Members of the Department of Earth Sciences Green Impact Team were delighted to scoop a double Gold award at this year’s Sustainability Showcase.
Green Impact is an environmental accreditation scheme that brings together staff and students across the University to play an active role in improving the sustainable practices of their office, building or department. The scheme is run by the National Union of Students and championed by the University’s Estates Department.
The Department of Earth Sciences does have a bit of an advantage, as its building on South Parks Road has many green credentials. Heating and cooling technologies throughout the building provide between 30 and 35% of the building’s energy requirements. Heating and ventilation is provided by a ground source energy system which saves roughly 200 Tonnes of CO2 per year. Rainwater is stored for grey water, and any excess is channelled through the building to underground aquifers, which slowly release water at seepage rate to limit run-off. Construction itself was designed to be energy efficient, with the use of concrete reduced and several parts of the building pre-cast elsewhere, to minimise waste.
To enhance our already green environment, the team found ways to create more sustainable projects and policies, such as the installation of LED lighting, push taps which release less water, provision of two bicycles for staff to use on an ad-hoc basis instead of taxis, and even the installation of bee hives on our seeded roof.
Building & Facilities Manager Ashleigh Hewson, pictured centre right, commented: “We have been delighted to be part of this scheme for the full three years, and to go from Bronze, to Silver and now Gold, is very special indeed! I’d particularly like to thank Philip Holdship (pictured left) and Dr Fiona Larner for all their hard work in greening up the lab areas to win Gold there too, by making people aware of the significant changes they can implement to improve their environment.”
You can find out more about Green Impact on the Estates website.