1. NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF FASHION TECHNOLOGY,
DEPARTMENT OF FASHION TECHNOLOGY
Dr. DIVYA SATYAN
2. Sustainability Practices in Institutions of Higher Educational
Campuses in India:
Residential Institution can be regarded as small townships due to their large size
population they cover a large area and perform complex activities. They
consume resources like water, electricity and generate solid waste and waste
water etc. Sustainability of the campus is one of the achievable goals and is
possible only when most of the activities of an individual stakeholder is focused
towards sustainability which can also contribute to the sustainable development
of the nation.
Various higher educational campuses were studied and analysed the emerging
trends of the sustainability practices. Various sustainability initiatives
highlights, at administrative level by implementing policies and allotting funds
for the sustainability activities and at student level initiatives were by forming
committees or cells and innovating clean and sustainable technologies.
Campus sustainability practice can also influence various other campuses and
townships. They acts like an industry, where students are trained and sent back
to the society.
Introduction to Campus Sustainability:
The word sustainability, its meaning and definition, is very complex and still
evolving. In 1987 World Commission on Environment and Development in its
Bruntland Report defined sustainability as “Development that meets the needs
of the present without compromising the ability of the future generation to meet
their own needs”.
Sustainability as applicable to Higher Educational campus is efficient use of
resources including renewable energy resources and wastes for the fulfilment of
the human needs without compromising the balance of the ecosystem. Or in
simple terms, sustainability means-minimal consumption of natural resources,
reusing and recycling of all the wastes generated within the campus, no
pollution or emission beyond what ecosystem can breakdown and lastly
adopting clean and sustainable technologies.
To make the campus more sustainable the higher educational institutions have
to review their current practices in terms of various sustainability parameters
and their performance in the campus such as Climate, Energy, Water, Waste,
Transportation and Buildings. Depending on the climate, topography of the land
3. and resources available, performance of the parameters changes from region to
Importance of Campus Sustainability:
Residential institutions can be regarded as ‘small townships’ due to their large
size population and various complex activities taking place in campuses. Higher
Educational campuses basically consist of various buildings like administrative
and academic buildings, laboratories, library, staff residences and student
hostels, activity centers, canteen and community facilities etc.
All of these consume resources like water, electricity and various computer
products. Apart from the consumption, they also generate solid waste, waste
water, E-waste as well as emissions due to various combustion activities. Thus
it is important to make these institutions sustainable along with their functioning
as academic institutions.
Role of Higher Educational Institutions in Sustainable
Apart from the regular curriculum the institutions of higher educational
campuses should also become places of research and learning for sustainable
development. Most of the countries have identified the importance of
educational institutions in the growth of overall sustainability of nation. This is
underserved by the United Nation declaring 2005-2014 as a decade of
Education for Sustainable Development. If we consider the Indian higher
education statistics, it has been noticed that since from the independence there is
a major increase in the number of higher educational institutions.
These institutions can act like a sustainable role model, where teaching, learning
and research are focused towards sustainability as one of the achievable goals, it
is only most of the activities of an individual stakeholder is focused towards
sustainability, the whole campus becomes sustainable and also contributing to
the sustainable development of the nation.
Sustainability Practices in Higher Educational Campuses in
Sustainability practices differ from campus to campus even the perception about
the sustainability differs from person to person. To some, it may be just
introducing the master plans, environmental plans, environmental guidelines
etc, while some believe that they have met the challenge of sustainability
4. through the signing of national or international declarations, and yet others
make individual institutional policies and employ either ISO: 14001’s green
It has been noticed from the literature review that even in India there are some
of the residential campuses like Manipal University in Karnataka, NIIT
University Rajasthan, IIT Madras, IIT Bombay and IIT Kanpur etc have started
making efforts in achieving campus sustainability. Manipal University for
instance is ranked 78 in the University of Indonesia Green Metric in 2011 and
also it has been certified ISO: 14001; 2004. In 2010-2011 Rs 14.98 crores was
spent on setting of the solid waste management ,rain water harvesting, vermin
composting, waste water recycling. Use of solar power for heating and lighting,
instead of motorised vehicles.
Also some of the initiatives and activities undertaken by the Sustainability
Network (S-Net) community which was established in 2009,includes carrying
out solar photovoltaic workshops, renewable energy day programmes, monkey
proof dustbin project and bio-gas working group etc.
IIT Bombay (IITB) has formed a green campus committee, to look into the
variety of issues like ecologically responsible garbage disposal, recycling,
conservation of water and electricity and maintaining green cover. Some of the
projects by the IIT Bombay Sustainability cell are vertical shaft brick kiln, low
temperature renewable heat energy recovered from the environment-waste
management and biogas plant within the campus.
In some of the hostels kitchen waste was utilised to produce the biogas which in
turns replaced the use of LPG and its cost.
Fig 1: Biogas plant from kitchen waste in IITB.
5. Vertical Shaft Brick Kiln technology is an energy efficient, environment
friendly and economically viable means used for producing quality bricks.
Fig 2: Vertical Shaft Brick kiln IITB campus.
IITB Sustainability cell has also invented heat pumps based on the specific
usage pattern of hot water, cold water and air-conditioning of computer rooms
these high temperature heat out pumps were used.
Fig 2: Heat pump technology in IITB campus.
There are many other Indian higher educational Campuses taking initiatives to
improve the sustainability of the campuses. Some of them are BITS Pilani,
BHU, IIT Kanpur, Great lake Institute of management Chennai etc.
6. Overall review shows that the sustainability parameters like energy, water,
waste and transportation are given priority by most of the institutions.
Depending on the area of the campus and the presence of flora and fauna the
biodiversity is taken into account. The presence Student’s committee depends
on the student’s strength and their interest on the sustainability activities.
Sustainable Practices in NIFT, Chennai:
As compare to above mentions campuses, our campus is very small for those
type of implementation but we can do different and effective sustainable
practices in our campus.
Since our campus have creative minds as well as technical minds also which
can generate as many new ideas rather than that mention above. We can
practices those sustainable methods also but we need some extra knowledge
about that as well as a good guiders, it means we have to take help from outside
campus, why if we have already enough resources that can convert wastes into
products, designs, money etc.
We can use our own resource and mind, we should practice those things which
seems interesting to us, others wise not a single sustainable plan can work in our
campus if students have not find any interest in that.
Present Scenario of Sustainability in NIFT, Chennai:
Let’s take a look of present sustainable practices in our campus, and how it’s
We have two types of dustbins in our campus, Red and Green, there are some
purpose behind this but hardly students or staffs are knowing about it, if they
knows they never bother to use in that way.
Secondly these dustbins are everywhere in the campus but where it’s actually
required it is not available there i:e in the canteen itself. All dry and wet waste
goes in one dustbin only, there are no separation between biodegradable and
Our canteen produce a lot of bio waste that we sell to some waste management
firm, instead of that we can use that waste for ourselves also.
We plant trees and plants but we forget to take care of it, only few flower’s
plants are taking care rest of all trees are not even exist yet.
These are the present scenario of our campus sustainability.
Sustainable Practices that can be used in our campus:
There are a lot of things that we can practice in our campus but let’s have a look
on the possible sustainable practice that can be used easily in our campus:
There are a lot of papers used in our campus in form of printed assignments,
official works, pattern making, drawing sheets, newspapers etc. Since we all
buy those papers at some cost. And we all know how the papers came from, its
from tree, but we are not planting a single tree in a year and we using more than
100 trees in one day or in week, then how would it balance? We can plant more
and more trees not only in campus, around the campus as well as near by the
Secondly, what we do after using those papers, A4 sheets are used from another
side but what next and what about other papers such as pm sheets or drawing
sheets or re-do sheets or all those assignments after the end of semester.
We throw them to dustbins, every year tons of papers are sent to trash by the
students as well as administrations.
What if we can use those papers again and again in different form and for
We know about paper mash, many students are also known about it as well as
they made products of this, but they buy new paper for that, but if we can use
old or used paper for that.
It’s very simple to recycle and reuse used papers as new papers. First we have to
segregate different types papers such as white plain like pm sheet thick papers
like drawing sheet colours papers like inked used or colour used papers.
After segregation we have to dip those papers in a container full of water, we
have to keep different container for different kind of papers and wait for the
papers became mash able or fully wet, it takes hours to a day to gain that form
depends on the type of papers.
We can use different kind of papers separately as well as together to get a new
kind of paper and texture. We can also use that inked or colour papers with
8. colours or we can do same process 2-3 times to get a fresh white colourless
paper and used it as per our choice.
After that we can use those wet papers to make paper mash products also we
can make fresh new paper by giving it a shape and after drying in sunlight by
using those mash able papers by own or can give outside for a better quality
Things that we can do with used or recycled papers:
We can make carry bags for our self as well as for profit purpose also by selling
it into market, and avoid plastic carry bags.
We can make tissue papers by used papers as well as by using above method for
a fresh and new product.
We can also use that mashed papers as mention above in form of fresh thin
paper for notes, thick papers as card or greetings, colourful papers as paper
We can weave used paper for make different kind products, like carry bags and
for decorative purpose.
We can also make paper cups for self or for profit purpose.
And there are a lot of thing that can be done bye used or old papers as well as
by recycle and reuse it using above mention method, because we have a lot of
creative minds in our campus.
10. Things that we can do for saving papers:
We can plant more and more trees inside, outside and nearby our campus.
We can give our assignments in soft copy.
We can make notes in our laptops or in mobile phones.
We can buy less papers and try to use our own recycled papers.
Make people aware about how to save papers and reuse and recycled it, at least
in the campus.
The scenario of institutional campus of higher education in India shows that
every year there is increase in the number of institutions and their intake
occupying large area and accounting for large quantities of potential at manifest
resources. If all these institutional campus becomes self-sustainable in itself
then other residential campuses and township will also be influenced by their
Also higher educational institution acts like an industry where the students are
trained and sent back to society where in the seeds of sustainability can be
dispersed into the neighbourhoods, communities and settlements both urban and
1. UGC Report 2012
2. Wright TSA. Definitions and frameworks for environmental sustainability in
higher education. Higher Education Policy 2002; 15(2):105e20.