Centre for Green Development-Energy Policy of University of Nicosia promotes environmental awareness

Centre for Green Development-Energy Policy of University of Nicosia promotes environmental awareness

Centre for Green Development and Energy Policy-CGD at the University of Nicosia promotes environmental awareness and sustainable development through various activities, projects and policies that aim to encourage recycling, reuse of waste and reduce of garbage.

Director of the Centre Dr. Marios Valiantis has told CNA that the University strongly believes that education plays a pivotal role in shaping the public opinion in environment-related issues, pointing out that education should start from a very early stage, as early as kindergarten.

“I believe that in Cyprus we have not yet reached European levels as regard the protection of the environment, recycling, reduction of waste etc. This is due both to the lack of culture and the lack of infrastructure”, he said.

Dr. Valiantis said that culture will come with creating the environmental awareness and subsequently the establishment of culture will be supportive to the creation of infrastructure.

“At the University of Nicosia we place great emphasis on actions that help protect the environment, even if these actions have a certain cost, often high. But at the same time, our actions and projects help us save energy and reduce our energy costs and we then invest the money we save in other actions. It is a very productive process”, Dr. Valiantis said.

The University has established an Environmental Management Committee which convenes once a month. The members exchange views and suggestions and discuss their next actions or any problem that might arise.

Meetings take place with the students at the beginning of each semester as well as lecture for environmental awareness.

Recycling is a high priority for the University. All around its premises special bins have been placed for the recycle of paper, plastic, glass and batteries.

“The response of the academic community and students is excellent and there is great cooperation both with local authorities and with other institutions and organizations. We would very much preferred if the state could finance us in the purchase of recycling bins and bins for compost”, Dr. Valiantis told CNA.

Recently the University won first prize in a competition launched by the Green Dot (Business Case Competition) to develop a strategic communications plan for A.F.I.S recycling company.

University team consisted of students Constantina Christoforou, Melis Kittos, Nikolas Koutsakos, Sofia Michaelidou and Kyriaki Onisiforou. Dr. Marios Valiantis and Dr. Yioula Melanthiou were the Head Professors.

At the same time the University took part in the fifth contest of Green Dot for environmental awards (ended May 31) in the category Green Educational Institute.

The Green Development Center has also recently launched the Green Mobility Week at Work. Students, staff and academics were encouraged to take public transport, bicycles, hybrid vehicles or even to walk to the University in the context of developing environmental awareness for the protection of the environment and public health.

Preparations are also underway so that the University can be awarded the ISO 14001 – Environmental Management Systems Certificate.

The Standard ISO 14001 specifies the general requirements for creating the System for Environmental Management in a business / organization and focuses on recognizing the environmental impact of its activities in order to successfully manage and ultimately improve its performance in this area.



** The interview is in the context of the project Rethink: Reduce- Reuse – Recycle which is funded by the EU programme LIFE+ (project code: LIFE13 INF/CY/000910) of the EU. Coordinating Beneficiary: CyBC. Partners: Green Dot Cyprus, Department of Environment, Cyprus Pedagogical Institute, CNA, Fost Plus Belgium **