The existence and quality of life of future generations depends largely on our ability to transform our thinking about the world, our environment and our lives. Are we willing not to exploit our natural resources by changing our habits, but to protect our environment, protect biodiversity, i.e. live in a sustainable way? The University of Pécs is at the forefront of this mission in Hungary and thanks to its work with its partners Pécs won the title of greenest city in Hungary in 2020!
Five years ago, the University of Pécs stated as a mission of the Green University Program that everything in the environment encourages good practice, innovation, governance, shapes and strengthens ecological awareness through science and education.
In the spirit of this mission, serious efforts have been made in the field of sustainability, such as the pet-free University idea and efforts to reduce paper use, the formulation of the Climate Concept of the UP, the extension of selective waste collection at university level, the creation of network water islands and the increase in the share of renewable energy sources and the electric car fleet. Sustainability courses and research have increased and individual and community attitudes have been emphsised more than ever. The University of Pécs ranked 59th among the world's "green universities" and ranked 1st among Hungarian universities, earning the title of greenest Hungarian university in 2020.
The UP was the first Hungarian university to join the Virtual Power Plant Program (VEP) and, in cooperation with regional partners, established the Virtual powerplant of Baranya (BAVEP) as founding member, participants: University of Pécs, Hungarian Innovation and Efficiency Nonprofit Ltd., Pécs County Municipality, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Pécs-Baranya, Baranya County Municipality, Pécs Diocese, Leőwey Klára High School of Pécs. This cooperation is of paramount importance, contributes to the development of regional consensus on sustainability, encourages families living here, businesses in the region, civic organizations to follow values in their daily decisions and to support initiatives that ensure the long-term achievement of a sustainable region. The participants of the program saved 4 MW of energy in one year in the South Transdanubia. Under the leadership of the University of Pécs– the network coordinator of BAVEP and the Green University – actions promoting the use of innovative, environmentally friendly modes of transport, such as Moon bike, zero emission Days and the 10,000 Steps in Pécs ecocaching challenge, have been carried out.
As a result of the BAVEP cooperation, the issue of sustainable development and climate protection in Pécs has made great progress. Based on the competition of the Virtual Power Plant Program, Pécs became Hungary's greenest city in the world in 2020.
The greenest hungarian university for the greenest city has complex sustainability efforts that inspire regional players to work more committedly and with even greater cooperation for Pécs and the environment. Thanks to the mobilization of VEP and the UP, almost all schools and students in the city have been named for sustainability theme week, which starts on 19th April – thus reinforcing the socially responsible attitude of local young people.
The interview with the head of UnivPécs VEP is available here: https://univpecs.com/zold/pte_es_pecs_minta
UnivTV's video on the topic can be seen here: https://univpecs.com/klimavaltozas/pte_magyarorszag_legzoldebb_egyeteme