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5 Sep 2014

Internationally-recognised standard puts Loughborough among environmental elite

Loughborough University has achieved the highest possible Platinum Award in the national EcoCampus scheme and gained accreditation to the internationally-recognised environmental management standard ISO 14001.

EcoCampus provides a structured four-stage framework – Bronze through to Platinum – to guide universities through to accreditation to ISO 14001. Loughborough University has been developing its Environmental Management System under the EcoCampus scheme since 2010, when it achieved the Bronze level award. It achieved Silver and Gold levels in 2011 and 2012.

ISO 14001 is an internationally accepted standard that outlines how to put an effective environmental management system in place. It is designed to help organisations reduce their environmental impact as they grow and develop.

Loughborough’s latest achievements place it among an environmental elite – less than 15% of the higher education sector have achieved ISO 14001 and just 28% of universities registered on the EcoCampus scheme have reached the Platinum Award level.

Jo Shields, Loughborough’s Sustainability Manager, said: “It’s a fantastic achievement, particularly as it’s a campus-wide accreditation. It demonstrates how the whole University community has worked collaboratively on environmental management issues.”

Accreditation to ISO 14001 is a clear demonstration of Loughborough’s commitment to reducing its environmental impact and can bring significant benefits to the University. For instance, it can help to support research grants and funding bids, and put the University ahead of the pack in the competition for business.

Over the last five years the University has continually enhanced its success in environmental sustainability.

Its Combined Heat and Power plant has reduced the University’s expenditure on electricity by £1 million, with 50% of the campus’s power now generated through this plant.

Recycling rates on campus have increased from just 35% in 2007-8 to 77% in 2012-13, with only 5% of waste now going to landfill and the remaining 18% to energy recovery.

The Sustainable Travel Plan has met its targets, with a reduction in single person occupancy in cars and more staff and students walking or cycling.

The Fruit Routes project, which is developing the University grounds as an edible and sustainable landscape, has now received national recognition, winning the Guardian Higher Education Award for Sustainability in February of this year.

For further information on sustainability at Loughborough University please email environment@lboro or visit www.lboro.ac.uk/sustainability

Article reference number: September News