Green gown for university’s work in tackling carbon legacy

VC Peter Strike
VC Peter Strike

The University of Cumbria has won a prestigious ‘green gown’ award for on-going commitment to carbon reduction.

The university scooped the award for a project to reduce the need for a large fleet of pool cars.

The award was presented at the Green Gown ceremony on November 5 at the University of Birmingham.

The university has implemented a number of initiatives since 2007 to help reduce the need for reliance on a pool car fleet, reducing CO2 emissions from staff business travel by 27 per cent between 2009/10 and 2011/12.

Initiatives such as video conferencing, desktop communication, use of public transport, car clubs and car sharing have been encouraged and embraced by staff.

Events have been held to promote the use of the train service between the main campuses and the use of the Commonwheels Car Club.

The award judges commented: “This excellent project incorporated good environmental benefits tackling a difficult area.”

Ian Rodham, travel plan manager at the university, said: “We have put a lot of hard work into this project to reduce the number of pool cars on the road and to be recognised within the sector is fantastic.

“We provide learning opportunities from a number of campuses and sites, meaning that we have to undertake a certain amount of travel.

“A range of IT and travel initiatives have allowed us to reduce the amount of travel that our staff need to do, helping us to achieve a large reduction in carbon and ultimately use our time, energy and money more wisely.

“By the end of November, all of our pool car fleet will be gone and we will use alternative methods to communicate or travel.”