Loughborough University
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21 November 2006 PR 06/130

Loughborough University staff plant their way to a greener future

A new scheme is to be launched at Loughborough University, which will offer staff the chance to offset the pollution they create during the course of their work by planting new trees.

The University has almost 3,000 members of staff who use various forms of transport to travel for or to and from work, all of which add to the release of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere. Carbon emissions have been linked to climate change, which continues to have a major impact on the planet.

The ‘Trees for Loughborough’ scheme seeks to help balance these carbon emissions by giving staff the opportunity to contribute towards the planting of trees on campus. A medium-sized deciduous tree will absorb approximately one and a half tonnes of carbon dioxide over its lifetime, whilst additionally providing natural wildlife habitat.

Roy Hill, the University’s Director of Estates Services said: “This is an exciting scheme that will enable staff to offset their production of carbon dioxide by seeing trees planted locally, which will also help enhance the local environment.

“Of course we are aware that by planting trees it does not wipe the slate clean and people should always be aware of the damage caused by carbon emissions to our planet and do their utmost to reduce these. We hope as well as enabling staff to give something back to the environment, this scheme will also encourage them to think about the pollution they generate and to try and reduce it.”

The University has identified three specific areas of land that will be planted, over time, through this scheme. The trees will eventually form a wildlife corridor from Burleigh Woods to the main campus. To plant a tree staff will be able to make a donation online through the University’s Estates Services web pages or by contacting the Estates Services Finance Manager, Jane Goodacre. The website will include a carbon emissions calculator, which will enable staff to work out how many trees they would need to purchase to offset a particular journey.

‘Trees for Loughborough’ will be officially launched on Monday November 27 during the Tree Council’s National Tree Week.

ENDS

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Notes to editors

1. The planting of the first tree as part of the ‘Trees for Loughborough’ scheme will take place at 11am on November 27. Members of the media are welcome to attend the event, and asked to meet at 10.45am at the rear of the Holywell Park Car Park, Bays C3 and C4. For further directions contact the Public Relations Office.

2. Some interesting facts about carbon emissions:

A 200 mile round trip in a medium size car will emit approximately 60 kg of CO2 into the atmosphere whilst a similar journey by coach or rail would emit the equivalent of 12kg, one fifth of that.

A 12,000 mile return flight to Hong Kong would emit the equivalent of 2.16 tonnes (2160kg) of CO2 into the atmosphere per person, which would require the planting of around two trees to offset.

3. For further information about the Tree Council and its National Tree Week visit: http://www.treecouncil.org.uk/projects/ntw.htm

4. Loughborough has an established reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry, and unrivalled sporting achievement. Assessments of teaching quality by the Quality Assurance Agency place it in the top flight of UK universities; the National Student Survey ranked Loughborough equal first among full-time students; and industry highlights the University in its top five for graduate recruitment. Around 40% of Loughborough’s income is for research, and 60% for teaching. The University has been awarded five Queen's Anniversary Prizes: for its collaboration with aerospace and automotive companies such as BAE Systems, Ford and Rolls Royce; for its work in developing countries; for pioneering research in optical engineering; for its world-leading role in sports research, education and development; and for its outstanding work in evaluating and helping to develop social policy-related programmes.

In 2006 Loughborough celebrates the 40th anniversary of its University Charter, awarded on 19 April 1966 in recognition of the excellence achieved by Loughborough College of Advanced Technology and its predecessor Colleges. Loughborough University of Technology was renamed Loughborough University in 1996.

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