Environment and Climate Change
In the last years, Ca' Foscari undertakes to improve energy and water management and to reduce environmental university impact, safeguarding the delicate ecosystem to which Ca' Foscari belong. In the following, the actions developed in the fields of mobility, environmental performances, environmental certifications and waste are listed.
Since 2010, the University has been assessing and quantifying its carbon footprint, as well as determining the main emission sources and processes involved. From 2010 to 2014, this process was developed thanks to the "Carbon Management" project, funded by the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea (Ministero dell’Ambiente e della Tutela del Territorio e del Mare, MATTM). Ca' Foscari was the first Italian university to launch a carbon footprint quantification project, which was also used to draw up the "Guidelines for the Carbon Management of Italian Universities" published in July 2011. In line with the University's strategy, December 2018 saw the publication of the "2018-2020 University Plan for the Reduction of Carbon Emissions", which included specific targets for the reduction of energy consumption and carbon emissions, waste management, sustainable mobility, green procurement and resource use. The actions put in place to achieve said targets included administrative, teaching and research activities, as well as the promotion of university campuses as real sustainability laboratories, as part of an integrated approach.
In 2020, the University set up a scientific committee to oversee the drafting of the "2022-2030 Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Plan", which will include strategies and actions aimed at reducing the University's carbon footprint through mitigation and offsetting actions, on the one hand, and making the University more resilient to adverse climate events and reducing recovery costs related to air pollution, extreme weather events, heat waves, energy and water stress, on the other.
In recent years Ca’ Foscari has been engaged in the renovation of its buildings, with works that have substantially altered their original characteristics.
In fact, additional spaces have been freed up for functional use, while new buildings and university complexes have been designed to cater for the needs for extra space due to the growing numbers of students, at the same time guaranteeing the right conditions for top quality research with more equipment and instruments, and in a safe environment.
The University has concentrated its construction activities to those areas of the city and mainland area with great potential, the aim being to regenerate and revitalise these, whilst always bearing in mind the delicate Venetian ecosystem.
LEED certification at Ca' Foscari
LEED® is an energy and sustainability certification standard: a set of criteria for the design, construction and management of buildings that are sustainable from an environmental, social, economic and health perspective. The certification is awarded by assigning a score depending on the achievement of measurable requirements - from energy consumption to indoor environment quality - that define the level of environmental impact of buildings in the various areas of sustainability.
Ca' Foscari has obtained the LEED certification for its headquarters, Palazzo Foscari, a late-Gothic building dating back to 1453: one of the oldest in the world holding this certification. The certification was obtained in 2013 (Certified level) and renewed in 2018 (Silver level).
The certification process is underway for the new Scientific Campus building, Epsilon, whose sustainability features the University aims to obtain the LEED Gold certification.
The recycling in Ca' Foscari has been launched in 2010 in the main building and in San Giobbe Campus, through the "Ra.Di.Ca. - Raccolta Differenziata a Ca' Foscari" project, in collaboration with VERITAS SpA.
In 2011, the project has been extended, to all the other university buildings in Venice, Mestre and Treviso.
In the correct waste management there are two complementary goals:
- to improve the recycling system in the university buildings and the following process of requalification;
- to promote and give value to sustainable behaviours in the university community, especially in daily behaviour, such as the waste production and its differentiation, the purchase and the conscious use of goods and resources.
To efficiently respond to students and staff expectations, solutions are implemented and integrated with the activities of the cleaning and concierge service company.
Awareness initiatives for students and staff are included in the activities. For exemple the partecipation to the European Week for Waste Reduction, staff training for the Cleaning Company on university waste collection procedure and all the activities that engage students in a direct way.
Ca' Foscari "plastic-free"
In occasion of the beginning of the new academic year on September 2019, Ca’ Foscari University will adopt many new plastic-free initiatives. First of all, metal water bottles will be given to students enrolled on the academic year 2019-2020 and the number of water cooler will be increased in many university’s buildings.
Secondly, water plastic bottles and glasses will be replaced by glass jugs and glasses in every institutional meeting and conference.
Thirdly, also the catering service of the university will be more sustainable. In fact, Ca’ Foscari University has concluded an agreement with its service providers in order to prevent the use of any kind of single-use plastic object. Moreover, different types of food will be available in the catering service such as vegetarian food, biological food, fair trade and 0km food.
Lastly, plastic glasses and scoops will be replaced with compostable material stuff in coffee machines present in Ca’ Foscari’s buildings and it will be possible to choose the “no glass” option so people could use their personal cups.
For the last two years, the University has been engaged in promoting sustainable behavior, by incentivizing its whole community to partake in daily actions which can reduce the environmental impact and stimulate the responsible use of resources.
Since November 2017, water coolers have been installed in many of the University main buildings. This initiative aims to significantly reduce the amount of disposable plastic bottles used by students and staff, encouraging the use of reusable water bottles instead.
The water cooler dispenses water coming from the public supply of the city, which gets analyzed daily to ensure its purity and safety. Furthermore, the water cooler contains an activated charcoal filter and a cooling system.
The water coolers are located in the break rooms and in the following buildings:
- Ca' Foscari - Main Building
- Ca' Cappello
- Scientific Campus in Mestre - Zeta building
- Malcanton Marcorà
- S. Basilio - New wing
- S. Giobbe - Fondamenta San Giobbe entrance, first break room.
Like all Public Administrations, Ca’ Foscari University makes most of its purchases through Consip (Authority for Public IT) and MePA (Italian Public Administration e-Marketplace) the procurement platform managed by Consip. Consip is a joint-stock company set up by the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance as a Central Purchasing Body, which develops innovative purchase procedures and tools (agreements, e-Marketplace, framework agreements) for administrations and companies. Under a series of specific agreements, it provides the single administrations with support throughout the procurement process.
The Italian Public Administration e-Marketplace, or MePA, guarantees Public Administrations, transparency and traceability in every step of the procurement process, allowing them to compare products offered by suppliers throughout Italy and giving PAs the opportunity to make requests for quotations.
Green Public Procurement
In 2015 the University set up a specific project entitled “Green Public Procurement (GPP). Restraints and opportunities for business and public administrations” in collaboration with the Fondazione Ca’ Foscari and thanks to funding from the local Chamber of Trade (Camera di Commercio Venezia Rovigo Delta Lagunare).
The purpose of this project was to spread the culture of corporate social accountability within both public administrations and local businesses, using Ca’ Foscari’s Central Administration as a case study.
Green Purchases or GPP - Green Public Procurement is a process whereby public authorities seek to procure goods, services and works with a reduce environmental impact throughout their life cycle when compared to goods, services and works with the same primary function that would otherwise be procured.
Ca’ Foscari is committed to promoting the sustainable mobility and a low environmental impact through a series of conventions dedicated to personnel, for travels to and from work.
The University adheres to the initiatives promoted by the mobility manager of the area focused on promoting the use of local public transports. The mobility manager of the provincial area of Venice has stipulated a conversation with the operators providing local public transport in the Venetian area to sell annual subscriptions for firms adhering to the mobility management initiatives.
The Venetian Firm for Mobility S.p.A (AVM) has made the places within Mestre’s Bicycle Park available to university employees so that they can park their car for a charge and safely ride a bike for a reduced price.
Besides this, the university has stipulated a convention with the cooperative that manages the Bike Park with the purpose to offer a service of bike reparation and maintenance for users and the possibility to buy a new bike at discounted prices.
Bike sharing at the Scientific Campus
In 2016 the new bike sharing station of Via Torino was inaugurated at the entrance of the Scientific Campus.
The venue created by the collaboration between the University and the City of Venice creates a system of links between the railway station of Mestre and the university campus, in the name of sustainable mobility. Bike sharing can help to achieve this by using the following services:
- accessibility: ease enrollment and use;
- affordability: low rates, with free use for the first hour;
- flexibility: no reservation obligation;
- capillarity of the service: there are 19 cycling stations located on the municipal territory, to move easily from one point to the other in the city in extreme autonomy.
This is an automated, 24-hour bicycle rental service that provides bicycles, located at the city's strategic points, which the user can take at any time, without booking, using the the IMOB / Venezia UNICA membership card, which is enabled after registration.
Ca' Foscari University of Venice has about 15.000 m2 of green areas, divided into gardens of various sizes, shrubberies and outside areas. The University also owns about 90 big trees, all of which are catalogued.
Furthermore, in the interests of sustainability, the University aimed its efforts towards the realization of plans and technical practices with a low environmental impact.
The University has then opted for lawns with grass that can be walked on, which require less water and where what gets mowed can stay where it is and become organic matter. At the same time, pruning clippings are ground up and delivered back to the soil, without any kind of waste.
Drip irrigation limits water usage without posing any danger for the plant.
Lastly, Ca' Foscari is trying to avoid synthetic pesticides and fungicides completely, in favor of organic substitutes.
Last update: 01/02/2023