Building a Culture of Sustainbility
So while at the same time I refer to the building, the Tahir Connexion, the Tahir Foundation Connexion Building that will be zero net energy, we also will put photovoltaic cells on the other buildings, on our other roofs so that we can reduce our electricity bill. We’ve actually been very careful with water, and we consume a lot less water than we did in 2010. But, at the same time, I felt that there was a need for an attitude change, and that’s where Bernie Toh raised again to the challenge of coming up with this idea of ‘Grow’, having an urban garden where you involve students and staff in sort of tending the garden. Bringing perhaps some people from the neighbourhoods around us to that garden, and have an interaction between students and some of the elderly people that live in our close neighbourhood. But also the ugly foods market, convincing Kofu to get rid of the plastic straws and replacing them with other straws or no straws whatsoever. These are all very small little things, but they add up to a different view of what sustainability is and how we use planet Earth. And I hope that that will continue after I leave because I think that a university should have a leadership role in sustainability.
I have also stimulated very strongly our own faculty to start thinking about, can we form a centre around sustainability management. And we’re not going to go as a management university, we’re not going to study technical solutions, but perhaps we can think about how do we do sustainability management, and how do we change attitudes. And hopefully then in the coming months or in the coming years, we will be able to create a centre around sustainability management, that again will be an interdisciplinary centre that brings together the competencies from the different schools.