UAB Local Agenda 21

The objectives of sustainable development in the period 1999-2012

Logotip Agenda 21 fins 2012 i des de 2013 logotip de Campus SiS


Local Agenda 21 derives from chapter 28 of Agenda 21 adopted by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), which took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992 and which urged all local authorities around the world to draw up and implement action plans for sustainable development.

In 1999, the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) began the process of drawing up the UAB Local Agenda 21, following the methodology applied to the municipal and considering the particularities of university life. The aim of Agenda 21 was to have a comprehensive analysis of the environmental problems on campus and to draw up, with the participation of the university community, a plan of action for sustainability to define the lines of action of the University in relation to sustainability and the environment.

As a result of this process, in 2002 the first Action Plan for Sustainability was approved, which set the guidelines for UAB environmental management for 2002-2010. In 2006 this Action Plan was revised to define the programmes and actions for the period 2007-2010. In 2010, the new Action Plan for 2011-2015 was drafted. This plan was not approved by the Governing Council but served as a basis for drafting the UAB Sustainability Plan for 2013-2017. The latter Plan was integrated into the Healthy and Sustainable Campus project.

From the beginning of the process until 2012, the Monitoring Commission of Agency 21 has monitored the implementation of the Plan. During these years, annual sustainability reports have also been drafted, which contain the calculation of the monitoring indicators.


First an environmental diagnosis is made and then an Action Plan and its Follow-up Plan are drafted. The involvement of the university community is considered in all phases.

  1. The Environmental Diagnosis is a technical document to analyse the state of the environment at the UAB and which serves as the basis for the subsequent drafting of an Action Plan.
  2. The aim of a Plan for environmental sustainability is to have a reference document that sets out the guidelines for the environmental management of the University in the medium term. The plans are structured in several strategic lines that contain different programs and that are materialized in actions. The plans also contemplate the possibility of drawing up more specific sector plans.
  3. The Monitoring Plan allows for a periodic evaluation of the implementation of the Action Plan, to check that the appropriate strategies are being followed and that the expected objectives are being achieved. To this end, the monitoring plan has a series of tools such as the degree of compliance and sustainability indicators, which serve to monitor the implementation process and to evaluate the evolution of the University in terms of sustainability.

The Agenda 21 Monitoring Committee is responsible for monitoring the implementation of the action plan and supervising its compliance.

1.Diagnosis 2000.

The first phase of the Local Agenda 21 process at the UAB (years 1999-2000) consisted of the preparation of the Environmental Report, a basic document in which the necessary information was collected to analyse the environmental status of the UAB, especially of the Bellaterra campus. Based on this environmental report and a pre-diagnosis document, a participatory process was carried out based on 4 thematic discussion sessions open to the whole community. This first phase of the Local Agenda 21 process gave rise to the environmental diagnosis document of the year 2000, which reflects the initial environmental status of the University and identifies the shortcomings and potential of the University in the area of the environment.

The 2000 environmental diagnosis was structured in the following areas:

  • Territorial analysis
  • Natural environment
  • Water
  • Energy
  • Atmospheric pollution
  • Noise pollution
  • Waste
  • University organisation and management in environmental matters
  • Research

The preparation of these documents was supported by the Department of the Environment of the Government of Catalonia and the Agbar Foundation.


2 and 3. Action Plan and Follow-up Plan 2002-2010.

After the diagnosis, a survey was made open to the entire university community to enrich the contributions to the debate on the prioritization of the environmental problems of the University.

Apart from the surveys, the elaboration of the Action Plan was mainly based on a method of participation tested to date at the municipal level and which at the UAB was called University Participation Councils (UPC). This phase was coordinated by ICTA and the Institute of Government and Public Policy (IGOP). Three thematic CPUs were held, for which representatives of the different groups of the university community were convened at random, in order to draw up a plan of action that was as representative as possible of the community's will on issues relating to sustainability.

The subsequent review of the Action Plan by the UAB management units and the UAB governing team resulted in the Local Action Plan for the Sustainability of the UAB and its respective Follow-up Plan. The Action Plan for the Sustainability of the UAB was presented to the university community on 5 December 2002 and to the UAB Governing Council at its session of 27 February 2003.

(in Catalan): Diagnosis ambientals i documents de Pla d’acció i informes de seguiment en el període 2002-2010

Structure of the Sustainability Action Plan 2002-2010.

- 4 strategic lines:

  1. Territory and natural environment
  2. Resource and energy use
  3. Transport, mobility and accessibility
  4. Environmental communication and awareness

- 10 programs.

- 35 timed (2004, 2006, 2010) and priority actions (high, medium, low).

- 42 monitoring indicators.

- Degree of compliance with the 2002-2010 Action Plan: 74%.

A review of the Action Plan was carried out in 2006-2007, since after five years of implementation of the Action Plan, the need was detected to review it and design new environmental actions for the period 2007-2010 that would adapt to the current situation of the UAB. This review was done through a participatory process and had the support of the UAB Social Council.

The participatory process was based on a virtual forum, which was active from 16 October to 14 November 2006, and where it was decided which of the new proposals contributed to the virtual forum would introduce the new Action Plan 2007-2010 and with what priority. These results were discussed and approved at a one-day face-to-face forum held in November 2006.

Once the participatory process was completed, an updated document of the Action Plan for Sustainability for the period 2007-2010 was prepared, with the programmes and actions to be implemented in order to continue towards a more sustainable university.

The 2007-2010 Action Plan was presented to the Government Team, and to the Governing Council on 25 April 2007.

During these four years different projects and actions were carried out to develop the 61 actions that were defined in the plan, and a degree of compliance of 74% of what was planned was achieved.

Documentss (in Catalan): Pla d’acció i informes de seguiment en el període 2007-2010.

On the other hand, and as a response to one of the demands of the forum, in April 2007 a quarterly magazine (el Butlletí de l’Agenda 21 de la UAB) began to be published to publicise the different projects and initiatives being carried out by the university within the framework of its Agenda 21.

1.Diagnosis Year 2010.

As a starting point for preparing the 2011-2015 Sustainability Plan, an environmental diagnosis was drawn up on the state of the University in the different areas of sustainability and the environment in 2010.

The 2010 environmental diagnosis was structured in the following areas:

  • Urban planning and biodiversity
  • Transport, mobility and accessibility
  • Energy
  • Water
  • Waste
  • Greening of purchases, services and events
  • Environmental communication


2 and 3. Action Plan and Follow-up Plan 2011-2015.

The 2011-2015 Environmental Sustainability Plan gives continuity to the 2007-2010 Sustainability Action Plan in order to provide the university with a policy and planning that will allow it to continue advancing and improving in the challenge of being a more sustainable and environmentally friendly university. The development of this Plan was one of the objectives of the UAB Master Plan 2010-2012.

Structure of the Action Plan for Sustainability 2011-2015.

- 4 strategic lines:

  1. Territory and biodiversity
  2. Flow management: energy, water and waste
  3. Internal Greening strategy.
  4. Environmental communication and awareness

- 14 programs.

- 39 actions.

- 42 monitoring indicators.

(In Catalan).Pla d’acció 2011-2015 i informes de seguiment.

On the other hand, during this period the UAB Agenda 21 Bulletin (Butlletí de l’Agenda 21 de la UAB) continued to be written to publicise the various projects and initiatives being carried out by the university within the framework of its Agenda 21.