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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Are Forest Green Rovers FC the greenest football club in the world?

If you are a football fan, this could be the reason to go green this summer.

Forest Green Rovers Football Club (FGR FC) are one of a small handful of football clubs which are actively trying to reform the image of their club by adapting their approach sustainability.

Bayern Munich of Bavaria, Germany have long followed some eco standards, using the same technology as the Forest Green Rovers for their pitch, but the Forest Green Rovers have taken it to a new level and have since become internationally renowned for their efforts.

Changes began in 2010 when Dale Vince became the major shareholder in the club; having surely caught the eco bug, the club has since achieved 7 huge environmental actions, and are currently planning to complete 7 more. Efforts include the use of an automatic lawn mowing ‘Mobot’ from Tesla, photo voltaic solar panels, irrigation systems and rainwater harvesting, enabling them to soon be independent from the water mains.

The club have also attracted a lot of attention by taking red meat off of the menu; this quickly followed by going completely meat free, also helping to adjust attitudes of the footballers by presenting a path to achieving a healthier lifestyle inside and outside the walls of the club. Defender Aarran Racine claims “it is a bit of a shock to some, but you get used to it – I have done anyway, I like it”.

In 2012 the Forest Green Rovers achieved the gold standard for environmental performance from the Eco-Management and Audit-Scheme (EMAS) which of course struck the need to adapt the colour of the kit to their green image…rightly so!

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Dale Vince, founder of ‘ecotricity’ and the electric highways, is the master mind behind all of this eco action; Vince hopes that by spreading the eco message within the football world, it will enhance the clubs’ reputation and influence others to go green.

In hopes to impact the local economy, Vince has had each member of the squad driving a Nissan leaf with the FC’s logo to raise awareness about the club and their cause and has extended a helping hand to support other green gannets by installing an on-site charging point for electric and hybrid cars, ensuring fans are able to drive and park at the club without worrying about running out of charge.

The future for Forest Green Rovers, is also looking a bright shade of green, with plans in place to build an eco-venue similar to that of their ‘Green Britain Centre’ in Norfolk and if the team win against Bristol Rovers, Vince wants the team to go vegan, he claims that as the club claims more victories, the team will attract further attention thus increasing their duty of care.

As the club opens its gates to the local public for learning purposes, Vince hopes that the linked efforts of the club and the footballers will entice younger visitors, from schools to be inspired by and follow the footsteps of local stars and role models.

See their full environmental mission: https://www.forestgreenroversfc.com/about-forest-green-rovers/ecotricity-and-forest-green-rovers/greening-up-football

Sports teams are only just adjusting to the changes in the environment, however systems are being put in place to support this shift; Sport England have even dedicate part of their website to enabling clubs to calculate their carbon footprints! Check it out: http://www.sustainableclubs.co.uk/energy-calculator/

It’s great to see sports clubs taking initiative to create a positive impact, and is a giant step towards a greener future.

Written by Green Behaviour Change Frontrunner – Rebecca Mason

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.

Green impact awards ceremony slideshow picture

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

Making waves with like-minded individuals

Last Monday 9th November, Sebastian and I headed down to Bristol for the 2nd year of the NUS Student Sustainability Summit to learn more about what our jobs working for #SustainableDMU are really about and what kind of impact we can make on the job.

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We met many great individuals who have carried out or were in the process of carrying out some brilliant campaigns and others who had done some ground-breaking research or projects on environmental sustainability issues. The workshops, talks and seminars were inspiring and motivating and well worth the time it took to get there, even the getting lost and talking to disgruntled bus drivers part!

Piers Telemacque (Vice President Society Citizenship, NUS) welcomed us all to the summit along with other speakers such as Naia Lopez (Fossil Free Coordinator, People and Planet) and Sarah Redrup (Student Living Officer, Bristol Students Union) and we listened to a thought-provoking talk from artist, David Buckland (Founder and Director of Cape Farewell) about ‘Climate is Culture’.

The day was broken down into 8 main sections; arrival and registration, welcome talk, workshop 1, lunch, workshop 2 and closing talk, however those who were keen to stay through to the evening had the option to go to a banner stitching and craft session at 7pm and a film screening of ‘Do The Math’ at 8pm; but with a 6am start and a late finish on the cards, Seb and I only made it to 5pm.

Morning workshops Included:

  • Enterprise for Local Food
  • Health and Well-being
  • Influencing Behaviours – Looking Beyond the Individual
  • Migrant Rights
  • What’s Your Education for? (And how can it work for a more just and sustainable future?)

Afternoon Workshops Included:

  • Open Space (Open Discussion)
  • COP21 and Beyond
  • Creative Activism
  • Divestment and Community Energy
  • Green Jobs
  • Solidarity Starts at Home? Sweatshops, Global Justice, Garments and Gigabytes.

Having spent some time over coffee thinking about which workshop we would choose to go to, we eventually decided that our morning would see us at the Influencing Behaviours workshop and our afternoon at the Divestment and Community energy workshop. Both morning and afternoon were an eye opener, and also a relief to see how many other people there are with green issues on their mind.

Andrew Darnton (Managing Director, AD Research and Analysis) led the Influencing Behaviours Workshop and explained some of the psychological and sociological models for behaviours such as the ISM model (Individual, Social and Material) which you can see in the picture below and using this model, in groups, we created our own based on ‘reducing the use of cars on campus’.

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In the afternoon we met other university students who had carried out divestment campaigns, such as a ‘#Divestival’ or a ‘#Die In’ and spoke to Robert van Maaren from ‘Solar Soas’ about his campaign for funding from his university to invest in solar panels.

We also came across two individuals from the University of Leicester, currently in the midst of their own campaign for divestment who joined us later for a drink and a chat about some light topics like veganism, fossil fuels, divestment and Cowspiracy

The day gave us both a lot of motivation to work towards goals in our Green Impact and Green Behaviour Change internships, having seen the process others have gone through to carry out their projects and by also seeing their successes in doing these. The community and speakers that were involved at the summit taught us to have a little faith and a lot of patience and hard work will pay off, but also that we aren’t alone in our efforts to make green change happen…

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Rebecca Mason, Arts and Festivals Management student

Green Behaviour Change Frontrunner

 

A year of being the Green Impact Frontrunner

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Looking back from where I am now to where I started, I am glad I decided to be a part of the Green Impact project.

I’ve been a part of Green Impact over 2 academic years, starting from being a student volunteer (Green Impact Project Assistant) to taking a more leadership role and assisting the running of the project in DMU as the Green Impact Frontrunner.

Some of the guys from the Estate department play football on Wednesday nights which I joined; we got so good we decided to take things on an international level, so we planned a weekend trip to Germany, and I can boldly say it was one of the best experiences of my life. We watched a Bundesliga match and we played our own international friendly, unfortunately we lost but it was a very close game.

On a more serious note a lot of things were achieved throughout the year; external audits, new teams joining, Planting project, student switch off party, group workshops and many more. The biggest success for me was the award ceremony as we celebrated everything that was achieved by individuals and teams, and recognised them for their hard work throughout the year in the Green Impact project.

I’ve been opportune to work with and develop friendships with students from different departments of the university I wouldn’t have met if not for Green Impact. I’ve also been privileged to work with and learn a lot from the universities environment & sustainability team, I couldn’t have asked for a better team to be a part of.

 

Joseph Ogunremi (Green Impact Frontrunner 2014-2015)

 

My experience as the first Green Behaviour Change Frontrunner

I remember that day. After class I decided to go towards the Campus Centre instead of going back home immediately. There was the sun and it was still warm outside. It was late October. So, I went to the Campus Centre and passing by I noticed a colourful stand. I read ’Green Impact’ and Karl introduced himself as the environmental officer. He started to explain to me what was the project and proposed that I should join them for an environmental auditing the next week. That experience was very interesting and I didn’t think such activities were organised and proposed by a University! Afterward I was even more committed to apply for the position as Green Behaviour Change Frontrunner at their office. When that hope came true, I couldn’t believe it!

Today is my last day in the office and I realize how many things happened since my arrival. There was the auditing at Leicestershire County Council, the training as a Green Impact Project Assistant, visiting the Halls of Residence with Fran and Joseph for Students Switch Off, the Fairtrade Fortnight with lots of activities, the Climate Positive Week with interesting talks and lunches, then the designing and planting activity for one of the Excellence project within Green Impact and eventually the organization of the Green Impact Award Ceremony to celebrate the efforts of everyone!

The placement lasted five months and it was quite a challenge to match work, study, classes and social activities, but it improved my timing and organizational skills.

I am truly grateful for the opportunity to work in an office for the first time and the chance to understand that it was the kind of job I would like to do as part of my future career. Everyone in the office and in the department helped me when I needed support. I think I developed some new important skills thanks to this experience. Indeed, I feel the Frontrunner scheme is a good investment for DMU students and it requests the appropriate commitment and time while studying. Finally, I truly believe that the University can play a key role in teaching more about sustainability and that this knowledge will be embedded by students for the rest of their lives.

 

Student volunteer Denise and I during the Green Impact Award Ceremony

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Student volunteer Vanessa and I during the team building eco-bingo activity

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Joseph and I

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Thank you everyone!

Fedora Agosti (Green Behaviour Change 2015)

Green Impact Award Ceremony at DMU

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The Green Impact Award Ceremony was celebrated on Wednesday 3rd June at the Trinity Chapel. The Green Impact is a national project run by the National Union of Students. At DMU the project helps teams of staff to adopt greener behaviour in their offices by doing different environmental-friendly activities. Throughout four months, the teams with the help of volunteering students fill a workbook, which contains different activities covering recycling, reducing waste, saving energy, Fairtrade, transport and so on. After the students auditing, depending on the number of the activities completed and the points scored, team can achieve a Bronze, Bronze Plus, Silver or Gold award. So, the Award Ceremony was the occasion for staff and students who participated in the project to celebrate their efforts and achievements.

The sustainable team try to make the event as sustainable as possible. To decorate the tables we used empty glass bottles with cow parsley flowers; the food served by the catering was mainly Fairtrade and our goodie bags contained a Green Impact Americano mug, a Green Impact bike seat cover, a Fairtrade chocolate bar, a bee friendly seed pack and a Green Impact sport bottle. In addition, we made ourselves the goodie bags from recycled newspapers and we put instruction about making a bag in the bag itself!

The ceremony was a success. Professor Fleming, Director of Sustainable Development, presented the winner teams of this year, which were: Strategic and International Partnerships for Bronze; GH 2/3 for Bronze Plus; Learning Support Centre, Green POD and Student Advice Centre (Hugh Aston) for Silver and Executive Services and ITMS for Gold.

Also, Estates Development, Estates Services, Student & Academic Services and Finance received the Excellence Award. In addition, special awards were given to Amanda Thorley as Environmental Hero, to Executive Services for Engagement, to ITMS for Innovation. The Highest scoring team was ITMS and the GH 2/3 was the Best New Team.

The students who took place in the project as Green Impact Project Assistants (GIPAs), Auditors or volunteers got a certificate to celebrate their engagement and commitment.

Each year, the Green Impact project shows how powerful and easy can be raise awareness about environmental issue among the University. It is a chance to staff to play a key role in environmental education and for students is the opportunity to learn the importance of such matter that can be continued for the rest of their life thanks to DMU.

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Fedora Agosti (Green Behaviour Change Frontrunner)