Top Honours for University’s Environmental Efforts
News Jun 12, 2013
Bristol was awarded a First Class Award and placed 23 out of 143 universities in the People & Planet Green League 2013 – the UK's only comprehensive and independent green ranking of universities, which was unveiled in The Guardian.
The award marks an improvement from the previous year, with Bristol rising from 36th to 23rd.
People & Planet – a student-led network which campaigns to protect the environment – awarded universities with a First, 2:1, 2:2, Third, or Fail according to environmental policy, management and actual performance in areas such as carbon reduction, waste recycling, student engagement, green curriculum, energy efficiency, transport emissions, sustainable food, ethical procurement and water consumption.
Bristol University’s growing success is credited to the ‘creativity and tenacity’ of its staff and students, who continue to implement new initiatives to improve sustainability. It again scored maximum points for its sustainability policy, staffing levels, auditing, ethical procurement, sustainable food, staff and student engagement and sustainability and the curriculum. It also scored highly in carbon waste management.
Among the measures which have helped Bristol achieve a First Class Award are:
• Implementing energy saving projects to save 2,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.
• Spending £2million on low energy LED lighting across the University.
• Building and refurbishing eight buildings to the BREEAM Excellent Standard, which includes four ‘green roofs’ and 250kW of Photovoltaic (PV) panels.
• A 13 per cent reduction in water use, including the first use of rainwater recovery at the University.
• Recycling 75 tonnes of waste electrical and electronic equipment, 16 tonnes of cardboard and two tonnes of polystyrene.
• Development of the Green Impact Awards which now run at over 50 other universities.
• Bristol is one of only a few universities to achieve a full institution certification to the international environmental standard ISO14001, which covers both operational activities and what’s taught as part of the curriculum.
Martin Wiles, Head of Sustainability at the University of Bristol, said: “It’s really encouraging to see our hard work result in a First Class Award again. Having so many historic buildings and being a research-intensive university presents some tough challenges, which mean we have to work especially hard to reduce our impact on the environment and improve our sustainability.”
Manchester Metropolitan University was named the greenest university in the country, with Plymouth University retaining second place and the University of Gloucestershire moving up into third.
Louise Hazan, who compiled the People & Planet Green League, said: “After a decade of student-led Go Green campaigning, the Higher Education sector has made excellent progress in areas ranging from carbon reduction to ethical procurement. For the first time ever, 100 per cent of universities assessed now have an environmental policy.
“However, we’re seeing excruciatingly slow progress from too many universities in some criteria such as ethical investment given the urgency of the climate challenge. We’d encourage those who have failed this year’s Green League ‘exam’ to take a leaf out of Manchester Metropolitan’s book.”
Adding Crushed Rock to Farmland Could Reduce CO2 and Protect Crops from DiseaseNews
Farming crops with crushed rocks could help to improve global food security and capture CO2 from the atmosphere, a new study has found. The pioneering research suggests that adding fast-reacting silicate rocks to croplands could capture CO2 and give increased protection from pests and diseases while restoring soil structure and fertility.READ MORE
Drone Delivery Could Reduce Air PollutionNews
The use of drones for delivery of small commercial packages could reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy use in the freight sector in certain situations, reports a modelling study. The study identifies scenarios where adoption of drone-based delivery would result in environmental benefits over truck-based delivery.READ MORE
Toxic Stormwater Kills and Debilitates SalmonNews
Researchers have found that salmon face a double whammy when they swim in the stormwater runoff of urban roadways. Toxic pollution in the water can kill them and fish that survive polluted stormwater are still at risk as the runoff can damage hair-like sensors the fish use to find food, sense predators, and find their way in the current.