Learning to love sustainability with Go Green Week

Posted on

February 10, 2016

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Universities, colleges and schools in the UK are in full swing with Go Green Week aiming to raise awareness among students.


Go Green Week, which runs until Friday is promoting daily events around energy management, food waste, clean transport, recycling and reuse.

And in a week dedicated to finding ways to address climate issues, universities around the country are switching off appliances, giving clothes to charity shops and cycling to seminars.

We know from our work with schools around the country that a combination of energy-saving solutions together with awareness and behaviour change can make a big difference to consumption of resources.

Our Projects section demonstrates how schools are saving a massive amount on energy bills through installing LED lighting for example. The financial savings are important given current constraints on budgets but equally important are the reductions in carbon emissions.

And our work with universities is also helping to shrink carbon footprint while cutting bills.

We have also just launched our Sustainable Spares Programme, which helps any organisation use a smarter way to buy spares reduce energy and water bills. Watch the video.

Top energy saving tips

We also have a wealth of information on ways to save energy and water in our Learn & Save section, including Top energy saving tips, all gleaned from our extensive work nationwide in education, hospitality and other sectors.

The need for new impetus in sustainability is acute, particularly in higher education as we advised in October:

“A new survey shows that universities and colleges are struggling to meet carbon emissions targets. The poll indicates that two fifths of staff involved in sustainability believe that their institutions are unlikely or very unlikely to meet 2020 targets for CO2 reductions.

“Equally worrying, the poll of 548 staff in the tertiary education sector indicates that only a quarter of institutions have sustainability as a strategic priority.

The report is published by the Environmental Association for Universities & Colleges (EAUC), the National Union of Students (NUS), University and College Union (UCU), Association of Colleges (AoC) and the College Development Network.”

Student events

The Unite Students company is championing Go Green Week and is running events across 138 student properties in the UK.

Unite Students managing director Richard Smith says:

“As a business, we are continuously aiming to improve the social and environmental aspects of our operations, and Go Green Week provides an ideal and fun way to engage students in energy and waste saving initiatives.

“As well as providing our students with a safe and welcoming home, we believe giving them the opportunity to be part of big initiatives such as this one is of paramount importance. It’s always great to see how much can be achieved by working together, and having a common goal is a powerful motivator for successful engagement.”

The goal is that by the end of the week, students will make individual pledges to help lower their carbon footprint as part of the UK’s largest week of student climate action.

Unite Students will provide a variety of ‘Sustainability Champions’ to work with students and higher education partners to plan and implement a variety of activities.

Among the highlights of the week, Reading University will be hosting flash mobs and recycling sculpture workshops while the University of Bedfordshire will be using meat-free meals to highlight how changing diet can help cut CO2 emissions.


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