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Warwick Green Action

Background

A number of Staff Green Champions are supporting the work of the Environmental Sustainability Team by initiating activities in their own areas through use of the Warwick Green Action project. This project is designed to empower individuals and teams to make positive environmental changes through the provision of a guidance document with ideas for action.

The project started in September 2018. During 2018/19, nine teams undertook more than 100 actions, which positively contribute to the environmental performance of the University.

Contact sustainability@warwick.ac.uk to find out more or if you would like to set up a team in your area.

Actions

Teams are provided with support on various actions from biodiversity to energy, and from communication to procurement. Some of the actions undertaken include:

  • Adding sustainability to agendas at team meetings
  • Reviewing energy consumption data and identifying opportunities for improvement
  • Having and updating a team noticeboard
  • Holding an event as part of Green Week
  • Not providing disposable cups at meetings

Current teams

There are currently active teams in the following areas:

Chemistry - Nishi Vasisht

Engineering - Olivia Joyce

Life Sciences / Gibbet Hill - Jeanette Selby

PsychologyLink opens in a new window - Catherine Johnstone

Sociology - Amy Clarke or Alice Mah

WMG - Gary Stocker

A number of other teams were in existence pre-COVID and many of these are looking to restart action.

Contact sustainability@warwick.ac.uk to find out more.

Case study 1 - Chemistry

Size of team: 45 people

LEAF labs: 3

Meetings: at least termly online / in-person and active Microsoft Teams group

Contact: chem-greenaction@warwick.ac.uk

Website

Events:

  • Picture competition about engaging with nature/sustainability (Green Week 2021).
  • Sustainability themed Open Mic including songs, instrument, poetry, story-telling and Morris dancing (Green Week 2021).
  • Collaborated with the Network for Ethnic Minority Postgrads (NEMP) to organise a discussion session on the intersections between racial justice and climate justice (Green Week 2021).
  • Campus walks.
  • Drop-in sessions to find out more.

Other:

  • Slides shared with Research Cluster heads in the department to encourage discussions on sustainability in research.
  • Produced leaflets for research groups with ideas on improving lab sustainability.
  • Talk on 'sustainability in labs' to an academic audience.

Case study 2 - WMG

Size of team: 8

Meetings: Pre-COVID monthly now contact is through Microsoft Teams.

Other:

  • Specialist recycling collections including crisp packets, medical blister packs, empty toothpaste tubes, batteries, used stationary and soft plastics. Located in MEC, IMC, EIC and IDL.
  • Collection of tea bags, tea leaves, coffee grounds and wooden stirrers.
  • Investigating recycling latex / nitrile gloves.
  • Small area developed for wildlife including bird bath, plant pots with nature friendly planting, and reduced mowing.
  • Promotion of work in local newspapers and radio.
  • Volunteer with local organisations.

Case study 3 - SLS/WMS

Size of team: 25

LEAF labs: 10 either awarded accreditation or working towards it

Meetings: Every 6-8 weeks online and active Microsoft Teams group

Website

Events:

  • Information stand at Gibbet Hill.
  • Showcase events for lab suppliers to interact with end users to help embed more sustainable products in the labs.

Actions in labs:

  • Increased the temperature of ULT freezers from -80oC to -70oC reducing electricity consumption by c. 30%.
  • Use UniGreen Scheme and other specialist companies to dispose of old lab equipment for re-use or recycling.
  • Creation of 'Unpacking Stations' - lab users unpack their goods from stores, which helps present clean waste and recycling entering labs and potentially becoming specialist waste.
  • Installation of the Starlab TipOne system as the main pipette tips in Gibbet Hill, which includes packaging recycling and refillable tip boxes.

Action in teaching spaces:

  • Refitting and replacement of switches - lighting rigs, MTC lecture theatre.
  • Turn off stickers on teaching room switches.