- 308 greening actions carried out
- 94 team members
- 62 trained students
- 14 teams
- 3 Special Awards for individual recognition
On Friday 22 April, Sustainable UEA hosted the 2015-16 Green Impact Awards.
Green Impact aims to make workplaces more sustainable by encouraging local behaviour change and communal greening activities.
The ceremony was hosted by Catrin Darsley, UEA’s Environmental Officer, with a presentation by NUS Sustainability Project Officer, Jessica Naylor, and an address from Professor Neil Ward, UEA’s Pro-Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.
Congratulations to all participating teams!
SPECIAL AWARD: INNOVATION AND ENGAGEMENT
Matthew Bennett, Chemistry and Pharmacy Teaching Lab: The StarFin Project
Innovation is at the heart of the ‘StarFin’ project that the UEA Chemistry and Pharmacy teaching laboratory has accomplished in partnership with chemistry equipment manufacturer Radleys this year.
The project engaged students, academics, technical support staff and commercial partner Radleys in the drive to reduce the impact of laboratory activities whilst creating a novel apparatus that has the potential to reduce energy and water consumption in labs worldwide.
The project has been commended by the Director of Learning and Teaching for Chemistry, Professor Simon Lancaster: “The sense that our students have gained: that sustainability is an economic as well as a social imperative, will be invaluable”.
Find out more:
SPECIAL AWARD: ENVIRONMENTAL HERO
Sarah Harper, UEA Library
Sarah Harper was nominated for the Environmental Hero award in recognition of all of her hard work and enthusiasm for Sustainability Champions at the Library. Through her dedication in this voluntary role, Sarah has organised and marketed many successful campaigns throughout the year, and has played a vital role supporting and encouraging sustainable practices both at work and at home among colleagues.
The most visible aspects of Sarah’s contribution to green efforts have been her eye-catching displays (created using recycled materials) promoting the Library’s sustainability campaigns throughout the year. Sarah’s resourcefulness and creativity are evident in the photographs of these displays, each of which has included facts and figures as well as ideas for individuals to reduce their impact in the relevant area. One example was ‘The Everest Challenge’, with a group competition to count steps each day and hopefully reach the top of Mount Everest. This was so successful that they ended up changing the target for the edge of space!
These displays and new ways of presenting issues have raised awareness and discussions among both Library staff and users. They have been particularly effective in catching the attention of people who are not otherwise involved in sustainability activities.
Some of Sarah’s displays will be touring UEA buildings soon — keep an eye out, and share photos with #SustainableUEA!
SPECIAL AWARD: STUDENT LEADERSHIP
Hans Pfalzgraf (BIO), MED Champions
As Project Assistant to the MED Champions lab team in the BCRE building, Hans provided general support as well as coming up with the idea for their traffic light sticker system. This has been used in a number of other institutions to help drive energy saving from non-essential lab equipment, and will have real benefit here.
Hans also began work with the Project Assistants from the Chemistry and Pharmacy Teaching Lab team on the challenging process of creating a ‘UEA Sustainable Labs Guide’. This required considerable research in his own time, which he has fit in alongside the demands of being a third-year student.
This is something that the Sustainability Team has wanted to create for a while, and will be a strong starting point for ongoing discussions with our colleagues in the Faculty of Science as well as on the Norwich Research Park.
We would like to recognise Hans for his commitment to sustainability and increasing awareness of good lab practice at the University.
Special Award: Student Leadership (Runner-up)
Emily Mason (ENV), Team CliMED Change
Emily was a key support for the MED building team. She coordinated their workbook by uploading evidence and checking that all necessary items had been completed before the workbook was submitted.
In addition to organising and putting up posters, Emily also helped by designing her own engagement materials. She set up meetings between the team and was very professional in how she approached the Green Impact challenge alongside her own studies.
Emily helped to lead the auditors for Team CliMED Change around the building, and generally helped to ensure that the team achieved their targeted Bronze Award.
Chemistry and Pharmacy Teaching Laboratory
Gold Labs Award
This team aimed for Silver but managed to achieve the Gold labs award – the highest achievement for any UEA lab team yet!
Opportunities for savings and follow-up projects were identified through energy and water audits on lab equipment and user practices. One particular project, the StarFin collaboration, involved student engagement, research collaboration, and resource efficiency savings.
From the auditors:
"It was interesting to realise that UEA is able to do research on sustainability alongside other lab activities like teaching, with more in development. Green Impact is not just on behaviour change, but is impacting on research."
"There is such a huge cumulative work that went into making this lab more sustainable. It is great to see how much can happen in just a few months."
This team has shown amazing commitment., enthusiasm and originality. Strong internal communications and a brilliant re-use hub, taking everything from used stamps and pens to items needing a new home, are just two examples of the Library's Green Impact team's engaging style.
Campaigns have included around energy, recycling, paper reduction and water saving. At Christmas, a recycled tree ornament competition saw entries from across the Information Services Directorate challenge each other for the prize.
From the auditors: "The team seem very committed to Green Impact! The team seems very keen, lots of staff turn up to events and Sustainability Network meetings."
MED Champions (BCRE Laboratories)
Silver Labs Award
This team viewed the Green Impact workbook as 'just good labs practice'. They are a really good example of embedded sustainability and the potential for UEA laboratories.
Projects included a traffic light sticker system to encourage energy saving by clearly showing whether the equipment could be switched off when in use. The team also arranged for the plastic Star Lab pipette tip case inserts to be collected for recycling.
The team also started looking into opportunities to replace environmentally-risky chemicals with safer alternatives. As a result, Ethidium Bromide has been replaced with Invitrogen SYBR safe stain as part of Green Impact.
From the auditors: "The team seemed really keen and on the ball. Lots they’re planning to improve, and they should be looked up to for working hard towards green goals while still getting set up in the new building."
The team really impressed auditors with how much they had managed to achieve within a short space of time. A number of plants help to clean the air, and a new green-themed noticeboard provides a great focal point. A team travel survey also identified potential opportunities for changes to staff commuting.
From the auditors: "Considering the time you've had to complete these criteria, you've made a lot of changes quite quickly without realising how much progress you've made!"
Team CliMED Change (Norwich Medical School)
The MED staff bulletin was used well to help with awareness-raising, and travel events were organised at both campuses for BCRE and MED staff. The team are developing the teaching of sustainable healthcare in taught modules, a fantastic initiative.
Student? Get involved, and join UEA Healthy Planet Soc!
School of International Development
Started by student interest, the DEV team worked behind the scenes to set up systems for recycling, and shared ideas on energy saving. The auditor was impressed by the dedication of the team lead, which included a personalised cycling poster and some great ideas for next year’s Green Impact.
A great start!
School of Economics
The ECO team worked really well together, with strong coordination and creative ideas. Lots of research went into their actions, such as encouraging stair use over taking the lift and a detailed exploration of how to get to campus.
Find out more about travelling to campus: www.uea.ac.uk/about/sustainability/campus/travel
Environmentally Caring Bunch (FMH: Edith Cavell Building)
The auditors said that this was "Definitely a fitting name!" – the team's enthusiasm and creativity included selling old mugs, unsuitable for visitors, for 20p to raise money for refugees in Calais. Next year, the team would like to involve more students to widen their impact.
The team have also set all of their printers to duplex as a default. This has the potential to save considerable resources: in 2014, UEA used over 22 million sheets of white A4 copier paper!
School of Environmental Sciences
Collaboration was key to this team's success. The team involved ENV students as well as both administrative and academic staff. Students helped to write material for the School Bulletin, and the team used the School's social media accounts well to share their efforts.
A good, firm foundation for next year!
From the auditors: "Good at providing evidence, and engaged well with students. Their way of presenting the audit information was quite clear and simple."
Estates and Buildings Division
Their auditors really enjoyed meeting the people and spaces behind the scenes at UEA. The team have created a new, central noticeboard and a central stationery re-use hub for staff in the Division to use instead of buying new.
From the auditors: "This is just the start of something new; there is no reason to stop now!" "They were really keen to show us all the stuff they had done; could tell they were really passionate about sustainability."
Great teamwork and a supportive community have really helped INTO's team this year. One action was to set every staff member a paper challenge to use 10 fewer sheets each. Since then, staff have on average saved 100 sheets of paper each, and admin paper use is down from 16% to 9% of the total use!
Other actions have included student projects such as designing energy-awareness stickers for every accommodation room, and helping to promote and carry out green habitat volunteering sessions on campus.
From the auditors: "We were really impressed with everything INTO are doing, they are clearly really motivated and making a big difference. We suggest that next year you continue your great work but try and do larger and bigger projects involving more students too!"
School of Mathematics
The auditors were impressed by the team's creativity in posters and campaigns. The 'cycle for citrus' idea gave a free clementine to cyclists, and there was a change to Fairtrade for the School tea and coffee club.
The team has also investigated software changes to enable overnight PC shutdowns in MTH, which aren't currently possible but that would mean energy savings across the School.
From the auditors: "The Green Impact Day was a useful insight into auditing. It was great to see the ways how university departments are incorporating sustainable actions."
Queens Crusaders (FMH: Queens Building)
This team implemented a double-sided printing policy, and created their own switch-off stickers for meeting rooms to remind people to turn off the lights. They also started recycling items beyond the usual waste streams, including academic books and texts. The team enjoyed being part of Green Impact: "Increasing awareness has been really good. As a team, we can talk about these and accomplish missions together."
From the auditors: "They were really enthusiastic and passionate about being part of Green Impact."
Norwich Business School
The team displayed water saving posters around the School, as well as auditing waste labelling and hosting an event to promote sustainable travel.
This is a good starting point, and will help to push the team towards Bronze or even higher next year.