2020 YTU Sustainable Campus Report.

In the face of changing world conditions, sustainability, innovation, and leadership in higher education institutions play a significant role. This report is a snapshot of our University’s efforts in the field of sustainability for the year 2020. The said Report demonstrates our commitment to improving the lives of our current students and staff, as well as enhancing the expectations of a healthy life for future generations. We are also acutely aware that we need to work even harder to make further progress in this area in the coming periods.

Yıldız Technical University has begun taking steps to be a part of future responsibilities, with the belief that climate change and environmental sustainability will pose a serious threat in the future. From the moment we assumed our duties, we accelerated our efforts in this field, believing that sustainability, research-innovation, and commercialization activities play a key role for our University. Our goal is to facilitate transportation with low-carbon vehicles on our campuses, to reduce carbon emissions by promoting vehicle-free/micro-mobility, to recycle waste, to make plans for developing world-class education and research facilities, to create social awareness, and to contribute to sustainability for our campus, our country, and the entire world. Fulfilling these responsibilities for future generations should be our common goal and commitment. Every member of society has a role to play in this effort. Therefore, we must continue to generate new ideas and encourage exciting innovations through interdisciplinary collaboration while developing solutions to global challenges.

Our university continues its work in producing innovative solutions in systems like solar and hydrogen energy, which are renewable energy sources, as part of its innovation and commercialization efforts, and is demonstrating leading activities in this field globally. In addition, by contributing to research on human impacts on climate change and developing policies, we are aiding in the development of social projects and making progress towards a more sustainable future. In this sense, our university’s educational and research infrastructure in engineering, architecture, urban and regional planning, climate science, economics, business administration, public health, policy development, design, and business fields has a unique capacity to accelerate the transition from non-renewable to renewable energy sources. Moreover, it is determined to model an institutional path towards a more sustainable campus.

The Yıldız Technical University Sustainability Plan is a critical and necessary step towards building a more sustainable future. I would like to express my deep appreciation to the Chair of the Sustainable Campus Commission, Prof. Dr. Çiğdem Polatoğlu, and the commission member professors for leading the development of this Plan. I also thank the administrative staff, faculty members, and students who contributed to the creation of the Plan. You can follow our university’s sustainability projects at kampus.yildiz.edu.tr. While I am pleased with the progress we have made in a short time, I am also aware that we still face many challenges on our journey to becoming a sustainable university. I hope this inspiring report encourages us all to rethink how we can contribute to the construction of a safe, sustainable future or society.

Prof. Dr. Tamer YILMAZ
The Rector

YTU Faculty of Civil Engineering is the recipient of the YÖK 2020 Barrier-Free University Accessibility in Space (Orange Flag) Award.

Within the framework of the ‘Barrier-Free Universities Awards’ organized by the Council of Higher Education (YÖK), aimed at creating awareness about and expanding good practices for the accessibility of spaces, educational opportunities, and socio-cultural activities for individuals with disabilities in higher education institutions;

Our university’s Faculty of Civil Engineering has been deemed worthy of the ‘YÖK 2020 Barrier-Free University Accessibility in Space (Orange Flag) Award’ for its efforts in making the necessary adaptations, infrastructure, and equipment available to support the participation of disabled students in educational, social, and cultural activities, and for establishing an accessible ecosystem within the university.

These efforts, aimed at ensuring the full, effective, and equal participation of individuals with disabilities in higher education, encompass not only physical accessibility but also include the socio-cultural activities in which our disabled students directly contribute, and the work done to make education accessible.

Campus Residents Identify Plants with QR Codes

A comprehensive database project is being prepared that includes specific characteristic information of plants to preserve the rich biodiversity of the Yıldız Technical University Davutpaşa Campus. Within this project, led by YTU Smart Cities Application and Research Center (AŞUAR), a QR code software application is being developed to assist in the identification of plants. Campus residents will be able to scan these QR codes to access plant tags and obtain detailed information.

Professor Dr. Mustafa Var, who is leading the plant database creation process, stated about this project: ‘The purpose of this project, which supports our university’s ‘Green Campus’ approach, is to spark curiosity about plants, promote them, and increase awareness. With a database that includes the names, growing conditions, native habitats, and aesthetic characteristics of plants, our campus, rich in a wide range of natural and exotic taxa, will enable not only our students but also all our academic-administrative staff and other residents of our campus to better understand our biological values.

Initially, this project for the plants in the Davutpaşa campus will also continue with the plants in the Yıldız campus. In addition, QR-coded information panels will be placed for the historical structures and buildings within the campus, thereby allowing more information to be obtained about the intriguing features of these buildings.

YTU Became a Holder of the ‘Zero Waste Certificate’

The concept of “Zero Waste”, which involves preventing waste, using resources more efficiently, reviewing the causes of waste formation to prevent or minimize waste generation, and ensuring the separate collection and recovery of waste at its source, is on the agenda both globally and in our country. This approach helps to increase resource use efficiency, prevent environmental pollution and the risks associated with pollution, and reduce overall costs by generating economic gains from products included in the circular economy [1].

In our country, as part of the Zero Waste efforts conducted by the Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning, various entities such as municipalities, shopping malls, hospitals, workplaces, organizations, marinas, schools, hotels, restaurants, residential complexes, terminals, and universities have been encouraged and guided to establish the “Zero Waste” system, with numerous supportive and instructive materials created [2].

Waste management, which is one of the most important steps towards becoming a sustainable campus, is currently being conducted in association with various activities within the boundaries of our university campus. The wastes generated on the campus are classified into different categories such as medical waste, waste oil, recyclable waste, organic waste, and are stored separately according to their categories, with each being managed in accordance with the regulations of their respective category. With this waste management model, following an application made through the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization’s Zero Waste Information System, the necessary examinations were conducted by the ministry, and Yıldız Technical University has been entitled to receive the Basic Level Zero Waste Certificate.

Yıldız Technical University has become the first state university in Istanbul to earn the ‘Zero Waste Certificate’ by establishing the Zero Waste Management System at its Davutpaşa Campus.

[1]  [2]

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