is on its way to becoming one of the UKs
greenest universities, with the
appointment of environment officer Dr Keith
Pitcher to put a comprehensive environmental
plan into operation.
Leeds graduate (first degree and PhD), Dr
Pitcher (right) is aware of the wide
range of environmental expertise at the University,
and is keen to work with departments to push
the green plan forward.
Many of the initiatives could have an
academic element, and benefit day-to-day operations,
said Dr Pitcher. For instance, if the
University were to install photovoltaic cells
to generate solar power, they could also be
used for research or teaching, looking at
the design, planning, performance and economic
benefits. This allows all areas of the University
to benefit from such projects, makes them
more financially viable, and helps to foster
an environmental culture throughout the University.
Energy is only one aspect of the environmental
plan, which also covers waste minimisation,
recycling, purchasing and close to
staff hearts transport.
While its clear we need to reduce
commuting by car, we have to offer viable
alternatives, and recognise that public transport
is not always an option, said Dr Pitcher.
The new transport plan proposes a whole
range of options, some helping car users,
such as car sharing, and others for those
who walk, cycle or use public services to
get to work.
Proposals include better cycle storage and
proper routes on campus, and better pedestrian
access. Orders for Metrocards have risen by
a third, following the arrangement for a 15%
discount. An online car sharing system will
be up and running for the next academic year.
In addition, staff buying new cars can apply
for grants towards the cost of conversion
to dual fuel. Dual fuel cars use
LPG half the price of other fuels
in addition to petrol or diesel.
The University is also taking an active role
in the city precinct group, with LMU, the
NHS and the city council, putting pressure
on public transport providers when services
are not up to standard.
Leeds entered the regional index of environmental
engagement last year for the first time, and
was listed in the middle of the table. With
Dr Pitchers appointment and the new
measures hes putting in place, he hopes
to see the Universitys position improve.
For more information, click on the 'environment'
link from the estate services new webpages
(from May 19).