Contribution to sustainable development

November 26, 2007

Bristol University. "More universities are thinking about sustainability across the board - on campus, in the curriculum and research, and in interactions with local and other special interest communities," observes judge Sara Parkin, founder director of Forum for the Future.

And leading the way, Ms Parkin's panel of judges decided, is Bristol University. Since the institution adopted its environmental policy in 2003, it has reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 18 per cent, water use by 23 per cent and waste-to-landfill by over half. In the past year, its ten- person energy and environmental management unit has developed alternative approaches to cooling buildings, using technical fixes such as liquid pressure amplification to reduce energy consumption. Through events and policy initiatives, the institution has helped to push forward the green agenda in Bristol.

In 2005-06, the university launched an undergraduate unit in sustainable development, which is open to students from all faculties. Last year, it added a further unit, examining sustainable development perspectives in earth sciences, philosophy and law.

Ms Parkin said: "Bristol University leads the way for the 2007 awards because its entry clearly sets out its achievements on the campus, in curriculum and research and in its engagement with the city of Bristol over the past year.

"As well as good investment in and action on environmental performance on the campus, this year focusing on air conditioning, Bristol has recognised the importance of 'sustainability literacy for all' by launching - and last year developing further - a new 'open to all students' multidisciplinary unit."

The university's involvement in the local community helps "a wide range of people across Bristol to join other initiatives with the city, to tackle the shared challenge of climate change", Ms Parkin said.

The judges' "very close second" was Sheffield Hallam University.

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