Green Campus Initiative as a cooperative Movement

Although the term ‘Sustainable Development’ goes back to many decades, it was substantially enhanced since the Brundtland Report (1987), which is also known as Our Common Future. Following this event, India became part of 187 countries agreeing on carrying out an important commitment towards SD by signing the Rio Declaration during 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development. The Government of India’s sensitivity and commitment to sustainable and inclusive growth is reflected in its major policies and also specific initiatives and programs adopted through its Five Year Plans to realize the MDG’s/SDG’s. This goal became finer when India became part of UN General Assembly resolution for establishing the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (UN-DESD, 2005-2014) in the year 2005, emphasizing Agenda 21, that education is an essential tool and an indispensable element for achieving sustainable development.

The Association for Promoting Sustainability in Campuses and Communities (APSCC) is founded to serve as an impetus, not-for-profit, and voluntary organization for sustainable development among the educational institutions and local communities in India. We do this by providing resources, organizing events, conducting training sessions, initiating and promoting sustainable solutions at grassroots level in collaboration with a network of eminent sustainability professionals. More importantly, we believe that sustainable development is not only limited to ecological/ environmental considerations but also the economic, social and cultural dimensions as well. In view of this, the APSCC team has planned a time bound mass co-operative movement named “Green Campus Initiative Co-operative Movement (GCICM)” for promoting Campus Environmental Sustainability and UN SDG’s in all Educational Institutions of India.

The GCICM acts as a convener, catalyst, and communicator consisting of individuals, organizations and institutions dedicated to the advancement of education for sustainable development in India. It is also an historical initiative in India, characterized by a new dynamic paradigm with a wide belief that not only governments, but also each individual, institutions and businesses has to play a major role and need to commit themselves to SD. It is therefore expected to provide an additional momentum to the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, with a greater focus on what higher educational institutions can achieve in this regard for the region/ country and also for their campus environment sustainability. The Green Campus Initiative is a golden opportunity to develop and implement tailor made programs with an integrated approach encompassing rainwater harvesting and reuse; reclamation and recycling of grey water; sustainable management of solid and hazardous wastes; energy efficiency and bio-energy generation; vermi-compost and organic kitchen garden, soil and biodiversity conservation, pedestrian and sustainable transportation, etc.. Students involvement and staffs orientation is the heart of Green Campus Initiative program.