LONDON – The Sustainable Campus Initiative (SCI), an annual event hosted by the Environment Agency- Abu Dhabi, this year focused on participants’ initiatives dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Established in 2014, the SCI is hosted by the Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi with Borouge, a leading provider of innovative plastic solutions, and supported by the UAE’s Department of Energy, Department of Transport, the Abu Dhabi Waste Management Center and the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research. This year it was held remotely due to the pandemic.
The event aims to harness the energy, innovation and ambition of students, encouraging them to work together to identify solutions to pressing environmental challenges. It partners with local higher education facilities, allowing students to contribute to the country’s sustainable development plans and green growth strategy.
During the virtual event, awards for Best Sustainability Action Project and Best Green Campus Audit were awarded to three universities. The American University of Ras Al Khaimah received an award for Best Sustainability Action Project, while the Green Campus Audit was awarded to the American University of Sharjah. The Manipal Academy of Higher Education received an award in both categories.
Executive Director of the Environmental Science, Information and Outreach Sectorat EAD, Ahmed Baharoon said: “It is such an honour to be here today and to reward all of the students who have continued to take part in the SCI, despite the pandemic. This is a true reflection of their commitment towards sustainability and environmental work and it proves that there is a heightened awareness among the upcoming generation regarding the impotence of the environment, which is in line with our goals at EAD. Nothing can stop them, and with every passing year, SCI keeps growing and the number of participants keeps increasing.”
He added: “This year for the first time, SCI launched new programmes highlighting remarkable research, encouraging point of views and opinions, and all of these programmes were managed, hosted and executed by students. This year, SCI was also associated with government entities and international coalitions, including the United Nations, and collaborated with environmental groups from South Korea to influence and empower youth. Moreover, SCI facilitated initiatives between various humanitarianentities and hosted leaders, change-makers and other youth to elevate sustainability.”
A total of 58 students and faculty members from 22 universities and colleges have worked on the SCI since 2014. There are currently 42 Green Campus Audit reports and 43 Sustainable Action Projects being taken on by participants.
Across 9 different facilities, 14 roadshows have been conducted and 164 members of the Green Majlis, an intercollege youth-lead platform based in the UAE that aims to address environmental challenges both locally and globally, have joined since 2015. In addition to putting on 3 virtual roadshows, the initiative has reached 972 members across the facility and the student body.
Borouge’s senior vice president for corporate affairs, Abdulrahmen Al Ateek said: “At Borouge, we believe that the youth of today can make a great difference to the world of tomorrow.”