Champion of Universities and Campuses Climate Action

Universities play a transformative role in climate change research and education. Universities have also begun taking a responsibility to be national and global leaders in tackling our carbon footprint fighting to stop dangerous climate change. When college campuses engage in the green movement, they not only reduce energy waste and increase utility bill savings, but they also invest in the future by encouraging their students to become leaders and activists with a genuine interest and concern for the world. As upholders of knowledge, progress, and innovation, it’s not surprising that colleges are often at the forefront of the battle against climate change, striving to implement energy efficiency, clean energy, and sustainability curricula and programs.

Universities, in their own right, contribute significant greenhouse gas emissions by virtue of resources consumption. In broad terms university climate action is often aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals and implemented through multi-year sustainability plans, which are roadmaps to guide targets and action, coupled with annual reporting as a transparency and accountability mechanism. In the process several global alliances and partnerships have emerged to drive ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction targets in universities, including the UN-affiliated Race to Zero campaign for universities and colleges and the International Universities Climate Alliance. Universities and Campuses not only have the capacity to encourage their students to engage in sustainable habits and behaviors, they are also in the unique position to teach and demonstrate to other colleges how to implement innovative strategies to also make their campuses more environmentally friendly. Such is the nature of their Impacts.

DACA 2022 'Champion of Universities and Campuses Climate Action' recognizes campuses and universities for their stewardship in bringing a transformation in climate action across not only the campuses but the wider stakeholder community. It focuses on the steps that institutions are taking and planning to take to reach their targets. The judges are looking for innovative ideas and approaches those institutions have adopted in their journey.

It will recognize projects or campus-wide initiatives that represent holistic approaches to campus sustainability planning and management. Campus plans and/or management systems should consider best practices in large-scale deployment of sustainability technologies, practices and master planning. They should also demonstrate successful integration of sustainability into the culture, community and/or operations of a campus. Example projects may include, but are not limited to, strategic plans, climate action plans, integrating international standards, etc.

The winning project will demonstrate how sustainable campus planning and management can be used to positively impact the campus community, its research activities, the educational mission of the institution, and increase community engagement on or off campus. It further recognizes outstanding projects or campaigns contributing to the sustainable campus that instill a culture of sustainability into the university’s mission, the educational experience, the residential life, or the local community.

Applications will be evaluated as per the table below and on a broad basis would address Overall impact, Innovation, Replicability, Breadth of impact, Stakeholder Involvement, Clarity and coherence and justice.