AUB is one step closer to establishing a sustainable future and raising awareness of environmental issues at our specialist GOLD institution.
EcoCampus is a flexible phased approach to introducing an Environment Management System. The university achieved Bronze certification in October 2017, Silver in October 2018, and now we have achieved the Gold Award in April 2019.
The Gold award establishes that the institution is operating at the high environmental level that the International Organisation for Standardisation 14001:2015 Standard expects. The Gold award ensured that we operationally delivered rather than documented processes, not just talking-the-talk (so-to-speak) but walking-the-walk.
What has AUB done to lead the way in providing a sustainable campus?
The following facilities and initiatives have been introduced and are being championed by AUB staff, the AUB Students’ Union and students alike across our community;
- Recycling coffee cup drop off points in all the campus cafe outlets
- Charity clothes and books drop-off point
- Electric car included in the university fleet
- LED lighting across the majority of campus
Talking about the award, Senior Campus Services Officer, James Jackson, said: “The Gold Award demonstrates the hard work and commitment of the AUB community delivering innovative, sustainable, ethical and high-quality arts education – TEF Gold – EcoCampus Gold”.
AUB measures itself against key targets from many different aspects and has recently been able to report overall emissions at under 1000 tCO2e for the first time, decreasing waste streams and a recycling rate of 62% (to date). A new Carbon Management Plan came into effect in 2018 and an electric vehicle purchased saving a quarter of a tonne of CO2e in its first four months of use.
James Jackson also states: “Environmental protection is one of the leading global issue’s in today’s society helped by recent publicity (e.g. Blue Planet – oceanic plastic) and it’s more prominent place in curriculums. AUB has embedded environmental sustainability into its new Strategic Framework to ensure that it maintains the high standards expected from a leading higher education provider and ensuring that graduates are equipped to deal with environmental issues in their present and future professional and personal lives.”
James Jackson continued: “With AUB being one of only three universities from the southern consortium trialing the recycling of coffee cups, scoring well on the Sustainable Development Goals, pursuing Fairtrade certification and AUB Human collaborating art and sustainability with tremendous success – alongside many other initiatives – it is an exciting time to be involved with environmental sustainability at AUB.”
Head of Campus Services, Tom Marshall explains: “The achievement of the EcoCampus Gold Award demonstrates AUB’s dedication to being an environmentally sustainable, leading professional arts university. The embedding of environmental sustainability in AUB’s Strategic Framework and collaboration throughout the AUB community has enabled this fantastic accomplishment.”
A new Carbon Management Plan was also created and introduced to the university last year. Two of the projects identified were improving the Building Management System and changing most of the campus to low energy LED lighting. This will upgrade the lighting system, enable SMART control which will save energy, cost and emissions from electricity usage.
To further keep the project sustainable the existing lighting is being collected by DEXRECO – a company that specialises in recycling luminaire lighting products.
Read more about The Environment and AUB.