Green Campus' three years in the making initiative, the Green Trail, was launched this week by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev President Prof. Rivka Carmi and Green Council heads Prof. Yaron Ziv and Sagi Langer. BGU ranks highly in the UI GreenMetric global rankings and has the most advanced green campus program of any Israeli higher education institution.
“The Green Campus initiative is not a simple undertaking. It comprises many different areas and aspects. It is also remarkable that a desert campus such as ours has managed to achieve so much," President Carmi said at the dedication of the Trail.
She also stressed its importance noting, “One of the goals of the University's involvement in this area is to educate those who did not grow up with the awareness of the need to take care of the environment. This Trail is an outstanding example and an excellent opportunity to promote environmental responsibility.
Langer, the University's Chief Marketing Officer, said “The full support of the entire administration for Green Campus is not to be taken for granted - this is what differentiates us from other institutions."
Prof. Ziv also praised President Carmi's leadership since Green Campus was established eight years ago and thanked her for her 12 years of service as president.
The Green Trail is comprised of 11 stations that highlight the eco-friendly aspects of BGU's Marcus Family Campus in Beer-Sheva. The trail starts at a solar-powered charging station opposite Bank Hapoalim next to the Zlotowski Student Center.
Other stations cover the university's efforts to conserve electricity, to recycle and to encourage the use of bicycles, among other things.
Did you know the Sir John and Lady Cohen pools at the Jacqueline Ann Ayrton Sports Hall are now largely heated by solar energy? Not only is it more environmentally friendly than the diesel gas they were using before, the heating costs dropped from almost NIS 1 million to NIS 30,000 annually.
Another station explains that the University covered all south and east facing windows on campus with a film that reduces heat from sunlight. As a result, air conditioning use has dropped 2% since the project was completed in 2015.
The Green Trail also offers information about bird-watching on campus and BGU students' efforts to beautify the surrounding neighborhoods through the Community Action Department.
In the coming days, footprints will be laid leading up to each station to intrigue students, faculty, staff and visitors traversing the campus, Prof. Ziv said.
The Green Campus initiative also awarded excellence prizes this week.
View the photo album from the Green Trail event and from the Green Campus initiative ceremony