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Issue 476, 4 February 2002

Growing greener with a new strategy

If your recycling bin is full, you're supporting the good environmental practices that have existed in the University for over 20 years. They made a difference: the University has reduced its energy consumption by over 20% per student over the last decade.

These activities – and new measures – have been formally brought together under a new environmental strategy, developed after an extensive review led by the school of geography's Professor Adrian McDonald.

Supporting the policy Pro-Vice-Chancellor Harry Lewis said: "We now need to continue the good practice and explore areas where further improvements can be made."

Professor McDonald said: "The strategy makes a public commitment to the ideals and actions that have demonstrably been alive and well at the University. It was a delight to find our audit identified much good practice."

Initiatives include the energy saving campaign, waste sorting at source and 'greener' gardening methods, such as more permanent cover rather than annual plants and areas set aside for wild flowers. These measures also save money and enhance the working environment.

Estate services' Steve Winter said: "I'm absolutely delighted that our work's been praised. The main campus is a conservation area – it's also our shop window. We've been careful about what chemicals we use and monitoring their use for some time."

Parking charges, although frustrating, are an established means of encouraging staff and students to use public transport. Further measures include car-sharing and switches to greener fuels for University vehicles.

An environment officer will be appointed to co-ordinate new and existing measures, keep track of legislation changes, monitor progress and promote 'greener' practices across the University. In future, environmental targets will be published and performance reported.

The strategy can be seen at

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