What is the green campus movement?
The green campus movement seeks to expand green infrastructure through education as well as developing facilities and technology for the reduction of greenhouse gases. This is a reflection of the green grow policy implemented in the government curriculum.It also strives for greenhouse gas reduction by training talented people who will lead the way in creating an environmentally friendly campus. YU facilitates this initiative through the Electrical Power Team, the Environmental Equipment Team, the Campus Maintenance Team, and by improving the environment & facilities.The Observer investigated the three teams that have taken charge of the green campus movement.
The role of the Electrical Power Team
The area of energy conservation is overseen by the Electrical Power Team. They are currently conducting a CO² reduction campaign, which hopes to reduce emissions by 5%. The campaign has been in effect since 2012.The universities with the highest electrical consumption rates in Korea are: POSTECH, Korea University, and Yeungnam University. All three universities have been directed by the government to reduce their energy consumption. Consequently, Yeungnam University has turned the heating off from 10 a.m. till 12 p.m. during the semester and vacation. The Electrical Power Team checks the use of personal electric heaters through the electricity energy coordination check team. In addition, they are conducting the 5% reduction banner campaigns. As a result of these efforts, YU has reduced its energy fees to 4.5 billion won in one year. If we can further reduce consumption by 5%, we can save a few hundred million won more. In addition, if we turn off the heating for two hours more a day, we can save an additional 4,000,000 won. YU paid an energy bill of 360,000,000 won in December 2012, but the fee was 280,000,000 won in January 2013. YU managed to save almost 80,000,000 won in one month. The awareness of university members has changed positively and it shows in the level of participation in energy reduction campaigns.Currently, the Electrical Power Team is managed by the electricity energy coordination check team among staff members. This check team examines the availability of individual electric heaters and compliance with the rules that turned the heating is off from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. There is a conversion ratio for CO² emissions related to energy production. It is the amount of electricity used compared to the amount of carbon emissions (the amount) X (the conversion coefficient of 0.4448). It is enforced to make reference data for constructing an environment friendly campus by saving energy and resources. Electricity consumption by the College of Liberal Arts is 32,400KHW and the electricity consumption of the College of Natural Sciences is 80,500KHW per a month. In comparison, the electricity consumption of the College of Engineering is more than that used by the College of Liberal Arts and the College of Business & Economics because the College of Engineering uses lab equipment. The electricity consumed by most of these departments is equivalent to the consumption of 1,500 average households. The amount of energy consumption and CO² emissions for each college can be checked at the bottom of the YU homepage.
The role of the Environmental Equipment Team
The installation and maintenance of environmental equipment is overseen by the Environmental Equipment Team. For example, the team manages the installation and maintenance of water saving faucets in the restrooms. Their purpose is to save energy and resources. Wash bowls with a sensor dispense water when they are touched directly. They have been installed in most of the college buildings except in the College of Liberal Arts building. We can reduce water consumption by up to 50% with these faucets alone. Water saving toilets can economize water usage. They have been installed at all of the college buildings, and they reduce water use from nine liters to five liters per flush. This team also regulates HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning). Heating is not allowed to be set higher than 20 degrees and air conditioning is not allowed below 26 degrees.There is also a heat recovery ventilation system. It works on the same principle as a ventilator. It exchanges the heated air inside and the cool air outside. This system cuts energy losses by 70-80%. It has been installed at the University Library and the basement of the Welfare Center.
The role of the Campus Maintenance Team
The Campus Maintenance Team paved the roads that run between the College of Business & Economics and the street near the outdoor auditorium, as well as the College of Pharmacy and the College of Engineering. Students who take mass transportation usually get around campus on foot, which causes lots of problems such as large puddles when it is raining. This is why they are trying to broaden and repack the road. They also created a green belt. The purpose of this project is to make the B.E.S.T (Beautiful Enjoyable Sustainable Topmost) campus. YU has set aside 500,000 acres for the green belt out of its total 800,000 acres. On campus, 170,000 trees are managed and 1,500 wild flowers have grown without cultivation. There is also the bicycle rental service. Daegu University and Yeungnam University are the only universities in Gyeongsangbuk-do to provide this kind of service. It has been in place since 2012, and it receives support from the government. Currently, YU provides 78 bicycles for students. This year, there will be an increase in the number of bicycles. Moreover, Campus Maintenance Team will install rental equipment similar to the library book rental system to make it more convenient for students. There is also a walking path now. This was made to promote student welfare and to contribute to making a green campus. “The Road of Philosophers” starts at the main gate and rotates all around the campus. It is the longest walking path. “The Road of Meditation” starts at the parking lot in front of the College of Human Ecology & Kinesiology, passes the farm, and ends at the Folklore Park. Finally, “The road of Truth Creation” starts at the Science Library, passes the College of Education, and ends at the University Library.
Interview with Yong-Ha Jeon
Officer, Campus Maintenance Team
Q) What do you think about YU’s environmental conditions on campus?
A) Compared to other campuses in Korea, the environment of YU is one step ahead. YU has invested a lot in environmental improvements in order to be a truly green campus. In short, more than 50 square meters out of 80 have been designated as green areas. Moreover, we annually plant more than one thousand trees. Therefore, the future of YU in terms of green growth is very bright.
Q) Are there any other environmental businesses?
A) For one, the new subway entrance has attracted new businesses. We have had discussions with Daegu city and DTRO regarding the subway entrance on campus. The subway entrance on campus plays a large role in the reduction of carbon emissions because more students come to the university on the subway now, which means fewer cars keep the air around the campus fresher.
Q) What is the environmental management plan for the future?
A) I want to make the shortcuts that students are actually taking part of the paved road and trail system set up by the university. For example, many students walk on the trail from the College of Education to the university Museum. A more extensive and convenient road system at YU is being planned and will start from the main gate.
Q) What do you want to say to students?
A) First, I hope students keep to designated smoking areas. Yeungnam University students are generally doing well, so the environment has not suffered a great deal. However, I want students to stop releasing turtles in the Mirror Pond. Turtles eat the fish, so the Mirror Pond’s ecosystem is crumbling now. The fountain at the College of Law is facing a similar situation. Fish cannot live in that water. We have to get rid of the dead fish. If students keep these rules, Yeungnam University will be able to progress environmentally.
YU has tried to manage the development and maintenance of a green campus. Students always use sensors on faucets and toilet bowls. However, they do not know that these are a part of the green campus movements. Energy conservation is not that difficult. There are very simple things we can do to help, like riding bicycles, or just turning off the lights when leaving a room. If we all put a little more effort into it, we can all enjoy a truly green campus.
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