The Conference of Rectors of Spanish Universities (CRUE) is a Spanish non-governmental organisation set up by and for the 75 Spanish public and private universities in 2002. Its  Sectorial Commission on Environmental Quality, Sustainable Development and Risk Prevention (CADEP) group was primarily launched to strengthen the management and environmental awareness of Spanish universities in an attempt to minimise the impacts of their activities upon local and global environments. It was also intended to promote cooperation for exchange of successful experiences and coordination with other social actors in order to promote the application of specific actions on campuses. Approximately 40 Universities are members of this commission and over 85% of Spanish universities have taken part in its activities, meetings and events.

At present, the commission has ten active working groups that deal with different themes such as: embedding sustainability into curricula, environmental participation and voluntary work, prevention of hazards in the workplace, evaluation of sustainability policies, environmental improvements of buildings, application of sustainable contracting, community engagement, university urban planning and sustainability, sustainable mobility and healthy universities.

Another key activity from the Commission is the drafting of institutional declarations on specific themes which are subjected to approval by the Plenary. An example of this is the declaration on embedding sustainability in curricula, on preventive culture or sustainable procurement measures. But one of the Commission’s significant advances consists of the involvement of the working groups in the design of specific studies aimed at diagnosing Spanish universities’ commitments to sustainability. Some of the most relevant reports focus on the incorporation of renewable energy infrastructures into Spanish universities (2008), on actions favouring sustainable mobility in Spanish universities (2009) or, more specifically, on the use and promotion of bicycles on the campus (2011), on waste management (2010) or on the use and management of paper at the university (2011). 

For more information about CRUE-CADEP, it working groups and activities, please click here