Each of the 1,100 employees and 10,000 students of Tallinn University can follow these recommendations and set an example towards shaping a sustainable society.
As key sources of knowledge, universities have a unique opportunity, and therefore a responsibility, to support and advise communities on social, cultural, economic and environmental issues in a way that is consistent with the principles of sustainable development for the society as a whole.
Tallinn University has, therefore, joined the Green Academic Footprint initiative of the Network of Universities from the Capitals of Europe to participate in making the principles of sustainable development a part of everyday life. We work closely with opinion leaders, policy makers, communities, businesses and other universities to share green practices to reduce our ecological footprint.
In 2012, we organised a competition for a green label, with which we recognise environmentally conscious activities at Tallinn University. The author of the green label (pictured) is Ado Tuuga.
Ten green recommendations for university members:
- Getting around. Come to university on foot, by public transport or by bicycle. Use the car as a last resort. Our university is the only university in Estonia that can be accessed by tram, which is one of the most environmentally friendly means of transport out there.
- Take the stairs. If possible, take the stairs to move between floors. Use the elevator only for distances of more than three floors, and take the stairs to get downstairs.
- Ventilation. In winter, only open the window to ventilate the room – do not use it to adjust the temperature. That is better done by adjusting the settings on the heater.
- Drinking your coffee. Bring your own mug when getting coffee (not to mention tea and water) to get a discount at university cafés. Use reusable tableware when organising coffee breaks. If you really need to go disposable, opt for recyclable materials. For edibles and drinks, prefer Estonian-made goods, ecologically produced and minimally processed if possible.
- Energy consumption. Set up your computer and other devices to consume minimal power – the IT department will be happy to help if needed.
- Printing. Print only when you really need to, and suggest that others follow suit. Meeting materials and other documents don't need to be on paper: the university premises are equipped with WiFi and all electronic materials are available at all times. If possible, set the printer to the lowest ink usage mode. Check whether the printer allows two-sided printing – if so, use this option.
- Recycling. Create as little rubbish as possible. However, as some waste is inevitable, sort it as follows: paper, organic waste, and recyclable packaging.
- Use water wisely. Don't let the tap run, just take as much as you need.
- Lighting. If you're the last to leave a room, turn out the lights.
- Set an example. Personal example is the strongest.