The Facts in a Public Debate
civic activity
City (headquarters):
Voivodeship (headquarters):
01-01-2021 - 30-06-2022
Project cost:
54 000,00 EUR
54 000,00 EUR
Types of activities:
social actions and campaigns, educational activities, information activities, watchdog activities, factchecking
Target groups:
children, young adults, youth, elderly, society, volunteers

Buildings and plots of land belonging to public universities occupy large fragments of Polish cities. There are over one million people working or studying there. Unfortunately, Polish universities score very low in the UI GreenMetric World University ranking showing the attitude to ecology among higher educational institutions across the world (in such categories as infrastructure, energy and water consumption, waste sorting and recycling, transport, scope of research and education).
Our objective was to introduce changes to the functioning of such facilities in favour of more sustainable management and operations. Such changes as limited production of wastepaper, water conservation or use of renewable energy have major positive impact on the natural environment. We built a coalition of sixty academic organisations for the popularisation of sustainable solutions. Coalition members were supported by a panel of experts in natural resource protection, energy-efficient technologies and proper waste sorting. We organised a training for representatives of member organisations on how to take care of the environment in daily work and how to pursue sustainability goals developed by the UN. We run workshops for selected leaders on how to effectively influence university authorities and on how to submit petitions to institutions responsible for the condition of natural environment. We supported interventional groups that in eleven academic centres advocated for reducing unfavourable impact of their institutions on the environment. We organised for them consultations with experts, lawyers, and NGOs. At the same time, we ongoingly monitored universities’ reactions to petitions submitted by members of our coalitions and to activities taken up by interventional groups.
Our monitoring activities resulted in the submission of 203 comments and recommendations to legal acts governing these institutions. We discovered that twenty-one universities did not consider any environmental criteria when organising tenders, and in the structure of eight-eight of them there were no isolated organisational units responsible for the implementation of environmental protection and sustainability tasks. As many as fifty-three of all universities we sent our recommendations to introduced changes or declared their readiness to implement them in the near future.

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