Developing the Ecological Footprint Assessment for a University Campus, the Component-Based Method

Salah Vaisi, Hooshmand Alizadeh, Werya Lotfi, S. Mohammadi

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Abstract

Global warming has become an increasing challenge due to the impact of human activities on the environment. In this regard, university campuses with various activities and departments have a great impact on the environment. Ecological Footprint Analysis (EFA) is a natural resource depletion assessment tool, with a high level of accuracy, that measures the impact of human activities on the environment. Considering the Ecological Footprint (EF) capabilities, this study developed a method to assess the environmental impacts of a university campus using component-based parameters. The goals of the study are to explore the effective components of EF and to propose some policy guidelines to diminish the human impacts on the environment on university campuses. Five components, including natural gas and electricity consumption, water and food usage, and waste production, were measured in a survey from 2013 to 2016 at the building scale. The mean EF of the campus was 16,484 global hectares (gha). Fossil fuel energy had the highest level of environmental impact with 70.73%, followed by waste production and food and water usage with 26.87%, 1.28%, and 1.12%, respectively. The results demonstrate that the EF Index (EFI) of the case study campus was −0.82, which reveals an unsustainable performance. The EF results were illustrated on an Ecological Footprint Map (EFM), which shows the east and west parts of the camps were more unsustainable.
Original languageEnglish
Article number9928
Number of pages18
JournalSustainability
Volume13
Issue number17
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • sustainable development
  • Ecological Footprint Analysis (EFA)
  • Biological Capacity (BC)
  • environmental impacts
  • green university campuses
  • low carbon university campus

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