Students Staff

08 February 2016

Electric cars, solar panels and swap shops – sustainability at heart of Go Green Week at University of Essex

National Go Green Week from Monday 8 February to Friday 12 February will see the University of Essex showcasing the sustainability initiatives taking place on its campuses and organising free events, competitions and activities.

The aim of the week, backed by student network People & Planet, is to encourage staff, students and the public to think about living greener lifestyles.

Events will include a Students’ Union swap shop, the chance to test drive a Nissan Leaf electric car, environmental film screenings, ‘green’ language games, a lunchtime bike ride and a bumper bike sale.

The Wivenhoe Repair café will also be on campus so people can learn how to mend their beloved broken items and EcoDIY will be holding a talk on environmental living.

Choosing vegetarian options will be encouraged thanks to discounts and tasters from the University’s Hospitality Essex team.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Anthony Forster said: “We are doing our best to mitigate our environmental impact and at the same time encouraging students and staff to become lifelong, environmentally responsible global citizens.

"At Essex we’re continually striving to be greener and #GoGreenWeek will celebrate this work. The environment is high on our agenda – whether it is encouraging electric car use, installing solar panels or sustainably sourcing food. 

"We believe our commitment to using our resources more carefully makes Essex a great place to work and study. Sustainability also makes economic sense to the University as we can reinvest savings on our electricity and gas bills into our mission to deliver excellence in research and excellence in education.”

• You can read Professor Forster’s blog about #GoGreenWeek on the University’s website.

Sustainability is at the core of the University’s operations. Over the past two years the University has cut its CO2 by 13% - almost 2,000 tonnes (tCO2) – and this autumn the first zero-carbon business school in the UK was opened at the Colchester Campus.

The Green Impact engagement programme has got more than 160 staff and students greening their departments – including the Vice-Chancellor’s office.

Key energy efficiency measures include:

  • Replacing older lighting with LEDs and motion sensors - this will cut emissions by nearly 700 tCO2.
  • Installing new solar panels adding approximately 150,000 kWh to the existing 80,00?kWh currently being generated on campus. This will cut emissions by more than 100tCO2.

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