Thammasat University is moving closer to its goals set in the 12th Thammasat University Strategic Plan (2017-2021), focusing on the development of education that ‘responds to’ the future and pursuing ‘the best sustainable and smart university’ strategy.
Consequently, the university has prioritized its new role to create and promote ‘participation in the holistic environmental conservation’, connecting the way of life of more than 40,000 people living in the campus to the use of ‘Circular Living’ resources.
Assoc. Prof. Gesinee Witoonchart, Rector of Thammasat University, reveals that Thammasat University is an educational institution with a vision to become a full-fledged sustainable university in which students, staffs, lecturers, and all administrators are altogether the drivers of this campaign. As a result, Thammasat University is currently considered as a good ‘model’ for others in Thai society.
“The key in moving towards to ‘Smart University’ of Thammasat University is to create balance and sustainability for the society by reducing the use of energy, introduce alternatives for renewable energy through the Smart Energy Project, Smart Transportation Project, Waste Management Project, and reduce the use of plastic,” Gesinee said.
In this regard, Thammasat University, Rangsit Campus, has initiated the Solar Rooftop installation project with an objective to generate electricity at 10 megawatts or one in third of the amount of electricity used in the campus. Also, within the year 2020, all electrical equipment will be changed to energy saving, reducing the use of electricity by another 30%.
Recently, the shop namely ‘Term Tem Refill Shoppe’ has been opened in Thammasat University, Rangsit Campus, to offer bulk stores service, where users must carry their own packaging. Under the “Zero Waste” target to reduce waste to zero, this policy has encouraged our human resources to change their behavior, leading to the environmental preservation for this world.
Prof. Parinya Thewanaruemitkul, Vice Rector of Thammasat University for Administration and Sustainability, Rangsit Campus, said that the ‘Term Tem Refill Shoppe‘ shop project is one of tangible examples to show our commitment to reduce the use of energy because the product with a single-use plastic container consumes energy in production process, which more than 80% of the fuel come from fossils, heating the planet. Therefore, the refusing to the use since the beginning or reducing the use of plastic will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and will not create the waste disposal burden at the same time.
The ‘Term Tem Refill Shoppe’ consists of coffee shop, which does not use any plastic in any process and use only environmentally friendly containers. Meanwhile, the shop is a convenient store selling a variety of foods and goods to students and staffs of the university with no use of plastic bags.
Moreover, the university has also concerned with the zero-emission transportation system, without carbon dioxide emission. “We have already pushed forward the use of bicycles, electric scooter, and will soon kick off the electric vehicles (EV) project under the car sharing or carpool concept,” Parinya said.
The pilot project on ‘Green Space Add up‘ to absorb carbon dioxide, the remodeling the ‘deck‘ area of the building as a ‘chemical-free vegetable plot’ will be held at the ‘100-Year Puey Learning Park Building‘ in December 2019. Under the ‘Waste Management’ project, all convenience stores in the campus are now stop using single-use plastic containers, and will discontinue the plastic bags under every condition on January 1, 2020.
Dr. Parinya said that the important mission of the university is to achieve the ‘Sustainable Development Goals: SDGs’ as the most urgent issue on the chapter 13 on Climate Action, which aims to reduce global warming, resulting in Zero Carbon by 100% within seven years.
“Thammasat has shown the intention to raise awareness and change the attitude towards sustainability of students, lecturers, personnel, as well as general people to turn to pay attention to the environment through various policies. Finally, Thammasat University has become a leader in sustainable management in the educational institute,” he said.
With the university’s vision and cooperation of all parties, Thammasat University has created an environmentally friendly network and is moving towards a sustainable educational institution – a Smart University of the future.