Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Christmas Round Up

With the winter break approaching it is time for one last update from the Sustainability Team before we disappear to gorge on mince pies and be merry.

We have been working away on EcoCampus our environmental management system this week, as you know we received our bronze award in the summer and we are hoping to add a silver award to that early next year. Kat has also been working away on the Carbon Management Plan and we are in the process of updating the draft and getting the document together. Look out for it when it is launched early next year.
The Sustainable Food Policy was passed though the resources sub committee last week which states the University’s desire to encourage and promote ‘sustainable food’ on campus and the Students Union (SUUG) will also be implementing the policy across their retail outlets too. Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming define sustainable food as food that should be produced, processed and traded in ways that:
·         contribute to thriving local economies and sustainable livelihoods – both in the UK and, in the case of imported products, in producer countries;
·         protect the diversity of both plants and animals (and the welfare of farmed and wild species), and avoid damaging natural resources and contributing to climate change;
·         provide social benefits, such as good quality food, safe and healthy products and educational opportunities.
Whether the food is organic, Fairtrade, MSC certified or local produced, the sustainable food policy will ensure the University’s efforts that led to recently being awarded the ‘Good Egg Award’ will continue and become even more focussed as we move forward.
Look out for this logo when you get your fish and chips

Keeping with the theme of food the University has been working alongside the Greenwich Council for Fairtrade Fortnight (28th Feb – 13th March) and will be announcing our plans for the fortnight soon. Both ABM and the Students Union have come up with a number of ideas and Sodexo are going to have an action plan for Fairtrade Fortnight in early January. Helping them along the way is our new Sustainability Intern Naomi Debrah who will be joined by a number of other students from the University in helping out with the events we decide to run over the fortnight.
The second meeting of the University of Greenwich Biodiversity Steering Group has seen a number of actions agreed for positive action to understand and enhance the biodiversity on campus. There will be a stretch of wildflower seed planted along ‘Forty Foot Way’ on the Avery Hill Campus, bird feeders put up at Avery Hill and Medway – to help us record the different species we have on campus – and there is investigation into the feasibility of an area next to Sparrows Farm where we could set up a community garden or food growing space.
Make sure you switch off before you go home

In the meantime make sure you wrap up warm over the Christmas break, and if you are leaving work for a few days make sure you have everything switched off. There is no need to be using energy or electricity during the shutdown period and we can achieve significant carbon savings over the winter break with a few simple finger movements in the direction of power buttons! Merry Christmas and we all look forward to catching up with you again in the New Year.

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