Several unique aspects of AIT have fostered the commitment for sustainability: a multinational, multi-cultural community focus, a nature friendly environment and a campus that continually strives to achieving innovations & setting new benchmarks in sustainability. The "AIT: A Sustainability Laboratory" is an initiative to promote sustainability and to transform AIT into a "green campus" by inspiring the campus residents to learn and adopt lifestyle that are well suited to the regional socio-economic context. It would be unfair to say that “sustainability or greening AIT” initiatives have not been considered or practiced before at the campus. AIT faculty, staff and students have been and are working on these issues along with research centres conducting projects with emphasis on sustainability and low-carbon initiatives. Nevertheless, these projects are targeted as capacity building or technology dissemination for external parties and countries. The AIT-based activities are scattered and project-based short-term activities. This is the most appropriate time to proceed as AIT rebuilds and upgrades its campus, activities, and curriculum after the flood damages of 2011. The Green Campus Initiative is made possible with the support of the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME).
The Asian Institute of Technology promotes technological change and sustainable development in the Asian-Pacific region through higher education, research and outreach. Established in Bangkok in 1959, AIT has become a leading regional postgraduate institution and is actively working with public and private sector partners throughout the region and with some of the top universities in the world.Recognized for its multinational, multicultural ethos, the Institute operates as a self-contained international community at its campus located 40km (25 miles) north of downtown Bangkok, Thailand.Besides the usual labs and academic buildings, the main campus includes housing, sports, and medical facilities, a conference center, and a library with over 230,000 volumes and 830 print and on-line periodicals.
To develop highly qualified and committed professionals who play leading roles in the region’s sustainable development and its integration into the global economy.
Some Key Facts and Figures:
1987: Science and Technology for Development Award presented to AIT by the United States Agency for International Development and the National Research Council for effectively transferring industrial technology and skills to the developing world, by training scientists and engineers from Asian countries.
1989: Ramon Magsaysay Award for International Understanding presented to AIT for shaping a new generation of engineers and managers committed to Asia, in an atmosphere of academic excellence.
1994: Development Management Award presented to AIT by the Asian Management Awards for fostering manpower development, technological change and sustainable growth in the region, through advanced education and research.
1996: DAAM International Vienna Awards presented by the Danube Adria Association and Manufacturing (DAAM) International Vienna, Austria, to express appreciation to AIT and its high-technology experts from the Industrial Systems Engineering Program of the School of Advanced Technologies for their significant contribution in the field of technical sciences and international scientific cooperation within the framework of DDAM, on the occasion of the 7 th DAAM international symposium to celebrate the 1000 th anniversary of Austria.
2006: Friendship Order was awarded to AIT in the area of international relations that have contributed to human resource training for Vietnam and to the development of friendly relations between Vietnam and other countries.
To become a change agent that integrates sustainability principles into everyday activities for achieving higher educational and research excellence and contributing to region’s sustainability by preparing highly capable and dedicated workforce that NOT ONLY learns, but lives “ the sustainability experience” in the AIT campus.
To convert AIT into sustainable living laboratory by following the low-carbon pathways of living and learning, hence resulting in a self-sufficient eco-community. Sustainability at AIT needs to have its imprint in all spheres of its activities and this could be done by ensuring that sustainability is fully integrated in all of AIT’s planning, operations, curriculums, research, outreach & corporate social service and to the community.
Addressing the complex process of creating a sustainable campus requires collaborative efforts. AIT is partnering with the local school centers, government/non-government organizations, local/international organizations and private sectors for shared opportunities.
French Environment & Energy Management Agency (ADEME)ADEME has provided the seed funding in support of AIT’s vision and goal to become a sustainable living laboratory. Prior to this initiative, ADEME has been instrumental in the successful implementation of the program “Action towards Resource-efficient ad Low Carbon Cities in Asia” which was participated by nine cities in Thailand, Vietnam, Lao PDR, and Sri Lanka.ADEME is a key player in the area of sustainable development at the European and world levels. In close collaboration with its supervisory ministers and varied network, the agency is extending its expertise to emerging and developing countries in addition to industrialized nations. On a multilateral level, ADEME provides expert advice to French and European delegations, under the framework of the Climate Change Convention, the Sustainable Development Commission, the UNECE Transboundary Pollution Convention or the International Energy Agency Treaty. It takes part in large multilateral meetings and implementing the resulting decisions. ADEME participates in number of bilateral or decentralized cooperation programs, thereby assisting in the development of regional, national or local policies focusing on ways to improve energy efficiency, urban environment management, the use of renewable energy or access to energy in rural areas. It supports the development of policies in these sectors, and follows up on them with concrete actions. (www2.ademe.fr)