On Earth Day, Hebrew U Announces Center for Sustainability
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem announced the establishment of a Center for Sustainability, with an initial allocation of $1 million. The new center, announced on Earth Day 2021, is meant to increase environmental research and teaching within the university and to promote sustainability projects across Israel, the university said in a statement.
The center, which will be directed by agriculture Prof. Yael Mishael and also led by representatives from all Hebrew University campuses, will retain university fellows and graduate students, and will work with government officials, leaders in civil society and the private sector to promote sustainability efforts across Israel. The center’s first initiative will be an international conference in June 2021 to outline the center’s goals and avenues for potential partnerships.
The university on Thursday also announced plans to expand its “green campus.” Under the initiative, the university will increase the use of renewable energies, including the installation of solar panels at the Rehovot and Safra campuses, and will swap its current cooling systems for Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) technologies that reap significant energy savings. The university also will discontinue the use of all one-use and disposable utensils and will provide incentives, including financial ones, to encourage faculty and students to use public transportation and hybrid vehicles.
Among its initial academic programs, the center will fund new research that advances sustainability, with an emphasis on interdisciplinary and inter-campus collaborations.