Information Studies has been awarded the Gold Green Impact Award. We have been consistently making efforts to commit to more sustainable actions as a Department and this was recognised with the Bronze Award in 2018-19, Silver Award for 2019-20 and 2020-21 and now the Gold Award. It is an amazing achievement for the Department, taking into account that only 11 teams have received a Gold award this year and we are the only Department receiving this award between other Centres or Institutes.
Green Impact is a UCL-wide environmental competition and accreditation scheme that allows departments and divisions across the university to improve their environmental impact, support UCL's Sustainability Strategy and engage peers and colleagues with these essential issues. Apart from the importance of the award, it is a very important contribution to UCL’s overall sustainability plan.
You can read more about UCL’s sustainability plan here.
Some of the things we have implemented as a Department are listed below.
- We are conducting a basic energy survey to ensure monitors, computers, lights, fans and air conditioning are turned off at the end of the day. All PCs, monitors and office lights should be switched off when leaving the office at the end of the day.
- We are communicating the UCL Heating, Cooling and Ventilation Policy to our staff. In winter, autumn and spring UCL will aim to maintain spaces at a temperature of 19 - 21°C while they are occupied. Both of these ranges are in line with guidance from the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers. Air conditioning will only be provided where temperatures regularly exceed 28°C, for example due to high occupancy levels or heat generated by equipment. You can read more about the policy and information on when heating and air-conditioning is provided here. More information on how to save energy here.
- We participate in the Big Easter and Christmas Switch-offs by sending reminders to staff & students.
- We install stickers & posters to promote energy and water saving.
- We only purchase copy paper which is 100% recycled. ULC follows Government Buying Standards found here.
- We ensure UCL preferred suppliers are used for purchases and delivery services, whenever possible.
- We purchase envelopes, post-it notes, and other non-copy paper products that are made with at least 75% recycled content.
- If we print publications, we can attempt to commit to printing all publications on paper with 75% recycled content.
- We use Warpit, an easy-to-use online platform which allows staff to share unwanted by usable furniture, stationery and equipment quickly and easily within UCL and beyond. We are using Warpit as much as we can when we want to get rid of furniture that we don’t use. More information here.
- We have already increased the consumption of vegan and vegetarian food when ordering catering for meetings.
- We buy sugar, salt, tea and coffee in bulk containers to reduce waste and we will stick to Fairtrade Certified tea/coffee and sugar.
- We do not use any disposable materials in our catering orders. We try to provide glasses/re-usable cups/mugs for meetings instead of disposables.
- All new staff are asked to complete the ‘Introduction to Sustainability e-learning’ course.
- We implemented better communications to staff and students about the nearest cycling facilities.
- We have given better communication on cycling and walking initiatives for UCL staff and students.
- We include sustainability information in our student packs and induction: This includes UCL's commitment to sustainability, Office/Departmental environmental policies and goals, information about Green Impact/Green Champion, Roles/responsibilities of individuals, Sustainability E-learning module. We will be letting students know during the induction and by emailing them throughout the year.
- We will be including an environmental statement in the job descriptions of all new staff: "The staff member has a responsibility to carry out their duties in a resource efficient way and actively support UCL’s Sustainability Strategy, policies and objectives within the remit of their role."
- We will engage students in the Green Impact team.
- We keep encouraging staff to send papers and agendas electronically and rather than printing them, so please do try and do this and only print if it is absolutely necessary, as we can all access any documents online. This is now a departmental policy.
- We reduced paper handouts and instead put our resources on Moodle.
- We recycle all electronic waste including; batteries, portable and non-portable electrical items, including mobile phones, laptops and tablets.
- We set our printers to print double-sided by default and copy double sided when possible.
Being awarded with the Gold means that we have now evidence of our sustainable actions above plus some of the below:
- Developing a sustainable travel policy
- Only buying cleaning products that have the EU Ecolabel or Cradle to Cradle label.
- As a department, faculty and business area, we support Fairtrade products.
- We give a live sustainability induction annually to our students.
UCL’s vision is to become a leader in the field of sustainability through performing at the highest levels of excellence in multidisciplinary academic teaching and research; creating a culture of inspiration, innovation, action and trust, through engagement with its schools, faculties, departments and other stakeholders; and through the sustainable development and use of the estate. Some examples would be UCL Positive Climate (UCL is committed to net zero carbon buildings by 2024, and a net zero carbon institution by 2030), Biodiversity (creating 10,000m2 of biodiverse green space by 2024), construction, procurement, waste & recycling (UCL is a zero waste to landfill university. We even turn our waste coffee grounds into bio-fuel) and more.