The first signs of environment consciousness on MU campus are easy to spot:
The Manipal University campus is ISO 9001:2008 certified, as well as 14001:2004 compliant, which is a series of voluntary standards on Quality and Environmental Management Systems (EMS) by ISO. The EMS certification came in 2008, following a clearly-articulated Environment Management System laid down a year earlier.
MU Environment Policy: Our green guide
At MU, environmental protection is not just lip service or mere compliance with standards – our aim is to set benchmarks at a national and international level for good environmental management.
For a cleaner and greener Manipal, we are committed to:
Key focus areas
Environmental best practices within MU campus
We work within the framework of an Environmental Policy and indeed, are well aware of the environment as a ‘living’ entity that we sustain and protect even as we go about our daily activities.
So, what are the concrete steps we take to actually make this Policy work on the ground in the MU campus?
Solid waste management
Solid waste can be:
To manage solid waste effectively, it is important to segregate it prior to disposal; this is the only way to minimize its impact on the environment.
In the MU campus, our policy is to segregate the waste at the source, especially in residential quarters with the use of colour-coded bins.
When the waste reaches the final collection point, a visual inspection is carefully repeated to ensure proper disposal.
Proper disposal of domestic and garden waste
Proper disposal of biomedical waste
Hospital waste is disposed of as per the norms of the Pollution Control Board, since management and handling of biomedical wastes is governed by the Biomedical Waste (Management & Handling) Act and Rules, 1998.
Hospital waste is segregated at source in a strictly-implemented regimen, in colour-coded bins. Individual units send their biomedical waste to a central unit from where authorized agencies pick it up at regular intervals. They ensure the waste is treated and disposed of in a safe manner.
Education and training form an important part of the effective implementation of disposal processes; they are also a critical indicator, not only from the environmental point of view but also from the standpoint of employee and patient safety.
Disposal of hazardous wastes
E-waste like computers and accessories, compact fluorescent lights, printer cartridges are collected through separate waste streams and sent to authorized recyclers.
Waste water management
For management of our water resources, we scrupulously adhere to the 3 R’s: Reduce, Recycle, Reuse.
Three sewage plants treat the waste water generated in the entire MU campus. These have a combined capacity of 55 lakh litres per day.
There are two sullage treatment plants too, of a combined capacity of 3.2 lakh litres per day. Treated water from the sullage treatment plant is re-circulated to the flush system.
Treated water from other plants is used for gardening and arboriculture.
Dried sludge, a by-product, is used as manure for gardens.
Air quality monitoring
The air we breathe in the campus is clear and that is the way we like it. This is how we do it:
Diesel generators run the backup power for the MU campus. These generators are a source of emissions besides the emissions from boilers. All exhaust emission-stacks are as per height guidelines prescribed by regulatory authorities. Also, emissions are tested in-house to conform to environmental limits.
To control vehicle emissions on our campus, we have a government-recognized Emission Testing Centre. Its services are offered at highly subsidized rates, so that self-compliance to vehicle emission norms is not an expensive rule to comply with.
In MU, we harvest rainwater in two ways:
Rainwater collected from roof tops from existing down-takes is connected to a common header and led to a trickling sand filter having individual filtering capacity of 10,000 litres per hour. The filtered water is then led to a nearby sump and then piped for domestic use. Chlorination is done, if needed. This scheme is adopted for 20 buildings within our campus.
For recharging dry bore wells, a pit is excavated around the dead bore well and a filter medium is filled into the pit. Storm water drains and roof top rainwater pipes are diverted into this pit. The water gets filtered and recharges the bore well. We have adopted this in 11 locations around the MU campus.
Trees and shrubs are the ‘environmental lungs’ of the Manipal campus. These lungs soak up harmful carbon dioxide and convert it to oxygen.We try to develop all available open spaces through arboriculture and greenery.
Energy conservation is an ever-present theme in the planning and developing of all our campus facilities. We are also increasingly focused on renewable sources of energy like solar energy.
A few of the measures taken by us to make the Manipal campus energy conserved:
Solar Water heaters
Manipal, on coastal Karnataka, has an abundance of sunny days right through the year, except during the monsoons. It makes a lot of sense, therefore, for us to have solar powered heaters for our heating requirements. Currently, the total installed capacity of solar heaters is 375 cubic meters per day, and that is just a start.
Environmental goals for our future
Environmental awareness and best environmental practices are an ongoing journey at Manipal University; a state of mind that informs all our work and play.
In the near future, these are a few things we plan to do:
Awards and Recognitions
Our ongoing efforts have given us the following awards. We are proud of our achievements, and use all this recognition to benchmark ourselves against global environmental standards.