September 5, 2012, by Harry Waddle

Sustainable Nottingham

Dr Keith Pitcher, Director of Sustainability at The University of Nottingham explains how you can help the University become more sustainable and shares the changes he has already made.

Welcome to the first edition of the Sustainable Nottingham blog. I’m pleased to write the opening entry, which will be followed by posts from colleagues across the University.

As our Director of Sustainability, I’m responsible for managing the University’s programmes to become a sector-leading green university. The profile of environmental sustainability has risen enormously in recent years, with sustainable practices becoming an expected part of operating responsibly. Reducing the impact the University’s activities have on the environment not only saves us money, but also benefits communities – both locally and further afield.

In practice, this means that we’re seeking to embed environmental sustainability across all University operations – from our buildings and campus grounds, to the content of our courses and the food available in our catering outlets. It’s about much more than just recycling! Future blog posts will give you an insight into lots of these areas.

At home I’ve swapped all my light bulbs for low-energy bulbs, installed extra insulation, installed 10 photovoltaic panels, grow enough veg for family and friends, and make compost from garden and kitchen waste.

At work I use a low-energy laptop rather than a desktop PC (it uses less than one third of the energy), don’t have a waste bin in my office, bought a high-spec bike through the Bike to Work scheme, and use Fairtrade teabags. These are personal choices I’ve made that complement the more strategic work, identifying and setting up sustainability programmes, that I do on a day-to-day basis.

It’s important to recognise that all staff and students have personal responsibility for the environmental impact of their actions – both at work and at home. Through the posts on this blog (and our monthly bulletin) I hope you will be inspired to join us and contribute to Sustainable Nottingham.

To find out more about how the University is becoming more sustainable, have a look at the University’s sustainability webpages, Education for Sustainable Development webpages, and subscribe to the recently-launched Sustainable Nottingham bulletin – coming soon.

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