And we’re off! – Green Impact

The Green Impact project mentioned a short whileback was officially launched this week at the Departmental meeting and the presentation was well received by the staff attending. It is part of the national Green Impact scheme in association with the National Union of Students. The aims are as follows:

  1. Reducing waste and increasing recycling
  2. Increasing energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions
  3. Increasing sustainable procurement
  4. Increasing sustainable transport
  5. Improving communications relating to sustainability 

The scheme’s  ‘bronze, silver and gold’ award approach allows for creative and innovative solutions to be discussed and implemented in the work place, rewarding the most successful and orignal ideas.  It has provided the Team with a framework which will be helpful when trying to act upon the various ‘green’ areas mentioned above.

In order to keep ‘green’ changes in the workplace relevant to staff behaviour it is important to provide a platform for individuals to voice their thoughts and ideas on how they feel working practices can be made more sustainable.  This is because staff ideas and experiences are the drivers for sustaining ‘green’ initiatives within the workplace in the long term. At the moment the ‘Green Team’ is focusing on collating feedback and judging by the initial responses, I’m quite optimistic that we will be able to implement some key changes in the very near future!    

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Turning the Department Green

Talk around sustainability commonly surfaces here in the UK everytime energy providers increase their prices. It tends to spark the  ‘gas,nuclear or renewable energy’ debate and talk of CO2 emissions targets. Although that discussion is at a national level,  issues around sustainability very much affects all of us on an individual level. For example, A typical 8-hour working day can involve an employee travelling into work from home, working in the office and then travelling back home again at the end of the day. Our actions and how we interact with the environment around us do have an impact at every stage of the working day cycle. Thinking about using less and wasting less is always a good place to start. There’s evidence of a few ‘green’ schemes already in place so it would be good to build on those, see how effective they’ve been and include a few more.  I’m hopefully going to try and get involved in setting up a Green Impact branch in my department to see what we can all do to ensure our actions are as sustainable as possible.