National Tsing Hua University (NTHU) in Taiwan has been awarded the Taiwan University Sustainability Award for the second year in a row! The Award was announced at the 15th Taiwan Corporate Sustainability Awards (TCSA) recently held by the Taiwan Institute for Sustainable Energy (TAISE). Standing out amongst the 47 participating universities, NTHU was ranked first in the comprehensive evaluation, and in the individual competitions received the University Sustainability Report Gold Award.
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NTHU president W. John Kao (right) accepting the Taiwan University Sustainability Award from You Si-kun, president of the Legislative Yuan. (Photo: National Tsing Hua University)
The judges cited the exemplary way in which NTHU has adopted an innovative approach to integrating classroom learning, campus activities and social service, thereby enriching students’ education and creating a diverse, flexible and interdisciplinary learning environment in accordance with the principle of “Think locally, act globally.” In addition, the university's Sustainability Committee has formulated and implemented a sustainable development strategy which seamlessly integrates resources inside and outside NTHU, so as to bring to realization the school motto, “Self-discipline and social commitment.”
Chien Eugene, the general convener of the TCSA, praised NTHU for taking the lead by appointing Taiwan’s first chief sustainability officer (CSO) and by establishing the Rising Sun program for assisting disadvantaged students. The chief sustainability officer is senior vice president Tai Nyan-hwa, who oversees the 26 sustainability officers appointed by each administrative and academic department, all of whom belong to the Sustainability Committee administered by the Regional Innovation Center. Established in 2013, the Rising Sun Scholarship provides financial support to economically disadvantaged students who demonstrate high potential after commencing their studies at NTHU.
The award ceremony was held at the Grand Hotel in Taipei. NTHU president W. John Kao accepted the award, which was personally conferred by You Si-kun, president of the Legislative Yuan.
In his acceptance speech, Kao said, “Sustainability is a kind of mindset that has no end. So we need to keep on moving forward to the next level of sustainability.”
President Kao added that NTHU is planning to put more emphasis on sponsoring research projects reflecting the 17 goals of sustainable development promulgated by the United Nations (UN). In terms of education, the school encourages teachers and students to take practical steps with a positive impact on sustainability; at the administrative level, the allocation of school resources takes into consideration energy use and other environmental factors; in terms of interaction with the wider society, the school is planning to set up a platform for facilitating innovation cooperation with the corporate and government sectors.
In its ongoing efforts in the area of sustainability, this year NTHU has appointed 15 student sustainability ambassadors. Moreover, Huang Chuan, a second-year M.A. student in the Institute of Service Science, has organized a GreenDot club, which holds sustainability salons that aim to put the principles of sustainability into action on campus. Huang is also planning to set up a platform which encourages students to float their ideas, find partners, and publicize activities.