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MMU to reduce carbon footprint

Published: 24th July 2008

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Diagram of the 'Active Environmental Roof' for the new Business School building

MANCHESTER Metropolitan has a carbon footprint of 20,000 tonnes, and a utility bill approaching £5 million.

What’s more, 46 million sheets of paper – or 420 tonnes annually – are used by staff in printing and photocopying alone!

These are just some of the negative numbers revealed by the Vice Chancellor this week as he bids to help lead one of the UK’s largest universities towards a more sustainable future.

"By laying bare the facts about our consumption, we hope staff and students will start to change their behaviour," says Professor John Brooks.

Forward thinking

"Reducing our carbon footprint is not simply about recycling, it is about changing our culture," he told a sustainability conference at MMU hosted by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (Hefce), which praised MMU for its forward-thinking in sustainability.

MMU recently jumped 24 places to 67th in the Times Higher ‘Green University Tables’, following a raft of measures to get the University on a sustainable track.

In the past few months, MMU has:

- recruited a carbon reduction manager
- begun integrating sustainability learning into staff induction programmes
- spent tens of thousands on water conservation
- signed the national ‘Green Education Declaration’
- run a Zero Waste Week to recycle tonnes of items left in halls of residence.

Futuristic Business School

"The pace of change is rapid because it needs to be," said Brooks, who explained that in just one month the human race consumed 9.5 billion tonnes of energy and wiped out 1 million hectares of forests.

He also outlined impressive plans for MMU’s new Business School/Student Hub at All Saints, which will be one of the greenest buildings in Manchester when it opens in 2011.

The glass building (illustrated above) will maximise natural light, employ photo-voltaic cell energy generation and use ground source heat pumps, so that 15-20% of energy will come from renewables. This could save more than 200 tonnes of carbon each year.

For information and advice on recycling and reducing carbon emissions please contact MMU Environmental Manager John Hindley on 0161 247 1408 or email j.hindley@mmu.ac.uk