While Pune has long been tagged as Oxford of the East, a new initiative may propel this sector of the city into a more eco-friendly avatar, if emulated by more educational establishments.
In a bid to contribute to sustainability goals, the MIT-Art Design and Technology (MIT-ADT) University has announced its intention to make its Loni Kalbhor campus carbon neutral — which involves taking actions to remove as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as any entity puts in to it. In this effort, they will try to minimise carbon emissions on the premises to reduce the institute’s overall carbon footprint.
The project is a part of the Smart Campus Cloud Network (SCCN) under the TERRE Policy Centre. This non-profit organisation is seeking to make sustainable development goals (SDGs) mainstream, by deploying the Internet of Things (IoT) — an extension of internet connectivity into physical devices and everyday objects, such as sundry electronics, sensors and more.
After the programme was flagged off by MITADT University executive president Mangesh Karad on April 4, students and faculty have been
Besides creating awareness about a plethora of key topics — climate change, renewable energy, energy conservation, water management, waste management, air pollution
Further, they have also initiated energy supply through solar panels, with at least 40
Commenting on the same, TERRE Policy Centre chairman Rajendra Shende More — also a former director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and an IIT alumnus — informed that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had released a report at the end of 2018, issuing a dire warning. This study said that if rising global temperatures are to be limited to two degrees Celsius, unprecedented and far-reaching efforts are needed to get rid of global dependence on fossil fuels. If not, we are heading for the sixth extinction of life on the earth (the fifth extinction was 65 million years ago, when dinosaurs and life on earth vanished after a meteorite struck our planet). So, humans now have no option but to cut carbon emissions by 20
Shende told Mirror, “While there are cities internationally that have started working on carbon neutrality, here in India, we too can start with university campuses that are big enough, and then take the drive ahead to cities as a whole.” He added that although efforts are on to bring down carbon emission inside the campus, they obviously don’t have control on outside-campus factors. To overcome this, a carbon calculator is being worked on by the university, to deduce carbon footprints of students and staff while using air travel or other modes of transports like bikes and cars — and this will also be incorporated while calculating the extent of the plantations they will be doing. Said Shende, “Foliage will be planted not only inside campus, but also at other places outside, so as to level up carbon emissions.”
Citizen participants in this green project seem heartened by the effort. An employee working in the public relations department of the institute, Sanju Chavan, said, “For the last four or five days, we have completely stopped using conventional fuel vehicles inside the campus. We come by bus, which is parked in an allocated lot, and then use e-vehicles.” Added Stephen Sebastian, a second-year mechanical engineering student, “We fully support this project and have started using e-bikes, and enjoying energy generated via solar panels. The university makes us aware of sustainable goals through a cloud network — this makes it that much easier for us to implement them in our daily lives.”