The University of Bedfordshire yesterday launched its Target Zero campaign, outlining its plans for the year ahead. The University’s 12-month Target Zero initiative aims to reduce carbon emissions by a further 510 tonnes and increase recycling rates by 12% across all campuses, through the support of students and staff.
Alongside an exhibition which celebrates the University’s green credentials, art and design students from University of Bedfordshire have created an installation representing the extreme weather effects the world is already experiencing as a result of climate change.
The towering structure, aptly named ‘There’s Gonna Be A Storm’, is composed of plastic bottles bound together in the shape of a tornado, highlighting the devastating consequences that plastic pollution has on the planet.
Professor Rebecca Bunting, Interim Vice Chancellor at the University of Bedfordshire, said: “Climate change is affecting every single country and so universities world-wide have a role to play in ensuring the global temperature rise remains under 1.5 degrees centigrade.
"Here at the University of Bedfordshire we have embedded sustainability into the student curriculum through collaborative activities which promote awareness, understanding and actions relating to sustainability and climate change.
"We have also made huge reductions to our carbon emissions since 2005 by altering the way we run our estate, but now is the last push – the last 500 tonnes – and we need the help of our staff and students to meet our Target Zero goals.”
You can see more about our Target Zero initiative launched earlier today in the Luton Campus Centre gallery space! ♻️https://t.co/FJ1sm4B904 #UniversityOfBedfordshire #TargetZero pic.twitter.com/dXzEQzPRmc— uniofbeds (@uniofbeds) January 20, 2020
The University of Bedfordshire was the second university in the country to make the decision not to invest in fossil fuels. Since 2009 it has been generating its own renewable energy for use across all campuses and annual carbon emissions have been halved since 2005, with the aim to be carbon neutral by 2050 in alignment with the UK government’s climate change target.
All of the University’s buildings constructed since 2010 have achieved a BREEAM level of excellent; incorporating low carbon construction technologies, rainwater harvesting, solar panelling and green ‘living’ roofs and have been constructed from Green Guide rated materials.
Adam Higgin, Head of Sustainability at the University of Bedfordshire, said: “We have taken massive strides in our ethical and environmental performance. Our ranking in the People & Planet Green League has risen dramatically from 124th in 2010 to 8th in 2019 and we have also be awarded Platinum Eco campus status.
"Our Target Zero campaign is a brilliant opportunity to bring together students and staff as we continue to raise awareness and encourage everyone to take individual responsibility for their own carbon footprint.”
With students set to step back on to University soil later this month for the first time since lockdown, Bedfordshire staff have been busy preparing the campuses and making sure they are safe for staff, students and the local community.
Students arriving at University of Bedfordshire or heading off to study at other institutions in 2020 will be experiencing a ‘new normal’ version of higher education and university life.
A podcast created in-house by a lecturer at University of Bedfordshire has returned for its highly anticipated third series.
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