Toward a strategic Campus
Today we act as if Earth resources were bottomless. Energy transition strategies are on the table of the latest political debates all over the world, while population is continuously increasing. City metabolism is pushed to its limit by our consumption styles, so that being sustainable is not only a matter of urgency, now, but also a duty for a public administration willing to lead the way toward a post- carbon society.
For PoliTO, Sustainability is about “futurity”, critical and value thinking and long term environmentally and social responsiveness.
It represents an extraordinary journey and an opportunity to develop a strategy for disseminating environmental responsiveness and sustainability culture across society.
As all the top international universities, one of PoliTO aims is indeed to increase the awareness of its social role in the city and the whole, as individuals and institution able to drive the change toward a more sustainable future.
Being already sustainable in the fields of research, education and administration, PoliTO wishes to develop a campus model that addresses global challenges via solutions in harmony with nature, technology and human beings, leveraging on collective knowledge and transmitting the results into the urban connective tissue nurtured by the presence of PoliTO in the Torino metropolitan context.
Bottom-up participation in the University governance, integrated environmental education in our campus management, resources optimisation for our buildings and facilities, care about the environmental performance of the whole campus: all these represent valuable grounds to test sustainable solutions to be transferred to the citizens of today and the decision makers of tomorrow who are part of our community.
PoliTO has prized and preserved its environment since the very beginning of its foundation.
Tangible actions in this direction have been several and under our eyes: the energy efficient strategies carried on all over the last 20 years, the choice of refurbishing historical buildings for educational purposes; the continuous fostering of leadership and innovation in sustainable technologies, providing students and staff with relevant environmental awareness skills; the strategic partnership with R&D departments of industries and local authorities, focused to the sustainable revolution on going since years by the time; the informed stewardship of beautiful campus sites encompassing parklands, UNESCO heritage sites and former industrial environments, and many other actions not labelled as green but very much talkative about the wise resources use as a central sustainability paradigm, just to cite few.
In this track, PoliTO hosted the second G8 University Summit in 2009 and signed an international declaration, pledging to foster sustainable and responsible development in our society. This event was followed by the Green Mobile Campus strategy, launched in 2010, in connection with the Wifi4Energy Project, which provided the opportunity to set up the Living Lab, a fully equipped room for monitoring all energy consumption in the main campus. In 2012, a EU Marie-Curie funded project, titled “UNI-metrics”, Value Metrics and Policies for a Sustainable University Campus, provided a first opportunity to review our activities and metrics towards sustainability.
The PoliTO Sustainable path was embraced in 2015 by PoliTO when, in the Horizon 2020 Strategic Plan, it expressed its will to side with the best international universities in raising awareness of its role in society, through the sustainability education. Then, PoliTO moved towards the international accreditation as ‘sustainable campus’, promoting synergetics actions with similar institutions. PoliTO is one of the promoter of the Italian Network of Sustainable Universities (RUS – Rete Italiana Università per la Sostenibilità), endorsed by the Italian Conference of Universities’ Rectors (CRUI). In 2015 PoliTO joined the ISCN (International Sustainable Campus Network) and the Green Metric Ranking, being part of a global forum that sustains academic institutions in brainstorming activities, information and best practices to comply with the sustainability aspects of their activities.
The long term project entails the implementation of policies and actions related to sustainability (energy, mobility and accessibility, waste cycle, water and wildlife, urban integration and social inclusion, green procurement), in addition to the implementation of the established consumption monitoring activities and the introduction of measures for the reduction of CO2 emissions. In order to encourage and increase the awareness of being and acting already sustainably in most of its projects, strategies and actions, PoliTO has set aside a series of dedicated facilities and human resources for the sustainability management and communications. The Green Team office and the Living Lab, and the sustainability report you are reading, work as a formal and structured commitment to account our efforts to embrace a truly sustainable path with the help and the energies of all.