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Environmental News BATH SPA UNIVERSITY Issue 5

Summer 2009

Green League 2009 ... where we featured If you read the Times Higher Education supplement recently you might have seen BSU’s ranking in the Green League 2009. The Green League is compiled annually by People and Planet (P&P), and ranks higher education institutions (HEIs) according to sustainability criteria. This year was the first time BSU was included. Our rating in the published edition (83rd) was incorrect – our true score was 62nd out of 126, which is correctly shown in the online league table on P&P’s website: Hearing about our recent progress in sustainability issues you might be forgiven for expecting BSU to be placed higher. There are a number of reasons why we entered the table mid-level. The league table compares all HEIs who are members of Universities-UK. Success is therefore relative to the performance of other institutions. BSU has undoubtedly made great progress over the past year, but we are being judged against universities who have spent many years addressing sustainability issues, and have far more established systems. Inevitably this scores more points and places them higher up the table. We certainly should not feel our efforts are in vain because we were placed 62nd. Another reason for our placing is that People and Planet gather some of their comparison data from HEFCE’s (Higher Education Funding Council for England) estate management statistics, submitted annually by every university. Whilst we submit returns, not all of the required data was available for P&P to access through HEFCE. As a result, certain aspects of data that might have scored us more points were not factored in the calculation, for example the amount of waste recycled compared to that which is disposed of. If this information had been included we might have been placed up to 20 points higher in the league table. To address this we have already changed the way our data will be submitted to HEFCE, which should mean that all relevant data is accessible in future.

People & Planet’s Green League 2009 is out now


On the positive side, areas where we scored highly were carbon management, environmental staff, and environmental policy. Our work with the Carbon Trust has helped develop a plan for reducing CO2 emissions, which earned us points. We also scored points under Environmental staff, as having dedicated full-time staff indicates an institution’s commitment. Our environmental policy, which is freely available to view on the website, sets out what we are striving to achieve. All in all it was a good first showing. Whilst not at the top of the table, we can certainly be proud of the progress we have made. Watch out for next year’s table, as we will make every effort to move up the ranks…


Issue 5 Jam Busting June & Bike BUDi Did you take part in ‘Jam Busting June’ last month? This was a competition for people who work or study, aimed at reducing our reliance on the car. Whilst the competition phase has ended, it isn’t too late to get involved, as you can still register on the website. The deadline for filling in your travel diary is 17th July if you want to be in with the chance to win prizes. And just because June is over, that doesn’t mean you can’t carry on the good travel habits you developed, or adopt new ones. Perhaps this warm weather has made you think about cycling to University, but you’re worried about the busy roads? A new addition to our liftshare scheme may help, as despite the name, Car2Spa can benefit cyclists as well as motorists. Those who cycle to work can now register the details of their cycle journey and search for a BikeBUDi to travel with. BikeBUDis can then arrange to cycle in tandem (though a tandem bicycle is not compulsory!), and you can team up with any other cyclists whatever their experience level. Given the location of our site just off the dual carriageway, this can be particularly helpful for potential cyclists who might feel unsafe on the roads. Two cyclists are more visible than one, and three are even more visible! Visit or contact Olivia Preston on x6549 for further details.

The walk towards Bristol’s Temple Meads train station

Water, water everywhere… The School of Science and Environment (SSE) have had two new waters storage units installed at the greenhouses in the Walled Garden, called intermediate bulk containers, or IBCs. Essentially these are just very, very large water-butts. Each container can store up to 1000 litres of water, so after a couple of heavy downpours (just a few – we’re hoping for a nice summer too!) there’ll be a rainwater store with which to water plants and seedlings. Currently water is taken from the mains water supply, so this will reduce our use of mains water, saving a resource that is becoming increasingly scarce. The installation of the IBCs was suggested by Darrell Watts, SSE Technical Demonstrator, as a quick and easy water-saving measure under the EcoCampus theme ‘Energy and Water’.

Two IBCs awaiting installation in their new home in the greenhouses

School in a Box : Romania A common question to be asked is where does our recycling go? Paper, cans, tins, glass and cardboard are taken to a waste transfer station in Avonmouth, just outside Bristol. Our furniture and IT equipment however take a far more interesting journey. Much of this is re-used by a company called Green Standards as sent to Romania as part of their ‘Schools in a Box’ programme. As they say, a picture tells a thousand words, so why not have a look at the film Green Standards have produced for us… Page 2

Some of the children to benefit from Green Standards’ ‘School In A Box’ programme


Recycling refresher course The array of recycling bins available at Newton Park:-

Are you keen to support BSU’s recycling scheme but confused about what goes where, or what can be recycled? Here’s an aide memoire to help you make the most of the facilities on offer. First of all, its important to put the right type of waste in the right bins. Mixing things up is called ‘contamination’, e.g. if a paper bin contains drinks cans, sandwich remains and crisp packets, it is contaminated and the whole bag will have to be sent to landfill. We don’t expect our Porterage staff to sort through recycling and pick out what shouldn’t be there – this can easily be controlled by whoever puts the waste in there.

Internal paper bin

The same goes for general waste bins – we do not sort through the waste in these bins … anything that goes in here (whether it might be recyclable or not) takes a swift journey to landfill. We rely on individuals to think before putting something in the bins & make to their recycling count. * PAPER: Green paper collection boxes are located at many points throughout the Uni. You can include white and coloured paper, envelopes including windows, staples and paperclips, magazines, newspapers, Post-Its. Please avoid putting cardboard or Tetrapak cartons in, as these will contaminate the paper bin. At the moment we have no facilities to recycle Tetrapak, so these should go into the general waste bin.

The trademark blue external bins

* TINS & CANS: Please ‘Wash and Squash’. * PLASTIC BOTTLES: ‘Wash and Squash’ plastic bottles to make them more compact in the bins. We can only accept plastic bottles for recycling, as our contractor does not process other types of plastics. Other items such as yoghurt pots, food trays plastic cups and cellophane wrappers may have the recyclable symbol on them to indicate they can be recycled, but we can’t yet accept them into our scheme. * GLASS: All colours of glass can be included. The doors of the blue bins can be opened, so larger coffee jars or plastic bottles can be put directly into the bin if they won’t fit through the opening.

Internal bins in the Library at Newton Park, soon to be featured at Sion Hill

*CARDBOARD: We don’t have bins to collect this, except at the residences. Please flatten cardboard boxes and wedge next to the external recycling bins. * TONER CARTRIDGES: There are 19 collection boxes around the Uni. Most types of printer cartridges can be accepted. A list of locations is available on the environmental website at:

“Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little” (Edmund Burke, 1783)

Newsletter summer 09  

BSU environmental newsletter summer 2009

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