80% of the energy used on Tec de Monterrey campuses will be renewable by 2040

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The goal is part of the 2025 Sustainability and Climate Change Plan, a transversal strategy that establishes climate goals for the university in the short and long term.

All Tecnológico de Monterrey campuses aim to consolidate sustainable spaces and, by 2040, become carbon-neutral facilities with 80% clean energy consumption. The goal is part of the 2025 Sustainability and Climate Change Plan, a transversal strategy that establishes climate goals for the university in the short and long terms.

The climate crisis caused by global warming is not just a phenomenon that needs to be attended, rather it needs to be addressed urgently. So says Inés Sáenz Negrete, Vice President of Inclusion, Social Impact, and Sustainability of Tec de Monterrey, who expands on the institution’s plan to transform its facilities.

Commenting on the Sustainability and Climate Change Plan 2025, Sáenz Negrete explains in an interview with Tec Review that the university is already en route to its campuses’ sustainability and carbon neutrality. She continues that a self-evaluation assessment has been completed in all Tec de Monterrey campuses to determine their current status from a sustainability perspective. The different institutional areas will define more strategies to make all the spaces carbon neutral and resistant to the effects of the climate crisis.

According to the Vice President of Inclusion, Social Impact and Sustainability, to date, 49% of the energy consumed by Tec campuses throughout Mexico comes from renewable sources and 14.1% from efficient sources that reduce CO2 emissions. The recently opened Mexico City campus is the spearhead for transforming the facilities designed and built with eco-efficient technologies in the classrooms, library, and common areas. 

An urgent task

The Sustainability and Climate Change Plan 2025, presented in April of this year, maps a route for Tec and its community, offering a comprehensive strategy for a proactive culture to confront the climate emergency. The plan calls for the generation of ideas and technologies and impactful actions to train leaders committed to forging a sustainable future.

Last August 9, the Intergovernmental Panel of Experts on Climate Change (IPCC) presented its most recent report on the consequences of the climate crisis, prompting the United Nations to issue a Red Alert about Global Warming.

In an interview with Tec Review, Inés Sáenz Negrete offered more details about the institutional commitments of the university and its community to join the fight against climate change:

A 2025 plan for the planet

Why is it essential to join this environmental alert?

Not (only) is it necessary; it is imperative to join efforts to curb the rising planetary temperature. We are experiencing its consequences worldwide with the increasing frequency and devastating impact of meteorological phenomena.

I feel very proud that Tec is committing to join this effort; it must be the effort of all people and organizations. We want to be a sustainable institution and, above all, adopt a proactive culture towards the climate emergency.

What comprises the 2025 Sustainability and Climate Change Plan?

Inés Sáenz Negrete, Vice President of Inclusion, Social Impact and Sustainability at Tecnológico de Monterrey. (Photo: Alejandro Salazar)
Inés Sáenz Negrete, Vice President of Inclusion, Social Impact and Sustainability at Tecnológico de Monterrey. (Photo: Alejandro Salazar)

It is a very ambitious, demanding, and rigorous plan, consisting of six action axes: Culture, Mitigation, Adaptation, Education, Research, and Connection. Our president, David Garza, is deeply committed; this plan is a priority in the institution.

We aim to mitigate, reduce our ecological footprint, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce and sustainably manage waste, and recycle water. This plan involves adaptation and also making our campuses resistant to the onslaught of the climate crisis. An essential element is something intangible but lasting: education. Our commitment is to train the students and professors of Tecnologico de Monterrey to understand the complexity of the climate crisis and transform the world toward sustainable development.

We aim to promote interdisciplinary research to provide systemic solutions that are sophisticated enough to deal with the complexity of climate change and enable sustainable development. We also know that it is crucial to make connections, putting our academic, scientific, and technological resources at the service of society to accelerate sustainability tangibly in communities and people’s lives. Thus, we have joined various alliances (with other universities, governments, social organizations, and companies) to amplify the impact of our actions. We also participate in international forums on the subject. 

Last June, Tec de Monterrey and 45 world-leading universities committed to continuing programs and actions boosting sustainability, stipulated in the signing of the Declaration of Hamburg 2021 at the Global University Leaders Council Hamburg 2021 (GUC Hamburg). The heart of the plan is culture. We seek to develop a culture of sustainability. Culture is the most challenging thing to change. We must make forceful modifications. Changing our habits as an institution will be uncomfortable but necessary. We seek to move towards a much more austere culture in using resources and our working methods as an institution.

What have sustainability projects already begun on the campuses?

We are committed to being carbon neutral by 2040, i.e., 80% of our energy will come from renewable sources. We are working on a comprehensive waste management strategy and creating a fund for climate change research. We are modifying our curricula to include climate change subjects. We are about to undertake the performance of climate risk diagnoses to know our vulnerabilities specifically. Then we will develop strategies on each campus to address these specifics. 

What is the role that each participant will play?

Our students are very active through very productive student associations. I am sure that there will be more student groups. The number of activists on these issues will grow, and our students will become more and more sensitive to sustainability issues. That is why the culture of sustainability is critical in our plan; it makes us reflect on things like how we choose our suppliers, how our events are held, and even how our coffee shops look.

Sustainability is a topic that engages the university as a whole, and we want that culture to be taken home by our students, professors, researchers, and collaborators. The future of the planet is in the present moment. Today, we can ensure a future for the world through our actions, and Tec de Monterrey assumes that responsibility and co-responsibility of working for a sustainable future.

Source: Tec Review

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