Cleaner energy, energy savings, efficient resource management and responsible consumption are the pillars that support the University of Oviedo energy savings and sustainability plan.
The University of Oviedo has adopted different measures to guarantee its functioning as a teaching and research institution while at the same time striving for a sustained reduction in its Ecological Footprint. An energy savings and sustainability plan was put into action in 2009, which was later reinforced within the framework of the Campus of International Excellence. Among others, the following actions stand out:
The University of Oviedo has installed electric charging stations and parking spaces for bicycles on some campuses to promote the use of this type of green transport
- Elimination of highly polluting heating systems.
- Installation of an Energy Information System (EIS), which monitors electricity, water and natural gas consumption in real time.
- Installation of a Facility Control System (FCS), which takes advantage of modern control technologies to satisfy user comfort needs (climate control and lighting) with the least possible demands on the various resources.
- Improvement of lighting system efficiency, replacing traditional lighting with highly efficient modern, long-life systems (LED and high-frequency fluorescent lighting), as well as dividing up circuits into autonomous sectors, presence detectors, flow regulators, time switches and other devices which technology currently makes available to us.
- Adoption of a complete waste management system.
Electricity and natural gas are the main resources presently used in university facilities. The contribution of renewable energies to this energy mix is, for the moment, a one-off occurrence, such as the solar power plant connected to the network on the Mieres Campus, or for educational or research purposes, such as the isolated solar power plant and the solar collector on the Gijón Campus.
One of the latest actions in alternative energy use is found in the Research Building and Student Residency on the Mieres Campus, where a climate control system, in the former, and the heating, in the latter, work with geothermal energy by exploiting the mine water from the Barredo Pit (whose entrance is located on the very campus).
The University of Oviedo collaborates with other institutions, like the City Councils of Oviedo and Gijón, on campaigns to foster the use of bicycles to get around the campuses, the use of electric vehicles and the reduction of CO2 emissions.
To support measures of this type, the academic institution has established a Bicycle Office: a web section which collects experiences and data on the use of this vehicle. In addition, bike stands have been installed on some of the campuses in the centre of the city, while electric charging stations have been installed for vehicles on the Gijón Campus.
In short, the University not only seeks economic and energy savings, but also to extend the culture of responsible energy consumption throughout the entire university community. To this end, promotional energy saving campaigns are undertaken, aimed at both improving user awareness of this issue and informing them regarding good practices in the use of the facilities.
The University of Oviedo aims to actively participate in the global fight against the consequences of climate change. To do so, it collaborates with European Union policies concerning member states reducing the effect of greenhouse gases, as well as with the main objectives of the UN Academic Impact Programme, in which it participates.