MAHE Enters Top 200 in GreenMetric World University Rankings
The Manipal Academy of Higher Education entered the league of the top 200 colleges in the annual UI GreenMetric World University Rankings that were released by Universitas Indonesia on 19th December 2018. MAHE saw an improvement in all the categories in the rankings, being placed 187th overall out of the 719 participating universities from 81 countries, 59th in the suburban category, and 2nd in India.
The UI GreenMetric ranking, which was first started in 2010, began as a mission to encourage environmental awareness and green sustainability in campuses around the world. A simple online form was used to collect data and evaluate universities based on certain set criteria—setting and infrastructure, energy and climate change, waste treatment and recycling, water conservation, and pollution due to transport. The size of the institution, green spaces on campus, and policies to encourage green sustainability were also taken into consideration.
Initiatives such as the UI GreenMetric World Ranking have had a positive impact in promoting sustainability practices from both public and private universities across the world. The ranking system also aims to draw attention to major environmental issues such as climate change and global warming. Workshops are also conducted to discuss further steps that can be taken by institutions such as utilizing alternate sources of energy, reducing transportation systems, and proper waste management.
MAHE has taken many steps over the years to make the campus greener and to reduce its carbon footprint. For example, MIT recently introduced the use of electronic pads (e-pads) to conduct examinations, replacing conventional paper sheets and thus reducing the carbon emissions and the number of trees being cut down. According to the institute, e-pads have helped reduce carbon dioxide-equivalent (CDE) emissions by 10240 metric tons, which amounts to 1024 trees being saved. The use of green energy in campuses has reduced CDE emissions by 54829 metric tons, with 1031 metric tons being saved as a result of self-generated solar power.
Other strategies like the initiation of electric cars to supplement transport to and from Mangalore airport and a drastic reduction in printing with the digitisation of the yearbooks have also been undertaken. The institution has also taken several measures to promote water conservation, recycling, clean energy generation, and sustenance of green cover, resulting in this global acclaim.
“It is heartening to see MAHE being recognized for successfully implementing its various low carbon footprint initiatives. This is all the more important for us as the campus sits on the edge of an ecologically sensitive zone and its carbon footprint can have a disproportionate effect on the surrounding environment. But there is room for improvement. There is the issue of mushrooming of faculty vehicles on campus. A faculty shuttle at prescribed times to and fro from the institute and campus housing areas would do wonders to reduce this impact. Though there is a widespread ban on the use of single-use plastics on campus, it’s disheartening to see students insisting on them from various campus stores. A reform in student behaviour in this aspect would go a long way in contributing to our campus’s sustainability,” said Shaurya Rahul Narlanka of the Department of Civil Engineering, a professor known for his passionate environmental science classes and for leading a weekly bird-watching walk.
“Most educational institutions have resolved to make green commitments, not only in India but globally as well. There will always be more initiatives a university can take to contribute to the cause, alongside improving existing initiatives every coming year,” said Derrick I Joshua, Assistant Director of Environmental Sustainability at MAHE.
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