De La Salle Lipa (DLSL) has made it to the finals of this year’s International Green Gown Awards and is the only higher educational institution named Finalist in all three categories: Sustainability Institution of the Year, Student Engagement, and Benefitting Society.
The International Green Gown Awards (IGGA) is open to colleges and universities across the globe that commemorate landmark sustainability programs and initiatives.
DLSL is a staunch advocate of environmental and sustainability efforts as well as pioneered programs that should be emulated by other educational institutions in the country. It is a styro-free and plastic-free campus, banning the use of Styrofoam and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottles, both of which do not decompose and thus can damage our ecosystem. Also, part of DLSL’s advocacy is to minimize the use of greenhouse gases.
The 2020 International Green Gown Awards is under the auspices and supported by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in cooperation with the UK-based EAUC Alliance for Sustainability Leadership in Education and the Paris-based International Association of Universities (IAU). De La Salle Lipa is an active institutional member of both organizations.
Backed by the UNEP, the International Green Gown Awards continues to search for inspirational sustainability prime movers and leaders. Acknowledging exceptional sustainability initiatives being carried out by the world’s universities and colleges, the International Green Gown Awards established the desired standards of quality and put every learning institution at the core of delivering the UN Global Goals.
Organizers collaborate with The Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), L’Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF), International Association of Universities (IAU), and the Higher Education Sustainability Initiative. The International Green Gown Awards is administered by the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC).
2020 Benefitting Society Finalist
DLSL’s entry for Benefitting Society category — “Green for Life: One Million Trees and Beyond!” — was launched in 2006, in cooperation with 15 other member schools of De La Salle Philippines (DLSP). OMTB‘s aim is to plan and nurture one million trees all over the country by 2011. To date, DLSP schools have planted more than 1.4 million trees.
On the heels of the OMTB’s success, De La Salle Lipa adopted a 9-hectare area for its mangrove reforestation program in partnership with the local government of Barangay Palanas, Lemery, Batangas. So far, 34,911 mangroves have been planted over an area of four hectares.
2020 Student Engagement Finalist
“Bring Your Own Container” is another initiative of DLSL that earned the nod of the International Green Gown Awards committee. The initiative was launched in Academic Year 2017-2018 as the school’s response to the worsening environmental degradation and the risks it poses to public health.
The initiative involved banning of plastic bottled water and beverages on the DLSL campus and encouraging stakeholders to bring their own water containers. The program proved to be successful in the last three academic years, as plastic waste generation has dropped between 50% and 80% from its baseline of 4,066 kg per year recorded in AY 2016-17.
2020 Sustainability Institution of the Year Finalist
Beginning Academic Year 2017-2018, DLSL shifted close to 80% of the school’s power mix from conventional to renewable sources. The transition to renewable energy sources enabled the school to save PHP333,456.00 per month and reduced carbon emissions by 78.5%.
“Green Energy” is just one of the initiatives undertaken by De La Salle Lipa under its Power and Energy Roadmap and Smart Cities initiatives. The school hopes that their initiative will serve as a working model that the local governments of Batangas can adopt to help mitigate the impact of urban communities on the environment and climate change.
The Green Gown Awards was established in 2004 to recognize universities and colleges that have undertaken outstanding sustainability initiatives. The awards are delivered on a regional basis in Australasia, UK, and Ireland, French-speaking regions around the globe, and to the rest of the world through the International Green Gown Awards.
The Green Gown Awards are administered by EAUC, with each region being governed by a local cross-agency steering group. The International Green Gown Awards categories are open to any tertiary education institution including colleges, universities, and learning and skills institutions.
The winners of the 2020 International Green Gown Awards will be announced through a virtual ceremony on July 8, 2020, as part of the United Nations High-Level Political Forum. For more information, check out the IGGA website at https://www.greengownawards.org/international-green-gown-awards-2020-finalists