The University of Lincoln has been awarded Gold by EcoCampus for their work in driving more sustainable environmental management practices across their estate. The University declared a climate emergency in May and made a commitment to work pro-actively towards reducing carbon emissions that contribute towards global heating. So far the University has reduced carbon emissions by 20% against 2005/6 figures and already procures 100% renewable electricity for the estate.
Other initiatives include the specification of the new medical school building as a carbon-neutral scheme and an increase in the energy efficiency of buildings on the Estate. The Environmental Management System (EMS) is a framework to identify the impacts that an organisation is having on the environment and take steps to reduce this impact in areas such as carbon emissions, waste production and land management. It also involves identifying the opportunities we have to make a positive impact, through teaching and research, biodiversity enhancement and local collaboration, for example.
As part of the development of the University’s EMS, waste management training has been given to staff and a rolling training programme will be established to raise awareness of environmental management across the University.
Students are also given opportunities to volunteer in environmentally-focused roles such as the management of the Kitchen Garden on campus. The hope is to engage as many staff and students in environmental stewardship as possible; through upcoming schemes such as the staff sustainability advocates programme.
Rebecca Forster, Environmental Manager said: “EcoCampus Gold is a big step forward in our ambition to embed environmental management and sustainability across the University; to show we are doing as much as we can to reduce any negative impact on our operations have on the environment, and to increase the positive contribution the organisation is having on environmental sustainability.”
“We are aiming to use the University’s role as a provider of education to 14,000 students to increase awareness of environmental issues and to use environmental ‘living lab’ case studies on our estate to aid student research and learning.”