Not Zero, Net Zero: Universities, Institutes Work Towards Reducing Carbon Footprint On Campuses

Not Zero, Net Zero: Universities, Institutes Work Towards Reducing Carbon Footprint On Campuses

On the occasion of fifth anniversary of the Paris Climate agreement, vice chancellors of 12 leading universities and higher education institutions took a single-focused voluntary pledge called "Not zero, net zero" to develop the roadmap towards making their campuses carbon neutral
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Not Zero, Net Zero: Universities, Institutes Work Towards Reducing Carbon Footprint On CampusesIndian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi, became the first central government funded technical institute to reduce its carbon footprint by more than 50 per cent
Highlights
  • Over 250 universities, institutions have joined ‘Not zero, net zero’
  • Net Zero emissions means reducing human-related emissions
  • Vehicles, agriculture, and others are sources of human-related emissions

New Delhi: From purchasing power from “green generators” to allowing only solar operated vehicles for in-campus transportation and installing waste treatment plants in premises, universities and institutes across the country are taking strides to reduce their carbon footprint. On the occasion of fifth anniversary of the Paris Climate agreement, vice chancellors of 12 leading universities and higher education institutions took a single-focused voluntary pledge called “Not zero, net zero” to develop the roadmap towards making their campuses carbon neutral. Over 250 universities and institutions have joined the initiative since then.

Also Read: India And United Kingdom Deepen Work To Combat Climate Change By 2030

Leading the way, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi, became the first central government funded technical institute to reduce its carbon footprint by more than 50 per cent.

Availing green power through open access is an important initiative that we have taken in recent times to share our responsibility towards clean climate. Through many such proactive actions, we are making a good progress in achieving the plans to expand the green power purchase portfolio in the near future, said IIT Delhi Director, V Rampgopal Rao.

“Open access provisions in Electricity Act 2003 have made it possible to buy power from generators of their choice through bilateral contracts or energy exchange, for large consumers of power like IIT Delhi. We made use of these provisions to its advantage by involving PTC India Ltd as a trader to identify a source of ‘green’ power. Buying 2 MW of power exclusively from ‘green’ generator is equivalent to off-setting about 14000 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually,” he added.

According to Rajendra Shende, Chairman, TERRE Policy Centre, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in its latest ‘Emission Gap Report’ declared that the promises given by countries under Paris Climate Agreement are not adequate to achieve the objective of the Paris Climate Agreement of 2015.

Also Read: Net Zero By 2050: International Energy Agency Calls For Unprecedented Transformation Of How Energy Is Produced

It is therefore essential that countries achieve the ‘net zero emissions’ within next 30-40 years. Net Zero emissions does not mean that emissions from human activities will be fully eliminated. Instead, it means that human-related emissions – from vehicles, agriculture, energy production, and so on – will be reduced to a level so low that they can be offset by efforts to absorb and otherwise remove emissions from the atmosphere, for example by tree plantation, he said.

Mr Shende informed that Smart Campus Cloud Network ( SCCN) is the network of universities, a project by Technology, Education, Research and Rehabilitation for the Environment (TERRE) Policy Centre.

There is no more effective action than initiating ‘Not Zero Net Zero’ in the university campuses, he said.

Joining the league, IIT Mandi has an active Green Committee which manages all green activities on campus.

Also Read: Global Warming Responsible For One In Three Heat-Related Deaths, Study Affirms

As a second-generation IIT, barely a decade old, environmental conservation and reduced emission were included in the campus planning from the beginning. The following steps have already been implemented to reduce carbon footprint. As a technology and research institute of national importance, we see movement of large numbers of people across the country and abroad; both faculty and students, as well as the operation of high-power consuming research instruments. Thus we understand that it is difficult to achieve complete carbon neutrality. But efforts are underway to shift to renewable energy sources as well as offsetting the carbon footprint through other activities, CS Yadav, Chair, Green Committee and Associate Professor, at IIT Mandi told PTI.

Also Read: Despite COVID Pandemic, Carbon Dioxide In The Air At Highest Level Since Measurements Began

At IIT Madras, the campus has a fully-automated centralized 4 MLD-capacity Sewage Treatment Plant (SBR technology +UF + Ozonation) to treat 100 percent of the sewage generated. The treated sewage is recycled for flushing, gardening, cooling water for heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems and for the lake re-charging. The surplus treated sewage is being sold to IIT Madras Research Park.

The organic waste and biodegradable waste generated are composted using the composting facility and part of it is being treated using dome-type bio-digester. The compost generated are used as a soil conditioner for landscaping area. The recyclable solid wastes are sold to recyclers and local vendors while the dewatered STP sludge is being used as manure for gardening within the campus, said Ligy Philip, Dean (Planning), IIT Madras.

Also Read: World Must Remove 1 Billion Tonnes Carbon Dioxide By 2025 To Meet Climate Goal: Report

Ligy Philip said every household in the campus has been provided with triple dustbins to segregate biodegradable and inorganic waste and an exclusive dustbin for sanitary waste disposal.

Bhaskar Ramamurthi, Director, IIT Madras, said,

We have installed the maximum possible solar panels on rooftops (around half of our daytime requirement). This directly reduces the consumption of thermal power by the same amount.

“We have around 45,000 trees on campus. But we have not calculated the amount of carbon they absorb and how much they compensate for our consumption of electricity from the grid and our use of fuel, which is quite low since students do not fuel-powered vehicles. Our students on campus have e-rickshaws and electric buses to reduce carbon footprint on campus,” he added.

Also Read: Opinion: Learning From The COVID-19 Pandemic About Climate Change

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

19,89,21,889Cases
6,44,02,340Active
13,02,83,678Recovered
42,35,871Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 194 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 19,89,21,889 and 42,35,871 have died; 6,44,02,340 are active cases and 13,02,83,678 have recovered as on August 3, 2021 at 3:55 am.

India

3,17,26,507 30,549Cases
4,04,9588,760Active
3,08,96,354 38,887Recovered
4,25,195 422Deaths
In India, there are 3,17,26,507 confirmed cases including 4,25,195 deaths. The number of active cases is 4,04,958 and 3,08,96,354 have recovered as on August 3, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

63,15,063 4,869

78,700 3,650

61,03,325 8,429

1,33,038 90

Kerala

34,25,473 13,984

1,65,834 2,057

32,42,684 15,923

16,955 118

Karnataka

29,08,284 1,285

24,045 123

28,47,627 1,383

36,612 25

Tamil Nadu

25,63,544 1,957

20,385 139

25,09,029 2,068

34,130 28

Andhra Pradesh

19,70,008 1,546

20,582 437

19,36,016 1,968

13,410 15

Uttar Pradesh

17,08,500 24

646 18

16,85,091 42

22,763

West Bengal

15,29,295 575

10,803 171

15,00,331 734

18,161 12

Delhi

14,36,401 51

538 44

14,10,809 95

25,054

Chhattisgarh

10,02,458 236

1,918 1

9,87,012 234

13,528 3

Odisha

9,79,737 1,032

13,318 820

9,60,386 1,785

6,033 67

Rajasthan

9,53,704 16

241 9

9,44,509 25

8,954

Gujarat

8,24,922 22

251 3

8,14,595 25

10,076

Madhya Pradesh

7,91,862 17

132 7

7,81,217 10

10,513

Haryana

7,69,956 14

703 12

7,59,614 25

9,639 1

Bihar

7,24,917 37

401 34

7,14,872 71

9,644

Telangana

6,45,997 591

8,819 54

6,33,371 643

3,807 2

Punjab

5,99,162 32

473 31

5,82,395 63

16,294

Assam

5,68,257 1,275

12,429 213

5,50,534 1,469

5,294 19

Jharkhand

3,47,223 23

239 15

3,41,855 38

5,129

Uttarakhand

3,42,198 37

574 35

3,34,261 71

7,363 1

Jammu And Kashmir

3,21,725 118

1,254 43

3,16,090 73

4,381 2

Himachal Pradesh

2,06,369 208

1,304 75

2,01,543 132

3,522 1

Goa

1,71,295 90

1,027 16

1,67,118 72

3,150 2

Puducherry

1,21,059 54

944 38

1,18,320 92

1,795

Manipur

99,872 541

9,814 591

88,480 1,120

1,578 12

Tripura

79,026 304

3,104 12

75,167 292

755

Meghalaya

65,939 350

5,843 200

58,987 537

1,109 13

Chandigarh

61,960 6

33 3

61,116 3

811

Arunachal Pradesh

48,565 305

3,508 167

44,823 469

234 3

Mizoram

40,111 748

12,316 127

27,642 618

153 3

Nagaland

28,004 59

1,300 44

26,130 99

574 4

Sikkim

26,880 126

3,323 131

23,211 256

346 1

Ladakh

20,345 5

57 0

20,081 5

207

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,650

15 9

10,631 9

4

Lakshadweep

10,207 12

79 4

10,078 8

50

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,539

6 1

7,404 1

129

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