The Campus Sustainibility Office was established January of last year to promote environmental awareness among students.
Among the different Lasallian schools across the country, the University is the first to have an office solely dedicated to environmental sustainability. It leads other Lasalllian schools towards driving awareness not just among students, but also among the other stakeholders of the University.
The main thrust of the Campus Sustainability Office is to centralize all the environmental initiatives of the University towards the creation of an environmentally sustainable campus. “It wants the students to be involved as early as possible considering that the students will eventually become the future lawmakers, businessmen who will have a say in terms of environment and how it affects the country,” Campus Sustainiblity Executive Officer Bubbly Encarnacion explains.
It also assists in developing policies and procedures relevant not just for the University, but also for the surrounding communities. For instance, the University has formed a waste management committee to monitor how the University treats the waste it produces every year, which can also be used to monitor the amount of waste produced in the surrounding community as a whole.
Another effort is the energy efficiency program. Recently, the Human Resources and Development Management Office (HRDMO) sent emails to the different offices to switch off their air conditioning units at lunch time during DLSU’s Environment week, which can reduce the energy consumption within the surrounding commmunity.
Another project that the office is involved in currently is the Green Zone project. The project aims to create an environmentally sustainable area between Vito Cruz and Quirino through the stricter implementation of traffic rules and prevention of crimes.
Encarnacion explains, for example, that a more efficient traffic flow along the area could help reduce the amount of pollution within the community. Nearby academic institutions such as the De La Salle-College of St. Benilde (DLS-CSB) and St. Scholastica’s College, as well as the police and the barangays within the area are requested to cooperate in the endeavor as well.
The office is also involved with integrating environmental sustainability with academics and extra-curricular activites. Most recently, the Campus Sustainability Office, in partnership with the University Student Government (USG), organized the Green Leaders Conference (GLC), which was held during the Environment week last month.
The conference had representatives from different Lasallian campuses coming to DLSU and participating in different seminars geared towards environment sustainability. The participants were also tasked to make an action plan that could eventually be applied to the different environmental protection activities in their respective campuses.
The biggest project the office is handling is Project Carbon Neutral (PCN). PCN is an intiative that is being implemented in all 17 Lasallian District schools; it aims to reduce the carbon footprint in all Lasallian schools. Carbon Foot Print is a summation or measurement of the green house gases consumption of an individual, group, organization or institution.
Measures such as asking the different offices to turn off their air conditioners during lunch breaks and 30 minutes before office hours end, and other energy conserving methods will be implemented by the office to lessen the University’s energy consumption.
The different initiatives and efforts are also promoted externally through social networking websites such as Facebook. The office’s Facebook page, Dream Green, features different environmental issues and projects such as the parol-making from recycled materials last December, and the Sikat and Sinag cars.
In contrast, other leading universities like Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) and the University of Santo Tomas (UST) do not have similar units. Their environment conservation initiatives are primarily spearheaded by student-run organizations.
The office aims to strengthen its efforts to promote environmental awareness in the coming year according to Campus Sustainability Officer, Jason Cruz.