"For the umpteenth time, we have defended our primacy in the Czech Republic, and given that the number of universities evaluated in this ranking is expanding considerably, I consider CZU's evaluation to be very good, even considering the growing global competition. Increasingly more universities are taking responsibility for their activities. The excellent research and projects that our university tackles, together with the effort to educate high-quality graduates, predestined it to set an example for other higher education institutions," says the Vice-Rector for Quality of Academic Activities, prof. Petr Valášek.
The UI Green Metric University Ranking validates and evaluates data in six main categories. These include infrastructure, energy and climate change, waste management, water management, transport, and education. Adaptation to the global coronavirus pandemic was newly assessed this year.
Last year, the recently built Tropical Agriculture Pavilion won the Adapterra Awards 2021 in the Working Environment category for the best projects responding to climate change. CZU also received the award for first place in the National Award of the Czech Republic for social responsibility in the category Public sector, large and medium-sized enterprises - smart innovations.
In 2021, when the coronavirus pandemic still dampened many activities, CZU completed several projects contributing to campus development, modernization, and innovation. In addition, the university continuously undertakes several activities that contribute to the efficient operation of the organization.
On its campus on the outskirts of Prague, CZU is proud of many green technologies that mitigate adverse impacts on the environment and contribute to a better climate. These include green roofs, whose surface is covered by various plants, including smaller trees. In most cases, green roofs drain rainwater into retention tanks, where the water is reused for irrigation or toilet flushing. Green roofs cool the surroundings, improve air quality, increase biodiversity, help save water, and protect roofs' surfaces from external influences, thereby extending their lifespan. Another example is filter devices, which save around 10,000 kg of plastic annually.
On the campus, we can find flowery meadows, parks, areas densely covered with trees, Libosad, beds with edible fruits and herbs, experimental agricultural fields, ponds, wetlands, stables with animals, and thousands of ornamental plants. Composting of organic waste, which makes up a large proportion of the total waste of CZU, is also part of the care of the grounds. Last year, 165 tons of organic waste were composted on campus. Students and employees have the opportunity to use five different types of composters on campus. In addition, all waste – including metals, toners, and electrical waste – is comprehensively sorted on the site. The CZU joinery, for example, uses all its wood waste to produce briquettes or sawdust, which are used in the CZU stables.
CZU supports the circular economy and offers its students more favourable tariffs for using Uniqway carsharing services in cooperation with Škoda Auto. The CZU Free Shop also operates on campus, which accepts functional items no longer needed by someone, which would otherwise end up as waste, and donates them free of charge to new owners who can still serve well. The so-called Reuse points work similarly in the CZU Library and the dormitories. In some on-campus restaurants, it is possible to purchase returnable thermos cups for coffee or ReBoxes for food. In the CZU Shop in the canteen, you can buy many packaging-free drugs products, fair trade, and organic products.
The Czech University of Life Sciences regularly encourages students and employees to adopt a sustainable approach. As part of the CZU Campus Sustainability Challenge, they have the opportunity to come up with a proposal for a new measure or project that will help the university become a more sustainable institution. Selected projects are implemented with the support of management. In addition, anyone can submit their suggestions on sustainability at CZU on the website csr.czu.cz.
You can find out about individual projects within the sustainability framework on the websites of individual faculties or the CZU CSR website.