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Rice Cakes and Carbon Neutrality

EFEU members at the Myllypuro Campus, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences

1st Transnational Project Meeting (TPM) – Helsinki, Finland

Finland, known for its delicious Karelian pastries (rice cakes), numerous lakes, saunas, liquorice and midnight sun, was the location of the first transnational project meeting of the Emission Free European Universities (EFEU) Project. The 2-day meeting took place at the Myllypuro Campus of Metropolia University of Applied Sciences in Myllypurontie, Helsinki. 

The objectives of the meeting were to:

  • address matters related to project management,
  • fine-tune the details of the project’s work packages,
  • facilitate discussions and conduct presentations on topics forming part of thework packages,
  • facilitate team building, and
  • determine the best approaches in undertaking the outlined activities of the work packages

Participation was possible both in-person and virtually. Virtual participation was provided to promote inclusivity and greener practices, core principles of the EFEU project. The project members in attendance were: Klaus Homann, Christian Götz, and Abeo Trotter (DHBW); Luis Coehlo, Rui Ruben, and Judite Vieira (IPL); Jorma Säteri, Mehran Attar, and Paula Sajaniemie (Metropolia); as well as El Hadj Dogheche, Dominique Deneux, Hachimi Abba, and Bertrand Bridier (UPHF).


Welcome remarks were made by the project leader of the Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, Jorma Säteri, who also perused the planned agenda for the meeting. The discussions and presentations that ensued are documented below.

  • Project Management
    The team was reminded of their responsibility in time-keeping and documentation management. Draft versions of the Project’s Presentation and LinkedIn Profile were presented, and partners were invited to provide feedback and implement changes as they see fit.
  • Details of Work Packages 
    The work packages (WP) were reviewed by the project team. Amendments were suggested and made to the:
    • Time frame of project’s activities
    • Supplementary details for sections relating to the Carbon Footprint Calculator, Transforming Learning Activities, Creation of Modules/Teaching units, and Design of Digital teaching Units
  • EFEU Carbon Footprint Calculator (CFC)
    • The results of the working groups, focused on the development of CFC for universities in the respective countries of each project partner were reported and documented.
    • Current Application of CFCs: A presentation was done by Paula Sajaniemi, a sustainability expert from Metropolia University of Applied Sciences (MUAS), on the methodology used in the carbon footprint calculation for MUAS. Mehran Attar, a master’s student from MUAS, also gave a presentation. The focus of his presentation was the status of currently existing carbon footprint calculators.
  • Determining a Common Tool to Calculate the Carbon Footprint of Partner Universities. The following decisions were reached:
    • Commuting and procurement data would be included while values related to food and construction were to be excluded.
    • The inclusion of other input values would depend on availability. 
    • The emission coefficient is to be determined later, after the piloting phase.
    • The scope of the CFC is to be limited to the campus level and if possible, individual programs.
  • Development of Sustainability Awareness Survey
    • It was agreed to integrate the sustainability awareness survey and planned mobility studies of project partners. 
    • Notable examples of sustainability awareness studies were presented. 
    • Partners were to determine the specific target groups, intended purpose, nature of questions, and type of platform in administering the survey.

One of the planned activities of Work Package 5 is developing the proof of concept for a serious game. The Climate Fresk game, a game that teaches the fundamentals of climate change and its impact, was introduced and explained to the team on-site.

Within the context of the project, participation in the game was very helpful as it provided the experience of administering a serious game, demonstrated its potential as a great teaching tool for partner universities, and proved to be a significant teambuilding exercise

Jorma Sateri provided the team with both a virtual and physical tour of the Metropolia Campus. The objective was to demonstrate the campus‘ efforts in incorporating the sustainable development goals (SDGs). It provided behind-the-scenes access and information on the intricacies of the latest technologies applied in facility management. An explanation was provided on how these technologies contribute to the building’s improved environmental performance and user experience.

The initial results of CFC are to be presented at the DHBW research day (July 2024).

Specific duties were assigned to project partners to support the timely and systematic implementation of activities forming part of Work Package 2.

The EFEU team was satisfied with the results achieved during the first TPM and looks forward to the next phases in the implementation of the project.

A special thanks to the Metropolia team for doing a great job at hosting the EFEU team and successfully organising the first transnational project meeting.