ISCN 2017 Sustainable Campus Excellence Award Winners Announced!

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Vancouver, Canada, June 29, 2017.  Higher education is an exciting and growing area for sustainability, with many opportunities to reduce impact through innovation and leadership.  For this reason, top-tier universities from across the world have joined forces through the International Sustainable Campus Network (ISCN), to incorporate sustainability in their teaching, research, and campus operations.

Every year the ISCN conference brings together thought leaders, practitioners and change agents for a unique opportunity to exchange perspectives and form global partnerships in pursuit of sustainability. This year, the University of British Columbia and City of Vancouver co-hosted the ISCN 2017 Conference, Climate.City.Campus. and welcomed registrants from 31 countries and 78 higher education institutions.

At a global level, climate change is one of the biggest sustainability issues of our time. At a regional level, cities create huge impact – both positive and negative. At a local level, campuses also make an impact. These themes were interwoven at ISCN 2017 Climate.City.Campus.

ISCN 2017 served as a platform for exploration, discussion, learning, and networking. Adding to this diversity, ISCN 2017 at UBC also boasted registrants from a variety of roles and disciplines within the university-city-corporate landscape. This conference demonstrated the power of collaboration between campuses and cities and attendees gained insight into the UBC-CoV strategic relationship as well as practical examples from ISCN member institutions.

One of the most anticipated events was the ninth annual ISCN Sustainable Campus Excellence Award Ceremony on June 29th, 2017 at the University of British Columbia. These awards recognize universities for exceptional sustainability efforts in campus planning, integration with academics, student leadership, and exemplary building projects. 

Matthew Gardner, 2017 ISCN Jury Chair, claimed: “We are always impressed by the Campus Excellence Award entries--and this year was no different. The passion that went into each project was nearly palpable; it was challenging picking the winning candidates. This was an excellent group to judge.” 

The awards for this year included the Building and Innovative Infrastructure Award, Campus Planning and Management Systems Award, Innovative Collaboration Award, and Student Leadership Award. A brief description of each is listed below:

The winners of the 2017 ISCN Sustainable Campus Excellence Awards are:

  • Building and Innovative Infrastructure Award: National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore
  • Campus Planning and Management Systems Award: University of Applied Sciences Trier, Germany
  • Innovative Collaboration Award: Swarthmore College, United States
  • Student Leadership Award: Chiba University, Japan
 “The winners provided excellent examples of innovation in higher education sustainability.  It was an honor to for us to award these great efforts and provide global recognition that show leadership in sustainability.” said Zena Harris, the 2017 ISCN Executive Director.


The awards are open to any college or university worldwide that has developed outstanding planning, construction, or educational projects that promote sustainability on campus and in the surrounding community. Each year, an international panel of experts serves on the jury to review award applications and select the ISCN Award winners.

About the ISCN:

The ISCN provides a global forum for universities pursuing sustainability across their educational and research missions, and operations. ISCN Members commit to sustainability principles and report their performance according to the ISCN-GULF Sustainable Campus Charter which was jointly developed with the World Economic Forum's Global University Leaders Forum. Founded in 2007, the ISCN features international awards, conferences, and working groups to promote best practice exchange. More information on the ISCN and its Members can be found at

ISCN Contact:

Heather Vickery
ISCN Network Relations Manager
c/o Sustainserv, Inc. 
31 State Street, 10th floor
Boston, MA 02109
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi joins the ISCN!

We are thrilled to formally welcome King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi into the ISCN!

King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT) is an engineering and technology academy in Thailand, focusing on teaching, researching as well as serving industry. It is located in Thung Khru district, Bangkok and was founded on April 18, 1960.

"For the current and future generation of students, sustainability is a leading issue. We want to educate our students and encourage them to learn outside of the classroom by transforming our campuses to be an ideal environment for developing awareness and innovative solutions to problems that will improve the world for current and future generations. To do that, our initiatives focus not only on campus operations but also on educating our students and working with our colleagues to ensure our graduates are environmentally conscious. Our campaigns are in place for reduce, reuse, recycle, energy conservation, water and waste management, purchasing and transportation, and planning for new construction and building renovation" states Sakarindr Bhumiratana, President of KMUTT. 

“We are delighted to welcome KMUTT into the ISCN and look forward to providing a platform for international value exchange and partnership on campus sustainability” says Bernd Kasemir, Secretary of the ISCN Board.

For more information on the ISCN, please visit:

For inquiries, please email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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

'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 view 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: