Creating a more Sustainable Campus: Water (part 2)

Water saving programmes at Griffith University
Griffith University

Water is one of the 7 critical issues being discussed at the upcoming Rio+20 summit in Brazil. According to the Rio+20 website, by 2050, at least one in four people is likely to live in a country affected by chronic or recurring shortages of fresh water.

In a previous blog, we looked at how a growing number of campuses are choosing to Ban Water Bottles on Campus. In part 2 of this two part series, we look more broadly at a range of initiatives that business schools are taking part in to reduce the amount of water used on campus and raise awareness about issues relating to water.

Reducing water consumption

Griffith University encourages students to report dripping taps and water leaks to facilities management. The University also monitors, records and reports its water usage for the purpose of benchmarking and as a way to identify water saving opportunities. One of their campuses has 12 rainwater tanks that store over 200,000 litres of water, another building harvests water condensate from air conditioning to use in irrigation. Rainwater is harvested and used for toilet flushing in all new buildings.

The new building that houses the Walter E. Heller College of Business Administration at Roosevelt University is designed around “green” principles and is LEED-certified, which verifies use of sustainability principles in key performance areas, including site selection, water efficiency, energy efficiency, materials and indoor air quality. Illinois State University has installed multiple stormwater management features on campus, including a rain garden, two bioswales (designed to remove silt and pollution from runoff water) and three parking lots with permeable concrete. Grenoble Ecole de Management is implementing a range of water saving measures, including the use of reclaimed water in the sewage waste system and timed water faucets. Kyung Hee University School of Management green management practices include water-efficient landscaping in and around business school buildings and a rain-saving system in the school’s newest building.

Through the curriculum and research

The University of Wisconsin Whitewater provides a range of courses in the MBA programme focused on water issues, including one called Blue and Green Marketing, which looks at the effective marketing of water and other sustainability products and services. Babson College provides a course focused on sustainable entrepreneurship in Norway that focuses on drivers of opportunity in the energy domain and examines ways that new ventures are applying technologies in wind, water, solar and alternative fuel.

A wide range of case studies and research with a focus on water have also been developed by business schools around the world. At ISAE/FGV, a case study on cultivating a good water programme looked at the Itaipu Binacional, the largest dam in the world, situated on the border of Brazil and Paraguay.

What is your campus doing to minimize the use of water? Share your projects in the comments area below.


4 thoughts on “Creating a more Sustainable Campus: Water (part 2)

  1. The University of Victoria’s Revolving Sustainability Fund recently agreed to replace toilets, faucets and urinals with low-flow fixtures in the Business and Economics Building and its associated classroom building. Spearheaded by business prof Dr. Basma Majerbi, the project will save 3,000 cubic metres of water a year, and payback is expected to be less than five years.

  2. SCU are putting in water bottle refill stations in an effort to reduce bottled water for similar reasons. Well done Griffith.

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