- At least 26,046kg CO2 saved
- At least £6,984 saved
- 1455 staff engaged
- 633 actions undertaken
- 78 team members
- 54 trained students
- 22 Awards
- 14 teams
- 5 Special Awards for above-and-beyond recognition
Award levels increase in difficulty and/or time requirement to implement or embed positive behaviours and strategic change.
Standard award categories: Working Towards Bronze; Bronze; Silver; Gold
Laboratory award categories: Bronze Labs; Silver Labs; Gold Labs
Excellence Project: where a team has demonstrated high achievements through previous Gold Awards, they are invited to undertake a larger, discrete project.
Special Awards: Teams can also highlight effort above and beyond the Green Impact Workbook!
SustainableUEA hosted the 2017-18 Green Impact Awards on 9 May, 2018.
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, and UEA Vice-Chancellor Professor David Richardson.
Congratulations to all participating teams!
Chemistry and Pharmacy Teaching Labs
Having achieved their Green Impact Gold awards for two years in a row, as well as a national Green Gown Award for innovation in research and development, the CAP team were invited to be UEA’s first ‘Excellence Project’ award application.
In a lab that supports 300 students and their teachers, as well being a key location for Chemistry and Pharmacy open days, there was a huge potential audience to inform of the sustainable labs work being undertaken by the Schools’ technician team.
Behind the scenes:
- The SmartCondensing initiative saves over 250,000 litres of water per year.
- A traffic light sticker system on plugs lets lab users know whether equipment can be switched off when not in use, saving energy and encouraging awareness.
- Some equipment has been upgraded for alternatives that can be switched off, saving enough electricity to power an average UK household for a year.
- A partnership with UniGreenScheme takes old equipment and gives it new life, while bringing money back to the University for kit that is no longer wanted or needed.
- Communication and engagement resources
- Knowledge exchange - the 'TrySustainable' scheme
- Feedback survey of staff and students
- Increasing reach - internal and external exposure
SPECIAL AWARD: ENVIRONMENTAL HERO
Paul Disdle, Science Analytical Facility (SAF)
Nominated by 3 people, Paul was instrumental in the Science Analytical Facilities’ (SAF) Green Impact drive to achieve a Gold Labs Award this year.
There has been an enormous amount of work carried out in a methodical and organised manner to build on last year’s Silver Labs Award success. The considerable amount of evidence submitted for the audit is an indicator of the extensive investigations and actions that Paul has led this year.
Furthermore, Paul’s involvement in actions and contributions beyond the SAF team’s workbook have been of benefit to the wider sustainable labs programme. Such activities include; feedback and contribution to the Green Impact Labs workbook, involvement in the Green Impact auditing process, and piloting of a glove recycling scheme.
SAF took on some the non-labs workbook this year and Paul has also supported other non-lab teams, bridging the gap between the two workbooks. I am excited to see where the SAF team go next and look forward to working with Paul in the drive for more sustainable labs at UEA.
Environmental Hero Special Mentions:
- Natalia Ponomareva, INTO
- Paul Carter, INTO
- Liz Jones, ENV
SPECIAL AWARD: STUDENT LEADERSHIP
Student projects team, INTO
Tsz Wai Chang, Bomin Choi, Mehreen Saghir, Naphatsakorn Bootsoba, Suki Ha, Yu Qing Fong, Anna Pharjakidze and Yang Chew.
Nominated by the rest of the INTO team: "These students managed to involve 36 more students from different INTO programmes to become GI student assistants.
"Together they identified the area for improvements and designed several projects: No Smoking Day Challenge; Shared Fridge; Herb Garden; Tweet Home; Art exhibition and many others.
"They play an active part in volunteering in the hospital and local primary schools. Inspiring local children with a love of science, our students have developed their own confidence, leadership and communication skills.
"With these practical social actions the students connect with the world outside the university bubble, gaining the opportunities and skills to make a real difference today, as well as in their future lives and careers."
SPECIAL AWARD: INNOVATION FOR ENGAGEMENT
Tony Polack, Norwich Business School (NBS)
The NBS Green Impact team were striving for Gold this year with the help of more academic staff on board. This included Tony Polack, a lecturer in Business Management with a background working for the Norfolk Wildlife Trust.
He took it upon himself to survey his colleagues to gauge the quantity of sustainable business teaching within the programmes (as well as within research projects). The survey was sent to the organisers of 51 undergraduate modules, 63 post-graduate and 19 post-graduate MBA modules.
A short definition of ‘sustainability’ was given and about 32 respondents graded the content of their modules to be either –
- More than 50% relevant to sustainability
- About 25-50% relevant to sustainability
- Less than 25% relevant to sustainability
The results that came back were interesting, demonstrating that two undergraduate modules stand out as being 'more than 50% relevant to sustainability': Business Ethics, and Corporate Sustainability.
Three post-graduate modules stand out as being 'more than 50% relevant to sustainability': Corporate Social Responsibility, Critical Issues in Supply Chain Management, and E-Business Management.
At least five modules (of 19 – that's 26%) available in the part-time and full-time MBA courses have some content around the issues of energy and sustainability.
This is hopefully the beginning of further research into demonstrating that the Norwich Business School not only teaches sustainable business methods but also could potentially be known for it.
This was the first time the School has tried to gauge the level of sustainability and its success was thanks to Tony's enthusiasm and encouragement. We hope to build on this work each year to further develop the picture of sustainability in NBS.
SPECIAL AWARD: ENVIRONMENTAL IMPROVEMENT
Science Analytical Facility (SAF)
SAF – introduction of Terracycle and nitrile glove recycling programmes
Nominated by Paul Disdle: "Through research into the recycling of disposable nitrile gloves, I discovered the company Terracycle who facilitate the recycling of several not normally recycled products by working directly with the manufacturers.
"Nitrile gloves are one of the items that contributes to a large portion of our non-recyclable waste in a lab environment. In the current climate of the need to reduce the amount of single use products used, I felt there should be a mechanism in place to prevent gloves going to landfill.
"Terracycle have collaborated with Kimtech to enable to collection of non-contaminated Kimtech nitrile gloves to be collected returned and recycled.
"While discussing with Kimtech how to officially sign up to the process, I have begun to collect gloves in our two largest labs to get a feel for the amount we may generate.
"My hope is that we can start the initiative in our labs and with help from the sustainability team eventually role it out across campus. As a university, we have the potential to save several thousands of gloves from landfill per year.
"While browsing the Terracycle website I also discovered availability in their biscuit wrapper and beauty products schemes. Therefore, in collaboration with the School of Environmental Science Green Impact Team we have created a recycling station in the ENV social space. The recycling station will allow the recycling of stationery, biscuit wrappers, beauty product containers and toner cartridges.
"Instead of buying plastic waste bins for the recycling station, we are have sourced a surplus-to-requirements 4-drawer filing cabinet to convert instead."
SPECIAL AWARD: COMMUNITY ACTION
School of Environmental Sciences
Charity events and community wellbeing programme
The ENV Green Impact Team consists of students, researchers, academics, technical and administrative staff. The team have come together throughout the year to work on projects developing the community and wellbeing of the School through Green Impact, such as:
- Christmas 'reverse Secret Santa' donations to the Norwich Foodbank
- Children in Need Bake Sale: £239 raised
- Fairtrade event: students, working with the SU shop, to promote Fairtrade, including representation from the grandson of a Fairtrade coffee plantation owner from Brazil, with free samples available of food and drink.
- Creating the SCI step challenge (involved 16 teams (a total of 80 people) from across SCI)
- Switch-Off sticker competition for ENV students; this was tied in with the Christmas chocolate drop to remind staff to turn off electrical items over the Christmas break.
- Office plant cuttings: staff from across the School provided cuttings of plants for multi-occupancy offices. Plants left-over were then sold on behalf of Mind, raising £70
- Wellbeing event: held in the ENV Social Space, with attendance from Nightline, STS wellbeing team, and the Sportspark with free tea/coffee and muffins
- Tuesday Walks: walks held by an ENV academic every Tuesday lunchtime to promote having a break and enjoying the biodiversity on campus - this has drawn people from across the Faculty
- Birdboxes: a raffle in aid of the British Trust for Ornithology of birdboxes made by Paul Disdle, SCI technician, plus two boxes placed on the trees by ENV.
Congratulations to INTO – the highest points scorers for the non-labs workbook! The INTO team achieved so many exciting projects this year that we don't have space to share them all...
Waste reduction, from joining the Refill app to encourage a reduction in plastic pollution to removing plastic cups from meeting rooms.
Communications have been strong this year. Information is given about recycling, the stationery amnesty and central store, and energy saving are given during staff inductions. The weekly staff newsletter 'What's happening around the Centre' includes Green Impact information. Additional provision and guidance has been put in student accommodation, such as providing more convenient recycling areas.
Community events are run to encourage participation in the lighter side of sustainability – including gardening and birdwatching.
INTO's student team members carried out a second year of the impressive Everest Challenge – using an app to track steps and challenging teams from across the centre to avoid the lift.
One of our favourite-ever projects out of Green Impact was through INTO this year – they wanted to develop a green wall of herbs in their cafe area, for use by the kitchen and by students looking for flavours from home. After some very enthusiastic Pinterest-searching, the windowsill garden is flourishing and a recipe book has been developed featuring recipes using herbs from around the world (and now available in INTO).
Norwich Business School
We have been continually impressed by this team's organisation across the year, and their auditors commented on their being very organised and as having detailed projects in early development for next year. We're looking forward to hearing more!
The team noted that they have most enjoyed setting up and being part of interdepartmental competitions, fundraising initiatives by adopting charities for the year (they have had a focus on mental health this year), and running a Litter Pick as part of a project management module.
The pun force is strong with this team. I’m assured that thinking of car puns was exhausting... but they did a great job of crowbarring puns into their regular communications out to the School community.
Fuel efficiency quizzes, spot prizes, the Big Holiday Switch Off, challenging EDU to the County Council's active Workplace Challenge (and winning) – the NBS team took competiveness to a new level and used it as a powerful engagement tool. NBS saved 550kg of CO2 through their Workplace Challenge, and special mention to Jenny Fairbrass who racked up over 200 activities!
At the same time, NBS used Green Impact to encourage donations and collective action. Foodbank and Save the Children benefitted from various events, and organisations such as Love Food, Hate Waste and the Fairtrade Foundation were highlighted across the School.
As we’re all aware, universities have a unique potential for producing new generations of engaged and active members of society. Tony Polack produced a survey given to all NBS staff to gather data on sustainable business teaching, which will feed into wider work around Education for Sustainable Development at UEA. This powerful piece of work will be genuinely helpful moving forward.
Science Analytical Facility (Labs Award)
Gold Labs Award
We think the SAF team, led by Paul Disdle, may have achieved the highest points score they could have this year – the points boundary for a Gold Labs award is 250 points. They scored a massive 307 points! Needless to say, that’s the highest score this year.
The SAF team technique included using existing methods to highlight key messages whenever possible, including the labs' Safe System of Work documentation to indicate best practice for chemical handling and reduction of labs waste.
Sustainability information is integrated into lab inductions, to help it be adopted as good lab practise and not just singled out as a one-off exercise. This is certainly something that every team and sustainability champion could seek to replicate.
All lab fridges and freezers are on scheduled cleaning and sorting, and the labs make good use of packing materials to reduce air space in their freezers to optimise efficiency.
The labs are inspected on a monthly basis, including to check waste handling, fridges and freezers. Anything missed on these tours is found on a 6-monthly housekeeping schedule, with any issues found then raised via team email.
Team leader Paul highlighted: "The lab invested in a gas sharing manifold system to reduce the number of scientific gas cylinders in the lab to save money, space and improve health and safety. This was designed by a team member, manufactured by an external company and then installed by the team. This means we now have 4 fewer cylinders in the lab, and can now segregate the cylinders according to the BCGA guidelines. We are also saving 4 lots of gas rentals per month at £3.86 each and also saving the initial gas costs."
In terms of oversight and environmental management, this team is a great case study. Congratulations and thank you for all your hard work.
The Enterprise Centre
Unless you've been working under a rock, you're probably aware that the Enterprise Centre building is exceptionally low-carbon and sustainable. From using local building materials to working with local craftspeople in new ways to generate income out of traditional seasons, it is UEA's sustainable showpiece.
Over the past 12 months the Adapt team has hosted over 30 tours and talks regarding The Enterprise Centre and its sustainability credentials. But through Green Impact, they are also working to engage building users in new ways.
In order to maintain TEC's Passivhaus Certification, meaning its externally-certified low-carbon nature, the 'Specific Primary Energy Demand' needs to be ≤ 120 kWh/m2 per year. The Adapt team ensures that all of the equipment bought for the building:
- Is energy efficient with minimum A energy rating
- Has standby features
- Is value for money
- Bought from sustainable businesses.
The building uses refurbished furniture in place of buying new, this year including a meeting table and cardboard desks!
As part of the building's review by its project design team, feedback identified comfort issues by some building users. As a result, the Adapt office was rearranged so that individuals who feel the cold were positioned away from air handling units. Desks that were originally face to face were moved into an L-shaped configuration – meaning that neither person was sat directly underneath the air vent. This is a common challenge in shared spaces and something that more teams could perhaps consider.
The Enterprise Centre team plan to undertake an Excellence Project next year, to focus more on a specific project. We're excited to see what they manage! Well done to the team.
School of Biological Sciences Teaching Lab
Silver Lab Award
The lab has strong systems in place to ensure safe, secure and sustainable laboratory practice is embedded. From chemical storage and ensuring that materials aren't over-ordered, to labelling protocols and switching un-needed equipment off, they are managing their environmental impacts really well.
Freezers are inspected over the Christmas break and over the summer and cleaned as necessary. The team has a monthly reminder to check their -80C ULT (ultra-low temperature) freezer, as the filter is at floor level and gets quite dusty. This is a good reminder that it's important to consider each lab's individual needs and environment when scheduling maintenance of equipment.
Congratulations to Kathryn and the whole team for an impressive level of embedded sustainable practice!
School of Education
The team has worked well together to generate ideas and gather views from their staff and students, including the team's Project Assistants running a survey of EDU students to identify areas for improvement.
The EDU team used Green Impact to inspire their colleagues to consider changes at home, as well as in the office. The School has made a commitment to only buying Fairtrade / Rainforest Alliance / ethically sourced products for the work tea, coffee and milk fund. Staff that want to belong to the club regularly give money, and the Support Team buys the products for everyone to use. Staff were also encouraged to buy these products in their home life, too.
Green Impact inspired the team to get a mains-provided water cooler fitted, and they have worked to reduce single-use plastic elsewhere in the School. They've looked at reducing waste in other areas, for example by encouraging the return of unused parking permits and envelopes, and by reusing other materials where possible.
School of Environmental Sciences
This team has been exceptionally well-organised and consistent across the year, and have achieved some really impressive actions as a result. With the team bringing together academics, support staff, the ENV Teaching Lab staff, and students, there has been a wide variety of projects and successes.
Staff and students across the School have been actively encouraged to get involved, from being student Project Assistants to providing ideas for energy improvements and taking part in a design competition for switch-off stickers, which are now in place around the building.
One great collaboration was between the ENV team and Paul Disdle, a technician from the Science Analytical Facility – upcycled bird nesting boxes are now up in the trees around the building.
Community fundraising has included a bake sale for Children in Need, a plant sale in aid of Norwich and Norfolk MIND, and a Fairtrade Fortnight stall.
Congratulations to the whole team for a really well-planned campaign and well-earned award.
A great start by this small team in their first year!
Broadview Lodge had support from their Project Assistant, Elena, who helped collate evidence and wrote a newsletter article about wetlands.
Actions included trying to reduce single-use plastic: guest rooms are stocked with one water bottle per guest per visit, and visitors are encouraged to refill from the Reception water cooler.
We think it's important to highlight the variety of projects and contexts that Green Impact can work in: Broadview Lodge have a unique opportunity to engage visitors to UEA, and we look forward to seeing what they can achieve next year.
School of International Development
The team worked hard to create a strong base for their Green Impact work, looking at both Getting Started and Bronze criteria and promoting recycling and other initiatives well.
Good practice includes setting team roles, involving identifying themes that individuals would work on and responsibility areas such as 'Communications' or 'Academic liaison'.
The ‘DEV Virtual Walk to Edinburgh’ was one impressive Silver project carried out by the team this year. Staff were encouraged to log any activity that they undertook, from their walk to work to evening yoga. This was converted to miles, and the team tried to make it to Edinburgh as part of Focus on Wellbeing Month in January. A great idea!
Next year the team have said that they will try to involve more academics and students – it's great to see them already keen to push on to Silver!
Estates and Facilities Division
From possibly the most miserable weather for a tree walk ever experienced, to job changes and competing demands, it was a challenging year for this team, but they did a great job to achieve a solid Bronze Award.
We really liked the cross-campus collaboration for different challenges and competitions, with campus waste reused in a number of really exciting ways for some of them.
Well done, and here's to that elusive Gold Award in 2019...!
School of Environmental Sciences Teaching Labs
Bronze Labs Award
One of the strongest stories to come out of the ENV Teaching Lab this year is their cold storage management.
- Fridges and freezers are routinely cleared out, defrosted and switched off when unnecessary.
- Filling any empty space with clean, reused polystyrene helps to reduce the amount of energy by reducing air to cool.
- Labelling samples, and providing an up-to-date tracking system or log on or near freezers sounds simple but can drastically reduce the amount of time that lab users need to keep the door open, thereby saving energy.
By collaborating with other labs and groups, the Teaching Lab is strengthening its lab procedures and engagement materials.
Congratulations on your Bronze Award!
NBI Graduate School Office
A brand new team this year, the Norwich Bioscience Institutes Graduate School Office team managed to achieve a convincing Bronze award and some photo competition wins in less than a month – a really impressive feat!
As quite a small office, it was fantastic to see the whole team being active and involved.
We loved this team's amazing personalised posters! From an Obama-themed 'Yes we scan' to promote double-sided printing and scanning over photocopying, to lights-out reminders, these were a joy to see.
Pre-Green Impact activities include allotment veg-sharing, charity work and fundraising for Norwich FoodHub and for Guide Dogs for the Blind, community litter picks and purchasing green electricity at home.
With an academic team member already signed up, roles assigned within the programme, and plans in place to extend out into the wider building, it will be exciting to see what the team can achieve next year.
Quadram Institute Bioscience (QIB)
Bronze Labs Award
Our first team from the wider Norwich Research Park to sign up, the QIB team did a great job at a really busy time.
While planning for a full building move this summer, the team started to audit and review their labs to encourage good practices and identify opportunities.
As with a lot of Green Impact labs teams, we think they were surprised by the sheer amount of good work that goes on behind the scenes.
Following best practice for ultra-low temperature freezers, such as consolidating freezers, auditing the efficiency of older units, and increasing temperature of some units to minus 70 degrees are examples of great energy saving practices, which we hope transfer to the new building in June 2018.
The organisation already recycles plastics in the form of tip boxes and chemical bottles, once washed out. They have looked into the feasibility of recycling decontaminated plastics, but potential with health and safety risks mean this has been put on hold for now. This is a good example of how Green Impact can help to identify future projects.
The labs are looking to improve awareness around the use of disposable plastics – such as spreaders, media reservoirs, and inoculating loops, and encouraging reusable alternatives.
An impressive first year, and a great example of how Green Impact can be of practical use.
Science Analytical Facility - Offices
Congratulations to SAF for gaining a second award for the non-labs workbook!
Working Towards Bronze Labs Award
Well done to INTO for getting started with their labs workbook!
The INTO team is already thinking about next year, and planning how to increase existing green projects in their labs. Good luck!
Quadram Institute Bioscience - Offices
Working Towards Bronze Award
Well done to the QIB team for taking Green Impact into their offices too!
We hope that the new Quadram Institute Bioscience building will be a great opportunity to embed sustainability further. Watch this space...