DMU receives double Green Gown Award recognition


Staff and students at De Montfort University, Leicester (DMU) are celebrating being recognised as one of the greenest universities in the country after a prestigious double award win.

The university won both the Building Back Better and 2030 Climate Action categories at this year’s Green Gown awards, which reward the most sustainable initiatives happening across higher education.

GGA 2022 WINNER (002)

DMU secured the 2030 Climate Action Award win for its comprehensive approach to carbon management embracing physical changes to campus as well as embedding sustainability into the heart of teaching and learning and supporting local businesses and community organisations to engage with climate action.

Judges recognised the carbon management work led by DMU’s Sustainability Manager, Karl Letten, the energy team and the Estates and Facilities Directorate, so far which has resulted in DMU reducing energy related carbon emissions by 49 per cent between 2005 and 2019.

The university has now moved on to a project to tackle scope 1 emissions, carbon emissions created directly by DMU, such as emissions from heating its buildings and emissions from its own vehicles – and scope 2 emissions, carbon created indirectly by the purchase of electricity supplies.

This work will focus on decarbonising the energy used on campus by looking at alternative ways of generating heat and electricity.

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Karl and his team are also looking to reduce scope 3 emissions – those indirectly caused by the university, such as waste management and disposal, commuting by students and staff, procurement and investments – to net zero by 2045.

As part of its Civic University commitments, DMU has also worked alongside the University of Leicester and other local organisations to support climate action by local businesses, local authorities, schools and community organisations, through the provision of training, audits and consultancy.

This ongoing cross-sector collaboration has been recognised internationally as an outstanding flagship approach for universities to support climate action in their local area.

 Vice-Chancellor Professor Katie Normington said: “DMU is taking a leading role on climate action through the management of its campuses, engaging with staff and students and being a climate leader in its local community.

“We are also addressing the climate crisis and other global challenges through the international opportunities we deliver. We educate students about these global issues, enhance their intercultural awareness, and equip them with the skills and knowledge to make a positive difference to society in the future.

“Being given these Green Gown Award is very gratifying recognition of our important work in this field.”

Sustainability is at the heart DMU’s operations as the only UK university to be a hub for the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - a series of 17 targets to make the world a better place.

The second project to scoop an award is led by DMU Global who won the Building Back Better category, for its initiative which started during the pandemic when international borders were closed and overseas travel was impossible.

Creating the DMU Global Online Learning programme gave students a range of opportunities to experience the world from home.

GLOBAL TEAM main one

Close to 1,000 students took part in virtual international experiences, including summer schools at universities in France, Finland and South Korea, virtual internships helping communities in Fiji, online conferences in Indonesia and Japan, and virtual exchange projects with universities in the United States and Kazakhstan.

As international travel restrictions gradually lifted, DMU Global made the decision to continue to connect students with other parts of the world through online learning while reducing the numbers of flights overseas.

 

The virtual link-ups with students, academics and businesses around the world has saved 1,164 tonnes of carbon emissions per year.

It has also opened up more opportunities for students to connect with people overseas without the cost.

In addition, those who do continue to travel with DMU Global must complete a sustainability and travel training module, which helps educate students about being ‘greener’ travellers.

 

Posted on Wednesday 9th November 2022

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