In 2018, UM Eco-Campus Secretariat under the purview of Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Innovation) & Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Development) has taken up the role in coordination, planning and managing eco-campus initiatives: action-and translational research via UM Living Labs (UMLL) under the purview of the then Sustainability Science Research Cluster (SuSci) with Professor Dr. Sumiani Yusoff as the Dean, campus activities as well as assessing UM's performance on annual basis.
In January 2020, the Management of the University under the leadership of the then Vice-Chancellor YBhg. Datuk Ir. (Dr.) Abdul Rahim Hj. Hashim decided to rebrand the name UM Eco-Campus to UM Sustainability & Living Labs Secretariat (UMSLLS) / Sekretariat Kelestarian & Living Labs Universiti Malaya with Professor Dr. Sumiani Yusoff appointed as the Chairperson in overseeing campus sustainability and living lab initiatives under the purview of Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Innovation) UM with support of Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Development). The decision was made to expand a wider sustainability scope of the Secretariat for both on campus and beyond.
UM Campus Sustainability Journey (up to 2020) can be summarized with the following diagram:
UM Eco-Campus initiative aims to develop a novel campus-wide sustainability framework with direct support from the University of Malaya Living Labs’ outputs, which contributes toward minimizing harmful environmental impact in campus especially by decreasing the amount of carbon emission, to bring UM with another leapfrogging record to be as one of the leading eco-friendly campuses in Malaysia and in the world. UM Eco-Campus initiatives covers mainly, but not limited to, the grounds of University of Malaya’s main campus of 803.63 acres.
The initiative has transformed UM’s 800.63-acre campus, along with University of Malaya Medical Center (PPUM) 42.7-acre land, into a ‘living lab’ for translational-and-action research projects in wide-spectrum of green initiatives. Hence, UM Eco-Campus via UM Living Labs is the first project of its kind in UM and in Malaysia that enables the integration of Research & Development, demonstration and deployment of sustainability solutions on the grounds, promoting multi-inter-and-transdisciplinary research, and befits the need of community for a better campus environment.
Launched in 2016, UM Living Labs is now in its fifth cycle, where solutions are applied on a larger scale throughout the campus. It has already seen more than 15,630,000 kg CO2 Green House Gases (GHG) emission been reduced on which the amount of direct and indirect monetary gains from these collective initiatives surmount more than RM 1,410,605.72 (2016 - 2020).
As continued commitment to eco-campus initiatives, these efforts would be futile without the support from Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Development), Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Innovation) and the Department of Development and Estate Maintenance (JPPHB). As explained earlier, in 2020, UM Eco-Campus Secretariat has been rebranded to UM Sustainability & Living Labs Secretariat (UMSLLS) to cover the real implementation on the ground for both on campus and beyond the University.
Annually or occasionally, students and staff in UM are updated with the progress and achievements of UMSLLS sent to their email and official social media posting with assistance from Corporate Communications Office (CCO) UM. Several publications have been officially released under this initiatives namely: UM Eco-Campus Blueprint (Pelan Pembangunan Eko-Kampus UM), UM Living Labs Compendium, UM Living Lab Volume 1, UM Living Lab Volume 2, and the latest UM Living Labs Training Modules. Few other interesting sustainability titles expected to be released for sales in 2020 and 2021.
General Statement on UM towards Carbon Neutral Campus & Renewable Energy
Universiti Malaya aims to be a carbon neutral campus by 2030 with strategic intervention of UM holistic participation from top management, campus community and UM Living Labs projects as the core component in driving this goal. This visionary journey is aligned with UM Transformation Plan (to be rolled out in 2021) on Infrastucture and Operations in particular the Smart Campus Initiatives. UM as Carbon Neutral Campus by 2030 covers all three scopes of carbon footprint:
Scope 1: All Direct Emissions from the activities of the University. Reported annually by UM Sustainability & Living Labs Secretariat (UM Campus Sustainability Report)
Scope 2: Indirect Emissions from electricity purchased and used by the University. Emissions are created during the production of the energy and eventually used by the University. This scope is carried out by the Department of Development & Estate Maintenance (JPPHB) - reported annually on Utility Section of JPPHB official website.
Scope 3: All Other Indirect Emissions from activities of the University, occuring from sources that the University do not own or control. These are usually the greatest share of the carbon footprint, covering emissions associated with business travel, procurement, waste and water. Reported annually by UM Sustainability & Living Labs Secretariat (UM Campus Sustainability Report)
In realizing its vision to be a carbon neutral campus, UM pledge to renew its commitment to focus its effort on energy transitioning from fossil fuel dependencies towards greener and sustainable alternatives in pursuing pathways towards 100% renewable energy (solar, biomass, biodiesel, wind, etc) in years to come by phases. These strategies will require full support of the management of the University, staff and students via research, education, operations, public-private partnership, industrial linkages as well as through green procurement practices by the UM Bursar. One of the focus areas in UM Transformation Plan stated the transition of UM to adopt a Smart Campus initiatives for a cleaner, greener, safer, connected and seamless campus community experience.