Buildings and spaces belonging to state-run universities constitute a significant portion of the real estate inside of Polish cities. Over one million individuals study or works in one of those buildings. Unfortunately, according to the UI GreenMEtric World, a ranking measuring the approach of academic institutions around the world to ecology (categories include infrastructure, energy and water use, recycling, transportation, scope of educational offer), Polish institution are listed towards the bottom.
Our goal is to make changes in the the way the universities are run and how they function, to make them more sustainable and environment friendly. Such changes as, for example, reducing waste paper production, conserving water or using renewable energy – can have a huge positive impact on the environment. We will involve academic employees and student organizations in coalition building to promote pro-ecological solutions. Members of the coalition will be supported by the panel of experts on the issues ranging from natural resources protections, energy efficient technologies, and proper recycling practices. We will organize a training for the representatives of member organizations pertaining to taking care of the environment at work and how to fulfil the goals of balanced development in the sphere of environmental protections designed by the United Nations. We will hold workshops for chosen leaders from our coalition about influencing the management of the institution and filing petitions to organizations responsible for the protection of the natural environment. We will support intervention groups, which will operate at 11 academic institutions to decrease the negative impact of the institution on the natural environment. We will organize consultations with experts, lawyers, and NGOs. Simultaneously, we will monitor reaction of the schools to petitions filed by the members of our coalition and the actions undertaken by the intervention groups.