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Greenlines Issue number 41, February 2014 

The University’s sustainability newsletter

Help us shape new green policies!

Inside this issue: Environmental Policy Review  Eco Campus Silver  Student Volunteering Week Upcoming events Back by popular demand - WEEE recycling From inside a Department: Hutchison/MRC

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To ensure the University of Cambridge’s future reputation for top class sustainability practice, a full review of our Environmental Policy is under way. Now is the opportunity for you to help us shape the new policy, by filling in an online questionnaire at www.environment.admin.cam.ac.uk/ policy-overview/call-evidence. It is open to all staff and students of the University and closes on 19 March 2014 It has been six years since the current policy was drafted, and the significant changes seen both here and across the Higher Education (HE) sector means that the need for updated policy is now pressing. Across the HE sector we now see environmental sustainability concerns rising up the agenda. The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) considers carbon reduction and environmental improvements when allocating capital funding to universities. In addition, the National Union of Students (NUS) now has a whole arm dedicated to the delivery of sustainability projects in the sector, worth more than £5m in grants, as well as running several key research projects.

number of staff and organisations responsible for the promotion of environmental agenda, either as dedicated environmental advisers or as part of an existing post.

Universities have become increasingly aware of the need to address environmental issues within their internal operations and academic activity. The result has been an increased

Here in Cambridge we have seen a change in both the scope of our own challenge and our capacity to overcome it. May 2013 saw the formation of the University’s Environment and Energy

University Sports Centre which achieved BREEAM Excellent rating, Photo credit: Sir Cam

Section, which now has nine members of staff and reports directly to the Director of Estate Strategy. The Section has a greater capacity to affect positive environmental change across the University through carbon reduction projects, travel improvements, and increased communication and engagement. The team manages the Energy and Carbon Reduction Project

www.environment.admin.cam.ac.uk : environment@admin.cam.ac.uk : @CambridgeSust | : CUenvironment


Greenlines Issue number 41, Feb 2014 (ECRP) which has a ÂŁ2 million annual budget to spend on energy and carbon reduction measures across the estate. In addition, through programmes like Living Laboratory, Green Impact and the NETpositive student tool, the team is active in engaging staff and students in environmental research and in supporting and facilitating environmental improvements on University grounds.

The Environmental Policy Review Committee is chaired by Professor Jeremy Sanders, who, in his position as Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Institutional Affairs, is responsible for environmental sustainability at the University. The Committee will produce a new environmental sustainability policy covering the educational, research and administrative functions of the University.

The scale of the challenges the University faces have also changed. The University is expanding, both physically - in terms of the size of its estate - and in relation to the level of world class teaching and research it undertakes. With the continued development of sites there is a greater need to consider sustainable travel to and around the estate; as technology develops we need to be looking for more energy efficient equipment; and we need to include energy and conservation issues, which are key research themes at the University, into our policy.

The new policy will articulate the University’s aspirations for environmental sustainability; it will define which areas have priority; and it will set clear, attainable but demanding targets. The new policy, once written, will set out both the various methods for its successful implementation, and the arrangements for management and government. Now into its consultation phase, the committee is seeking the University’s views on which objectives, targets and methods of implementation should be

considered. An online questionnaire is open to all members of the University at http://www.environment.admin.cam. ac.uk/policy-overview/call-evidence with a closing date of 19 March 2014. Alternatively, written evidence, including name, contact details and whether this is an individual or institutional response, can be submitted by 19 March 2014 to environment@admin.cam.ac.uk or Environment and Energy, 74 Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 1RW. In addition, focus groups are being held as part of the review process. Anybody wishing to participate in the focus group should register their interest by emailing environment@admin.cam.ac.uk. A summary of the responses to the questionnaire and all written evidence will be published following the review process.

University of Cambridge achieves EcoCampus Silver Award The University of Cambridge has achieved its EcoCampus Silver award, after a successful audit in December 2013. EcoCampus is a national Environmental Management System (EMS) and award scheme. It helps universities to systematically and continuously identify, evaluate, manage and improve their environmental performance and practices in various progressive phases. It is closely aligned to ISO 14001 which is the international EMS standard and is applied across all organisational activities. The Silver award acknowledges that the University has successfully developed

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an approach to identify and manage environmental impacts as well as putting in place robust objectives and targets to manage these and ensuring that key individuals are skilled to deliver what is needed. The Environment & Energy Section is now working towards a Gold Award, which focuses more heavily on implementing good practices, delivering environmental training and improving environmental communication and awareness across the University.

www.environment.admin.cam.ac.uk : environment@admin.cam.ac.uk : @CambridgeSust | : CUenvironment


Greenlines Issue number 41, Feb 2014

Student good deeds sweep the city Monday 24 February marked the beginning of Student Volunteering Week (SVW), a national celebration of the power of student volunteering. The Week launched on Monday with a Good Deed Day. Taking place in cities nationwide: activating a wave of student volunteering across the UK, with students out in their communities making a difference and having fun. In Cambridge we had Cambridge University students and Anglia Ruskin students come together to spread good deeds across town. With the rise in higher education fees and a recent report revealing that one in ten students are believed to be unemployed 6 months after graduating, an increasing number of young people are questioning the value of three years spent at university. Getting involved with the opportunities of SVW can show students that there is more to a university career than a ribbon-bound certificate. Rather, students’ interaction with the community outside of the lecture theatre - and the people, issues, and experiences they encounter there - are the legacy of their formative student years. To highlight the volunteering opportunities available within the Environment and Energy Section, Claire Hopkins, Living Lab Coordinator, ran an environmental auditing training on 25 February. Those who attended learnt the principles of auditing and participated in a practical workshop. Training was split into two sections, with the first half consisting of developing their basic environmental auditing skills and the second focused on a specific project developed by Harrison Bowers, as part of the Living Lab Small Scale Projects. Volunteers who completed the whole training will now have the opportunity to take part in an audit of

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Upcoming Events EMERGE CAMBRIDGE: Social Enterprise as a Solution to World Social, Economic and Environmental Issues

major energy intensive lab equipment at the Clinical School. The Environment and Energy Section are also recruiting students to audit departments and colleges as part of the Green Impact programme. Auditors are required to ensure that departments and colleges have completed the criteria to gain their award, and offer support and advice. Being a Green Impact Auditor is a great opportunity to gain practical skills and experience through training accredited by IEMA, and by leading your own audits of professional departments in Cambridge. Training will take place in the morning of 8 May, with audits carried out that afternoon. Free lunch will be provided. To apply please complete an application form here: www.environment.admin.cam.ac.uk/ getting-involved/green-impact/studentopportunities. SVW is co-ordinated by the National Union of Students and Student Hubs - a national charity with the mission to inspire, connect and support students to shape a better world – and supported by Barclays. The charity is led by students at 9 universities; and their Hub at Cambridge University is empowering the student body to champion the positive, long-term impact that students can have in their local communities – and their own lives through volunteering. For more info and to get engaged, go to www.cambridgehub.org/svw.

1 March, 9am-6pm The Judge Business School, Cambridge. Visit our website at www.emergecambridge. org and buy tickets here.

Electrical recycling Anything with a plug or batteries can be recycled for free at Sidgwick Site 6-7 March 2013. Start rummaging!

Bike Repair

Every Thursday in University Library car park 10.30-3.30. The service is run by OWL Bikes, which is part of the Papworth Trust, all profits will go direct to the charity.

Have your say!

Environmental Policy Review. Fill in your questionairre by 19 March 2014 . Go online to https://www.surveymonkey. com/s/CUenvironmentalpolicy-review.

Become a Green Impact auditor

Being a Green Impact Auditor is a great opportunity to gain practical skills and experience through training accredited by IEMA, and by leading your own audits of professional departments in Cambridge: http://bit.ly/1cWCBo9.

www.environment.admin.cam.ac.uk : environment@admin.cam.ac.uk : @CambridgeSust | : CUenvironment


Greenlines Issue number 41, Feb 2014

Back by popular demand – WEEE event

Recycling Platform (ERP), Cambridge City Council, the University of Cambridge, and Love Cambridge as part of a drive to increase the amount of electronic waste that is recycled.

The University is, for a third year, running a free recycling event next week (March 6-7). Anything with a plug or battery, from any individual or organisation around Cambridge can take advantage of this great opportunity for a free clear-out.

All electrical waste collected will be recycled, including computers, monitors, mobile phones, video players, games consoles, microwaves, dishwashers, fridges, ovens, battery operated toys, power tools, electric kettles, televisions, electric heaters, radios, MP3 players,

The event is being hosted by European

From inside a Department: Hutchison/MRC Excessive packaging will be a common annoyance for many of us. Why do companies insist on sending a large brown box, filled three quarters full of polystyrene, which will take up more room in the van, more carbon miles and will eventually only get sent to landfill? However for many of the University’s laboratories polystyrene is more than just an annoyance but a serious problem. Due both the delicacy of equipment, and the packaging required to keep reagents cold during transportation, most of the deliveries to our laboratories are accompanied by large quantities of polystyrene. Until quite recently the only way of disposing of it all was to take it to the landfill. The skips which took them away had to be paid for individually, and were, inevitably, mostly full of air: a heavy cost on their finances and to the environment. Brian Richardson, Environment and Energy Coordinator at the Hutchison/MRC, decided something had to be done. With the help of a machine called “Styromelt”, Brian and the

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fluorescent and low energy light bulbs. Recycling is provided courtesy of Apple. All electronics will be sorted and treated within the UK. As an added incentive, everyone who contributes an item of e-waste for recycling will have the opportunity to win £250 worth of vouchers from a local bicycle store by completing a questionnaire. The winner will be drawn from the questionnaires after the event has finished.

Hutchison Building have begun to melt the polystyrene down to boxes a full 95% smaller than their original volume, and can send them to be off to be recycled, saving money, cutting carbon, eliminating the need for skips and saving a lot of space in the landfills! Blocks are recycled into mock wooden garden furniture, fence panels, coat hangers, combs. Even the fence around our pallet of blocks is made from this material, the full (re) cycle! The instrument simply needs a 32V phase 3 supply. If you wish to come and see the system in situ or want any further details please contact Brian Richardson at bar29@mrc-cu.cam.ac.uk. If you fancy taking action like Brian, why not become an Environment and Energy Coordinator (EEC)? An EEC is

an individual within each department responsible for coordinating environmental activity. The EEC is supported by the Environment and Energy Section with events, training and information. If you’d like to find out more about being an EEC for your department, get in touch with environment@admin.cam.ac.uk.

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www.environment.admin.cam.ac.uk : environment@admin.cam.ac.uk : @CambridgeSust | : CUenvironment


Greenlines: Issue 41