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UC3M Green Week 2015

Semana Verde 2015 de la UC3M

Is sustainable development sustainable? This is one of the questions debated in the latest edition of Green Week, held from the 19th to the 23rd of October at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M). The goal of the event was to discuss the “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” approved by world leaders at the UN General Assembly last September. This action plan, which contains 17 objectives and 169 targeted goals in favor of people, the planet and prosperity, is intended to strengthen universal peace and access to justice.

Green Week is one more example of the commitment of UC3M to sustainable development and environmental awareness. In this regard, there are several courses of action open for the period 2015/16 with the goal of improving energy efficiency and saving energy at university facilities, in addition to fostering sustainable mobility and the use of renewable energy.

Activities for discussion and raising awareness

During Green Week, participants were able to examine subjects such as the problem of global warming, the future of cities or the need to promote a new culture of energy. The event featured around 30 activities supported by dozens of experts. The inaugural conference, led by Professor Mercedes Pardo Buendía, from the Department of Social Analysis and the UC3M Sustainability Commission, addressed “Los retos sociales del cambio climático” (The Social Challenges of Climate Change).

At the lecture “Is Sustainable Development Sustainable?”, UC3M Professor Antonio Aznar Jiménez performed an in-depth analysis of this subject and its three fields of action (environmental, economic and social). At the talk “The Main Challenges of the Paris Climate Conference,” Professor José Escribano Úbeda-Portugués analyzed the current situation and future challenges in regards to the World Conference against Climate Change (COP21), which will be held in Paris in December and will replace the Kyoto Protocol. “Sustainable Development in the Natura 2000 network: Lights and Shadows,” was the title of the lecture in which the Forest Ranger Corps of the Autonomous Region of Madrid addressed the complex management of the Natura 2000 network (an ecological network of the area of conservation of biodiversity in the EU).

There were also workshops, among them “Recycled (Handi)crafts,” which showed students how to transform non-organic garbage into different objects (piggy banks, toys, etc.), and “Neither in your home  nor in mine: Toxic-free homes,” where the participants (top photo) learned to hand-craft various non-toxic cleaning and hygiene products.

The Green Week activities, which received around 250 students, were organized by the Offices of the Vice-rectors for Students, Social Responsibility and Equality,  and International Relations and Cooperation through the services of Student Area, the Environmental Unit and the Office of University Cooperation and Development , with the support of nearly 20 external associations and institutions.

Saving Energy and Sustainable Mobility

Among other measures, UC3M wants to replace its current lighting with LED technology on the Getafe and Leganés campuses and at the library on the Colmenarejo campus, and continue the process of energy certification. To do so, the necessary equipment will be installed and the consumption of electricity and gas will be monitored to improve the energy efficiency of the installations.

In addition, a system for recording sunshine and wind will be installed on the Colmenarejo campus to assess the viability of microeolic and solar systems (photovoltaic and thermal). Besides committing to renewable energies,UC3M is promoting sustainable mobility: this year a closed bicycle stand will be installed on the Getafe campus, and another for electric motorcycles will be installed on the Getafe and Leganés campuses, and it will be possible to use the municipal bike rental service in Getafe and Leganés with the University card.

UC3M 2015 Green Week Web page