BU achieves prestigious EcoCampus Gold Award
Bournemouth University has been recognised as one of the country’s most environmentally friendly universities after being awarded a prestigious Gold Award by the national EcoCampus scheme for higher education.
The award acknowledges the strength of the University’s environmental practices, procedures and management systems and its compliance with them, and was awarded following a comprehensive audit of BU’s policies and processes by EcoCampus representatives. BU is only the sixth university or college in the UK to have achieved the Gold standard.
Launched by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) in 2005, EcoCampus is a national award scheme for Environmental Management Systems in the higher and further education sectors. The scheme enables institutions to identify, evaluate, manage and improve their environmental performance and processes by providing a framework for best practice.
To successfully complete the Gold Award the University has had to demonstrate best practice and compliance in areas such as roles and responsibilities, environmental training, communication, documentation, operational control and emergency preparedness and response.
BU has implemented an environmental policy which includes initiatives to reduce its impact in areas including carbon and energy management, waste management, travel, sustainable procurement, water consumption, sustainable construction and biodiversity management.
Specific initiatives include BU’s Carbon Management Strategy and Implementation Plan, which aims to reduce the University’s carbon footprint by 30 percent from a 2005/06 baseline by 2015/16, and the Travel Plan, which seeks to improve the choice of transport options available to staff and students for travel to the University and between its two campuses.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Chair of BU’s Environmental Strategy Group David Willey said: “We are delighted to receive this award as recognition of our commitment to sustainability and the environment. These are important priorities for students and staff at BU and the award of Gold EcoCampus acknowledges the progress we are making in reducing our impact on the environment.”
The certificate was awarded following a two-and-a-half-day assessment by auditors in early May, which included site inspections, interviews with staff and students from across the University, and a review of procedures and documentation.
The Environment & Energy Team will now begin work on implementing the requirements of the fourth and final stage, the Platinum Award, which is equivalent to the international standard ISO 14001.
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