La fresque du climat
Decipher the mechanisms of climate change, their causes, their consequences and the appropriate methods to deal with them: these are the objectives of fresque du climat training UCLouvain has offered staff members since 2020. An interactive and collaborative workshop of five to ten participants involving 42 cards based on the conclusions of IPCC to better understand climate issues. This deep understanding is a valuable tool for better decoding information and acting effectively on both individual and collective levels.
The originality: all staff members are encouraged to become ambassadors for the fresque. What does that mean? After the three-hour training, participants can, in turn, organise workshops within their departments to spread the message and disseminate this essential information. A practical and efficient way to become a true actor in the UCLouvain Sustainability Transition Plan.
Sign up here (type “climate” in the search bar of the training catalogue).
At the Earth and Life Institute: Sustainable Transition Action Group (ELIE) and the Researchers Association (ACELI)
Earth and Life Institute (ELI) staff from all backgrounds are familiar with climate change and its impacts through their research. Committed to consistency, the Sustainable Transition Action Group (ELIE) group of around fifteen participants has set up three think-tanks focused on scientific mobility, facilities energy management, and the organisation of social events (coffee breaks, seminars, birthdays, etc.) respectively.
Every two months, they meet to debate concrete actions. They were behind the creation of a decision tree to minimise business travel by plane, zero waste initiatives applied to everyday life, etc. The Researchers Association (ACELI) has also set up a collective compost.
At the Faculty of Architecture, Architectural Engineering and Urban Planning (LOCI)
“A drastic reduction of LOCI’s environmental impact” is one of the permanent items on the agenda of the office of the Faculty of Architecture, Architectural Engineering and Urban Planning. The desire for sustainability is expressed through specific and concrete faculty action. There are many initiatives to reduce the production of waste, such as the reuse of materials used in student projects. The entire faculty work to enact environmental transition in daily life, in teaching and research. They also participate actively in the steering committee for the planned Athéna-Lauzelle eco-neighbourhood in Louvain-la-Neuve.
At the Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences
One of the main levers of system resilience lies at the heart of every individual. This is the conviction that drives the Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences’s Ecoresponsible Committee (CER). The committee of environmentally concerned students and administrative, scientific, and academic staff consider how to bring about a transition to a more sustainable society within the university itself.
Its objectives relate to behaviour change, raising the awareness among colleagues and students, and proposing concrete solutions. But thought is also naturally given to the psychological issues of climate change, such as eco-anxiety, to be integrated into the training of future psychologists. The CER also seeks to stimulate research in the field of ecological transition by studying, in particular, the behavioural barriers to action.
Scientific staff (CORSCI)
In 2018, driven by a shared desire for action, some forty researchers from all disciplines created, at their own initiative, a working group on the transition.
In particular, they established a communication plateform bringing together the many transition initiatives that have emerged within UCLouvain. An interface that promotes exchange and mutual aid between the various groups driven by a need for greater sustainability. Among other concrete projects, the platform is working on individual bins or the sorting of the purchasing catalogue in ways to make UCLouvain’s supplies more sustainable. In the lower part of Louvain-la-Neuve, three bins dedicated to permaculture bring together members of the Louvain School of Management. These were installed in the interior courtyard of the Doyens building in collaboration with the Incredible Company.
More than 250 experts from Belgian universities, including several from UCLouvain, use the #WeChangeForLife plateform, to share the actions they take, whether large or small, in favour of the transition. Sometimes these are simple gestures that demonstrate how researchers align their lifestyle with what they know about the evolution of the climate and biodiversity. Where to start? Does it have a real impact? Is the information disseminated on the environment correct? The initiative was created to answer these questions and to encourage the university community but also every citizen to be part of the change as well.
Several UCLouvain professors and researchers are involved in regional, national, and international bodies and initiatives: Conseil fédéral du développement durable, IPCC, UNESCO, FAO, UN, etc. They are spokespeople influencing the development of standards, rules, and public policies with a view to building a more sustainable present and future.