University of Leicester

The University of Leicester has a growing environmental team and is making an impact across the University and city, as well as driving new initiatives for the sector.

The arrival of Leicester’s Environment Team was launched in October 2007 by Big Green Week. Starting with one full time and one part time member of staff and a graduate placement, the team focused its work on important aspects such as legal compliance, delivering cost savings and establishing the Environmental Sustainability Policy. Within just nine months an award-winning recycling scheme was rolled out to all non-residential buildings, increasing campus-based recycling rates up to 50% in some places and doubling the average rate over night.

Now with four full time members of staff, a graduate internship and hundreds of keen volunteers, the team has grown significantly in terms of size, the variety of projects it undertakes and its enthusiasm.

Current work plans

Having confirmed the Environmental Sustainability Strategy in November 2009, the team are working to develop and fulfil the ambitions and projects detailed within the strategy. Most importantly, this includes achieving an absolute reduction of 60% of the carbon emissions of the University by 2020 (based upon its 2004/5 carbon footprint baseline).

To complement this, Leicester is putting a Behaviour Change Plan in place to ensure that the whole University population does their bit to help achieve the 60% target. To that end, our Sustainable Travel Officer has launched the EAUC’s Promoting Positive Behaviour Community of Practice to share learning so that all academic institutions can embrace the behaviour change agenda and get people thinking, teaching and acting sustainably.

What’s next?

Construction began this summer on the redesigned library podium, which will provide a 300 strong underground bike storage facility right at the heart of the campus.

The design for the University’s new Medical Teaching building aims to provide the city’s lowest carbon building based on PassivHaus standards. It also boasts a large green wall and green roof space.

A breakthrough partnership with Leicester City Council is delivering a city-wide district heating scheme that will deliver up to 15% of the University’s required carbon savings. A developing Carbon Management Strategy and Plan will add the detail to how the other 45% carbon reduction will be achieved by 2020.

It’s a strong start from the University of Leicester, so watch this space!

Recent achievements:

• Award-winning recycling scheme
• Committed to an ambitious Travel Plan
• £1 million Salix energy efficiency fund
• Partners in the City District Heating Network
• Carbon Trust Standard accredited
• Green Impact Awards now in their third year
• Automated metering installed across most buildings
• Fair trade status
• Student volunteering increasing every year

Main Contact Name: Dr Sandra Lee, Sustainable Travel Officer
Main Contact Email & Telephone: and 0116 252 2306  
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