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We are the Green Champions!

Finance staff are passionate about green issues and wish to do their best to help preserve the environment.  Here are some ways we are playing our part:

1.         Recycled Paper

Finance and Business Affairs uses high quality, Office Depot “green” white recycled paper.

2.         Furniture

John Pulsford Associates Ltd (UCL's furniture suppliers) are currently working hard on providing UCL with information on the following:

  • how much material in new furniture has been recycled;
  • the end of life recyclability for each piece of furniture;
  • whether an item of furniture can be recycled into the same piece of a furniture (e.g. can a chair be recycled into a chair?!)
  • the carbon footprint of each piece of furniture – a big component of this will be how far the furniture has had to travel.  Apparently, the Furniture Industry Research Association is currently creating a tool to measure carbon footprints and it is hoped that it will be ready to use for next academic session.

We will therefore have a range of information on green issues, as well as on pricing, design, cost and warranty, to take into consideration when choosing furniture.

Where possible, good quality spare furniture is reused in Finance and Business Affairs or offered for re-use within UCL via the Green Champions and Departmental Administrator networks.  JPA also provide ex-demonstration/unwanted new furniture at reduced prices.  JPA also intend to undertake an inventory of the furniture, still in the 140 Hampstead Road store, which will be priced and offered to UCL departments via the Green Champions' network.  It is hoped that, in future, JPA will be able to provide a service, whereby unwanted, good quality furniture at UCL can be offered for re-use within other UCL departments.

When furniture is broken or of poor quality, UCL Cleaning & Waste Services will remove it and recycle the materials.

3.         Spare files

Spare lever-arch files are re-used within Finance and Business Affairs or offered for re-use within UCL via the Green Champions and Departmental Administrator networks.

4.         Printing

  • Where possible, only print when absolutely necessary.  Printing should be on black and white and double-sided, if the printer has this facility (and many local printers have a manual facility for double-sided).  For Word documents, you can also use the multiple pages per sheet option.
  • Only print in colour, if essential.
  • Finance staff are encouraged to switch off printers and computer screen monitors at the end of the day.
  • In order to save paper, Finance and Business Affairs printers are now replaced, at end of life, by printers, which have duplex units.

5.         Email signatures

  • Please look at the length of your email signature and try to reduce the number of lines as much as possible in order to avoid printing off extra pages to accommodate long email signatures.
  • Please only use email signatures which originate from you and not for emails which you reply to, or forward on.  In order to do this, in Outlook go to: "Tools -> Options -> Mail Format".  On the signature options at the bottom, change the "Signature for replies and forwards" to <None>. (A signature can be inserted on a case by case basis if needed, i.e. when in the relevant email, go to Insert -> Signature).  Please note that, in order to obtain three very lengthy lines, you will need to go to "Advanced Edit" which brings up the notepad.

6.         Recycling

Finance staff take part enthusiastically in the UCL Recycling scheme, whereby all waste is recycled apart from:

  • food;
  • teabags;
  • polystyrene;
  • used tissues.

For further information, please see the Waste/Recycling chart.

Ideas on avoiding wasting food can be found on the useful Love food, hate waste website.

From February 2010, UCL is rolling out a bin initiative.  There are now dual action bins in the Quad: one side is for general waste and one for recycling.  In offices, small underdesk bins are being replaced by large bins – but there will be fewer of them on each floor.  Grey bins are for recycling matter and black ones are for waste matter.  Bins are labelled, but Estates & Facilities are working on producing clearer labels for the tops of bins. 

The success of the initiative will depend upon the bins being used correctly.  Careless disposal of food waste into the recycling bins can lead to an entire load of otherwise recyclable waste being sent to landfill, which defeats the object of the exercise.  Similarly, putting recyclable waste into the black bins will reduce the level of recycling achieved.  If the bins are used properly, it should be possible to recycle around 80% of office waste and so we have a very real opportunity to help to improve UCL’s environmental performance.

Evidently, there are a number of advantages: less office space is taken up by bins, the office looks prettier without a bin at every desk, and less cleaning time is required to empty them.  Staff need to save up waste and recycling matter and then deliver it to the appropriate bin.  However, this provides a good opportunity to give eyes a break from the computer screen and legs a break from desk-chairs! 

In Finance and Business Affairs, Services staff, located on the 6th floor of 1-19 Torrington Place, are in the vanguard of the bin movement.

7.         Saving energy

Finance staff are encouraged to switch off lights, taps, turn down heating and switch off printers and computer screen monitors at the end of the day.

All staff in Professional Services should now be shutting down their computers (rather than logging off, as previously) at the end of the working day. The computers power up automatically at 4.45 a.m. in order to install updates. This represents a huge saving in electricity.

8.         Shower facilities for cyclists in 1-19 Torrington Place

Please note that there is a women’s shower in the 1st floor women’s loos, and a men’s shower in the Clinical Psychology men’s loos on the 5th floor.

Mary Moloney (DA) is the Green Champion for Finance and Business Affairs.  Please contact her with your green ideas. 

9.         Please read our Sustainable Procurement Policy.

10.    Green Champions’ Network

There are currently two Green Champions: Sandra Bond (Institute of Archaeology: ext. 24770; sandra.bond@ucl.ac.uk) and Janet Hope (Department of Geography: ext. 30551; j.hope@geog.ucl.ac.uk). They all attend UCL’s Environmental Sustainability Steering Group.

Please contact any of them with your green ideas.

11.    Please click on the appropriate date below to access notes of the Green Champion meetings;

23 November 2009

12.   Please click on the appropriate date below to access notes of the Environmental Sustainability Steering Group meetings:

13 May 2010 | 29 Oct 2010

13.    Waste Management
How are we doing at May 2010?
UCL produces around 12 tons of waste of all types every working day.  The following figures are examples of what is generated for disposal each month:

Recyclable materials – 140 tons: paper, cardboard, cans, plastic mixed waste – 90 tons; polystyrene, food, electricals including computers – 3 tons; confidential waste – 5 tons; glass - 1.5 tons; hazardous waste - 20 tons.

UCL is re-using, or recycling, over 60% of this waste each month, assisted by the new dual compartment external waste bins.

What Happens Next?
UCL is committed to re-using and recycling as much waste as possible and is launching the following initiatives:

Batteries: brightly coloured battery bins are coming soon around the campus for the collection and recycling of batteries.

Food waste: we are now collecting food waste from the main kitchen.  In the first two months of this operation, we have diverted 0.4 tons of waste from landfill and converted this into energy equivalent to 48 KW or boiling 25 kettles for 1 hour!

Compost: new wooden compost bins have been introduced to enable our grounds maintenance staff to dispose of grass cuttings and leaves on site. This time next year, we hope to have converted this summer’s grounds waste into compost which can then be put back into the flower beds and planters around the campus.

Zero landfill: all material previously collected at the Bloomsbury Campus and disposed of in landfill will be diverted to a new energy from waste plant, from January 2011.  From January 2011, UCL will put nothing into landfill.

More information can be seen in the Waste Management Newsletters:

May 2010

14.    The UCL Environment website gives further information and outlines UCL's Green plan of action.


This page last modified May 19, 2014 by Web Editor.




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