Environmental sustainability of university campuses : a practical assessment tool

Koç, Havva Elif
In this study the definition of environmental sustainability as a broad term in the university campuses which can be considered small scale cities, required environmental criteria to apply this and the assessment of the implementations to realize a sustainable campus were researched. In this context inter institutional campus sustainability assessment tools are analyzed and among many indicators from these tools the concrete ones which assess environmental sustainability are selected. In the light of indicators which include the topics of EMS ( Environmental Management System ) implementation, energy efficiency, water conservation, landscape sustainability, material conservation, transportation and green buildings; leading green campus practices from USA, Canada and Europe were assessed. These succeeding campuses are analyzed according to the aforementioned criteria and presented as a meta-analysis. Also by including METU campus in this analysis, a summary report was prepared which can form a starting point for the future sustainability implementations. Based on this study, it can be said that campuses which use EMS have accomplished more successful results in terms of sustainability and applied more sustainability indicator in a broader area. Another outcome of this study is that using the indicators without the whole coverage of the campus area may not give the real environmental impact of the campus. At the same time it is seen that the indicators which are easy to implement and more feasible like waste recycling, landscape and transportation sustainability are commonly applied and the indicators which require investments and infrastructure costs like renewable energy production, waste water recycling and rainwater harvesting are applied rarely and covered a small percentage of the campus area. Moreover it was seen that green building policies were dependent to conventional certification tools like LEED and Green Star and the number of green buildings on campus were very low.
Citation Formats
H. E. Koç, “Environmental sustainability of university campuses : a practical assessment tool,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2014.