Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Manipal University Dubai wins Sustainable Campus Initiative Award

Sometimes, even a dusty, barren desert can give you reasons to go green.

The Manipal University, Dubai campus won the “Best Green Campus Audit 2015” and “Runner up Sustainability Action Project 2015”, as part of the Sustainable Campus Initiative (SCI) by Environment Agency, Abu Dhabi. Supported by the Ministry of Higher Education & Scientific Research, UAE, the initiative seeks to encourage more efficient use of resources by students and institutions.

The SCI winning team, including students from the Environment and Conservation Club, from Manipal University, Dubai. 
Source: Supplied

When asked what contributed to this achievement, Joyeeta Bhattacharya, Student Services Officer at Manipal University, Dubai observed, “Our students are extremely environment-conscious. They largely use car pools and buses to get to college and so minimize the use of non-renewable resources. Their dedication to the environment can also be seen in how caring and protective they are towards any stray animals that end up on campus – not only do they feed and help the injured, many of them have also opened their homes to these animals and kept them as pets.”

This dedication definitely shows – and how.

While its parent campus in Mangalore, India, has created a reputation for itself nationally and internationally for being an environmentally conscious university – it ranks first in India and 35th globally in the Universitas Indonesia’s Green Metric World University Ranking – the Manipal Dubai campus is not far behind. 

In its list of accolades, in addition to the SCI win, the University also holds the 2013 – 2014 Conservation Award, organized by the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) in partnership with the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA).

Manipal University beat out several private and governmental institutions for the honour – such as the American University of Sharjah, Zayed University, New York University, UAE University, Khalifa University and Abu Dhabi University to name a few.

The institution’s efforts to encourage sustainable practices hold evidence throughout the campus. From a “Green Orientation”, which involved games with an environmental theme and a paper collection drive to welcome the newest batch of students, to the discouragement of water wastage in washrooms, to the maximization of natural light use in classrooms and the dedicated smoking area.

Additionally, the enthusiastic Conservation and Environment Club reminds students to take the stairs by use of stickers proclaiming “Burn Calories, Not Electricity!” near lifts. 

According to Sundara Gurushev, Vice-President of Conservation and Environment Club at the University, “The student body at MUDC has been following basic conservation rules such as switching off unneeded lights and conserving water. There's also been quite a good response to one of the first initiatives undertaken by the Club – the Green Bucket Challenge – and various other green competitions.”

Ms. Bhattacharya succinctly summarizes the University’s outlook regarding sustainability. “We firmly believe that the passport to the future lies in renewing, reusing and recycling,” she said. “We are responsible for the generations ahead – we can only hope to have a better tomorrow if we start with a better today.”

By Sayema Wasi