The very fact that Unicusano University is an on-line institution means that it was ‘born green’ by nature; all the lessons take place on line in digital form, and the provision of interactive video lessons, slides, tests and e-books mean that students can study without the need for materials printed on paper. This eco-friendly set-up means a significant reduction in the use of paper, as well as a reduced consumption of water and energy used in producing and distributing paper materials, and as a result, a reduction in the amount of CO2 released into the environment. Furthermore, the fact that our students can follow lessons using portable devices such as tablets and smartphones also means that they have very little need to travel to and fro from campus, and this in turn helps reduce the overall level of CO2 emissions.
In order to encourage studies in the field of ecology and sustainability, Unicusano is giving its students the possibility of taking exams in this area by offering a course in Environmental Law within the degree courses in Law and in Economics. The topic of environmental sustainability is supplemented by a series of national and international study projects carried out by our researchers. This work is of a standard worthy of being published in major international journals such as the Fordham Urban Law Journal and legal research databases like HeinOnline, in collaboration with New York University
Another research project involving know-how in the field of sustainability is one dealing with ‘ the future economic value of alternative sources of energy’, within the Degree Course in Economics. The project meets the needs of professional know-how required by the job market and opens up opportunities in theenvironment-energy field, especially in Italy, where the demand is rapidly increasing in contrast with the offers provided by the job market, especially as concerns professionals with high-level skills in the field.
Niccolò Cusano University, in partnership with our Department of Engineering, has allocated a part of the funds provided for research to the development of environment-friendly projects as regards transportation and the measurement of CO2 emissions.
The Hi-Quad Project
The university has developed a project of electric power-trains, in partnership with other investors in the research and development of new sustainable technologies. This is a new high-tech environment-friendly road vehicle that can cover short distances at minimum expense and minimum environmental impact: the Hi-Quad. It is designed to be a roadworthy four-wheel drive vehicle with a lowconsumption low- emission hybrid engine, built with new materials, comfortable and in compliance with all road safety standards, and which does not pollute the ecosystem. The Hi-Quad project is designed to encourage the public to use environment-friendly transport, and the researchers involved are developing improvements in its design and function in order to reduce the costs of production.
For more information, visit the site www.hiquad.it
The carbon footprint calculator project
“You can’t improve it if you can’t measure it”. We at Unicusano are conscious of the climate changes that have been taking place in recent years all over the world, and we have decided to do something to help reduce the emission of carbon dioxide. The university has launched the project of a carbon footprint calculator to measure the levels of CO2 produced during a normal working day on campus, such as the use of electricity, transportation, meals provision and the purchasing of goods and services that produce CO2 emissions.
The development of the carbon footprint calculator follows the new European regulation iso/ts 1467 and is carried out by Accredia (www.accredia.it), which has exclusive rights to the project at a national level.
Look after a plant
Since here at Niccolò Cusano University we are always interested in environmental issues, we have launched a campaign on campus to make our students and staff more aware of how to behave in an environmentally-friendly way. A part of this is our organic market-garden located on the campus premises, where vegetables and fruit are cultivated biologically for the benefit of university personnel and students; in fact, our canteen is supplied with fresh products in season, directly from our organic garden. To heighten our students’ respect for nature, the university invites them to take part in the ‘adopt a plant’ project, which involves renting a small plot in our market-garden. Participants can enter the garden at times allotted them, and with the help of an expert learn all the techniques and secrets needed to look after the plants in their plot. We feel this is a unique way to let our students come into direct contact with nature and to learn from it, and to sensitise them to important environmental and dietary questions.
Tell us about your eco-holiday
It’s perfectly possible to have a holiday that is respectful of nature and which has a low environmental impact. There are many itineraries in Italy and elsewhere that can be enjoyed in an environmentally-friendly way, and where we can help to protect both the natural and cultural heritage of our planet.
Walking, getting to know different customs and lifestyles, eating and playing sports are all activities that can be carried out in a ‘green’ fashion.