Carbon Conference 9th February 2010

Carbon Conference 9th February 2010

With over varied mix of over 100 attendees our Carbon Conference in February was a great success, and the feedback we gained during the workshops was invaluable.

The conference included presentations from Geoff layer (Deputy Vice Chancellor) Mark Wrigley (Energy and Sustainability Manager) and Jo Pollard (Chairperson CO2 Sense)

Here are some of the issues that staff and students raised during the conference:

Energy Usage –Lighting, Air Conditioning, Heating and Ventilation
We received great feedback from delegates and have compiled a list of over 300 tips, energy saving ideas, concerns and actions.

Space Planning, User control, Building Fabric, Renewable technology, Occupancy sensors on lighting, improved lighting efficiency, improved communication and the need to clothing appropriate to seasonal conditions were common themes across the feedback we received.

What next?
Your feedback WILL influence future strategy and practice across the University.

image of Carbon Conference Feedback Chart

Carbon Conference Feedback Chart

The newly refurbished Communal building will have local control for the heating and ventilation and we will also be trialling the use of LED lighting within one of the user rooms. Furthermore all future capital schemes/refurbishments impacting on heating and ventilation will where possible include greater local control for users

Space planning will be part of our future carbon management strategy; and we are currently developing plans to publish building specific energy/heating performance data for the University whilst the feedback we received has already started to influence our communication process relating to heating issues on campus.

Plenty of feedback was received relating to poor fitting windows and/or building fabric and whilst we recognise these are valid issues any improvements we consider will form part of our long term investment plans.

We are currently looking at capital options to implement a number of energy efficiency initiatives (some of which were highlighted as part of conference feedback) across campus during the next three years.


Energy Usage – IT
photo of a desktop computerIT also proved to be a popular area for feedback with areas highlighted including virtualisation of services, recycling of old equipment, shared printers, printing double some of the areas that attendees would like to see action on.

What next?
The great news is that many of areas covered within the feedback are already part of a wider environmental action plan from  IT services.

Some of the great work being undertaken by IT include:-

(1) Greater use of technology to automate our business. Examples of which include self-service administration for students (e-Vision) and for staff (MyView) and for University applicants (on-line enquiry and on-line application processing), a new web content management system and developments in the student system around student monitoring, progression and award.  There has been a significant investment in e-strategy projects delivering the web-enabled campus.

(2) Student PC clusters have been managed in terms of switch off for some time. A power management solution was implemented which affects all of the student PC “clusters” located in Richmond, Chesham and JBP Buildings. The total number is around 350 computers. A web page provides students with the locations and availability of all these computers in real time and it can also be viewed on mobile devices (smartphone etc) and on plasma screens in the JBP Building and the information is re-purposed for mobile phones/devices.

(3) The University funded through e-strategy is running a pilot of a tool called Elluminate which enables collaborative and virtual working (A bit like a private web-ex facility).  The University has also continued to invest and support a dedicated Video-Conference facility in the JBP Library.  There has been significant work been completed on the facilities to support “flexible” working (which might include from home but also covers other locations).  There is a new website which promotes these facilities which came about as a result of the request after the Swine Flu pandemic and then the inclement weather at the start of 2010.

(4) Duplex Printing – A new printers are capable of printing duplex however it the responsibility of individuals to ensure that personalise their printing options to ensure duplex printing. This was one of the common action areas that has resulted from the Green Impact process.


Business Travel

photo of a business man

Business Travel was the second most popular area for feedback and the major areas of feedback related were around Remote working technologies preventing the need for travel, public transport and carbon.

What Next?

Much of the feedback we received related to policy and practice that we are planning over the next 12 months and here is our response to your feedback:-

  • Policy: The Sustainable Business Travel Framework is in place and asks staff to think about whether they can avoid their journey through technology and if not, how they travel – domestic flights and long distance single occupancy car journeys should be avoided.  There are weaknesses in the enforcement of this framework
  • Carbon: The ITPG (Integrated Transport Policy Group) are currently working up some carbon targets for each departments annual business travel.  Business Travel will then be monitored and departments fined if they do not meet the targets with the money being used for funding sustainable travel initiatives.
  • Remote Working Technologies: We currently have limited technologies available for reducing the need to travel – a video conferencing suite in JBP Library, Audio Conferencing units and informal web based video conferencing.  Trials are soon to begin of various modern pc and suite based video conferencing systems which allow sharing, collaboration and teaching online as well as simple communication.
  • Public Transport: While incentives for the use of public transport are based around commuter journeys for which the individual pays the University of Bradford sponsors the Bradford Free City Bus which allows simple travel between the university, stations and City Centre.
  • Vehicle Use: City Car Club has recently partnered with the College and University and there are three cars available for business (and personal) use by staff and students.  In addition to this we are investigating producing bio-diesel from our waste cooking oil to power estates vehicles to go with our electric and LPG vehicles.
  • Cycling: Short business journeys can be made by bicycle and can be claimed at 23p / mile.  Bikes can be bought using the tax free bikes scheme or through our second hand bike shop partnership with Crank It Up in the Communal Building.