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Campus Vivo/Living Campus is the result of the University's need to strengthen its function as a vanguard educational institution that recognizes the role of (social, economic and environmental) sustainability and which deems necessary to become an institution contributing to sustainable development. This importance is framed within objectives of sustainable development (OSD), which are directly linked to environmental and social responsibilities of states, enterprises, organizations, institutions, and generally speaking the population of the planet, and which promote global commitment based on 4 axes:  people, prosperity, peace, alliances, and planet.


Its purpose is to improve the quality of life of the community and of the university setting, to prevent, mitigate and compensate the university's social-ecological impacts, and generally speaking to improve institutional management being inclusive, having solidarity, being co-responsible and in harmony with society and nature.


Campus Vivo/Living Campus is a university system to manage sustainability which integrates, coordinates, evidences and discloses our university's sustainability practices. Thus, Universidad de Medellin reflects the institution's responsibilities with the care of ecosystems and human beings, focusing institutional management to comply with the objectives of sustainable development.

Based on principles, Campus Vivo/Living Campus has considered that a university is sustainable when it becomes locally and globally responsible of taking care of the ecosystems and of human beings; moreover, it guides all of the university community in resolving social-ecological challenges. (Adapted from Cole 2003, p. 30) Therefore, in Campus Vivo/Living Campus's University Sustainability Management System Structure, there are programs that target the objectives of sustainable development related to taking care of territory, environment, and resilience to local and global changes.


The purpose of the sustainability policy is to establish general guidelines that the university deems essential to prevent, mitigate, correct, eliminate or compensate social-environmental impacts in an inclusive participatory manner, and accordingly providing the principles to establish the University's sustainability management system which will enable the university to develop management instruments and comply with proposed objectives and goals.  

The sustainability policy applies to those social-environmental impacts that the university identifies prioritizes, and takes care of the University's main or central campus.


Universidad de Medellin's sustainability policy understands that a university is sustainable when:  the university becomes responsible locally and globally of taking care of ecosystems and human beings, and targets all of the university community to resolving social and ecological challenges, Adapted from Cole (2003, p. 30).

The University's responsibilities start from the tenets of the objectives of sustainable development, of recognizing and linking stakeholders, and it is guided by means of a university sustainability management system that enables the university to operationalize, make visible and improve the University's efforts in matters concerning sustainability.

General Objective 

To contribute in making Universidad de Medellin sustainable via guidelines to prevent mitigate, correct, eliminate or compensate social environmental impacts in an inclusive participatory Manner and financially viable.

 Thematic Areas 

1. Territory, setting, and biodiversity

2. Governance, inclusion and human rights

3.  Information and Knowledge Management 

 Cross-cutting issues

a.  Teaching, research, extension and internationalization

b.  Technical economic-financial viability 

c. Transparency and Accountability

d. Innovation and social projection


Complete Text of the Sustainability Policy





Universidad de Medellin's food security and territorial management aim at fostering spaces to integrate, link and disclose as well as to conduct sustainability practices based on five basic components to be responsive to the challenges proposed in the objectives of sustainable development.


The conservation program is the implementation of the University's responsibility principles on partner ecosystems (ecosystems where nature and human beings interact).  this is why the program seeks to restore ecosystems the university has intervened, take care of biodiversity and establish comprehensive management alternatives of the territory and the university community.


In the University's last biodiversity inventory (2016), the university found 109 species of trees (tulips, mangos, and eucalyptus, among others), 19 species of mammals (possums, and bush dogs among others) and 55 species of birds (canaries, hummingbirds, and turkey hens among others) that use the university territory as their habitat.

It is worth highlighting that the University is immersed in two ecosystems which are a tropical rainforest, a mountain wetland and it has a pair of stream headwaters.


Academic and Research Events

a.       Conducting the Campus Vivo/Living Campus II Panel Discussion: Territory, environment and Biodiversity.  There were 80 attendees, 6 guest speakers, live broadcast of the talks via Periscope (a maximum of 126 Spectators per talk) @UdeMedellin_ #IIConversatorioCampusViv

b.       Participating in events and roundtable discussions regarding protected urban areas as guests of the metropolitan area.  

c.       Sustainability research seedbed on Universidad de Medellin's biological corridors and other environmental engineering class programs

d.       P research project call 40 -2017 2 “A Coherent Restoration”

Comprehensive Management of Civil Society's Natural Reserve 

The university neighbors on a regional protected area  under Corantioquia's  jurisdiction –DMI Divisoria Valle de Aburrá Río Cauca-,  and since 2017,  the university has been considering the proposal of developing a 70-hectare lot belonging to the University,  known as La Ortega,  which is a reserve protection proposal of ecosystems and biodiversity as a figure of an urban protected area named a “Civil Society Reserve”  and to do so,  the university has been conducting an ecological restoration project of the lot and has been in meetings with competent environmental authorities to establish an environmental lecture hall and connectivity with a protected regional area.

Aware of the need to restore the ecosystems intervened at the University, last year, a restoration process was started with 2500 native trees in two hectares of La Ortega lot.  This restoration contributes to reducing the University's carbon footprint, contributes to the quality of the air in Valle de Aburra Valley and improves the entirety of the University's forest ecosystems.  200 people belonging to the university community, Corantioquia and the Medellin metropolitan area department named Area Metropolitana del Valle de Aburra accompanied the University in this tree planting Marathon in Spanish named "Sembraton".

Restoration of the forest we inhabit 

In November 2017, Universidad de Medellin planted more than 2,000 native species trees giving priority to promising pioneering species of the forest. 2500 trees were a contribution to the restoration and recovery of our university's territory ecosystems.

We named this tree planting marathon Campus Vivo/Living Campus planting marathon or o in Spanish, “Sembraton: Campus Vivo” because in addition to improving the conditions of the forest ecosystem we belong to, the intention is to recognize that the university community also belongs to this forest and enjoys the benefits it provides.  Therefore, Campus Vivo considered important for University students, alumni, employees, faculty members, and collaborators to participate in this planting event.  they will participate actively and plant along with all the team a forest that belongs to all of us.  

The trees planted are species which have a determining function in the development of the ecosystem and the succession of tropical forests, They are explained as follows.

Type of forest succession species

Purpose or  function of the species


Some examples of species to be planted

Long-living pioneers

They will be the support of our new forest

Wind dispersal of seeds

Ceiba/kabok,  coffee-region Walnut, yellow Guayacan,   Colombian mahogany,  among others.

Ephemeral pioneers

 they will facilitate the adaptation of all the diversity of species that were planted

 Wind dispersal of seeds

Chicalá/ yellow    trumpet flower, and Soapbush,  among others

Pioneer shade trees

They are guardians of other species,  grow rapidly  and provide  shade to other smaller trees that require it

The seeds of these Pioneer trees are dispersed by birds  and   bats,  which is     fauna that has good diversity at our University

Chiminango/Pithecellobium dulce, and carboneros/Calliandra,  among others.

Fauna climax

They are species that provide diversity to the forest, embellish it with their specialty and attract species of fauna.

 the seeds of these species are spread by  mammals like squirrels, possums and also some birds

Suribio/ Zygia longifolia, cámbulo/Erythrina poeppigiana, Bauhinia picta (Kunth) DC, and búcaro/Erythrina caffra,   among others.

Gravity climax

They are species that provide diversity to the forest, embellish it with their specialty

 seeds are dispersed when fruits or pods  that explode  and/or  fall as a result of gravity 

Diomate/Astronium graveolens, Escobo/Alchornea triplinervia, Aguacatillo/Persea caerulea, and Albizia Saman,  among others.

***Note:  This table is a generality.  There are species that may vary from the schemas mentioned above  and in addition,  or some species  may even leave their seats latent  until conditions are suitable for germination 

Source: Campus Vivo – Forest Eng.  Felipe Valencia and Environmental Eng.  Marisol Yepes


The comprehensive solid-waste management program contributes to the achievement of a sustainable University, by conducting strategies focused on Environmental Education, minimizing waste production, conscientious responsible consumption, recycling, reutilization, and waste reutilization and valuation. Likewise, it is in charge of evaluating systematic wage management at the university and the disclosure of information to the university community. 

 SOLID WASTE: It is any object, material, substance, element or product, which the person that produces it discards, rejects or turns over because that person's properties do not allow it to be used again in the activity that produced it.  

INSTITUTIONAL PROJECTS regarding Solid Waste Management

RECOPILA (collect): The Recopila® program is present at Universidad de Medellin, as an alternative to collect, transport and utilize used batteries, and its main objective is to close correctly this product's life cycle, with the university community's active participation and for the benefit of the environment.

SILVA DIGESTER BALES:  the institution has adopted Silva's digester bale technology, as a technological and ecological resource to manage produced organic wastes.  the management responsible for organic wastes enables their use, and by this increases the useful life of landfills.  This technology reduces emissions during transportation up to their final disposal, clears pathways and produces participative and environmental education opportunities.  

 USE OF RECYCLABLE WASTES: Universidad de Medellin CAMPUS VIVO/LIVING CAMPUS system strengthens alternatives to take advantage of recyclable wastes like paper, cardboard, plastic, and glass, to benefit social or environmental causes.

COMPREHENSIVE HAZARDOUS WASTE MANAGEMENT:  the University's own activities produce waste that can be classified as hazardous including batteries, lamps, solvents and other chemical products which are managed through companies authorized by competent environmental authorities to prevent human health risks and environmental risks.


A responsible consumption program proposes a change in the University Community’s Behavior, especially in matters concerning their consumption habits, preventing the production of wastes, a reduction of the use of materials and residues.


In 2016, a general poll was conducted on the university community regarding sustainability using data of interest to feed Campus Vivo/Living Campus program proposals.


The objective of this program is to integrate and link practices that Universidad de Medellin conducts, contributing to the objectives of sustainable development, focused on the premise of governance, inclusion, and human rights.

Therefore, Campus Vivo/Living Campus focuses its actions on mitigating issues like:

·       The end of poverty.

·       Gender equality

·       Decreasing inequality

·       Peace, Justice solid institutions.

 Main Achievements

·       Participative formulation of the University's sustainable policy.

·       Forums, debates and academic events on governance, inclusion and human rights. 

·       Participating in creating and developing a gender violence study group.  


This program began based on the university's energy engineering program working together with the GRINEN research group as a contribution from Academia to mitigating or resolving all challenges in matters concerning generation, transformation and culture of energy consumption.  

Pursuant to institutional policies, in accordance with Campus Vivo/Living Campus Department, the policies established that the renewable energy program's main objective is to position Universidad de Medellin as a model city in matters concerning sustainable practices for the self-generation of energy.  To do so, the university has designed and executed projects to identify, quantify and evaluate the UdeM's own resources to determine which can be exploited, as well as the implementation of new technologies to optimize those resources. 

Since the program focuses on this objective, the aim is to make UdeM community aware of the importance of the responsible use and handling of energy.


The university has made a technological reconversion to LED lighting, which has allowed a decrease in energy consumption and has notably improved the quality of the lighting of the spaces which were upgraded. Furthermore, through research and Innovation projects conducted by the GRINEN research group, the University already has a solar bank that enables or allows the charging of mobile devices, an autonomous solar information desk, and an autonomous photovoltaic solar system to enable research in matters concerning the capacity to generate electrical energy based on solar power.


Sustainable transportation is understood as the possibility to move from one place to another without producing an environmental impact. therefore, the Sustainable Mobility Program is in charge of fostering a university culture that favors the use of clean transportation, which implies carpooling; thus, reducing CO2 emission and the emission of contaminants that affect the air of our Valley, Valle de Aburra, and generally speaking the ecosystem.


The university has been controlling the number of automobiles, motorcycles, and bicycles that enter the University every day.


Colombia adopted a new international global-warming agreement by which the country commits to identifying and valuating actions aimed at avoiding an accelerated growth of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), and it commits to developing action plans to mitigate and create tools to implement them. Even in the city, there is a comprehensive strategy to manage global warming and climate variability which aims to prevent, mitigate and adapt to those effects.  This is why the global warming that program was born seeking to have the university community and the campus become resilient; in other words, to develop alternatives to adapt to Global changes.  

After the country adopted this fundamental agreement, the university will adapt to this international agreement because it supports the mandatory responsible reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and contributes as a university to comply with the various strategies institutionalism has been conducting.


For two years, Universidad de Medellin has been estimating its carbon footprint. In 2016, it was 1,624.49 Ton CO2; in other words, the footprint dropped 7% in comparison with the first year of measurement. The Proposal is for the University to link to the National goal and as of 2020, and to contribute with a 20% decrease.


This program is wagering on a greener university campus, through proposals, designs, technological architectural and urban-planning alternatives, so that UdeM may include gradually sustainable infrastructure alternatives in its physical structure.


65% of the total area of UdeM campus is covered with three vegetation and gardens.

Sustainability education

Sustainability education is a strategy that enables comprehension of the complexity of the environment from all fields of knowledge, guaranteeing a process of inclusion and the revitalization of UdeM via flexible structured interdisciplinary contextualized syllabuses.

This program gathers all efforts around integrating and structuring academic programs, managing and creating new undergraduate and postgraduate programs, research processes, extension projects, and innovation related interdisciplinarily and multidisciplinarily to sustainability management so that all of the University's bodies and interest groups may upgrade and make efficient use of campus resources.  


1.       In 2016, 329 sustainability-related courses or subjects were offered.

2.       Since 2016, the university has a sustainability research seedbed.

3.       In 2018, a sustainability interest group was created supported by Campus Vivo.


The program intends to make the university community aware of the use of water resources, and create infrastructure and technology alternatives that favor efficient water use and saving water.


1.       The university has 75% water-saving devices in all faucets and valves.

2.       El the university territory has a 70000-liter rainwater reservoir that supplies water to the University Eco Garden in the summer or during droughts.


Interest Groups

Volunteerism Video 

CAMPUS VIVO/LIVING CAMPUS interest group's main purpose is to motivate students and the university community as a whole to participate and learn of the different sustainability projects, activities and actions conducted by CAMPUS VIVO/LIVNG CAMPUS University Sustainability System.

Moreover, it intends to promote a sense of belonging at UdeM campus by structuring different sustainability actions carried out on campus conducted with other departments, taking into account the lemma which says “WE ALL ARE CAMPUS VIVO/LIVING CAMPUS, OUR SUSTAINABLE UNIVERSITY”.

! We invite you to join us!

To see Campus Vivo Volunteerism Video Click here

For further information, please contact: 

Estephania Álvarez Aguirre

Email: Esta dirección de correo electrónico está siendo protegida contra los robots de spam. Necesita tener JavaScript habilitado para poder verlo.

 Telephone: (574) 3405554

Office: 11-212

Photo gallery 

OUR WEEKLY MEETINGS WILL BE HELD ON TUESDAY FROM 4 TO 6 P.M. AT THE ECO GARDEN, where at first we will continue making a Silva Digester Bale to manage organic wastes. 

Furthermore, at our meetings, we will learn a permaculture technique "Earth Balls" proposed by Masanobu Fukuoka from Japan.  This is a planting technique consists of protecting seeds in a layer of clay and making small clay balls having a specific thickness and then spreading them in the fields without having to bury them.