Bocconi towards sustainability


In the light of the recent environmental related events that made hundreds of thousands of people around the world walk for the planet, the question of what the contribution of high-level educational institutions is to that cause MUST be asked. Indeed, the vast majority of the strikers were youngsters belonging to 15-25yo age range. In Milan, which according to a WHO -World Health Organization- report is one of the 3 Italian cities with the highest levels of air pollution in Europe, more than 100 000 people gathered for the strike last September, most of which are University students. We’re allowed to wonder if Italian universities like Bocconi, POLITECNICO… share the same goals towards sustainability as the students attending them.


Reducing environmental impact

As noted by the survey carried out in 2017 by the Climate Change Working Group (coordinated by the University POLITECNICO di Milano) of the RUS - Network of University for Sustainable Development-, many Italian universities have long started working on the issues of reducing CO2 emissions, most of which have declared to have developed an Emission Reduction Plan. Università Bocconi is one of these Italian institutions that started to get more environmentally conscious. It has established a Sustainability Committee composed of professors, staff members and students, collaborating on the promotion and coordination of university projects on sustainability goals. Bocconi, in its quest for a green campus expansion is constructing new buildings putting biocompatibility and eco-sustainability as a priority. Through this sustainable management the university reduced its environmental impact by electricity savings of 27% of the overall cost to the University compared to 2007 (work on the district heating system/air conditioning, lighting and on the cladding of the building) and a reduction in pollution from the heating plant.

Towards a plastic free campus

In addition to the construction of more eco-friendly buildings, the university came up with the B-Sustainable, an initiative aiming at promoting sustainability on the Bocconi campus which actions constitute “The first step towards a plastic free campus”. Therefore, the university offers filtered drinking water at dispensers placed around campus for free, in order to reduce the consumption of water bottles. Getting rid of bottled water vending machines will save, on average, every year: 700,000 half-liter bottles, or 8,400 kg of PET from the bottles that are not used and 66,400 kWh of electricity after deducting the use of water fountains.

Conclusion

Bocconi and other universities in Italy and around the world are on the right path towards environmental responsibility and social progress, not only do they educate generations on the importance of resource saving but they also implement their own funds to contribute to the environmental cause.