The Results of This Year’s Green Impact at DMU

This year, our Green Impact scheme at DMU has been outstanding! And like each year before, Sustainable DMU enjoys celebrating the accomplishments of staff and students who have been involved, by hosting an awards Ceremony for those involved. Please follow the link to find out more information about the scheme.  http://sustainability.nus.org.uk/green-impact

The ceremony is an opportunity to recognise the accomplishments of both staff members and students who have participated in the Green Impact project. This year the teams have completed 700 environmental actions including actions on waste reduction, recycling, saving energy reducing carbon emissions and engaging with other staff members in their directorate and faculty. Nearly 5000 actions have been completed over the course of the 7 years that De Montfort University have been involved in the scheme.

The NUS Green Impact scheme allows staff and students to use an online workbook, which has a range of environmental actions which combined will significantly help to reduce carbon footprints on campus; these range from fairly easy actions, to much larger and slightly more difficult actions. Those who have been involved with the scheme for a number of years will be able to progress towards a higher level of achievement, having completed the other easier tasks in previous years, whilst those who have just joined will complete easier actions.

The scheme helps to break down boundaries and to build staff and student relations as staff notably appreciates the input that the students have had in aiding with their progress. It also offers students the opportunity to build their personal portfolios, with an Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) accredited environmental auditing scheme, whilst staff are able to prove that they can actively adapt to change and are contributing to a more sustainable future at DMU.

On the day the ceremony was hosted by Environmental and Sustainability Officer Karl Letten, Green Impact Frontrunner Sebastian Schellerer and Green Behaviour Change Frontrunner Rebecca Mason in the Trinity Chapel. The room was packed full of excited guests ready to receive a well-deserved award handed over by guest, Professor Paul Fleming from the Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development (IESD) in the Faculty of Technology.

The ceremony began at 12pm and ran until 1pm beginning with a short discussion from Karl Letten about the Green Impact scheme and the work that has been achieved so far; this focused mainly on the past year and was followed by a speech from NUS representative, Rachel Soper, as well as thanks and praise to the teams and to Karl from both Frontrunners, Sebastian and Rebecca.

After introductions and thanks, it was time stuck into handing out the awards!

The awards handed out were as follows:

Bronze

FOTAC

QEII Leisure Centre

Silver

4th Floor Flyers

Strategic and International Partnerships

Gold

Learning Support Centre

ITMS

Green POD

Excellence

Estates Development

Estates Services

Student and Academic Services

Finance Greens

Executive, Governance and Legal Services

Special Awards

ITMS – Innovation

Green POD – Engagement

ITMS – Community

Learning Support Centre – Most Improved Team

QEII Leisure Centre – Best New Team

Environmental Hero’s

Student – Cybeles Nunziata

Student – Sara Williams

Student – Wing Tang

Staff – Amanda Thorley

Project Assistants

Sara Williams

Quinn Franklin

Nizam Patel

Cybeles Nunziata

Environmental Auditors

Richa Singhal

Sara Williams

Quinn Franklin

Gaza Nathaniel

Cybeles Nunziata

Special Projects for the Excellence Awards

Green Impact team who have previously gained the Gold standard award have the opportunity to undertake a special project on an environmental topic of their choosing. These special projects are awarded with an Excellence standard.

The first project was run by  Student Academic Services, Estates Development and Estates Services, who organised and ran two biodiversity projects including bulb planting on the grass area in front of the Edith Murphy building and outside of the Kimberlin Library. The bulb planting element used bulbs which produce flowers rich in nectar which is ideal for bees when they come out of hibernation. The second element of the project was a bat box making workshops which included background information on bat ecology from Conservation Officer Nathalie Cossa who is fluent in all things bats from the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust. Nathalie presented on the lives of bats, how they are going extinct and how we can help them out.

The second project was run by the Finance Team who worked towards reducing paper use and recycling by cleaning out their archives and moving some forms to electronic formats so they would not need to print them off; they also ran iPad training sessions for senior management. Through their efforts the team managed to recycle over 210 bags of paper which is a tremendous achievement.

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The third was run by Trinity House and is an ongoing project focused around biodiversity in the gardens that is looking into the possibility of having beehives on campus. The project is currently in the process of bringing in a local ecologist to come and give advice on the project.

Our top performer this year was the ITMS team, winning four separate awards

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Whilst our environmental heroes shone with their awards…

We were excited to welcome the Queen Elizabeth II Leisure Centre as our best newcomer.

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All award winners received a goody bag handmade from recycled newspaper which included a bicycle seat cover, a recycled drinks bottle, a Divine Fairtrade chocolate bar, a pedometer and instructions on how to make your own paper bag.

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You can download this template to make your own recycled newspaper (or paper) bag here… http://www.noteworthy.com/templates/paper_bags 

Special thanks go out to the Estates Maintenance Services gardening team, who spent a lot of their time assisting with projects and by providing materials to do so.

Each year involvement with the Green Impact scheme advances; next year we expect the amount of teams to grow and produce some brilliant projects and subsequent results! All those at DMU are welcome to join in and we appreciate any level of involvement.

If you would like to get involved with the Green Impact scheme next year, please get in touch with Karl Letten, Environmental and Sustainability Officer (kletten@dmu.ac.uk).

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Rebecca Mason, Green Behaviour Change Frontrunner

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Green Impact Awards Ceremony 2015 – 2016

Green Impact Awards Ceremony 2015 – 2016

On Tuesday 24th May, we will be hosting the ‘Green Impact Awards Ceremony’ to show our appreciation to staff and students who took part in efforts to improve environmental performance and reduce carbon footprints at DMU as part of the Green Impact scheme.

Green Impact (http://www.green-impact.org.uk/ ) is an environmental accreditation and awards scheme that is organised by the National Union of Students (NUS), which runs in various universities around the UK and is soon to spread into the NHS, Local authorities and other businesses. It teaches simple ways to tackle environmental issues internally, with the hope that these will in turn become daily practices used at the respective workplace.

The scheme works under the basis that staff teams in different faculties and departments at the university aim to complete a criteria of actions comprised of small and large tasks over the course of the academic year. Different levels of achievement can be obtained by completing the tasks that fall under one of the categories which are bronze, bronze+, silver, gold, and excellence. Student volunteers support staff by auditing progress to help staff to achieve these goals;this helps to build positive relationships between staff and students.

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The scheme has been running for 7 years and in total has seen nearly 5000.environmental actions achieved. This year however saw 700 environmental actions completed by staff and student teams and a number of environmental projects have been run including building bat boxes, planting wildlife friendly bulbs on campus to increase biodiversity, and reducing paper use in our Finance Directorate.

Other participating teams undertook environmental tasks which included:

  • Putting up signs which explain how to use double sided photocopying
  • Setting printers to duplex by default
  • Using tap water instead of bottled water in meetings
  • New staff have an environmental induction
  • They produce a lighting and equipment responsibility plan to make sure all equipment is turned off at the end of the day

 

Written by Rebecca Mason – Green Behaviour Change Frontrunner

Be the next Green Frontrunner!

Applications for De Montfort University Frontrunner Internships are open! So for the Green Impact Frontrunner and the Green behaviour Change Frontrunner! If you are a DMU student and you are interested in green issues, the sustainability team is looking for two new interns. You will have the chance to discover a new way to live the University, while experiencing a real job! Being a Frontrunner means the opportunity to have a real paid work for a reasonable amount of hours per week, which won’t interfere with your studies. Also you will be able to experience the process behind getting a job, such as the application and the interview process, with the support and the advices of the Frontrunner team. Furthermore, after getting the job, you will practise your skills beyond your degree and gain experience for the future. Especially applying for either the Green Impact or the Green Behaviour Change Frontrunner will mainly enhance your communication, organisation and project management skills. You will also have the opportunity to meet a lot of members of the staff and new students involved in the activities promoted by the team. As the current Frontrunner, I strongly advice to take a look and apply! You can apply for them from until Thursday 30th April 2015 and the Internships will commence on October 2015. Brief descriptions and titles of Frontrunner opportunities with the Environment & Sustainability Office are listed on MyGateway . Once you’ve logged in, just select ‘Frontrunner Internship ‘ under the type of work menu. To apply, please use this link to register and access our online application system|: https://jobs.dmu.ac.uk/webrecruitment/default.asp?Section=SignIn The contact for these positions is Karl Letten (Environmental & Sustainability Officer) You can also email frontrunners@dmu.ac.uk| if you have any queries about the scheme. Good Luck everyone!

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Pic: Karl (Environment & Sustainability Officer), Joseph (Green Impact Frontrunner) and Fedora (Green Behaviour Change Frontrunner).   Fedora Agosti (Green Behaviour Change Frontrunner)

Environmental Audit at the Leicestershire County Council

A group of De Montfort University students, volunteered to go with the green impact team to audit the Leicestershire County Council’s Environmental performance in correlation to the Green Impact Project. As one of the auditors I thought the whole experience was great fun and an excellent learning experience. The day of the audit happened to be within employability week at the university, students were encouraged to participate in things that could increase their experience and employability prospects and the audit for me was a great opportunity to do that. The audit training provided is accredited to the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA), is a great addition to my CV. The actual audit itself helped me develop other employability skill for example; Team working – worked in a group with some of the other volunteers, going through the workbook and the department we were auditing’s progress, discussed and planned how we would approach the audit. Communication – it’s one thing to be able to communicate to people, but to communicate on a professional level is very different. Was interacting with staff in a professional environment throughout the day and learnt that I communicate not only verbally but also through body language. The Staff at the Council where very pleasant and hospitable which made the day more relaxed as a lot of the volunteers where nervous.

Joseph Ogunremi – Green Impact Frontrunner

My day as environmental auditor at Leicestershire Council

As part of employability week and the GreenImpact program students from DMU took part in some environmental auditing at Leicestershire County Council. Here are the thoughts of one of our student volunteers Fedora Agosti.

“I am Fedora, an international student at DMU. On Monday 3rd November 2014, I took part in Environmental Auditing at Leicestershire County Council, which is part of the Green Impact project. We received training on the Green Impact project from a member of the National Union of Students (NUS) and by Environmental Officers of the County Council.
They explained to us how the project works and how the students are involved during the audit’s stage, one of the final steps to get a reward for environmentally friendly behaviour in and around the office. Our task was to check the evidence provided by the different teams and speak with them about the project. After checking the teams’ workbooks, we completed the audit reports and submitted them. Following the project gives the possibility to avoid wasting resources, energy and time in offices. The workers at the County Council talked to us and treated us in a professional way. The areas of sustainability in the offices are split into four categories: communication, waste & recycling, travel to work and energy. The workers begun thinking more cleverly in the way they approach the office life. For example they only print if necessary, they benefit from the car-sharing service and they learn how to recycle waste. It was an enjoyable experience, especially as it was the first time I had done this. The project is simply structured and easy to follow and to understand. Also it was a formative experience, because we had a big responsibility task”.

Meet the new Green Impact Frontrunner

My name is Joseph Ogunremi, I’m in my third year at De Montfort University Studying Accounting and Finance.
I first heard about the green impact project during my second year when the former Frontrunner came and spoke about it in my lecture. I was initially drawn towards the auditing part of the project because auditing is an important part of being an accountant, but after going to my first green impact meeting I learnt more about the project which urged me on to sign on and become a project assistant.

Green impact to me is essentially taking simple alternative actions in day to day activities with the help of the online workbook; it was an opportunity to assist departmental teams around the University that have volunteered to taking part in the project, implementing the behavioural changes required in the online workbook was very simple and straight forward

It was also a chance for me to gain some sort of experience of what it’s like to work in a professional environment. Through this work experience, I have developed certain employability skills such as team working, and also my written communication skills as I constantly had to exchange emails with the team I worked with, to arrange meetings, and to share ideas on how the workbook can be implemented. Subsequently, I also had to feedback to the project coordinator/manager on my teams’ progress.
As well as the main project I was also involved with other environmental projects like the student switch off, an energy saving competition between halls of residence, and green futures, a planting project using recycled materials such as wellington boots and Henry Hoovers.

I am currently the new Green Impact Frontrunner and my roles is to co-ordinate and manage the project. Project management doesn’t necessarily have much to do with accounting but the Frontrunner position offers a lot of training that are practical and beneficial to have in a professional environment(examples of training; presentation skills, project management, time management etc.).

During this placement, I will have the chance to meeting with people in high positions in the university, this is an opportunity for me to network and meet people that could provide me with a reference and potentially help me in my career journey.
Parts of my duties is to motivate and coordinate teams of staff volunteers to drive forward the Green Impact project through their involvement as departmental teams likewise, to plan and co-ordinate a series of environmental workshops to support Green Impact teams in completing the online workbook and other environmental projects that may be conducted this year.

I am looking forward to getting the program up and running and hopefully improve on where it was last year.