“Humanity has the ability to make development sustainable, to ensure that it meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs", (Brundtland Report, 1987).
The Sustainability Program formally started in 2018 and its objectives are to develop, execute and articulate initiatives related to sustainability at ESPOL.
At ESPOL, active contributions are made to address the environmental dimension and coordinate actions in the economic and social dimensions with the different faculties and units.
The initiative seeks to develop activities in three areas of work: OPERATIONAL, ACADEMIC and COMMUNITY.
Operational area: Develop a plan for the physical campus to operate in the most efficient way in terms of water, energy and waste; identifying opportunities to generate circular processes.
Academic Area: Ensure that teachers and students develop a critical view of sustainability, complementing it with research and applying it both on the ESPOL campus and in their professional lives. Research topics include carbon footprint, applied sustainability, industrial ecology, circular economy, among others.
Community Area: Promote campaigns for students, teachers, administrative and maintenance staff, so that they apply the concepts of sustainability in their daily lives, in order to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and conserve ESPOL's resources.
In the Sustainability Program we work with the following ESPOL units:
- Center for Renewable and Alternative Energies (CERA)
- Physical Infrastructure Management
- Administrative Management
ESPOL participates in recognized rankings on sustainability issues worldwide, placing us in important positions.
For example, in 2020 GreenMetric ratified Politécnica del Litoral as the #1 University of Ecuador in sustainability.
In 2021, the Times Higher Education initiative called Impact Rankings, highlighted ESPOL as the number 1 public university of the Ecuadorian Littoral, for its performance in the following SDGs: Gender Equality, Reduction of Inequality and Decent Work and Economic Growth.
Ensures that teachers and students develop a critical view of sustainability, complementing it with research and applying it both on the ESPOL campus and in their professional lives. Research topics include carbon footprint, applied sustainability, industrial ecology, circular economy, among others..
Promote campaigns for students, teachers, administrative and maintenance staff to apply the concepts of sustainability in their daily lives, in order to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and conserve ESPOL's resources.
Develops a plan for the physical campus to operate in the most efficient way in terms of water, energy and waste; presenting an opportunity to generate circular processes.
Moving towards a Sustainable Higher Education Institution.
In July 2018, the first activity was developed with the academic units: the workshop Transitando hacia una Institución de Educación Superior Sostenible (Transiting towards a Sustainable Higher Education Institution). The objective of the workshop was to align the vision about sustainability in ESPOL, from the experience and work spaces of authorities and professors, outlining a route towards a Sustainable Higher Education Institution aligned to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The subject Sustainability Sciences is taught transversally to all students of the institution. The general objective of the course is to apply the core knowledge of the natural sciences through the understanding of environmental, economic and social challenges for the development of competencies aligned to the Sustainable Development Goals.
It consists of 5 chapters: Environment and Sustainability, Ecological Principles of Sustainability, Sustainable Use of Natural Resources, Sustaining Environmental Quality and Sustainable Development.
In relation to the postgraduate studies offered at ESPOL, some master's degrees related to Sustainability are shown below:
- Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering.
- Master's Degree in Industrial Eco-efficiency
- Master's Degree in Energy Systems
- Master's Degree in Climate Change
- Master's Degree in Sustainable Forest Management
- Master's Degree in Engineering Sciences for Water Resources Management
SUSTAINABILITY SUBJECTS IN ESPOL
To estimate the percentages of sustainability subjects for both undergraduate and graduate studies, a methodology from Monash University in Australia is used. It is based on keywords from the Sustainable Development Goals for each SDG. Thanks to the programming developed by our Programming Fundamentals student volunteers, we were able to align the keywords of the syllabus of all subjects taught at ESPOL with the keywords. Subsequently, each of them is reviewed to understand how many SDGs it complies with and if the subject encompasses the themes: environmental, economic and social. Below are the results for 2020 and 2021.
|NUMBER OF SUBJECTS SUSTAINABILITY
|NUMBER OF SUBJECTS SUSTAINABILITY
Research at ESPOL is carried out in groups, institutional centers and academic units.
Additionally, we have the Sustainable Engineering and Circular Economy Laboratory, whose work focuses on the following research topics:
- Sustainability of energy systems
- Sustainability of transportation
- Sustainability of materials
- Sustainability of higher education institutions: ESPOL
- Industrial Ecology
- Circular Economy
CARBON FOOTPRINT HC
The Carbon Footprint is an indicator that measures Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions in terms of CO2 equivalents and allows us to measure the impact that our activities have on climate change.
The methodology for calculating the campus Carbon Footprint is based on the International Standard ISO 14064 and the Greenhouse Gas Protocol by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the World Resources Institute, scopes 1 and 2.
This calculation is important because it facilitates the identification of the major sources of GHG generation and thus generate a mitigation action plan.
At ESPOL we measure the Carbon Footprint annually:
CARBON FOOTPRINT OF YOUR FOOD
Knowing the Carbon Footprint of food we can choose more sustainable options when choosing our food.
ESPOL's student clubs promote concepts related to Sustainable Development, which are applicable to our polytechnic community and external public. From the organization of webinars to the development of an agricultural monitoring system are the projects developed by students in the quest to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Ecofest is an event created by the ESPOL Sustainability Program to create a space for clubs to demonstrate their work towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The ESPOL Sustainability Program worked with the clubs during the year 2021 where they participated with projects related to different SDGs. This type of event demonstrates the work of our students and above all of the clubs, who continue their work for the SDGs with extracurricular activities.
Sustainability Awareness Talks to the Polytechnic Community
In cooperation with the Administrative Management, during 2021 we developed an awareness campaign on practical application issues, with 237 participants from our community. Also, 98 members of the guards, coordinators and security supervisors were included with the theme "Conservation of the Prosperina Protected Forest and Sustainability".
Learn about the best practices that are applied on our campus in order to make our operations sustainable:
BICIESPOL is an eco-friendly transportation project on campus, inaugurated in February 2016. This initiative has 139 bicycles with two parking stations, with capacity for 162 units, andeach- with a 2 km route.
In 2018, 40,230 bicycle loans were made, equivalent to 80,640 km traveled. Considering that for every kilometer traveled by bicycle 0.021 kg of CO2 are emitted, in that year 1,693.44 kg of CO2 were emitted compared to 20,885.76 kg of CO2 if the same trip had been made by car.
In 2019, 43,715 bicycle loans were made, making the same calculation, in 87,430 km traveled, 1,836.03 kg of CO2 were emitted compared to 22,644.37 kg of CO2 if the same trip had been made by car.
More information: http://www.bienestar.espol.edu.ec/BICIESPOL
The Sustainability Program conducted the measurement of Greenhouse Gas emissions from the operations of the Gustavo Galindo Velasco campus, through the calculation of the Carbon Footprint and it was determined that the most significant contribution corresponds to Electricity with about 66% in 2017, due to the use of air conditioning equipment due to the climate of Guayaquil.
This study is the basis for generating energy efficiency actions for climate change mitigation.
ENERGY MODELING OF BUILDINGS
The Center for Renewable and Alternative Energies, CERA-ESPOL, developed in 2018 an energy modeling study of the main campus buildings, to evaluate energy consumption, through the use of simulation tools.
For this purpose, geometric models of the buildings were developed based on architectural plans. In addition, information was gathered on the internal loads of the buildings in terms of lighting, electrical equipment, air conditioning equipment, number of occupants and envelope materials.
Read the scientific article: https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/8976931
Based on these results, an energy efficiency policy is being developed to ensure that energy efficiency standards are applied in the remodeling and construction of new buildings to reduce energy consumption.
REPLACEMENT OF CONVENTIONAL LUMINAIRES WITH LEDS
In recent years, conventional luminaires have been replaced by more efficient luminaires such as LEDs. In 2018, 1,650 lights were purchased for the campus.
RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES ON CAMPUS
Since 2019, a photovoltaic power plant with a capacity of 50 kW has been installed in the Rectorate building, which covers the demand for four central air conditioning units.
The photovoltaic power plant helps educate the community on the use of renewable, clean and environmentally friendly energy. These facilities function as a living laboratory for handson learning for students of various subjects taught at ESPOL.
Additionally, there are other projects on campus, such as the Bosque Protector La Prosperina, with four stations with a capacity of 50 Wh each to provide energy to the audio and video equipment that collects information on the flora and fauna of the forest.
En 1984 se realizó el estudio y diseño del lago 1, en un sector que originalmente era una quebrada, asimismo se crearon en el campus algunas albarradas y posteriormente el lago PARCON. Estos cuerpos de agua artificiales han llegado a convertirse en sistemas ecológicos vecinos del Bosque Protector La Prosperina, ubicado también en el campus.
Además de sus funciones en la preservación y conservación de especies, en el lago 1 se desarrollan actividades deportivas como kayak y de recreación. El lago 1 tiene una extensión de 6.55 ha y capacidad aproximada de 500.000 m3, que es recolectada del agua lluvia y de escorrentías en la época invernal, la cual se utiliza para el riego de áreas verdes del campus durante el resto del año.
Existe un sistema de bombeo junto al lago y un sistema de riego instalado en varias facultades del núcleo de ingenierías. También se utiliza un tanquerito para realizar el riego manualmente en una sección del parterre central de la vía principal del campus.
Se estima que durante el 2019 se utilizaron 40.844 m3 de agua del lago 1 para riego de áreas verdes.
There are three wastewater treatment systems at the Gustavo Galindo Velasco campus:
- Activated Sludge Wastewater Treatment Plant by "Total Oxidation" located in PARCON.
- Dissolved Air Flotation (DAF) Wastewater Treatment Plant located next to the Admissions building.
- Membrane Bioreactor (MBR) Wastewater Treatment Plant located in the Engineering Center.
These plants were conceived so that the treated water is reused for irrigation of the surrounding green areas. The treated water from the engineering core is used to irrigate the soccer field next to the WWTP.
Another water conservation program that is being progressively implemented is the replacement of faucets with water-saving devices such as automatic shut-off faucets and dualflush toilets.
Water troughs are installed throughout the campus so that the ESPOL community can drink fresh water. Through them we seek to encourage the use of reusable containers and avoid single-use plastics. In 2019, the disposal of 414,819 plastic bottles was avoided.
To estimate the amount of waste generated on campus, students of the subject Introduction to Environmental Management, carried out the characterization and volume of common waste, through practices.
For several years, the Gustavo Galindo Velasco campus has been developing the program for the use of organic waste to make compost that is subsequently used in the green areas of the campus).
Several campaigns have been carried out to promote plastic recycling on campus:
ESPOL is working to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals in the academic, operational and outreach areas. Learn about the programs and projects that are being implemented in our institution in our ESCUELA SUPERIOR POLITÉCNICA DEL LITORAL 2020 CONSOLIDATED SDG REPORT
In this section are available the documents related to Sustainability approved and in force.
Resolution of the Polytechnic Council of September 9, 2010, number 10-09-264, resolves to approve the document "Environmental Policy for campus protection and facilities" adopting it as the "ESPOL Environmental Policy".
This event has been held for two consecutive years, within the framework of i3lab's Innovation Week, with the aim of disseminating the concept of Circular Economy to the community and discovering opportunities for entrepreneurship in this area.
It was held at the STEM building and included the participation of international speakers, as well as workshops with representatives of the quadruple helix: government, business, civil society and academia.
More information: https://www.i3lab.org/i3week-guayaquilcircular
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was held in a virtual environment over two days. In the morning, exhibitors were presented and in the afternoon, a panel of experts on postCOVID-19 entrepreneurship opportunities.
More information: https://www.i3lab.org/i3week-gye-circular
The 2021 event was developed in hybrid mode: online and face-to-face. During the morning, topics towards the transition to Circular Economy were addressed and in the afternoon, working tables were held for the development of the Guayaquil Circular Recognition with the Municipal Public Company for the Management of Innovation and Competitiveness of Guayaquil, ÉPICO.
More information: https://www.i3lab.org/i3week-gye-circular
Write to us at:
Paulina Criollo, M. Sc.
Sustainability Program Director
Ángel Ramírez, Ph. D.
Director of the Sustainable Engineering Research Group at ESPOL and Coordinator of the Life Cycle and Circular Economy Network.
Ma. Auxiliadora Aguayo, Ing.
Analyst of the ESPOL Sustainability Program