Eco-Campus initiatives in University of Malaya (UM) was initially spearheaded by Sustainability Science Research Cluster with strategic and continuous support from the Department of Development and Estate Maintenance (JPPHB), University of Malaya Living Labs (UMLL) and University of Malaya Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UM SDSN). The initiatives started officially in 2016, with an official appointment of University of Malaya Eco-Campus Standing Committee (UMECS) by the then Vice-Chancellor of University of Malaya, YBhg. Tan Sri Professor Dr. Mohd Amin Jalaludin. This strategic decision was made as an answer for call-on-actions in mainstreaming and strategizing efforts for the UM Eco-Campus initiatives.
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), campus activities as well as assessing UM's performance on annual basis.
UM as a premier and world leading research university in Malaysia have also actively participating in the international sustainability platform famously known as Universitas Indonesia GreenMetric World University Ranking (UIGM). In 2017, UM has reached its highest record since its first entry in UI GreenMetric year 2011.
UI GreenMetric is an annual world university ranking system focusing on the current condition and policies related to green campus and sustainability in universities all over the world. Universiti Malaya (UM) has forged a new record in the Universitas Indonesia GreenMetric 2017, moving up by 34 places from 68th position (which shown 100 per cent improvement) to 34th position out of 619 participating universities.
All participating universities are ranked based on six indicators – Setting and Infrastructure (SI at 15%), Energy and Climate Change (EC at 21%), Waste (WS at 18%), Water (WR at 10%), Transportation (TR at 18%), and Education (ED at 18%).
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 second cycle, where solutions are applied on a larger scale throughout the campus. It has already seen more than 4,750,000 kg CO2 Green House Gases (GHG) emission been reduced on which the amount of indirect monetary gains from these collective initiatives surmount more than RM 461,611.95 as of a one-year progress.
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).
Annually or occasionally, students and staff in UM are updated with the progress and achievements of UM Eco-Campus 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), University of Malaya Living Labs Compendium, University of Malaya Living Lab Volume 1, University of Malaya Living Lab Volume 2, and the latest University of Malaya Living Labs Training Modules.