The University of Derby Students Union is committed to working with the University to minimise our impact on the environment and our effect on the local, and global, community. We are achieving this through a number of different avenues, with new and innovative ideas constantly being put forward.
If you would like to contact us for more information, or if you have some ideas you would like to share, please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org
Quarterly meetings are held to look at the amount of carbon being produced by electricity, gas, fleet fuel and oil. This allows us to know where targets are being met, and which areas need the most improvement. There is a campus wide campaign called ‘Switch on, Switch off’ which aims to make everyone aware of the impact they are making, and simple things that can be done to reduce their individual impact. In 2010 a number of wind turbines were also installed on site to increase the use of renewable technologies, reducing the need to solely rely on electricity. There are also 300m2 of photo-voltaic panels on the roof to provide solar energy which are performing better than hoped!
Reducing the amount of water which is simply wasted and helping prevent future water shortages. We currently have push taps on all sites so they aren’t able to continually run and water saving devices in toilets/urinals where possible. An automated meter also tracks water usage, and provides alerts to any anomalies so that leaks can be found and resolved much faster.
We have recycling bins provided in all public spaces to make recycling as accessible as possible for paper, cardboard, plastics, and glass. We are currently looking at changing our waste contractor in order to maximise the level of waste that can be recycled. As it stands we recycle around 34% of our waste, with a view to increasing to 50% in the near future. There is also a food waste collection being trialled at one of the halls of residence, to see if this is effective in collecting material for composting, if so this will be applied to all the other halls of residence also.
We always strive for improvement each year and the last few years have seen some good results. For 09/10 we came 29th out of 54, achieving a bronze award in the Universities that Count project. We also won a Green Gown Award for sustainable construction and refurbishment and came 48th out of 137 in People and Planet’s Green League. In 10/11 we managed to surpass this hugely by coming 22nd out of 142. This August we have also been awarded the Silver Award by EcoCampus! We hope to go from strength to strength in the future, with students and staff all actively engaging in protecting our planet.
Besides aiming for better rankings and more prestigious awards in recognition of our hard work we are planning on: holding grass roots campaigns to engage everyone and increase awareness of global issues, getting our students involved in workshops to find out what you can do on a day to day basis, putting policies into place that will create a more stable and responsible foundation and making a big big push to meet our energy targets coming up for review in the next year! It is a really exciting time to be a part of the University of Derby Students' Union, and we look forward to all staff and students really getting involved.