The University of Genoa - Energia 2020


The University of Genoa (Italy) developed the “Energia 2020” project, a R&D action within the Smart City & Sustainable Energy sectors. This innovative technology project, with an overall value of about 10 M€, has been funded by the University of Genoa, the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research, the Italian Ministry for the Environment and Liguria Region (a north west Italian district). “Energia 2020” was designed in order to implement within the Savona Campus facilities renewable and high-efficiency energy systems aimed at reducing operating costs and CO2 emissions.

The project is based on 4 main actions:

  • Smart Polygeneration Microgrid (SPM)
  • Smart Energy Building (SEB)
  • Energy Efficiency Measures (EEM)
  • Smart City Demo Campus (SCDC)

The SPM purpose is to efficiently and economically manage energy produced and distributed within the Campus, optimizing contributions coming from renewable sources. The SPM is equipped with a monitoring system for the electrical and thermal/mechanical grid, in charge of checking the functional status of all the grid’s elements and informing in case of problems or breakdowns. The SPM also includes a control and optimization system allowing consumptions’ forecasts, operations’ planning and real time control of the grid exchange, by regulating generation and consumption units.

SPM includes: a photovoltaic plant, three solar thermodynamics dishes, three cogenerating micro-turbines, two natural gas boilers, a refrigerating and absorbing plant, two electrochemical/thermal storages. Among SPM electrical loads, also some charging units for electro-mobility are included. These are connected to an E-car Operation Center platform and allow both G2V and V2G. Besides this, inside the Campus area a district heating system has been installed to satisfy the heating request. This is supported by micro-turbines and boilers thermal production, supervised by an EMS (Energy Management System) developed by the University of Genoa.

The SEB is an environmentally sustainable building connected to the SPM as a Prosumer (Producer and Consumer). It is equipped by a geothermal heat pump that covers 100% of winter and summer thermal demand of the building, a PV plant on the roof, solar thermal collectors, controlled mechanical ventilation plant, rainwater collection system, extremely low consumption led lamps and high performance thermal insulation materials for building applications and ventilated facades. It is a n-ZEB (nearly Zero Emissions Building) with a Building Management System (BMS) that interacts with the EMS of the SPM, to which is connected, and with a platform capable to evaluate in real-time the environmental and economic benefits due to its operation day-by-day. A peculiarity of the building is its Gym because it includes elliptical machines, tapis roulant and bikes electrically equipped in order to transform the Human Energy of people into Electricity for the SPM.

The EEM consists of energy efficiency interventions to increase the energy performance of some buildings inside the Savona Campus, reducing energy dispersions and CO2 emissions through the implementation of a central air conditioning system, based on the absorption chiller technology, and the installation of high-efficiency windows and doors. The project will be completed at the end of summer 2017 and includes also the development of a centralized control system to monitor and manage generation units (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) and loads (Lights, electrical appliances).

The Smart City Demo Campus is a new action, currently at the design stage and expected to be completed in 2019, to transform the Campus in a “Living Lab” of the City of the Future, installing new technologies in ICT, energy and environment sectors in order to show a real implementation of the Smart City concept to population and external stakeholders. Moreover, this activity includes the cooperation with the Italian DSO to test the capability of the SPM and SEB infrastructures to operate disconnected from the National Grid, relying only on the supply of renewables and storage systems.

For more information on “Energia2020” project:

ISCN Webinar: A Framework for Integrating Sustainability at the University of Melbourne

UoM Solar Panels 003

When: Wednesday, May 10, 5-6pm EST

'Growing Esteem' is The University of Melbourne’s strategic plan to 2020. It is based on the Melbourne vision of commitment to be one of the finest universities in the world, "contributing to society in ways that enrich and transform lives", and covers strategies from teaching and research, to the role of campuses. Growing Esteem includes the commitment to "embed the principles of sustainability in our work" which serves as an organising principle for decisions about the future of the University. Our efforts in developing the Sustainability framework directly address this institutional commitment.   

From mid-2015 to early 2017, the University developed a framework to articulate our commitment to sustainability and to integrate sustainability principles and practices across all our activities. The framework comprises a Charter, Plan and annual Report.

Growing Esteem states that "Melbourne will be guided by a Sustainability Charter, which will set out the values and principles through which the university will embed environmental and social sustainability in its work." The Charter also identifies a consistent set of commitments across all activities— research, teaching, engagement, operations and governance. The Charter binds all the University’s sustainability-related activities together under one framework with a unifying narrative about the University’s responsibility to lead and to act on sustainability and climate change.

The Plan translates the Charter commitments into targets and priority actions to 2020, and the process in developing Growing Esteem Development of the Sustainability Framework has been a powerful exercise that the University of Melbourne would like to share. In a webinar by Clare Walker, Associate Director of Sustainability at the University of Melbourne, the ISCN will explore the University of Melbourne’s Sustainability Framework, including the Sustainability Charter, Plan and Report. Clare will describe how the University of Melbourne went about developing the framework, how critical it was to involve the University community in the process and how this new framework is now informing activities across the organisation.

Please log in to the Members-Only website to register for this webinar.

About Clare Walker

Clare Walker 002Clare Walker is Associate Director, Sustainability at The University of Melbourne, leading the governance and strategy development of sustainability in accordance with the University’s core values and key University strategies. Based in the Chancellery, Clare oversees the integration of sustainability principles and practices into all University activities – research, teaching, engagement, operations and governance.

Clare is the Executive Officer for the Sustainability Executive, which has led the development of the University’s sustainability framework from mid-2015 to early 2017. This framework includes an enduring Sustainability Charter, a strategic plan for 2017-2020 and annual public reporting using the GRI standard.

The University of Melbourne aspires to lead strongly and act decisively in addressing the issues of sustainability and climate change. Clare is responsible for:

  • Developing the strategies and governance structures to deliver aspirations for global leadership in sustainability
  • Contributing significantly to the University’s reputation through engagement with significant sector, industry, government and community partners
  • Providing sustainability leadership to deeply engage the University community in delivery of the University’s aspirations

Clare has been with the University of Melbourne for nine years and brings extensive experience from the large corporate environment and academic study across a number of disciplines, together with a deep commitment to sustainability and the environment.

To learn more, please visit the University of Melbourne’s:

ISCN Member Spotlight: The University of Gothenburg Sustainability Efforts

The University of Gothenburg annually presents its sustainability results including a follow-up of the sustainability objectives decided in the action plan for environment and sustainable development. Some of the results from last year are presented below. 

Northern Europe joins together for sustainable solutions

The UN adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in 2015. These goals are to govern the development of policies, agendas and solutions over the forthcoming 15-year period, and the Centre for Environment and Sustainability (GMV read more ) was tasked with hosting the Secretariat for Sustainable Development Solutions Network Northern Europe (SDSN NE). The network brings together knowledge, experience and capacity within the region’s academia, trade, industry and civil society stakeholders in order to promote sustainable solutions for global challenges. (read more ).

University of Gothenburg Centers for Global Societal Challenges.

UGOT Challenges is a unique research initiative where the University of Gothenburg invests 300 million SEK in six multidisciplinary research centres. The premise is that a strong multidisciplinary research effort is needed to meet today’s global societal challenges. UGOT Challenges is a six-year initiative that started 2016. The six research centres cover many research disciplines together. All of them have significant multidisciplinary elements. Some initiatives are new; others start from earlier research structures that have extended as a result of the global challenges perspective:

AgeCap - Centre for Ageing and Health

The overall aim of AgeCap is to perform coordinated studies of capability in ageing. Capability refers to the individual’s ability to perform actions in order to reach goals he or she has reason to value.

CARe - Antibiotic Resistance Research

CARe is an interdisciplinary effort to meet the development of antibiotic resistance. The research centre will primarily focus on a crucial threat: multi-resistant carbapenamase producing enterobacteriaceae (CPE).

CCHS - Centre for Critical Heritage Studies

Centre for Critical Heritage Studies is a multidisciplinary research centre. The purpose of the research is to present alternative and critical interpretations of how we perceive a globalised world. A challenge is therefore to investigate how the past can be used in the present to create the future.

CeCAR - Centre for Large-scale Collective Action Research

CeCAR is a research centre established to seek the answers about the driving forces behind collective action. During which circumstances can large-scale collective actions occur?  

FRAM - Centre for Future Chemical Risk Assessment and Management Strategies

FRAM is a multi-disciplinary research centre focusing on chemical mixtures and chemical pollution on ecosystem services that are provided by rivers, lakes and coastal areas. 

SWEMARC - Aquaculture Centre West

Aquaculture Centre West’s aim is that through multidisciplinary and socially engaging research increase the production of food from the sea in a sustainable way.

Learn more about UGOT Challenges. 

Working Together with students for a Sustainable University

Three years ago, the idea of taking the Green Office concept to the University of Gothenburg was born. The Green Office is an international model in which students become actively involved in the environmental and sustainability work. Last autumn, two students were hired part time (20 %) to work on the project. They combine full-time studies with their jobs, which is to coordinate and develop the participation of students in the University’s sustainability efforts.

‘Many staff members and various groups at the University want to involve the students in the work but don’t know how to find them, and the students want to get involved but don't know who to contact. That’s where we can help,’ says Wilhelmsson who is one of the hired students.

Learn more about Students for Sustainability Office.

Learn more about Gothenburg’s students for sustainability.

University of Gothenburgs’ internal climate fund

In order to balance employees' carbon emissions from air travel, the University of Gothenburg offsets carbon emissions in an internal climate fund. Employees and students can apply for funding from the Fund for projects that reduce the universities´s emissions of greenhouse gases.

The purpose of the Climate Fund is to enable researchers, teachers, students and other employees to actively participate in the university’s efforts to reduce it´s climate impact. Funds can be given to projects that reduce the university's carbon footprint. This may involve direct action projects for energy efficiency or travel free meetings but also projects such as information dissemination and application of research.

Learn more about the Climate Fund.

Sustainability labelling of courses and study programs

The University of Gothenburg labels courses and programs that contain sustainable development with a sustainability label. The university's Board of Education has adopted ten integrative and holistic criteria that are to be applied in order to label a course or a study program. The background to the sustainability labelling, the selection of sustainability concepts, starting points for the criteria and the criteria to be used are described in the full document that can be downloaded on this website.

One purpose of the labelling is to follow up the university-wide goal in the Action Plan for Environment and Sustainable Development  to increase the integration of sustainable development in the education. Another purpose of the label is to visualize for students which courses and programs at the various faculties and departments that deal with sustainable development.

Learn more about the sustainability labeling of courses and study programs.

Call for Associate Editors: "Encyclopedia of the Sustainable Development Goals: Transforming the World We Want"

In September 2015, the UN General Assembly approved the “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”. On 1st January 2016, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development officially came into force.  The goals cover the three dimensions of sustainable development: economic growth, social inclusion and environmental protection.

The "Encyclopedia of the Sustainable Development Goals: Transforming the World We Want" is being produced by the World Sustainable Development Research and Transfer Centre and the Inter-University Sustainable Development Research Programme, being published by Springer, as part of the award-winning"World Sustainability Series".

The editor-in-chief is calling for expressions of interest from colleagues who may wish to support this project by acting as Associate Editors for specific volumes.

This is a honorary, i.e. non-paid position, but entails a wide visibility since the names of  the Associate Editors will appear in the second cover of the publication, as well as on the on-line version, which they will be able to access free of any charges. The tasks of the Associate Editors are: 

1. to supply the editorial team with 25 terms / expressions for use in one of the 17 volumes they choose to contribute towards, which will be the basis of a 5 to 6 pages chapter.

Each volume will have four associate editors, and will entail 100 terms. This means that each associate editor will thus oversee 25 entries per SDG-volume. The submissions will me made on-line we will upload the 25 terms you will provide, on the web site.

2. help us to identify suitable authors (among your contacts/colleagues) who will then write each chapter, tackling one term each. As mentioned above, each chapter consists of a text using a template provided, of 5 to 6 pages. Further details will be provided on the web site of the Encyclopedia, in due course.

Those who think may be able to take advantage of this opportunity and act as Associate Editors of the "Encyclopedia of the Sustainable Development Goals: Transforming the World We Want" should send the following details:





Selected SDG(s) (up to 2!) where you may act as Associate Editor:

to Svenja Scheday at: <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> by 4th April 2017.

Further details will then follow.