Khalifa University of Science and Technology (Khalifa University) has implemented 30 sustainability initiatives including a global sustainable aviation forum, an international conference on energy transition, an exhibition of Khalifa University’s sustainability-related projects and a COP28 model exhibition, as the UAE is gearing up to host COP28, from 30 November until 12 December this year.

Khalifa University is also planning to organise an exhibition on climate change activities, a hackathon on food waste, stopping use of plastic bottles on campus, a campaign to distribute plants to inspire the adoption of environment sustainability practices, and a waste-to-clothes conversion initiative to drive home the sustainability theme across all fronts through research, campus, media and communications, academic and student-related activities. Some of the other initiatives include a Sustainability Student Club logo design competition for students, a climate action pledge, podcasts on sustainability, and new initiatives from the Student's Sustainability Club.

Dr Ebrahim Al Hajri, Senior Vice President of Support Services at Khalifa University, said: “KU has always remained adopted as a culture at Khalifa University. It shows in its academic offerings, research outcomes and across all our operations. We are featuring this factor prominently just as the UAE is gearing up to host COP28. Reflecting our status as an academic institution of diverse research and academic strength, we also focus on collaborations in technology, entrepreneurship, sustainability as well as intellectual and human capital. This is in line with the directives of the UAE leadership on energy, water security and sustainability.”

Khalifa University is driving innovation through its academic programmes, research centres and research facilities, and by obtaining patents. Khalifa University’s research endeavours have so far obtained more than 280 patents, with more than 60 per cent of them being new discoveries or technologies related to sustainability. More recently, Khalifa University has listed 54 patents in areas such as advanced materials and manufacturing, clean and renewable energy, environment, hydrocarbon exploration and production, robotics, intelligent systems and data science, sensors, and water and environment.

Khalifa University’s campuses promote energy and water conservation and continuously engage with stakeholders to ensure the adoption of best practices to reduce its carbon footprint. These initiatives include steps to improve energy efficiency on campus and cut operational cost and carbon footprint, while supporting the UAE Water Security Strategy 2036 and UAE Energy Strategy 2050. The EHS and Facility Management Department at Khalifa University is implementing a total of 22 initiatives, including plans for reducing 70 per cent of plastic drinking water bottles and introducing self-service dispensers, increasing recycle waste from 4 per cent to 30 per cent, and achieving 3 per cent reduction in energy consumption for this year, compared to 2022.

Academic programmes contributing to sustainability include courses in urban design for sustainability, environmental geology, sustainable building construction, power electronics, analysis of power systems over-voltages and transients, photovoltaic technologies: materials, devices and systems, solar thermal analysis, design and testing, environmental remote sensing and satellite image processing and power system modelling and control. These courses and programmes not only teach but also aim to imbibe the spirit of sustainability across all walks of life.

Khalifa University has consistently remained committed to contributing to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals through various on- and off-campus initiatives in areas including sustainability, clean energy, advanced fossil fuel technologies, and water and environment.