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Greenlines Issue number 33, April/May 2013 

The University’s sustainability newsletter

Making a big [Green] Impact

Since its launch 5 months ago, Green Impact University of Cambridge has supported and empowered 104 members of staff across the University to complete an impressive 612 actions to improve the environmental sustainability of their workplace. Green Impact is the University’s environmental accreditation scheme. Launched by the Environmental Office in November 2012, teams across the University have been working through an online workbook towards recognised awards, making the small but important steps to make their workplaces greener. Currently in its first year, this scheme has seen a whole range of operational and academic staff taking part. From swapping disposable cups with reusable ones, to making sure the environment is a regular item on their meeting agenda, teams have been pushing forward the sustainability movement at a grass roots level. From November to April, teams have been working through their workbook.

ISSN : 2048-2442 (Online)



Inside this issue: Making a big [Green] Impact Summer internship From inside a Department The results Switch Off Week Student Switch Off Pledge tree

Now plumping their proverbial cushions and putting the metaphorical dough in the oven, teams await the arrival of the student auditors this week to verify that submissions are correct. Auditors are recruited from the large pool of students who are interested in the sustainability of the University. They receive auditing training which is accredited by the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) and get professional experience conducting environmental audits on participating departments. It gives them a great opportunity to look behind the scenes of the University and see what actions are being taken to improve the sustainability.

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and recognising environmental achievements whilst also supporting and encouraging University staff and students to further improve their environmental performance. The process is simple and fun and has a friendly competitive element; the scheme engages a wide audience in environmental issues at the University and encourages staff and students to take ownership of their own impacts. From all corners of the Estate, teams have been working hard to gain an environmental accreditation for their departments. Whether going for bronze, silver or gold, departments across the University have made a positive change to how their workplace functions, and have even enjoyed it. So, we here at the Environment and Energy Section want to say a massive thank you to all those departments and teams who took on the challenge of Green Impact and won! The official award ceremony, presented by Prof Jeremy Sanders Pro VC for Institutional Affairs, will be held on 13th June 2013.

Green Impact University of Cambridge is part of a national scheme. Coordinated by NUS, Green Impact operates in over 50 other universities and colleges and last year can boast 44,655 staff engaged and 21,639 actions for sustainability undertaken as a direct result of Green Impact nationwide. It is a vibrant scheme aimed at celebrating : : @CambridgeSust

Greenlines Issue number 33, April/May 2013 Page 2

Summer internship opportunities The Living Laboratory for Sustainability is a programme run out the University of Cambridge’s Environmental Office in Estate Management. The ‘Living Lab’ has the goal of improving the sustainability of the University by using the Estate to test and research real world environmental problems while enhancing the educational experience of students attending the University.

This summer the Living Lab will be hiring two paid interns to complete research projects on the Estate. The Promoting Positive Environmental Behaviours Intern will look at behavioural change and the communication of sustainability at the University. The Building Energy Performance Intern will focus on investigating the energy performance of three or four University buildings.

support to advance these projects to make a real difference at the University. Students with a passion for sustainability from all disciplines are encouraged to apply. Deadline for Applications is 10:00 am, Wednesday 15 May 2013. For more information about these positions and to apply please visit the ‘Vacation Work’ section on the Career Service website:

Both of these internships will give the students real world experience in the field of sustainability as well as the

From inside a Department - Judge Business School My name is Sarah Cater and for over two years now I have been the Environmental Coordinator at Judge Business School. While we have made great improvements and now do quite well in our environmental efforts, we still have much more to do.

A new Materials and Merchandise Review has been set up with the object of cutting the waste of paper, particular that handed out to students and delegates, and to examine the sorts of merchandise we provide.

We are always in search of ways of reducing our electricity consumption and currently we are aiming ultimately to eliminate the need for electric fan heaters in our building. We plan to do this by making our heating systems and insulation throughout our buildings more efficient and tailored to its usage.

When paper use is high, so is the waste of it as well as the time and energy to produce printed materials (not to mention the amount of paper and toner ordered) so a reduction in any of these areas would be beneficial and have the added benefit of cost savings.

A plan to install motion sensorcontrolled lighting is also now being considered. In a large building such as ours that is open continuously throughout the year it is inevitable that a large proportion of lighting is wasted in illuminating empty rooms and corridors. Such is the scale of the waste that we estimate that the system should pay for itself in as little as two years.

A massive 80% of our delegates and students travel back overseas after visiting us so the efficiencies are also borne out of a more effective way to provide materials to our guests. Providing materials through an online platform look to be the best solution for us. We are also looking at the merchandise we give to our delegates/students

and to see if we can purchase a similar product that are produced environmentally. We are reviewing our merchandise and making sure it looks up-to-date and efficient e.g. large laptop bags can weigh quite a lot and is not convenient for overseas guests to take back on the plane. Something like a smaller and slim line branded laptop cover is more suitable and has greener credentials. : : @CambridgeSust

Greenlines Issue number 33, April/ May 2013Page 3 In some cases, we are looking at giving delegates/students a tablet device to access the materials online rather than printing them out. This is only if budgets allow and efficiencies are apparent. The review is still taking place and results will be shared when concluded. In addition to these changes we have also tried to tackle our business

travel. By improving and promoting our telecommunications facilities and making video conferencing more effective we hope that people will make the choice not to travel. Alongside me as Environmental Coordinator is my colleague Zoe Harris. We try and promote green behaviours in our immediate workplace but have discovered that by identifying other

The results - Switch Off Week poll Approximately 300 people across the University voted to let us know how we should spend the savings from Switch Off Week. Switch Off Week was a campaign to raise awareness across staff and students about how much electricity they use and to take action to switch off. The initiative produced £5,000 worth of savings in one week. This sum was multiplied by a factor of 10 by the Energy and Carbon Reduction Project to give £50,000 to invest back into further energy saving measures. Last month we asked you, the staff and students of the University, how you would like this money to be spent,

colleagues around the school to also be on board, ensure the message covers a wider audience and has more effect to more people.

If you or your department would like to appear in From inside a department, please email

Upcoming Events

promising to invest £50,000 on the most popular initiative.

Green Impact Audits

Staff and students decided overwhelmingly that they would like the money to be invested in the installation of movement sensors that will automatically turn off lights when there is no one in the room to use them.

Now Green Impact teams have submitted their workbooks, we need someone to go around and audit them, so we have recruited 15 students to recieve IEMA acredited training and get out in departments and find out what

A large amount of lighting within University buildings is already controlled by sensors which detect either movement or ambient daylight levels. More of these controls are retrofitted every year, but the success of this suggestion will see an acceleration of the programme.

they have done.

Thank you to everyone who took part.

How University of Cambridge staff & students want to invest £50,000

Internships For more information about positions and to apply please visit the ‘Vacation Work’ section on the Career Service website: VacAndOpps.asp. Deadline 15th May.


Green Impact Award ceremony

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We can’t wait to celebrate all the hard work and achievements of our Green Impact teams this year. The official award ceremony presented by Prof Jeremy Sanders Pro- VC for Institutional Affairs, will be held on 13th June 2013.


35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 Sensors

LED lights


Live time displays

Other : : @CambridgeSust

Greenlines Issue number 33, April/May 2013Page 4 competitions within halls of residence at universities across the UK. At Cambridge, 23 of the 31 Colleges are participating in the scheme and have been some of the most engaged students across the UK. Check out the impressive statistics below.

Student Switch Off Student Switch Off is a not for profit campaign, run in colaboration with the National Union of Students (NUS), encouraging student action on climate change. It runs energy saving

two climate quiz. • 41 Student Switch Off Ambassadors have been trained over the year. • 280 photos have been submitted to Student Switch Off competitions throughout the year. To view these photos visit the Student Switch Off webpage: http://www.

• A total of 2,095 students have pledged their support for the campaign which is 15.3% of the participating colleges.

• The photo featured is from St Catherine’s inhabitants Sam, James, Ben and Justus, who won the national picture of the month competition (putting on extra layers rather than the heating)

• 1,581 students joined the Facebook fanpage.

The winner will be the College with the highest score by May.

• 4,087 students took part across the

Pledge tree During the Switch off Week Environment and Energy Roadshow we collected pledges from University staff and students about how they were going to change their behaviour and be more sustainable. Some of our favourite pledges were:

• I pledge to pay to buy carbon offsets for my flights to India

computers and other equipment off or use the energy saving modes on them more

• I pledge not to use plastic bags

• 5% of people plede specifically to use the correct amount of water when boiling a kettle.

• I pledge to improve my electrical consumption at home and not just at work

Most people pledged to reduce their energy use. In fact, 80% of pledges involved energy saving. These pledges included using appliances correctly as well as turning lights and appliances off. Specifically, the numbers broke down as follows:

• I pledge to use the car and use other forms of transportation like my scooter! • I pledge to try and set up compost in my garden • I promise to engage my girlfriend with the Switch Off Week Challenge forever! • I promise to try my hardest to not fall asleep with at my desk with my lamp on

• I pledge to read more be able to articulate the principles of sustainability to people better.

•15% of people pledged to turn down their thermostat or wear warmer clothes • 22% of people pledged to turn off their lights or use natural light more • 38% of people pledged to turn their

Those who did not pledge to reduce their energy use pledged to take other actions towards being more sustainable. There were several pledges, 6%, from people who pledged to cycle more and change their transportation habits. Other pledged to reduce the amount of water they used and others pledged to recycle more. Thank you to those who made pledges! We ask that those who were not able to make it to the Roadshow think about what your fellow University members have pledged and to make similar pledges.

Subscription: If you’d like to receive Greenlines directly please email contact us on the details below : : @CambridgeSust

Greenlines Issue 33  

The University of Cambridge's sustainability newsletter.

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