Refill_H2O Project: a project from the academy to the academy

Refill_H2O Project: a project from the academy to the academy

The RefillH20 Project was presented at the 2nd Sustainable Campus Conference 2020 (CCS2020) organized by the Polytechnic Institute of Tomar. This project aims to drastically reduce, in the six IPVC schools, their bars, canteens and academic residences, the sale of water bottles in plastic packaging, thus promoting the application of the principles of circular economy, by reducing the use of plastic materials and the respective production of waste.

The Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo (IPVC) is a signatory to the Letter of Commitment to Sustainable Development, signed in October 2019, within the scope of the Sustainable Campus Network. This agreement promotes the involvement of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in building a society based on values ​​related to freedom, justice, tolerance, solidarity and sustainability, thus deepening respect for the environment and by the human being.

This network must strive for compliance with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) advocated in the 2030 Agenda, and for the integration of a set of principles for action in the field, among which the following stand out: institutional commitment to development, ethics for sustainability, the provision of training for sustainability, transdisciplinarity, the dissemination of knowledge, participation in collaborative networks, the creation of partnerships with other sectors of society, and the transfer of technology for sustainable development.

Under the umbrella of the Sustainable Campus Network, it was held, on October 30, 2020, at the 2nd Sustainable Campus 2020 Conference (CCS2020) organized by the Polytechnic Institute of Tomar. Under the theme "Smart Initiatives for a Sustainable Campus", the event constituted a forum for collaboration and exchange of ideas between students, academics, researchers and specialists, in the search for intelligent and innovative solutions for a more sustainable future, with a view to implementation SDGs in HEIs.

the RefillH2O project intends to implement, in a first phase, an exhaustive survey at the scale of the IPVC (schools, bars, canteens and homes) to identify the consumption habits of the resident population (students, teachers and employees) of water packaged in plastic bottles. In the survey to be implemented, the resident population will be invited to identify a set of physical, aesthetic and functional requirements that allow creating a specification for the development of a new “environmentally friendly” water bottle, that is, made up of the most appropriate material, with the volume adjusted to the needs of users, with automatic opening and closing, easy to fill, durable, and aesthetically appealing.

Following the results of the survey, in a second phase, a water refill station will be developed to be installed in IPVC schools, bars, canteens and residences, which will bring together a set of innovative features.

This project is financed under the EEA Grants Environment Programme, with a duration of 18 months, whose promoter is the Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo, having as partner the Alto Minho Regional Energy and Environment Agency. The total financing is € 175,434.05, with the component financed by the EEA Grants € 119,297.19.