Twenty-five universities including Seoul National University (SNU), Korea University, and Yonsei University announced their participation in the “Green Campus” project on Aug. 31. The universities will strive to decrease 88,950 kilowatts of energy used per year till 2020.
The participating universities, each called Green Campus, are selected by the Korean Ministry of Environment (KMOE) and Korea Environment Corporation (K-eco). The Green Campuses are expected to become leading universities in reducing actions contributing to global warming and nurturing ecofriendly students for the future. According to Korea Institute of Energy Research, among the 190 educational institutes nationwide that have a high energy consumption rate, 36 are universities.
“I’ve never given much thought on how much energy students use on campus,” said Oh Eun-ju, a student from Korea University “Once you think about it, the amount of paper, electricity, along with the amount of energy needed to produce these supplies, probably add up to a huge amount.”
The Green Campus project was first implemented in 2011. The appointed universities are provided with financial and technical support during the three-years of the project. KMOE and K-eco funds each of these Green Campuses 40 million won every year for the duration of the project. K-eco offers additional educational programs with technical support to establish a greenhouse gas inventory and mitigate emission.
To become a Green Campus, universities need to meet three requirements: First, universities need to implement renewable energy systems and have open grass fields and trees on campus. Second, students need to acquire knowledge about the environment and promote preservation through various courses and campaigns. Lastly, universities are required to share environmental consciousness with the region through various campaigns and education programs.
This year, KMOE and K-eco collaborated with EnerNOC, an energy management company that is well known for its energy intelligence software and services that record and analyze customers’ energy usage. Through EnerNOC, the Green Campus universities can monitor and reduce their c o n s u m p t i o n o f e l e c t r i c i t y. Ultimately, the amount reduced can be compensated through the power market back to the university.
SNU, an active member of the Green Campus project, was awarded with the grand prize by KMOE this summer. While operating an integrated management system for greenhouse gas, they also created an infographic concisely depicting the amount of greenhouse gas emission. Students and residents living nearby have also participated in creating urban gardens and campaigns to raise awareness.
Regarding eco-friendly efforts, Ewha has also been aiming to create a greener campus. One example is the utilization of renewable energy in dormitories. E-House utilizes solar energy and surface heat to power 15 percent of the energy it consumes. In addition, an energy consumption indicator is located at B2 of building 202 of E-house to show how much electricity is used in parts of the dormitory. Also, there are more recycling boxes next to garbage bins to reduce energy waste.
“I think using sunlight and surface heat is very effective to save energy,” said Park Da-jung, a E-House resident. “As many students live in the dormitory, a lot of energy is consumed. Covering 15 percent with green energy is a significant amount and I hope such efforts continue within Ewha.”
Even without government projects, students can practice energy conservation in their daily lives. Reselling and reusing textbooks is one good way of creating a green campus as around 50 trees are cut down and processed to create a single textbook. Other well-known methods include using reusable items such as tumblers and scrap paper. Through these methods students can take one step closer to creating a greener campus and preserving our environment.