Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Make Queen's Go Green?

Our online politicos will naturally eyeball this title and either convulse in rage or delight. Nothing to do with all that however. People and Planet are running a campaign to make universities across the UK more environmentally friendly.

As the government reviews its energy policies, the future of the planet is once again rising up into the headlines. People & Planet is calling on all universities to adopt these four proposals:

1. The active, public support of senior university management for a programme of environmental performance improvement. The support of the Vice-Chancellor or Principal is seen as particularly important.

2. Full-time staff dedicated to environmental management — developing objectives, setting priorities, and significant, timebound targets to fulfil them.

3. A comprehensive review to investigate all the environmental impacts of the institution — so that current impacts are measured, potential improvements are identified and performance is monitored.

4. A written, publicly available environmental policy — to provide a formal demonstration of intent regarding environmental performance improvement, and against which to compare practice.

The Higher Education sector, which owns 9% of all office space in the UK, alone spends in excess of £3 billion every year on goods and services and consumes around £200 million worth of energy.

Queen's itself, as one of the main institutions of Belfast, is also likely to be a big consumer in this area and the yearly A3 flourescent poster campaign aims to keep the electricity bills down.


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