🌱 Project AURORA influencing  UPM’s Journey Towards a Sustainable Campus Sur! 🌱


The Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) is committed to creating a comprehensive sustainability plan for Campus Sur. This strategic document will outline long term actions and goals to ensure our campus operates in an environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable manner.

This initiative supports other efforts by the Rectorate and the Madrid City Council, aligning with the Net-Zero-Cities approach. The standout feature of this roadmap is its co-creation with the campus community, ensuring the actions directly address their needs.

Despite previous commitments to environmental sustainability, from both UPM and the Madrid City Council, there had been no prior consultation with the community about their specific needs. This new citizen engagement approach promotes more responsible decision-making, anchored in the university’s strategic priorities to prevent conflicts. It also gives project AURORA and the Campus Sur – Energy Community an opportunity to take part in the decision making process.

Key Objectives:

  • Minimize Environmental Impact: Focus on conservation of natural resources, carbon emission reduction, and waste management.
  • Promote Ethical Practices: Ensure fair practices with workers and the community.
  • Ensure Economic Viability: Address long-term financial stability.

Inclusive Approach:

The plan aligns with:

  • CESAER’s Declaration (2023): Contributions of universities to sustainability.
  • CRUE’s 2030 Agenda (2021): Commitment of Spanish universities.
  • UPM’s Environmental Sustainability Plan (2018): Guidelines for environmental actions.
  • UNESCO’s Guidelines (2023): Implementing sustainability in higher education.

Engaging the Community for the plan:

a) Co-Creation Sessions

Six interactive co-creation sessions, using a café format, have been held to foster dialogue among students, staff, faculty, and researchers.

Session Highlights:

  1. First Session (Feb 22, 2024):
    • Activity: Defined key milestones and goals for the sustainability plan.
    • Outcome: Emphasized the importance of creating a culture of sustainability and involving everyone in the process.
  2. Second Session (Mar 18, 2024):
    • Activity: Brainstormed the meaning of sustainability.
    • Outcome: Agreed on a comprehensive definition that includes environmental care, social justice, and economic equity.
  3. Break Session (Apr 4, 2024):
    • Activity: Identified strategic axes for the sustainability plan in smaller groups.
    • Outcome: Established key areas: Teaching, Research, Infrastructure, Transfer, and University Community.
  4. Third Session (May 6, 2024):
    • Activity: Shared and refined strategic axes.
    • Outcome: Defined the actions, stakeholders and indicators under each axis, incorporating the suggestions from  the community engagement activity  described below.
  5. Final Session (Jun 10, 2024):
    • Activity: Finalized specific actions for each strategic axis.
    • Outcome: Consensus on actionable steps to improve campus sustainability.
Panel for expression: How do you imagine a more sustainable Campus Sur?

b) Art Exhibition (Mar 22 – Mar 30, 2024)

An art exhibition was organized in collaboration with the “Circle of Solidary Painters” Association, aiming to denounce environmental degradation and raise awareness about the need for sustainable development. This exhibition started on March 22nd, “International Water Day,” and ended on March 30th, “Zero Waste Day.” It was free to attend and featured 20 artworks displayed in the main hallways of the Campus. A feedback panel was set up in the middle of the exhibition so that all members of the community could express their ideas on what would constitute “a more sustainable Campus Sur.” 77 responses from our community on ideas to be more sustainable were gathered and included in the plan .

Image from the co-creation cafés.

Ready to Learn More?

Catch the latest updates and be part of the change! Follow our journey towards a greener, more sustainable Campus Sur.

Stay tuned for more updates and join us in making a lasting impact! 🌍💚

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