Research

Sustainable Campus

Sustainable Campus

Sustainable Campus

New AAU forum to inspire sustainable operations initiatives on campus

Text: Lill Christensen, CAS

On September 30, 2019, the Rector’s Office decided to set up a Sustainable Campus Forum for the purpose of inspiring and qualifying sustainability efforts in campus operations.

With a total of 13 members, the forum is composed of five students, five staff representatives, two heads of campus, as well as the Campus Director (Chair).

The five students and the five staff representatives are selected based on an application and on geography so that all three campuses are represented.

The forum aims to gather and formulate overall ideas and recommendations on how AAU can contribute to sustainable change or new initiatives in campus operations.  
 

START-UP PHASE: GREEN BRAINSTORMING AND PLANNING FORUM ACTIVITIES

The vision is for the forum to achieve a common understanding of sustainability in relation to AAU operations. But at the start, it will primarily be about the forum being informed on the status of operations with respect to the Sustainable Development Goals and on the status of initiatives on the Aalborg, Esbjerg and Copenhagen campuses; the members will also engage in dialogue on their own reflections and interest in the work of the forum.

There will also be brainstorming on topics that the forum can address, such as upcycling AAU waste, area optimisation, recycling of inventory, increasing natural areas on campus, as well as energy renovation and optimisation, climate-friendly and nutritious food in the canteens, etc. All initiatives will be considered in terms of the Sustainable Development Goals in the AAU context.

In addition, the first meeting will focus on scheduling meetings, reporting, and communication on the work of the forum in the organisation.
 

MEET THE STUDENT REPRESENTATIVES IN SUSTAINABLE CAMPUS:

The members of Sustainable Campus are all highly motivated to contribute to the sustainable operation of the campus. The diverse backgrounds and expertise of the members are expected to help strengthen dialogue and create nuanced solutions. Below are the student representatives in Sustainable Campus for Copenhagen and Aalborg, respectively.
 

  • Freja Jeppesen, Environmental Science, 6th semester, East Campus representative:

"I want to be part of the Sustainability Forum as I have a strong interest in sustainability, both personally and professionally. I want to work towards AAU having a plan for their procurement that requires different certifications, such as FSC certified wood and furniture, organic food or Fairtrade coffee and chocolate in the canteens.

I also think it is important for AAU to be better at telling students and staff about the actions they are implementing, like why designer furniture is chosen over items from IKEA, as well as why it takes so long to get waste sorting at the university."
 

  • Peter Bagger Kyed, Techno-Anthropology, 2nd semester, City representative:

"Besides studying at AAU, I am active in the Green Student Movement's local branch. I’m very interested in developing systems that are sustainable when it comes to nature and people. The Sustainability Forum is an excellent initiative that shows a willingness to change. That willingness is visible in the wide range of AAU staff and students represented in the forum. This is a good foundation for finding lasting solutions."
 

  • Tine Kær Pedersen, Public Health, 2nd semester, Campus East representative:

"I'm generally very interested in health and the environment, which is why I find the forum very interesting. I already have a lot of questions and reflections on sustainability at the university, so I'm really looking forward to debating these issues with the other members of Sustainable Campus. "
 

  • Katrine Lindblad Carlsen, Urban, Energy and Environmental Planning, 4th semester, CPH Campus representative:

"Sustainability has been a big concern for me for a long time and one of my basic values that affects everything from my everyday life to choosing a programme. In the spring of 2019, I was instrumental in founding the independent student organization Sustainabeans at AAU CPH that uses student resources and competences to bring sustainability in focus on campus. I look forward to an enthusiastic collaboration and welcome the opportunity to be part of the green transition at AAU – from the perspective of students at AAU CPH."

 

To be continued…

We look forward to presenting the staff representatives in a follow-up article, as well as sharing more news about the forum when the coronavirus situation allows.