopting energy conservation and implementing suggested measures. Using solar photo voltaic for electricity generation (3 million kWh) and solar thermal for cooking (9 students hostels- equivalent to 5000 cylinders of 14.2 kg LPG) and water heating (4.5 M liters per day equivalent to 6 million kWh) with the support from national ministry of renewable energy covering entire campus is an iconic initiative taken by the faculty and students for maximum utilizing of energy by the Institute. All the systems have/shall have sensors installed to monitor optimal performance of installations and generate data for further research in these areas.

More green initiatives are being planned for wastewater treatment and recycling and rainwater harvesting in a decentralized manner. Out of a total solid waste generated in the campus (5 tons per day) separation of organic and inorganic waste is being planned and technology search that can co-generate biomass energy from our organic waste has been initiated.

The institute as a policy decided that, henceforth all new building proposals shall be vetted by the Institute Green Committee before their final approval for execution and shall monitor performance during and after construction. The Green Committee shall look into the various environmental and energy aspects for a green technology and environment.

National Social Service Scheme (NSS) volunteers, the under graduate and post graduate students, of the institute, shall also take these ideas to the neighborhood towns and villages.