IITH strives to proactively contribute to generating knowledge and capacity and undertake practical actions aimed at understanding and mitigating the impacts of climate change locally and globally.
The Institute has already undertaken several initiatives to reduce its environmental footprint and contribute positively towards future climate action.
IITH is committed to minimizing its waste and maximizing use of its resources before safely discarding them for further processing. Key initiatives here include:
Wastewater processing: IITH has established a wastewater processing plan on its campus. Processed wastewater is used to supply the institute’s cooling plants and as flush water.
Recycling: A comprehensive solid waste recycling program that includes packing material, paper, cardboards, scrap metal, and hazardous e-waste has been established among campus residents.
Biogas: Wet waste on campus is used as feedstock for a bio digester which supplies cooking fuel for the student dining hall. The vegetable peelings and food residue, which are generated in the dining hall, canteen, and residential areas will be degraded in the digester to produce biogas which will be then sent back to the dining hall kitchen. This will reduce our fossil fuel consumption. The biosolid that is generated as a part of the digestion process will be converted to compost at our Resource Recovery Park.
IITH aims to become climate positive.
At present, the Institute has established a solar power generation facility with a 1 MW capacity.
Wet waste on campus is also used to generate cooking fuel.
The Institute also saves energy by using sensor-based systems to switch off lights during periods of non-use.
Student housing on campus is cooled by passive radiant cooling techniques which also effectively reduce the campus’ energy demands. Radiant cooling is implemented in 6.0 lakh sft to provide cooling providing thermal comfort at a reduced operational cost.
Promoting Climate-Friendly Transportation
In 2021, IITH introduced EV-based transportation options on its campus, with shuttle services every 15 minutes that operate on the 3 km stretch between the institute’s main gate and its academic buildings.
Besides that, campus residents are encouraged to bicycle. Rent-free short term bicycle rentals are also available on the IITH campus.
Enhancing Local Biodiversity
IITH is committed to minimize its environmental footprint. The Institute has initiated a number of programs with this aim. These include:
Starting October 2020, monthly plantation drives that draw together the campus community in planting indigenous plant species in different parts of the campus have been carried out.
First Saturday of every month has been identified as Plantation Day, which resulted in planting more than 15,000 plants with more than 100 varieties of species. Drip irrigation for all plants is being set up.
IITH also seeks to minimize the use of harmful fertilizers and has established a vermicomposting facility on its campus.
Single use plastics have been banned on campus
Pursuing cutting-edge climate-related interdisciplinary research and education
Faculty and students at IITH are engaged in internationally leading cutting-edge research and teaching programs focused on various aspects of climate change. The Institute was among the first to establish a Department of Climate Change (in 20xx) that integrates knowledge and practice across the realms of climate sciences, engineering, and policy. Currently, IITH offers Master’s level programs focused on Climate Change, e-Waste Management, and Environmental Engineering and an undergraduate minor in Climate Change.
Several facilities, such as the bio-digester unit are also used for pedagogical purposes, cultivating next-generation environmental leadership.
Seeding climate entrepreneurship and leadership
IITH hosts an incubator facility to encourage student and faculty-led innovation. Climate-related innovation is strongly encouraged. This has resulted in xxx
IITH also hosts an Unnat Bharat Abhiyan cell and a Rural Development Center through which it coordinates a range of projects aimed at all-round development, including projects focused on environmental stewardship, in villages in IITH’s neighboring regions. In addition to contributing positively to the local society, these projects also foster contextually-sensitive environmental leadership among participating faculty and students. IITH also supports student clubs and other activities that foster climate leadership. For example, the Prakriti club on campus.
“Biodiversity on campus” was the theme identified for the Institute’s 2021 annual calendar, encouraging the campus community to contribute photographs from the campus that documented its biodiversity. Through such measures, the Institute seeks to create an awareness for and appreciation of the campus’ ecological contexts among the IITH community.
Targets for Future
IITH has taken several steps to realize its aspirations to play a leadership role in evolving and undertaking climate positive frameworks and actions. To this end, the Institute has established a Climate Action Committee tasked with further developing a holistic framework to shape its short-term and long-term Climate Action Plan along with specified targets and measurable impacts.