UTM Campus Sustainability:



Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) is a leading innovation-driven entrepreneurial research university in engineering science and technology located in Johor Bahru, Malaysia with 1145 hectares of land. UTM has 612 buildings consisting of 14 faculties, 13 hostels, and 6 administration buildings, making it a huge challenge to manage the whole resources and facilities. UTM has 1,077,973 m2 gross floor area with 25,000 populations of staffs and students. It is located both in Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia and Johor Bahru, the southern city in Iskandar Malaysia, which is a vibrant economic corridor in the south of Peninsular Malaysia. It has a substantial economic, environmental, and social impact on the city of Johore.

UTM benefits the state directly by providing a vacancy to be filled by any qualified individual and training to improve and exposed the student and staff with future job challenges. One of the establishing systems is Industrial Training System (ITS-UTM). This is a web-based application system work to manage the industrial training process in UTM. Industrial training refers to the placement of undergraduate students for at least ten weeks in the industry or organization related to the course taken by students. This training aims to expose the student to the career world and also for them to apply and relate the knowledge that has been learned theoretically with the real situation. At the same time, students will be equipped with the necessary preparation for the numerous aspect of social, interaction, cultural and work processes in the career world.

The University states the goal “…to be recognized as a world-class center of academic and technological excellence.” The university’s course and programs of study are designed to fulfill this vision and at the same time to produce a high-quality student who always is ready to face the future life and work and at the same time contributing to financial, technology, society and community developments. Besides, there are many efforts enforce toward improving UTM technological excellence by the establishment of a sustainable campus in UTM. Volatile energy prices due to rising energy demands and diminishing supply have made energy efficiency critical in reducing an organization’s operating costs, cut down process emission, improve its bottom line and ultimately ensure the sustainability of business and operations. Energy efficiency measures employed by organizations are typically focused on energy audits and implement energy-saving measures that are largely technical by nature; aimed at containing the effects of rising costs

To establish the idea of a sustainable campus, lots of empowerment such as offering sustainability-related content throughout the curriculum and introducing sustainable arcade and green office done to expose all the engaged communities with the importance of sustainable in daily life. Moreover, in the year of 2013 and 2014 was an integrating and collaborative work of the Office of Campus Sustainability (UTMCS) with Sustainable Energy Management Program (SEMP) in educational campaigns and awareness especially for the Green Office and Energy Unit which contain the Saving Energy initiatives.

Through the support of management and implementation of SEMP since October 2010, UTM has realised energy efficiency index reduction of 3.7%, 11.5%, 12.2% and 15.3% for year 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 (until September 2013) respectively when compared to 2009 or total saving of 19.6 million kWh or RM6.1 million, where the benchmark year 2009 is used for the UTM SEMP. In Jan 2013, UTM has been officially awarded the Energy Management Gold Standard (EMGS) 2nd Star rating under the ASEAN Energy Management (AEMAS). The EMGS 1-Star rating is awarded to companies that have implemented the energy management committee, and have implemented the entire energy management system. The Two Stars is awarded to companies that have achieved and maintained their energy efficiency improvement at least three years. This is the first-ever 2nd Star recognition awarded to any organization in ASEAN that includes companies, government institutions, universities, and other public and commercial entities. The decision has been made after a rigorous energy management system audit conducted in UTM on the 14 -15 January 2013 by the AEMAS audit team. The audit findings certified that the UTM-Energy Management System has been continuously implemented and more importantly, energy savings have been sustained through the establishment of energy policy, integration of energy management into the organization’s structure and practice, research and development into creative and innovative energy management solutions, widespread technology dissemination and ultimately implementation of a wide range of energy improvement measures in order to sustain energy efficiency practices and hence, cost savings.

By embracing the culture of conservation, creativity, and innovation and with strong support from the top management, UTM has managed to achieve an average 10% reduction in its energy efficiency index for the years 2011 and 2012 in comparison to the baseline year of 2009. This is equivalent to an annual savings of 14 million kWh since the launching of the UTM Sustainable Energy Management Program from the years 2011, or a total monetary savings of RM 5 million between the years 2011 and 2013. Energy-saving initiatives began in UTM as far back as 2003, when the facilities maintenance team improved power usage at the library with the help of an energy services company (ESCO) which provided the investment, and subsequently shared the savings. Early last year, an in-house energy management committee with representation from all units in UTM was set up to provide, among other things, training on sustainable energy management (SEM) and to develop energy managers

UTM started investing in energy-efficient products in the mid-2007. Some of the initiatives taken by the team include:

  • Retrofitting the air-conditioning system by implementing variable refrigerant volume (VRV) in many faculties and buildings.
  • Lighting retrofits, which included installation of high-efficiency T5 and super T8 lights
  • Maximum demand management which involves shifting loads so as to reduce maximum demand.
  • Capitalizing on off-peak tariff rate (OPTR) discount. Starting July 19th, 2011, UTM gets a 20% discount on its power bill if it saves about MYR 80,000 monthly. A number of electrical appliances are run during off-peak hours
  • Utilising its in-house Online Energy Billing and Management System (EBMS) to communicate and provide up-to-date information to all stakeholders on the campus.
  • Power quality improvement. This involves, among others, maintaining a high power factor and monitoring harmonics value for the main electrical feeders.
  • Most of these measures are carried out with in-house expertise.

In 2013, UTM is committed to intensifying its efforts to seek creative and innovative solutions for energy savings. Towards this end, UTM plans to distribute MYR 100,000 incentives to the units that have managed to save energy. UTM also aims to re-invest up to RM 500, 000 of the cost savings in phases to ensure that the energy management initiatives can be sustained. UTM also plans to organize a regional workshop for the ASEAN region to showcase the UTM’s experience in implementing sustainable Energy Management, UTM as an entrepreneurial Research University, will spare no effort in generating innovative products and services, preaching the best practices, and relentlessly practicing what it preaches. UTM strives to ensure that its energy management initiatives are sustainable through involvement from all levels, support from top management and short and long term planning as well as continuous monitoring and improvement. UTM energy initiatives involve the participation of all levels of its community. The energy conservation project has been achieved by the cooperation of the top management, internal energy experts, the UTM energy management committee and also faculty energy management committee. UTM has conducted energy-saving awareness roadshows to the campus-wide community. Various posters and stickers have also been put around the faculties and monthly energy usage announcements are also made as a reminder.

The approach of UTM Sustainable Energy Management Program (SEMP) adopted so far has worked after 3 years of implementation. The engagement of campus community works where overall energy consumption, EEI, and cost have decreased at the background of the increase in tariff and the number of students with less cost but maximum impacts. Teamwork and the top management commitment has been the critical success factor (CSF) in building the people and the culture, and in sustaining the energy & cost reduction.

Short and Long Term Plan

Energy efficiency and conservation in UTM will be accomplished through responsible energy management aimed at gradually minimizing energy wastage through a structured and systematic monitoring system at each functional level or PTJs within UTM. The process and procedure adopted shall enable the establishment of measurable Targets and Energy Index without compromising reliability, comfort, and safety. The immediate goals are to conduct training and award programs toward changing the culture of the campus community to proactively save energy through training and awareness programs. Besides that, UTM commits to implementing appropriate measures to reduce energy consumption by improved maintenance, operating and purchasing practices of new and existing buildings or equipment. UTM also will strengthen the comprehensive energy management and information system for easier monitor consumption, identified faults quantify savings and provides budget tracking. UTM long-term plan are to promote a culture of conservation amongst the campus and greater