IQRA UNIVERSITY WORKING TOWARDS SUSTAINABILITY
Climate Change is the biggest global threat that can result in mass level extinction at the planet. Realizing this threat, we have taken a series of steps for averting this global disaster, and we hope that every single human being will contribute towards this cause of safeguarding our future.Our initiatives include plantation, reducing carbon emissions, waste reduction, conserving natural resources, using alternative energy sources, creating awareness about climate change by conducting seminars and workshops, making climate change and sustainability part of our curriculum, and conducting research related to sustainability.
USE OF ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SOURCES
The university is heavily investing in alternative energy sources to become a contributor in the reduction of pollution. For a start, solar panels have been installed in the campuses and other sources of energy are also being evaluated. As a result of the installation of new panels, we were able to increase our production capacity this year.
In order to decrease carbon emission, IU has introduced its own shuttle service for faculty, staff and students. The university has also signed agreements with private contractors to provide economical transportation services to the IU community. A recent survey conducted by the Administration Department indicates that many students have opted for this cost-efficient method of transportation resulting in a reduced inflow of vehicles at the university and hence reduced carbon emissions.
BAN ON PLASTIC BAGS AND BOTTLES
To reduce environmental pollution caused by plastic, the university banned the use of plastic bags and bottles in the campus and in official meetings this year. In order to provide clean drinking water to everyone, mineral water dispensers have been placed at every corner of the university. In addition, the use of recyclable paper bags is also being encouraged.
REDUCTION IN PAPER CONSUMPTION
To reduce the consumption of paper, we have initiated many programs including:
- Automation of student processes such as online admission tests, course registrations, applications, attendance, assessments, announcements, feedback surveys etc.
- The university is using Blackboard which is an online application for teaching, learning, community building, and knowledge sharing. It helps in online delivery of content, assessments, and sharing course material. The use of this application has resulted in considerable reduction of paper.
- A printing quota has been introduced to encourage responsible printing habits resulting in less paper and power consumption.
- Almost all communication with stakeholders is done using emails, SMS servers and cell phone apps.
The above measures have greatly helped us not only in reducing paper consumption but also expenses related to power consumption, purchase of ink, office stationery etc.
To control and reduce consumption of energy, the university has taken several initiatives including:
- Development of green buildings at the campuses for safe- guarding environment and achieving energy efficiency
- Most of the class rooms and offices have an efficient ventilation system and utilize day light to reduce power consumption.
At campuses energy efficient devices and equipment have been installed such as LED lights, inverter Air conditioners etc.
WASTE AND RECYCLING
In the university, separate dustbins have been placed for collection of waste. The collected waste is disposed of through competitive bidding to third party
recyclers and civic agencies. The funds collected through this process are utilized for community service.
The university has a strong focus on constructing green buildings by utilizing ecofriendly materials. Natural ventilation and utilization of day light are an essential part of the building design. Energy and water efficient appliances are being used in the buildings. Inside the buildings plants have been placed to improve the quality of air in the environment.
At Iqra University, various student societies and clubs have been formed which are dedicatedly working towards sustainability and corporate social responsibility.
The societies and clubs include Iqra University Corporate Social Responsibility (IUCSR), Iqra University Climate Change Society (IUCC) and The ECO Club. Many students and faculty members have joined these societies and clubs to offer their voluntary services. They generate funds on their own and are also funded by the university for organizing events, workshops, seminars, various drives (clean-ups, plantation etc.) and awareness campaigns for making this planet a better place for the generations to come. This year more than 50 events of this nature were successfully arranged by these societies.
EDUCATION AND RESEARCH
Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility have been made an integral part of our curriculum. There are 16 courses that are being offered by the university in which the academic content is linked with sustainability. These courses are offered to the students of Business Administration, Computer Science, Engineering, Health Sciences, Social Sciences, and Fashion and Designing students.
The university has also a dedicated budget for conducting research related to sustainability, and in the past three years more than 30 publications have been published by the university faculty members and scholars in international journals of high repute.