Green Campus becomes part of the International Sustainable Campus Network

Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) has joined the International Sustainable Campus Network (ISCN). The network is a global forum that supports leading colleges, universities and corporate campuses in the exchange of information, ideas and best practices in different areas of sustainable development.

The ISCN has been developed to support universities in setting development targets for a sustainable campus and reporting on them, and in the improvement of performance. The activity is based on the continuous development of learning and innovation on campus.

The members of the network are top universities from 14 countries around the world: North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.

"Cooperation is a driving force at LUT. Therefore, this type of collaboration suits us perfectly. The ISCN enables us to go forward together and be pioneers in global development. We have a great campus, we do what's right and live and act in the best interest of the environment," says Rector Ilkka Pöyhönen, LUT.

The ISCN is pleased about joining forces with LUT.

"We are delighted to welcome Lappeenranta University of Technology into the ISCN and look forward to providing a platform for international value exchange and partnerships on campus sustainability," says Bernd Kasemir, ISCN Programme Manager.

Charter with three principles

The ISCN has its own strategy, which is recorded in the Sustainable Campus Charter. The charter categorises the operations of the member organisations according to three principles, which require commitment from the top administration of each organisation and annual reporting on the progress of sustainable development targets, initiatives and performance.

According to LUT's Environmental Manager Kati Koikkalainen, ISCN collaboration is a way to develop the LUT campus towards greater sustainability on a larger scale.

Koikkalainen says:
"By signing the ISCN charter, we commit to developing our activity according to all three principles, that is, buildings, the entire campus area and the integration of sustainable development into research, education, practical operations and  and societal interaction. The third area depicts LUT's aspiration to build a campus where the environment, operations, research and education compose a "Living Laboratory for Sustainability".

Joining the network means that we will commit to setting concrete goals for the three principles and report transparently and regularly once a year on the achievement of the goals. This commitment will develop our Green Campus towards a higher level of sustainability.

The ISCN recommends the GRI and STARS reporting tools for monitoring the sustainable development of the campus. At LUT, these environmental indicators are taken into account already when the environmental system is being built, and other sustainable development indicators (economic and social) will be adopted in stages.

Sharing ideas

The activity of the ISCN is supported by working groups maintained by the network, conferences, symposiums and the ISCN Sustainable Campus Excellence  Awards which recognise the achievements of campuses in the promotion of sustainable development. Awards are given out in four categories: Building, Campus, Integration, and Student Leadership. LUT is taking part in the Campus category.

Pöyhönen considers that LUT's strength lies in the ability to shape the world into what we think it should be:

Our asset is our overall approach to building this campus: transitioning from an old energy producer/end user organisation to a distributed energy grid in which sustainable methods are used to profit fully from the energy. This is a way to promote global development. In the ISCN, we can enrich and improve our own expertise and share best practices. Through our own example, we can impact the way people think and also learn something new ourselves.

The ISCN collaborates with the Global University Leaders Forum  (GULF). GULF is a community within the World Economic Forum and includes experts from top universities worldwide and representatives from different organisations and research institutes.

The ISCN is hosted by École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and the Institute of Technology Zürich (ETH Zürich), which are both located in Switzerland.

Further information

Environmental Manager Kati Koikkalainen, tel. 040 584 2793,