“Sustainability,” “environmental protection,” and “carbon reduction” are all buzzwords that have been echoed across various industries in recent years, but how do we actually take real steps to turn them into action? How can we encourage the realization of these concepts?
The Office of Responsibility and Sustainability Actions (ORSA) of National Sun Yat-sen University’s College of Management organized an SDG proposal competition, “Focusing on the Future, Working Together to Implement the SDGs,” with the final round taking place on October 6, 2023. The competition aimed to encourage students to identify problems to be solved and propose feasible solutions that contribute to the implementation of SDGs.
The panel of judges consisted of Professor San-Pui Lam of the Institute of Public Affairs Management and Director of the ORSA, Associate Professor An-Shou Cheng of the Institute of Marketing Communication, and Associate Professor Chieh Lee of the Department of Information Management. The judges evaluated student submissions comprehensively based on the completeness of the content, the feasibility of the project, the presentation design, and students’ ability to express themselves verbally. In addition, they provided the students with suggestions and feedback.
First Place Team “Chill Eat, Eat Chill”: Creating a Vegetarian-Friendly Environment
The winning team of the competition, “Chill Eat, Eat Chill,” adopted SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production) and SDG 13 (Climate Action) as the basis of its design, aiming to build a vegetarian-friendly environment and to contribute to the realization of net-zero emissions. Thanks to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), people are increasingly concerned about the impact of their lifestyles on the environment and society. Vegetarianism is becoming a popular sustainable lifestyle, as people are concerned about the impact of meat production on greenhouse gas emissions and are now practicing sustainability by choosing a vegetarian diet.
The proposal strives to establish a vegetarian-friendly environment at National Sun Yat-sen University and the surrounding community. The main goal of the proposal is to establish a “vegetarian map” to not only integrate existing vegetarian resources on and off campus but also to promote vegetarianism and sustainability education, improving the faculty and students’ understanding of vegetarianism.
In addition, the proposal takes into account the international nature of NSYSU, where 10% of the student body comes from other countries. To meet the needs of international students, bilingual menus will be provided in the vegetarian map to make it easier for them to enjoy a vegetarian lifestyle. Meanwhile, in response to extreme weather and the need for carbon reduction, we will work with the Ministry of Environment to promote the concepts of vegetarianism and carbon reduction, to inspire more people to participate in sustainable actions.
The Second-Place Team “Cappop”: Installing Beach Cleanup Toolboxes for Sustainable Marine Conservation
Inspired by SDG 14 (Life Below Water), the second-place team, “Cappop,” proposed installing beach cleanup toolboxes at the entrances of the Ocean Center and the Sizihwan Beach Club to promote marine conservation.
The main target users of these toolboxes include students and faculty of the University, patrons of the Beach Club, and guests participating in events such as the sailing competitions. This proposal is unique in that visitors can borrow the beach cleaning supplies while playing at the beach and return them afterwards without inconveniencing them in their travels.
This will not only help to enhance the visibility and image of NSYSU, but also help to achieve SDG 14 (Life Below Water) by increasing the frequency of beach clean-ups and reducing the amount of garbage at the beach.
The proposed beach cleanup toolboxes are equipped with beach cleanup supplies such as gloves, scales, clips, baskets, bags, etc. to facilitate the general public getting involved in beach cleanup. Members of the team said that when they go to the beach, they often find garbage, but due to the lack of appropriate supplies, it is difficult for them to clean up the beach. Therefore, they hope to set up beach cleanup toolboxes to allow everyone to easily borrow beach cleanup supplies, so that cleaning up the beach is no longer just one-time group event, but rather a sustainable habit that anyone can easily do whenever they go to the beach. The team also hopes that, through the process of picking up garbage, the public will become more aware of marine pollution and environmental sustainability.
Third-Place Team “GIKI”: Designing Solutions to Food Waste and Over-Packaging Problems
The third-place team, GIKI, designed a series of sustainable food and utensil proposals based on the core concepts of SDG 2 (Zero Hunger), SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-Being), SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), and SDG 13 (Climate Action) to address the problems of food waste and over-packaging of food on campus.
According to 2021 statistics, National Sun Yat-sen University’s annual food waste amounted to 3926 kilograms. In order to tackle this problem, the team proposed the Campus Food “Recycling” Plan. The implementation of the plan consists of three parts.
- Student “Farmer’s” Market: This event allows students to purchase or exchange food ingredients and food products in their dormitories to reduce food waste.
- College of Management Meals: This program aims to reduce the use of disposable utensils and the problem of over-packaging of food. A list of restaurants with reusable tableware and sustainable packaging will be provided to the College and its departments for reference when organizing seminars and activities.
- Food Bank: The program will purchase expired food items at low prices and provide them anonymously to disadvantaged students in need, providing assistance to students and dealing with the problem of food waste of expired items at the same time. Through these measures, the threshold for students to participate in sustainable practices will be lowered, and students will be able to be integrated into sustainable practices and contribute to the sustainable development of the campus.
Three Honorable Mention Teams: Streets Cleaning Jogging, Implementing Environmental Protection Activities, and Mental Health Management
In addition, three teams received Honorable Mentions, proposing street cleaning jogging, environmental protection activities and a mental health management plan.
First, the team “A Little Plogging in NSYSU,” based on SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-being), SDG 4 (Quality Education), SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), SDG 13 (Climate Action), and SDG 17 (Partnerships for the Goals), proposed showing love to the land underneath our feet by taking part in “plogging,” or picking up trash while jogging.
Next, the team “Conchconch” used SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities) as their starting point to design the “Green Point Program”, which uses a point exchange rewards program to promote environmental protection efforts among the university community.
Lastly, the team “Feeling Finder” proposed developing a companion pet app for wearable devices to assist in mental health management, based on SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-being).
In order to realize and implement the vision of SDGs in a more comprehensive way, the College of Management has been actively offering SDGs-related courses and organizing SDGs proposal competitions and lectures in recent years. We hope to enhance SDGs awareness and highlight the importance of sustainable development through these efforts. We would like to thank all the students, staff and judges for their participation in this competition and look forward to witnessing more innovative and sustainable solutions in the future, contributing to the realization of SDGs and creating a better future together.
(Contributed by Kuei-Ying Huang, Department of Business Administration/Edited by the College of Management)