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When we talk about sustainability, it is essential to move from concepts to facts. Therefore, and taking into account our responsibility, we wanted to know the ecological footprint of our events. Ihobe provides us with a very effective tool that has helped us to obtain the Erronka Garbia certificate. All this through our agreement with Ihobe - Department of Economic Development and Environment of the Basque Government included in the Donostia Sustainability Forum-Basque Green Deal initiative.

The Erronka Garbia certification, granted by Ihobe, the Public Company for Environmental Managemen, and whose technical assistance has been provided by Grunver Sostenibilidad, recognizes events that incorporate environmental measures in their design and organization in order to reduce the negative impacts they may cause on the environment. Thus, the events in which the initiative is integrated establish a series of sustainability measures in six areas of conduct: mobility, energy, water, shopping, infrastructure and waste.

In order to establish the environmental objectives of the Summer Courses, the organization process has been analyzed and the elements that may have an environmental impact have been detected. In this edition we have carried out three tests and for this purpose we have selected three activities in our main venues, the Miramar Palace, the Carlos Santamaría Center of the Gipuzkoa Campus of the UPV/EHU and the Bizkaia Aretoa -UPV/EHU in Bilbao. The environmental objectives analyzed were as follows:

  • Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Reduction of waste generated at source.
  • Selective collection of the waste generated.

Among our conclusions, we have confirmed that the highest level of pollution is related to mobility. It was the international participants who traveled by plane that increased this indicator, being aware that, in many cases, these trips are not made only to participate in our courses. On the other hand, having the opportunity to participate in them through the online modality helps to promote sustainability, always knowing that it also generates its own ecological footprint. There is much to learn and improve, but we know that we have started a journey that will take us far.

If you want to know more, here are the results and conclusions of this experience. This is just the beginning, as in the future we will work on all our events until we achieve Erronka Garbia certification in all of them, for which we will need the collaboration of directors, speakers, students and suppliers/collaborators of our activities. Your help is essential for us to achieve a more sustainable lifestyle and a more sustainable planet.