The escalation of the world environmental crisis is a reality that reaches every scale: local, regional and global. The search for sustainable alternatives that might lessen the accumulated environmental passive, fruit of unsustainable political and social choices, and the offer of ecologically adequate and socially fair solidarity exits are a challenge that nowadays faces the academic body of a university. It is within this context that the environmental agenda of PUC-Rio seeks to institute a set of practices that makes possible and stimulates the sustainability and the quality of socioenvironmental life in the college campus, based in humanitarian, scientific and ethical principles.
From an appeal by the Rector, and supported by the vice-rectories, NIMA/PUCRio constituted, in the year of 2008, the so called Commission for the Sustainability of the Campus, interdisciplinarily formed by professors, students, employees and volunteers.
To reach its goals the commission was structured in four thematic workgroups, as follows:
- Water and energy
- Materials and residues
- Environmental education
For more than six months the groups articulated and discussed at length, seeking technical information that might support the proposals being developed. It was also pursued, by means of weekly meetings, the integration of the multiple interfaces between the themes, so that a harmonic ensemble of proposals could be achieved, one that could provide subsidies for the sustainable actions in PUC-Rio’s campus.
The proposals that compose the agenda derived from the workgroup structure and therefore they refer to the workgroup themes being divided in the following topics:
Each topic is divided in three parts. An introduction, which states the assumed ethical environmental positioning, a part called directive, which defines the guiding lines that shall be followed inside the topic thematic, and the targets, that aim to turn reality the established directives. The targets are divided in categories:
- Short term
- Medium term
- Long term
The Environmental Agenda is to be seen in a form both integrated and sequential, where all the component topics concert a common strategy for the implementation of an environmentally sustainable and, socially, of joint responsibility, system in the physical space of the campus.
The directives and targets referring to materials, residues, water, atmosphere, energy, biodiversity and environmental education must contribute to each other for the build up of a scale of values that takes into account categories such as the ideal of minimal consumption, as much as the effort needed for the maximum reutilization of everything that is part of the renewable and non-renewable resources, present in the college campus. The
Environmental Agenda is an instrument that seeks to provide managing subsidies for PUC-Rio’s campus administration, supporting the creation of a structure where the physical space used for constructions integrates with the green areas, in attitude of respect and preservation of the social, educational and environmental assets.
The sustainability of the campus passes through the human and Christian values that guide the principles of the university, as well as relies on the actions and technical solutions for a better use of raw materials, and for the re-use and the recycling of the residues produced.
Therefore, the proposal of an Environmental Agenda aims not only at a certain pioneering by PUC-Rio in relation to other high level educational institutions, but also to be a clear demonstration of the compromise to keep the academic excellence, associated to the social and environmental compromises, both in the local scope and in the global sphere of a more sustainable planet.