- 1901 staff covered by teams
- 794 greening actions carried out
- 72 team members
- 42 trained students
- 16 teams
- 4 Special Awards for individual recognition
On Thursday, 8 June, Sustainable UEA hosted the 2016-17 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 Sustainable Development Manager, with a presentation by NUS Sustainability Project Officer, Jessica Naylor, and an address from Professor Neil Ward, UEA’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor.
Congratulations to all participating teams!
SPECIAL AWARD: ENVIRONMENTAL HERO
Robert Jenkins, Norwich Business School (NBS)
Robert felt passionately about reducing paper waste and decided to run a Green Impact project to address the issue of uncollected lecture handouts. At first, it proved a little difficult to get students to engage with the project but Robert persevered and ensured that the project was a success: all students have learning resources in their preferred format whilst achieving a reduction of 50 sets of handouts each lecture.
This project has given a voice to those students who don’t want handouts, and has moved away from the assumption that everyone wants paper resources.
To further reinforce this approach, effort was made to reduce the physical size of the handouts by printing multiple slides per sheet and printing double-sided. Editing lecture notes to accurately reflect key, necessary content (i.e. not videos, filler pages, or colour images) has helped to further reduce pages printed. Material was also offered in a variety of digital formats, ahead of each lecture. Assuming 40 handout sets less per lecture, and a mean number of slides as 72 per full lecture, reducing this to a maximum of 36 slides per handout has saved 10,000 sheets of A4 on one module. This is 20 reams of paper, or around 1 tree!
Robert is keen to celebrate the success by having his students plant a tree on campus. It’s also hoped that NBS colleagues will consider their paper use – and Robert’s influence has been a key factor in influencing them.
SPECIAL AWARD: STUDENT LEADERSHIP
The Everest Challenge organisers, INTO
Cindy Anggrenia, Trudy Johanna Lajuk Allo, Hau Yan Regina Lo, Hyojin Seo, Le Khanh Vy Doan
This team showed exceptional creativity in designing and managing INTO’s Everest Challenge, involving fantastic posters and complex formulae spreadsheets to collate data. The Everest Challenge hopes to encourage both energy-saving and increased wellbeing by asking participants to climb the equivalent height in stairs to Mt Everest.
The group initially asked for participants, then organised an introduction presentation attended by over 40 people. Each flight of stairs in the building had a barcode at each floor. As you climbed a flight of stairs, you scanned the barcode with your phone (using the QuickMark app to save your progress). At the end of the week, you emailed the team your progress and they compiled a leader board. The challenge was to complete this in just a month, with everyone’s progress contributing to achieve the goal.
During the Challenge, this group of students have been both resourceful and extraordinarily organised in keeping all forty-plus participants on track and informed of their progress climbing the 'mountain'.
At the end of March, everyone was given the good news – they had summited Mt Everest (plus six Eiffel Towers)! This team has helped to raise awareness within the INTO Centre of how much people depend on the lifts and take them for granted. The project acted as a reminder that the stairs are an option, with the added benefits of saving electricity and increasing fitness.
SPECIAL AWARD: INNOVATION FOR ENGAGEMENT
Alice Manson, The Enterprise Centre
Alice Manson, Front of House Coordinator for the Adapt Group at the Enterprise Centre, brilliantly led the TEC Green Impact team this year. Her original ideas and organised approach helped the team achieve Silver even though she went on maternity leave part way through the programme.
Alice’s ‘Walk to Mordor’ challenge got staff from across the building engaged with Green Impact. Participants from the Adapt Low Carbon Group, front desk, and staff from the companies that rent desk space in TEC submitted their step counts on a weekly basis. Using some very detailed distance calculations, Alice worked out how far the team had progressed and updated an amazing map in the shared staff area.
21 people took part. By week 2, they had successfully navigated Bree and the steep lands of the Trollshaws. The Stone Trolls and Rivendell provided entertainment in week 3. Weeks 4 and 5 were full of danger – the Mines of Moria and the woods of Lothlorién brought challenges for our brave adventurers…
By the end of week 6, they had trekked 997 miles – and taken in the delights of the Fortress of Trees, Caras Galadhon. The team reached Mount Doom part way through week 9, after 1779 miles, destroying the One Ring and saving everyone from Sauron’s evil.
We knew that The Enterprise Centre was one of the UK’s greenest commercial buildings, but it’s not every day that you literally save the world…!
SPECIAL AWARD: ENVIRONMENTAL IMPROVEMENT
UEA Grounds Team, Estates & Facilities Division
The Grounds Team have been providing habitats and enhancements with new creativity this year. After being approached to buy some insect hotels, they realised that there were free, secure and attractive options already available. Using logs from previous tree works on campus, they drilled holes and placed the resulting habitats around UEA grounds.
The logs provide safe hibernation and nesting space for insects, particularly solitary bees. They will continue to benefit biodiversity as they biodegrade over time, creating new food and crevices. The use of local materials obviously have a low carbon footprint from no transport, too!
Other site improvements have included the building of slow worm pits at Lusty Hills. Slow worms are neither worms (as the name suggests) or snakes (as their appearance suggests!), but a type of legless lizard. They are harmless to humans and, as with all species on campus, shouldn’t be disturbed if you see one.
With the Vice-Chancellor’s permission, the Grounds Team are also developing the Wood Hall grounds to be more focused on biodiversity, including increasing meadow areas and leaving a visible ditch line to support flora and fauna.
There was so much enthusiasm and creativity from this team! Their noticeboard has featured everything from Kermit the Frog doing yoga, to electrical item recycling messages from magpies. Accommodation worked with Broadview Lodge on a water-saving project, and organised a campus-wide Thermal Thursday promotion and photo competition. This raised nearly £100 for the charity ‘Crisis for Christmas’, the equivalent of giving five people hot meals and a haircut for Christmas Day.
The team ran Green Impact in the Accommodation Office, with some projects with students and in the residences. It will be exciting to see what they can achieve next year...
This team achieved the highest points score from the non-labs workbook, with a very successful year of different projects and initiative. They created a calendar of events, such as biodiversity walks, to connect Green Impact with the Focus on Month programme, giving structure to their plans.
The Library’s Collection Development Policy now works on a "digital first" basis. Where possible they are buying e-books and e-journals instead of multiple print copies. This has meant a reduction in the number of print items being purchased and transported (with the associated packaging).
This team has had great collaboration with other teams this year, from taking their paper-wastage awareness display on tour, to a shared ‘tog swap’ for the Big C cancer charity, to meeting with other teams to share advice. A student waste audit helped identify improvements to bin locations, and an audit of all taps and the times they run for has led to UEA’s plumbers seeing if taps can be adjusted for water efficiency.
Chemistry and Pharmacy Teaching Laboratory
Gold Labs Award
This team’s success story has continued this year, as the team has worked to help expand the number of Green Impact labs teams as well as to embed good working practices in their own area. Working with Estates, the Chemistry and Pharmacy Teaching Labs now use no water for condensing, saving a huge amount of water, and associated energy and financial costs. This project won the ‘Research and Development – Institution’ 2016 Green Gown Award; a national accolade.
They have introduced a mechanism for equipment sharing with School researchers, which could have much wider applicability across the University. The team’s Project Assistant, Emily, is also finalising a ‘UEA Sustainable Labs Guide’ which will hopefully be of real value to lab users.
From the auditor: "The team is doing some fantastic work, and it would seem that everything they can do to improve sustainably they are doing. They already have a lot of systems in place, so I think next year they will be able to focus on more difficult areas like procurement. They are a brilliant example to follow."
School of Economics
This team is involved in widening participation across the School, such as organising sustainability-related trips and developing research projects on campus.
Five members of the ECO Green Impact Committee also formed a ‘Healthy Lunch’ Group, which plans to continue going forward: a great idea for encouraging breaks from the desk and good staff morale and wellbeing.
Estates and Facilities Division
The key to a lot of the Estates team’s success this year has been collaboration. Sophie, their Project Assistant, did a fantastic job running a student design competition for a new Park&Ride bus identity, and the team has particularly enjoyed working with other teams.
A Fairtrade coffee morning worked well to get people from across the Division together for an informal break, which the team wants to run again. Estates did a good job at sharing the monthly newsletters and key information across the Division, and used their high-visibility noticeboard to good effect.
We’re excited to see what projects they come up with for next year — keep up the great work!
INTO have had good support from management this year, with strong commitment to Green Impact policies.
A number of large-ticket purchases have been made with environmental consideration, including a solar-powered cardboard compactor, recycled plastic picnic benches, a solar PV array, and a switch to using environmentally friendly cleaning products. We have been impressed by how comprehensive the INTO programme has been. Students have run competitions, as well as calculated field trip carbon footprints as part of their studies. Various people have been involved in biodiversity walks and the INTO veg plot, as well as collectively identifying top environmental impacts.
School of Mathematics
There were some great initiatives from the Maths team this year! In the 'Tour de UEA' cycle event, staff and students across campus raced to save the most CO2 by cycling/walking instead of using the car. We loved the pun-tastic posters, and hope the monitor lizard stays active…! Robert linked to School bulletins and social media to get messages out, and raised staff awareness by using staff induction materials.
From the auditors: "The team was enthusiastic, well prepared and has done a great job overall in making a Green Impact! In particular we were impressed by the high level of graphic design, and the overall aesthetic impact of the range of posters produced, which did a great job at both pushing specific schemes/issues, but also advertising and raising awareness of the Green Impact project."
Norwich Business School (NBS)
There was a massive level of enthusiasm and coordination from across the School. It was particularly good to see a team involving admin and academic staff as well as students.
A high-impact pilot project looked at cutting paper waste from student seminars and lectures, and resulted in 1 tree saved across 10 lectures. Well done to Robert and the School for being so forward-thinking — it will be really interesting to see how the programme roll-out goes!
Actions such as the 'UEA walking lunch' Twitter group, and following up on a building energy audit, pull in people from across the campus and illustrate how the team work well together as well as go out of their way to look for ways to join with UEA-wide initiatives. It’s been a very impressive first year!
The Enterprise Centre
Building users are already doing a great job at using their low-carbon building in a sustainable way, for example by always advising visitors to use alternative methods of transport to get to UEA. The team used Green Impact to good effect by moving on to actively encouraging green behaviours from tenants and visitors.
The two student Project Assistants, Sarah and Zayneb, organised and ran an awareness event in the Hive to promote reusable water bottles – a really high-visibility event during Go Green Week and a great promotion idea (did you know that a litre bottle of water costs around 150 times more than tap water?!).
This was the Enterprise Centre’s first year entering Green Impact, and we know there are some exciting ideas brewing for next year already. Well done, and keep up the great work!
Science Analytical Facility (SAF)
Silver Labs Award
A proactive and enthusiastic team, whose recent achievement of the International Standard for Quality Management (ISO 9001) supported their Green Impact work. The team have done well to improve existing systems and awareness materials around the facility, and to monitor lab equipment energy use. They have really managed to make Green Impact work for them this year.
Your auditors were impressed by a freezer audit leading to an identification of excess freezer space, and the team moving to a smaller unit – this is exactly the right response! Thank you for being part of the programme this year, and we’re excited to see what you will achieve next year.
ARM LSB 0.20
First year for this team, and they have made a great start, with an organised approach. We particularly enjoyed the use of humour in their messages to their office, and their creative approach. Some great ideas to use their position within ARM as a way to make a positive difference across UEA. Fantastic start!
School of International Development
Great to see two students really getting behind this team’s workbook this year. Michael and Hayeong developed their own posters and ran a UEA-wide water-saving photography competition. Local support have supported the programme well, including putting themselves forward as plant caretakers and helping with communications. Well done!
School of Environmental Science
Brilliant use of existing School communications, and of key times of the year such as a ‘reverse Secret Santa’ donating items to a local housing trust. Some amazing plant life, too!
From the auditor: "A really well-organised submission! I was impressed by this strong Bronze Award application, and look forward to seeing what the team achieves for Silver next year."
Interdisciplinary Institute for the Humanities (IIH)
The team of two, Beverley and Joy, did a great job of using Green Impact to help pull together their small team of academics. From working together to identify key environmental impacts to taking part in shared lunchtime walks, it was a good example of the potential of Green Impact to connect people. Wonderful start!
The ITCS team started their workbook relatively late on and still achieved a Bronze Award, which speaks for George’s dedication. Their auditors were impressed by the energy efficient heating and cooling system in the UEA data centres, where the technology used in the system rivals that of Microsoft and Google. The programme was funded by Salix, and the 10-year loan was paid back in 5 years because of the energy savings made from the project. Well done this year, and here’s to next!
School of Biological Sciences Teaching Laboratory
Bronze Labs Award
This team used Green Impact to evidence existing activity: 20 criteria for the Award were already being done or in place, and 4 were done as part of Green Impact. New posters were put up to further embed existing activities, for example closing fume cupboard sashes, and the lab already have a number of good practices in place. We’re excited to see what they achieve next year!