MMU is earning a strong reputation as a leader in environmental sustainability, according to green watchdogs.
Manchester City Council and the National Union of Students say large organisations can learn from MMU’s accomplishments in cutting carbon and quickly embedding ‘low carbon thinking’ and behavioural change.
Charlotte Bonner of the NUS, who coordinates the Green Impact project across 22 UK universities, said: “MMU is really leading the way through the positive attitude of staff and the speed with which it is implementing change. It is great to see students and staff working together.”
Earlier this year MMU rose to 27th place in the People and Planet Green Table, up from 91st in just two years.
Ruth Francis, Green City Officer for Manchester City Council, said: "The University has such an impressive, comprehensive programme and is very much part of our strategy. It’s an institution from which we are learning a lot."
They were both speaking at the Inaugural Green Impact Awards, held at MMU to celebrate a project to mobilise staff and students to effect sustainable changes.
In all, 15 teams were created across MMU and an incredible 234 initiatives undertaken in just six months.
- scrap-paper only printers (Didsbury Library) - energy awareness stickers (ICTS) - using 100% recycled paper (Student Union) - building noticeboards from recyclables (Finance) - Fairtrade-only products (Learning and Research Technologies)
The Gold Award was won by The Accommodation Team for a range of recycling, energy reduction actions and even a grow-your-own food scheme and recipe webpage! Silver Awards went to Recruitment and Admissions, Facilities (Cavendish) and the Centre for Innovation and Enterprise.
Audits through Green Impact show that:
- 92% of departments buy ethically-sourced paper - 78% recycle printer cartridges - 86% have a lighting and computer/machinery responsibility plan - 85% have a sustainability noticeboard
Dr John Hindley, Head of the Environment Team, said: "We should celebrate these achievements and our growing sustainable credentials, but this is the beginning of the journey and a lot of effort is still needed to become a truly sustainable university with a positive environmental impact."