Thursday, 27 May 2010

A bronze medal and a green Hero (or Heroine?)

The University recently launched the Green Impact awards . Participating departments (17 of them) had to complete a workbook which logged and accredited the basic, positive environmental steps they were taking. These were quite strict criteria, with all departments expected to do the same things: heating audits, Fairtrade foods, printing reductions, and others covering many areas of sustainability. Yesterday it was the awards ceremony, and we were tipped off to make sure we were represented there, and I was very pleased that we got a bronze award. Well done to everyone in the department who had played an active role in this - especially Simon who coordinated it. Now we need to work hard to make sure we get a silver (or gold) next time. Congratulations also due to our Finance Department who got a Gold award.

What was even more surprising though, was that there was an award for Environmental Hero - and I won it! But, because I didn't know I'd been nominated, I wasn't there to receive it, and Kath, one of the Assistant Directors received it on my behalf. Shame - I could have given a gushing speech, thanked everyone, cried a lot.....

I'm seriously honoured to have won it - apparently the nomination included " your leadership in authorising and promoting green initiatives, your willingness to lead by example, and the sheer importance of the fact that you frequently make your support clear during green discussions". All those stroppy blog posts about printing were worth something then!

Despite all the nice things that were said in the nomination, it's not just for me, but all of the good University-wide initiatives that have come from the department. Our "Say Goodbye to Standby" campaign encouraging all staff and students to turn off PCs when off not in use was a great success, and our environmental print review and subsequent print audits are also proving successful in reducing print, and making it more efficient and environmentally friendly. The first print review we did for example revealed that we used only 34% of recycled paper - our own print service only used 5.7%. Now that figure is up to 98% use of environmentally preferable paper.

So, thanks, and well done everyone.

2 comments:

Andrew said...

If it helps; I reckon we might be able to save about 15kVA in the computer centre by doing "something" with the HVAC. I'm just not exactly sure what that something is.

And whilst we're at it - we can turn some of the VMware servers off at night! That'll give us a few more kVA. I'm sure there's some project work involved to make that happen, but we could do it if we made time.

Wouldn't be great if we could take the heat we generate in the CC and give it back to the District Energy Network.

Andrew Horne said...

Turning the VMware hosts off would not save very much as they don't use a great dealt to start with. At most we could turn off two, and that would leave us compromised in the event of failure.

The savings made by the VMware environment have been a 'big win', they really are very significant, see my uSpace diatribe for details!