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Environmental Sustainability 

Wildflowers on campus

About us

What do we do?

We lead on projects to improve UEL's environmental performance and to integrate environmental sustainability principles and practices throughout the university's teaching and learning, research and operational activities. We focus on the following environmental sustainability areas:

Environmental Management
  • Coordinate and maintain UEL’s Environmental Management System (EMS) at an ISO 14,001:2004 certified level;
  • Develop and implement environmental policies and plans, which give direction to the implementation and operation of environmental sustainability projects on campus;
  • Monitor progress to ensure continuous improvement through our Environmental Management Review meetings with UEL's Environmental Sustainability Board (ESB).

Data and reporting: energy and carbon

  • Ensure UEL complies with legislation, such as the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) Energy Efficiency Scheme, EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive and HESA Estates Management Record (EMR);
  • Collate and analyse UEL's utility cost, consumption and carbon emissions, and identify ways to reduce these;
  • Improving our utility metering, so that we can monitor and measure results from energy-related initiatives and make recommendations for ongoing improvement;
  • Receive financial incentives for UEL's renewable energy technologies, including the solar panels and biomass boiler;
  • Aim to write an annual report that provides data on UEL's environmental performance; this includes an overview of external commitments and obligations.

Engagement and Communication

  • Develop awareness and engagement campaigns for environmental issues, such as Green Impact;
  • Publicise, promote and communicate UEL’s environmental sustainability-related efforts within and outside UEL.

Learning and Development 

  • We offer environmental sustainability-related internships and work experience for students.

Environmental Sustainability Projects 

    Green Impact

    What is Green Impact?

    Green Impact is a staff and student empowerment programme run in partnership between us and the National Union of Students (NUS). Using an online workbook, staff, students and contractors are encouraged to form a Green Impact team. Each team implements environmental actions in their office areas to win a Bronze, Silver or Gold award. This year's Duplo block theme set the milestones of the 'game' and incentivised team members to complete as many actions as possible. One point achieved was worth one Duplo block.

    ​23 teams joined in on this year's Green Impact journey and completed a total of 276 actions around energy and waste. Congratulations! 

    Energy-related actions included taking part in an 'out of hours' survey in the R Building, where office staff were given a red Duplo if they left their computer on overnight, a yellow Duplo if they only turned off their computer monitor and a green Duplo if they switched off both their computer and monitor; labelling electrical and light switches with red, yellow and green stickers (traffic light system) and organising a 'winter jumper day' to raise awareness about cosying up rather than turning up the heating. Waste-related criteria included a visit to Sita Suez' Tilbury Alternative Fuel Facility, where UEL's general waste is collected, recycled and shredded for Energy from Waste; waste-free lunches and film screenings of Hugh's War on Waste.

    Green Impact Awards Ceremony 2016

    On Wednesday 13 July 2016, we celebrated the 23 Green Impact teams' efforts in the Green Impact programme 2015/16. From January to May 2016, the teams completed 276 criteria around energy and waste and collected more than 1,900 Duplo blocks. All 1,904 Duplo blocks collected throughout the Green Impact programme were used to build a UEL structure, which was unveiled by a member of UEL's Board of Governors Lee McGinty and Deputy Vice Chancellor and COO Dusty Amroliwala at the award ceremony in July 2016. The Duplo structure is currently exhibited at The Crystal until Sunday 6th November 2016. After the exhibition, all blocks will be donated to Newham Training and Education Centre (NEWTEC) nurseries.   


    23 Green Impact teams and their certificates/awards

    Certificates of Achievement (4 Green Impact teams)


    Certificates presented by Roxana, Administrator Academic Registry.
    • Financial Services
      Kathryn
    • RecepCIS (i.e. USS Reception & Security)
      Jason, Julius, Amrit, Robert, Jeffrey, John, Stephen
    • Sustainability Research Institute (SRI)
      Naheed, Daiva
    • The Vice Chancellor's Group (VCG)
      Catherine, John H.


    Bronze Awards (13 Green Impact teams)​ 

         Group 1: Awards presented by
         Austine, Administrator IHHD
    • Costa Coffee
      Kim, Rasa
    • Docklands Post Room
      Steven, Tony, Steve
    • Academic Registry
      Roxana, Nadia, Emma, Jackie
    • Stratford Post Room
      Brian, Freddie, Brian, Richard, Terry
    • Students' Union
      Richard, Bev




         Group 2: Awards presented by James,
         Hub Advisor
    • Green Envy (i.e. Docklands Reception)
      Ilyas, Zadie, Maya
    • Sustainability team
      Anne, Amy, Patrick
    • Docklands Security
      Rahena, Yvonne, Rasaki, Jay, Mustafa, Khuram,
      David
    • HR Services and Health & Safety Unit
      Mariam, Esme, Buky





         Group 3: Awards presented by Anca,
         Library Assistant
    • Residential Services
      Lavie, Christopher, Susan, Katie, Cody
    • NViro Cleaning
      Luis, Anthony, Paul, Cleaning Operatives
    • Estates & Facilities Director's Office
      Dean, Simon, Sehrish, Theresa, Kevin
    • Green Giants (i.e. School of Psychology)
      Nishat, Rose, Minal, Susy, Michelle,
      Ashley, Kevin, Lisa, Ioannis,
      Matteo, Jahanara, Francisco
    Silver Awards (2 Green Impact teams)

    Awards presented by Quinn, NUS Senior Projects Officer - Communities and Curriculum
    • Institute for Health and Human Development (IHHD)
      Austine, Sinosha, Natalie, Jin, Susanna, Michelle, Ruby, ClareSchool of Social Sciences
    • School of Social Sciences
      Lizzy, Julia, John, Jana


    Gold Awards (4 Green Impact teams)

    Awards presented by Quinn, NUS Senior Projects Officer - Communities and Curriculum 

    • ​Ikea About the World (i.e.Corporate Communications)
      Sian, Kelly, Melissa, Harriet, Gareth, Jamie, Alex, Ewen, Daniela, Kiera
    • Stratford Hub (Student Support)
      James, Shaila, Terry, Shurma, Rafiah
    • Docklands Library
      Robert, Anca, Barbara
    • Stratford Library
      Anca, Denise, Florence, Nsese
    Thank you!

    ​A big thank you to everyone, who has been involved with the Green Impact programme and the Green Impact Awards Ceremony. In particular, we would like to thank:

    • Amanda Niblett, IT Services Associate Director - Service Delivery
    • Dusty Amroliwala, Deputy Vice-Chancellor & COO
    • Emmanuel Adebiyi, Maintenance Mechanical and Electrical Engineer
    • John Joughin, Vice Chancellor
    • Kevin Thurlow, Director of Estates & Facilities Services
    • Lee McGinty, Member of the Board of Governors
    • Menna Jones, Senior Lecturer, School of Business & Law
    • Mollie Miller, Facilities Manager - Docklands Campus
    • Patrick Evans, Green Impact Awards Ceremony Intern
    • Richard Branston, Head of IT Service Management.

    Engagement: Green Impact

    Our aim is to reduce general waste by decreasing unnecessary consumption and increasing recycling and reusing.Our main waste contractor Sita, which is part of the SUEZ Environnement Group, is working with us to implement a simple, cost effective system to increase recycling and measure our progress across our estate.

    What items go into each bin?​


    General waste

    Clear bin bags are for general waste. The following items are considered general waste:

    • food waste;
    • tea bags;
    • chewing gum;
    • soiled, laminated or wet paper;
    • bound documents;
    • sandwich packaging with food content;
    • greasy take-away boxes;
    • waxed milk and juice cartons;
    • cigarette packets;
    • milk jiggers;
    • crisp packets, biscuit and confectionery wrappings;
    • polystyrene cups and packaging;
    • coffee cups;
    • wood and building items;
    • pens.

    Recycling 

    Orange is the colour for recycling. The following items can be recycled:

    • paper;
    • newspapers, magazines, leaflets;
    • envelopes (including windows);
    • cardboard;
    • sandwich packaging (empty and clean);
    • aluminium food tins and drink cans;
    • aluminium foil and tin foil. 
    Regarding plastics, have a look at the bottom or your plastic bottle or container. Items with either the HDPE, LDPE or PP recycling symbols can be recycled at UEL.

    Plastic items can include, but are not limited to:

    • plastic bottles (including caps) and plastic cups;
    • plastic or paper carrier bags;
    • plastic food wraps;
    • plastic yogurt containers (clean).

    Glass

    To recycle glass, please use the outside glass bins (grey wheelie bins with blue lid​​​​):

    ​Docklands campus: One bin by each of the East halls of residence (Kwame, Jamilla, Felix, Clare and Ailsa) and bins for the West halls of residence, located between University Way and Longbridge.​

    Stratford campus: ​​One bin by the entrance to the kitchen ​in Arthur Edwards , next to the R Building entrance.

    Batteries

    ​Battery collection points are located at Reception desks, in Post Rooms and Library areas. You can recycle all types of household waste batteries (i.e. not industrial or automative batteries), including but not limited to:

    • AAA, AA, C and D cells;
    • button batteries (e.g. watch batteries);
    • mobile phone batteries;
    • laptop batteries;
    • powertool batteries.
    Battery banks are collected upon request by Post Room supervisors (DocklandsStratford & USS) upon request when full. 

    Confidential Waste

    ​Sacks for confidential paper shredding can be ordered from Post Room supervisors (DocklandsStratford & USS). Only high quality paper (no newspaper) is acceptable, and all folders, binders and book bindings should be removed. 

    Please note: Any bags found to contain unsuitable material will be returned.

    Domestic Electric Waste

    Domestic Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), items include for example but are not limited to:

    • fans;
    • microwaves;
    • fridges;
    • toasters;
    • lamps.
    Please arrange pickup of any domestic WEEE with the Post Room supervisors (Docklands, Stratford & USS)​.

    IT Waste

    ​IT Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), items include for example but are not limited to:

    • computers;
    • monitors;
    • printers.
    Please arrange pick up of any IT waste with the IT Service desk.​

    Clothes Collection

    ​A bank of the British Heart Foundation (BHF) is located on the Aqua East car park at Docklands campus. Items that can be collected include:​
    • clothes;
    • shoes and handbags;
    • jewellery and accessories;
    • DVDs, CDs and vinyls
    • children's toys;
    • books.
    Please remember to put all items into a bag. Contact Anne if you notice that the bank is full. 


    ​To recycle glass, please use the outside glass bins (grey wheelie bins with blue lid​​​​):

    • ​Docklands campusOne bin by each of the East halls of residence (Kwame, Jamilla, Felix, Clare and Ailsa) and bins for the West halls of residence, located between University Way and Longbridge.
    • Stratford campus: ​​One bin by the entrance to the kitchen ​in Arthur Edwards , next to the R Building entrance.

    Waste and Recycling

    Wildlife on campus 

    UEL has a variety of flower areas across its three campuses. As part of the 2014-15 Green Impact Awards Ceremony, we planted wildflowers outside Costa Coffee (West Building, Docklands campus) with the help of the Sustainability Research Institute (SRI). We recently put up wildflower signage designed in partnership with UEL's Design team.

    "I'm amazed to see how high they have grown, and how many colours are flowering. It started as a small dirt patch with tiny green shoots, I never thought they'd grow so well." - Kevin Chambers, Student Support Administrator


    “The wildflower bed is a beautiful addition to the campus and gives the campus a more homely and natural feel. I have seen many staff and students stop and stare at the array of wildflowers and to see so many wonderful colours combined together." 
    - Rikia Fayne, Student Experience Officer (Community Events)


    “The new wildflower bed demonstrates just how easy it is to expand wildflower areas across the university! It provides a great opportunity for staff and students alike to enjoy getting closer to nature in the heart of East London - highlighting the University’s commitment to improving both biodiversity and the student experience.”
     - Jack Clough, Research Assistant at Sustainability Research Institute (SRI)

    “The new wildflower bed demonstrates just how easy it is to expand wildflower areas across the university! It provides a great opportunity for staff and students alike to enjoy getting closer to nature in the heart of East London - highlighting the University’s commitment to improving both biodiversity and the student experience.” - Jack Clough, Research Assistant at Sustainability Research Institute (SRI)
    “The new wildflower bed demonstrates just how easy it is to expand wildflower areas across the university! It provides a great opportunity for staff and students alike to enjoy getting closer to nature in the heart of East London - highlighting the University’s commitment to improving both biodiversity and the student experience.” - Jack Clough, Research Assistant at Sustainability Research Institute (SRI)

    Community Garden Project

    ​Did you know that both Docklands and Stratford campuses have raised allotments and a polytunnel to grow herbs and vegetables?

    The Community Garden Project actively encourages members of staff and students to live a healthier lifestyle, learn new skills and use fresh ingredients from the garden in their lives.

    The Community Garden project is an opportunity for students and staff to socialise and get involved with sustainable food by volunteering. Whether you're a complete novice or expert in gardening, we would love for you to get involved!

    For more information on the Community Garden Project and gardening sessions, email the Sustainability team.

    You can read our Biodiversity Action Plan as well as our Biodiversity Update Report by clicking on the relevant link.

    Biodiversity

    Data analysis and utility metering

    UEL spends around £2.1 million per year on electricity, gas and water.We collate and analyse UEL's utility costs, consumption and carbon emissions, and identify ways to reduce these. We are improving our utility metering, so that we can monitor and measure results from energy-related initiatives and make recommendations for ongoing improvement.Our aim is to have a daily profile of electricity and gas consumption of each of our buildings, so that we know how much is being used every 30 minutes. The picture below is a colour-coded example of Sports Dock's half-hourly electricity consumption over a month. Each row reflects a day and each column reflects 30 minutes, starting with 00.00 - 00.30am. Wherever possible we want to turn what is now 'yellow' to 'green'.

    As part of Green Impact 2015/16, we are conducting out of hour energy surveys in two buildings Sports Dock (Docklands Campus) and R Building (Stratford Campus) between 6 to 8pm to:

    • identify all electrical equipment (e.g. computers, monitors, and printers) and lighting;
    • label them with green, yellow and red stickers following a traffic light system (see picture to the below);
    • turn off any equipment and lighting that does not need to be on over night.

    Compliance with legislation and sector-related requirements

    We ensure UEL complies with legislation.

    • Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) Energy Efficiency Scheme is a 'carbon tax' that costs us about £130,000 a year.
    • EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive requires us to provide Display Energy Certificates (DECs) in all our buildings over 250m2. They are based upon actual energy usage of a building and increase transparency about the energy efficiency of public buildings.

    We use these as an opportunity to improve the energy performance of our buildings, cut costs and cut carbon. 

    HEFCE's carbon reduction target for UEL is 22% by 2020 (compared to 2005).  We are showing our commitment through our Carbon Management Plan, which is currently being reviewed and updated.

    Our annual progress is reported in HESA's annual Estates Management Record (EMR).

    Financial incentives for renewable energy technologies

    Since July 2015, we have received around £15,000 for our biomass boiler and solar panels on Sports Dock from the government.

    We are working hard to also get money for our solar panels on University Square Stratford (USS) and Stratford Library, so watch this space.

    Energy and Carbon 

    What is an Environmental Management System (EMS)?

    UEL recognises that its activities and operations may have a significant negative impact on the environment and society at a local, national and global level. To identify and manage UEL’s negative impacts, UEL has introduced an Environmental Management System (EMS).

    An EMS is a structured framework that:

    • helps an organisation to develop, implement and maintain an environmental policy and objectives in accordance with significant legal requirements;
    • helps to insure an organisation’s conformity with stated environmental policy and objectives through procedures that monitor and measure performance and operational controls;
    • can generate financial savings through efficient practices (e.g. cutting waste and energy use);
    • improves reputation with staff, students, partner organisations and wider stakeholders.

    In January 2012, UEL was proud to receive ISO 14001:2004 certification for the first time for its EMS.In January 2015, AJA Registrars audited and re-certified UEL. The ISO 14001:2004 Certificate covers 100% of UEL’s estate (i.e. Docklands and Stratford campuses, as well as University Square Stratford (USS)).

    All EMS related documents including the legislation register and operational controls are stored in an online wiki. Please contact us for more information.

    Who leads on environmental management at UEL?

    The Environmental Sustainability Board (ESB) has been set up to provide leadership, guidance and coordination of environmental management at UEL. 

    This high-level group meets three times each academic year and has a mix of school, service, research and student representatives.Membership and Terms of Reference are currently being reviewed.

    Environmental Management