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BU in the running for Green Gown Awards

31 August 2011

The Sir Michael Cobham Library at BU BU nominated for two awards at this year’s Green Gown Awards.

Bournemouth University has received further recognition as one of the UK’s greenest universities after being named as a finalist for two of this year’s Green Gown Awards.

Now in their 7th year, the Green Gown Awards recognise exceptional initiatives taken by higher education institutions across the country to achieve sustainability in areas such as energy and water efficiency, waste management, construction and transport.  This year’s Green Gown Award Ceremony is scheduled for 3 November at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London.

BU is one of eight finalists in the Promoting Positive Behaviour category of the awards following a joint nomination from the University’s Environment & Energy Team and Centre for Global Perspectives.

Chris Shiel, Director of the Centre, commented “Working in partnership with the Environment and Energy Team has been an important aspect of our education for sustainable development activity.  Sustainable development will only be achieved if everyone engages. It is fantastic that our efforts are achieving recognition.”

Bournemouth also shines as part of the South Coast Affinity Group which is shortlisted for the Sustainable Procurement category following the group’s collaborative work in waste management to the significant benefit of five universities – Bournemouth, Southampton, Southampton Solent, Winchester and Portsmouth.

Amanda Williams, Environment & Energy Manager, said: “We are delighted that our strong environmental performance and practice at BU has been recognised by the Green Gown Awards in their shortlist this year, both as an individual University and as one of a group of universities working together to share services.”

BU’s nomination for Promoting Positive Behaviour comes on the back of a successful programme to create sustainable development ‘champions’ amongst students and staff at all levels including members of the Board and Senior Management.  In particular, specific training has given staff a better understanding of how their roles can impact on the environment. This has translated into management improvements, for example, in the way frontline staff manage waste, whilst smarter driver training has been beneficial to fleet drivers both in the works vans, and their own private cars.

“This programme of activities has gone well beyond the usual awareness campaigns to provide a range of training and development opportunities for staff at all levels and students. This has led to greater engagement in sustainable development and helped provide an increased understanding of how staff and students can take the agenda forward within their own role or discipline,” said Amanda.

The South Coast Affinity Group’s nomination in the Sustainable Procurement category recognises that by sharing services and expertise, the Group has been able to secure a better price and level of service delivery as well as collectively recycling some 3,816 tonnes of materials within two years, delivering a saving of £370,000 to the five member universities and reducing carbon emissions by over 4,000 tonnes.  The recycling contract negotiated by the Group is the only one of its kind in UK higher education where procurement, environmental and operational staff work together to achieve common goals.  BU’s Head of Procurement acts as the Commercial Lead on the collaborative contract, co-ordinating all commercial negotiations on behalf of the Group.

In May of this year, BU became the sixth higher education institution in the UK to achieve the EcoCampus Gold Award which acknowledges the strength of the University’s environmental practices, procedures and management systems and its compliance with them. That achievement was quickly followed by BU’s elevation to fifth place in the People & Planet Green League Table for 2011 as Bournemouth earned a ‘First Class’ degree-style rating for its environmental performance.

Over the last few years, the University’s environmental performance has improved. Since 2003, staff single occupancy car use has been cut by 16% with student single occupancy car use cut by 50%. Recycling at the University has increased from 35% in 2005/6 to 43% and water consumption has been cut by 22% over the last five years.

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