Though their lofty ideals of higher education are admirable, universities are often nevertheless subject to frequent budget cuts and funding shortages. This can force university administrations to take drastic measures and reduce important educational resources… or, in the case of Haifa University, it can lead the administration to save money by going green.
During the 2008-09 academic year, the University of Haifa reduced electricity consumption by 22%, fuel oil consumption by 64%, and water consumption by 11% as compared with the 2007-08 academic year. These impressive reductions in resource usage led the Ministry of Environmental Protection to certify the University of Haifa as a “Green Campus”.
But this not only saved resources, it saved money as well. The electricity conservation alone amounted to a savings of 2,400,000 NIS. That’s a whole lot of green. Baruch Marzan, Vice President for Administration and Chairman of the Green Campus Council at the University of Haifa, said that “less electricity consumption not only reduces costs – it minimizes CO2 emissions and air pollution.”
The university has also decreased its paper usage and increased paper recycling, as well as electronic waste recycling.
So how did they reduce all that electricity usage? A number of projects were executed by the university’s Building and Maintenance Division, including: replacing old air conditioners with new ones, installing a new energy efficient heating tank, being more vigilant about turning off lights in rooms and halls, replacing light bulbs with energy efficient light bulbs, and adjusting the duration of air conditioning operation.
And what about all the water conservation? 18,000 liters of water were saved last year, primarily due to the installation of water-saving toilets, faucet aerators, and the planting of local flora that requires little irrigation.
“The Green Campus Council report shows that the University of Haifa has already internalized the responsibility of being a ‘Green Campus’ and I am confident that as time passes, more and more of our staff will make changes in their place of work. It is only natural for a campus located within the Carmel Park to take a lead in environmental responsibility, educating not only the University community but also the residents of the surrounding areas,” Mr. Marzan concluded.
Read more about other green universities in the Middle East::