EcoCampus is an Environmental Management System (EMS) and award scheme that has been designed specifically for universities in the UK. It aims to aid institutions in moving towards environmental sustainability through good operational and management practices.
ISO14001 and ISO50001
Following the re-accreditation of the Eco Campus Gold award, we decided to then look at gaining our “ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management Standard” and also the “ISO 50001:2011 Energy Management Standard” which relate to all Environmental and Energy management activities across Newman University. We were awarded this standard in March 2019.
These are the equivalent of the EcoCampus platinum award. We were audited across the entire campus in March 2019 which involved the assessing of our management systems against the requirements of the standards and also assessing the performance of our management system regarding it’s adequacy and continuing suitability. We will continue to be audited across this standard annually.
As well as our annual audit by an external company, we also hold our own internal environmental audits 4 times a year. This assesses areas such as our Energy consumption across campus (electricity, gas, water) and if we can make any reductions. The housekeeping of areas around the university and storage spaces and how we store particular materials/liquids and the keeping of COSHH assessments. We look at our recycling and waste and whether it is being utilised correctly around campus – are our waste and recycling facilities being used correctly? The outdoor areas of our campus are also audited in ways to best help the local environment and making sure we are “doing our part” for the local biodiversity.
Newman University EcoCampus Gold Certificate
CAFOD Livesimply Award
In May 2017 Newman University was the first university to be awarded with the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD) Livesimply award, this was delivered by the Chaplaincy Department and the award recognises our commitment and actions to live simply, to live sustainable with creation and to live in solidarity with the poor.
Reducing Our Carbon Footprint
Newman secured a £150,000 grant from the Revolving Green Fund and has used this to fund intelligent lighting and upgrading the boilers. Our intention is to use the savings from the Revolving Green Fund (estimated to be £35,000 per year) on more sustainable projects. We approved a Carbon Management Plan in March 2011, and we committed to reduce our carbon footprint by 30% by 2015 and by 43% by 2020. We reached our target for 2015 and will continue being energy efficient to reach our 2020 target. To reduce consumption further, we plan to use spaces more efficiently, particularly at evenings and weekends.
Elements that are included in the calculation of Newman’s carbon footprint include:
- Energy use in buildings (gas, electricity, heating consumption);
- Newman fleet vehicle use – emissions associated with current vehicle fleet;
- Waste management and recycling – aiming to reduce emissions associated with waste
We now have solar panels installed on two of the buildings at Newman – McAuley building and St Chad building and we now produce 10% of our own electricity on campus by using Solar PV. Our new accommodation block has a small microchip (combining heat and power) which produces a further 7kw from supplying hot water and heating to the building.
Environmentally Friendly Publications
Our prospectus is produced using paper which contains post-consumer waste, pre-consumer waste and product from well-managed forests.
Newman has introduced 18 reserved staff car parking spaces for car sharers and 18 parking spaces on the student car park for car sharers. If anyone wishes to join a car sharing group, please visit www.liftshare.com for more information. We encourage all staff and students to use alternative modes of transport (through the Travelwise scheme) and will continue to work with Birmingham City Council to achieve this through the development of our Travel Plan.
The University promotes sustainable travel wherever possible. We have secure places for people to lock up their bicycles and we have regular events where we promote cycling to Newman, walking, car sharing and public transport.
During the year we host at least one “cycle to work” day/week. This is usually held as part of the national Cycle to Work Week and there are usually incentives to encourage staff and students to take part. We are currently in the process of adding cycle routes and times onto our website for those wishing to cycle to Newman from different areas.
There is the option for staff to purchase a bicycle as part of a Cycle to Work scheme.
Gardens and Plants
We have undertaken intensive landscaping improvements across the campus. These improvements will continue as part of the new buildings and refurbishments. This work will ensure that we are giving our students the best experience possible during their studies whilst making sure we are keeping up to date with best practice with regard to landscaping.
In between buildings there are a variety of open spaces and courtyards which provide a pleasant setting for staff and students to spend time, including more peaceful areas, such as around the pond in front of Edgbaston Halls of Residence. The landscaping includes many mature trees and year round planting gives a colourful backdrop to the buildings.
Newman University’s landscaping includes various species of trees placed around our campus. Should it be necessary to remove a tree, as specified within Newman University’s environmental policy, it is replaced with an additional 3 trees.
We have a variety of fruit trees at our campus, these include apple, pear and plum. Fruit grown on campus is used within our Catering department.
Tree Planting Events
During our 2017 “Green Week” we gave out or planted on site 250 Norwegian Spruce trees. These were taken away by staff or students to be planted in their own homes or gardens with any that were left being planted around the Newman campus. This was the first time an event like this was held on campus and was received very well and gathered positive feedback.
We have 7 composting areas on site and these are primarily maintained by on-site contractors. These are all located in relevant areas of the campus. This enables all of the grounds waste from the flowerbeds, cuttings from trees and shrubs to be composted. The resulting compost then gets recycled and returned out into our grounds and flowerbeds.
Recycling Our Waste
Since 2011 we have continued to recycle. In 2011 Newman had 2 skips being emptied on a daily basis by Birmingham City Council. Since then, as a result of recycling paper, cardboard, plastics and bottles Newman now only has one skip which is emptied once a week. This is a reduction of 90% which is an incredible result. Savings and revenues made from selling recyclable materials on the open market are re-invested into other green projects approved by the Environmental Committee.
A Giving Campus
Unwanted goods such as clothing, kitchenware and bric-a-brac from our Halls of Residence are donated to a local charity for homeless people or the PDSA. Used blankets are donated to Birmingham Dogs Home.