How Solar Street Lights and Smart Benches can promote sustainability at university campuses?
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Sustainability, its programs and tracking systems
Sustainability is often defined as the ability to meet present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. In other words, sustainability requires careful use of our resources, including water, air, energy, biodiversity, soil, etc. so they will be in adequate supply for the foreseeable future.
Sustainability programs include but not limited to: climate and renewables, green buildings, green transportation, zero waste, access to nature, clean water, local food, clean air, green economy, lighter footprint and greener operations. These programs became a worldwide trend so rating systems for tracking its progress are created and three most widely used nowadays are:
-LEED (to achieve more and more points a space, new or revitalised, needs to use less energy and water, reduce greenhouse gas emission and use recycling materials)
-Net Zero Energy (a space, new or revitalised, that roughly produces as much energy as it consumes on an annual basis)
-Carbon Neutrality (a calculator is formed so reducing cabon points can be achieved through Balancing Carbon Dioxide released with renewable energy production, so that the carbon emissions are compensated, or alternatively using only renewable energies that don’t produce any CO2. The other way is Carbon Offsetting – paying others to remove or sequester 100% of the CO2 emitted, for example by planting trees, or by funding ‘carbon projects’, or buying carbon credits to remove (or ‘retire’) them through carbon trading (for instance, municipalities often impose environmental (or sustainability) management system (as per ISO 14001) to fulfill Carbon Neutrality Goal)).
The zero-energy goal is becoming more practical as the costs of alternative energy technologies decrease and the costs of traditional fossil fuels increase.
Sustainability, as a topic, became so vivid and widespread that more and more US students pay a fee for sustainability each year for financing this kind of projects, often imposed on their iniative.
The Importance of Sustainable Campus
Universities and schools have a long tradition of innovative role in US. They have always been at the frontier of putting new behavior into practice. With the record high temperatures and other devastated and very visible consequences of climate change on our planet, academia today is one of main pillars in reducing Planet’s dependence on fossil fuels. The goal is to create a new generation of young leaders who will have a clear understanding and comprehensive knowledge about sustainability and clean energy resources of our planet. Educated about importance of clean energy sources students will tomorrow present the elite of our society and lead sustainability changes.
How Solar Applications fit into these programs and initiatives?
EnGoPlanet wants to create a strategic synergy with academia in order to help universities and schools across the US to adopt more sustainable and energy efficient products that would:
-Promote Clean Energy Sources
-Save Money and Energy
-Increase students’ understanding, engagement and involvement with clean energy sources.
Main features of this synergy would be:
In order to create young leaders who will protect and preserve our planet, academia needs to educate them about clean energy resources that our planet have. Solar energy is by far the cleanest and most efficient renewable source of energy currently available. Unfortunately, many students don’t have a basic understanding about this very abundant energy input. EnGoPlanet Street Lights and Benches are completely powered by solar energy. As an open classroom example, professors can give lessons to students about renewables application forms that will encourage students to implement and develop concepts further.
EnGoPlanet solutions are economically practical option to light up public areas at university. They are completely powered by solar energy which means the energy is free and renewable. There are no electricity bills.
Since our solutions are not connected to power grid, the installation is fast and there is no need for expensive construction work such as digging trenches and underground wiring. In average, installation is 40% less expensive than traditional grid tied public lighting.
Safety & Security
Public safety is the primary mission at universities and community leaders. The campus that will
have more illuminated areas and responsive urban furniture, such as public lights and benches,
will significantly increase safety and security of students and campus guests. In addition to this, solar public lighting will expand operation hours of remote areas that are not currently covered by electricity access and utilized in full capacity. Sustainability implementation will also reduce environmental hazards like gas emission and waste production of campus.
Students role in establishing more environmentally friendly universities is crucial. In many cases, students are the main drivers and developers of a project. Students would be directly involved in all phases of our cooperation with campuses, from choice of installation locations, unit color, optional features and installation as well as becoming the main beneficiary of installed equipment.
EnGoPlanet smart solar solutions have many useful features that students will use daily, such as WiFi Hot Spot, charging station for mobile phones, environmental sensors for temperature measuring, air quality, humidity, etc. Valuable and free services of our units would create social gathering areas where students could relax and enjoy fully in benefits of having innovative solar equipment at their campus.
Academia and Community Green Initiatives
We would help you strengthen your campus sustainability efforts and improve level of success with green national and international initiatives. For instance, your university/school would qualify to obtain LEED credits in many areas, such as:
-Sustainable Sites, Light Pollution Reduction- 8 Credits
-Energy & Atmosphere- 1 Credit
-Energy & Atmosphere, On-site Renewable Energy-2 Credits
-Innovation in Design, Low Mercury Lighting- 1 Credit.
Collaboration of your University or School and EnGoPlanet would improve campus energy independence and reduce greenhouse gas emissions with active student involvement in the process. Efficiency must be achieved in a manner that brings beneﬁts to students, making the campus more dynamic and participatory. Rather than being an expense, clean energy product integration can create considerable opportunities for added value in any campus.
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