Environmental News - Environment - University of Derby

Environmental news

Latest environmental news at the University of Derby

Print, Paper and the Environment: Myths and Facts 

March 2018

Paper is a crucial resource across almost all sectors of industry, and plays a massive role in our day-to-day lives. Recently, there has been a push towards a “paperless” workplace with emphasis on the protection of our woodlands from deforestation. Instead, solutions utilising “cloud computing” have been adopted by many workplaces as a green alternative. However, how much of this is based in reality? 

The Two Sides Initiative claims the Paper and Print Industry is being unfairly treated. According to the NGO, Europe has in fact undergone afforestation (the planting of new trees on land previously unforested) between 2005-2015 (Two Sides, 2015). These plantations consist of managed woodland, which when managed sustainably provide productive habitat for wildlife.  

Another concern of the industry is the energy costs and emissions of processing paper. Two Sides claims the paper industry receives up to 56% of its electricity requirements through biomass generators and accounts for 1% of Global Greenhouse Gas emissions (one of the lowest emitting industries).  

Over-reliance on electronic based resources may adversely affect some members of society. Approximately 19% of EU households have no access to the internet (Eurostat, 2014) and 60% of surveyed EU citizens prefer receiving paper bills to electronic copies (Keep Me Posted EU, 2014) 

However, the importance of sustainable sourcing is highlighted by Two Sides. Responsible extraction from well-managed plantation is crucial, and monocultures should be avoided to ensure stand resilience from disease and climatic variation (Wilson, 2014). Products certified with FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) and PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes) recognition should be used by workplaces to ensure environmentally responsible sourcing of paper-based materials. 


Reusable Coffee Keep Cups now on sale

March 2018

The University's catering partner Aramark have created a UoD  Reusbale keep Cup for use throughout all Aramark outlets at the university. These cost £7.95 to buy and you will receieve a small coffee for free. 

Aramark Keep Cup Info

Ward Recycling's (University of Derby's waste removal contractor) response to China's ban on UK recyclable material imports

March 2018  

The University of Derby has a commitment to being a zero to landfill institution and this is achieved by working closely with our waste collection provider Ward Recycling Ltd. Through the processes which the company adopts the have a high rate of recycle material recovery, which aids in our environmental commitments. However the relative value of the plastics will be affected by the ban imposed by China. Ward Recycling released a statement to highlight some of the issues faced by waste companies.  

Ward Recycling's Recycling Manager "As you have probably seen in the media, China has significantly clamped down on low grade material in their ports at the beginning of January. Whilst this only really effects plastic and paper markets, the panic has seen a drop across all grades (inc UK bound material) as people anticipate a flooded market. Our suppliers have agreed to keep the card prices stable for January but have warned that we may see a decline in the price over the next few months.

Plastics and films are where the market has been hit hardest and our suppliers have drop the film prices due to a flooded market (both china and post-Christmas packaging). Our Mixed rigids suppliers on the whole keep the plastics in the UK market so these prices have remained the stable however we are now starting to receive information that the prices will steadily decline over the next few months.

In conclusion, whilst our ability to recycle most of the plastic grades we receive is unaffected, the value of these materials is steadily declining as supply outstrips demand and we expect to see lower values for the next few months

We will continue to monitor the situation and report accordingly".

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 

January 2018  

The Sustainable Development Goals are important, world changing objectives that require cooperation between governments, internal organisations and world leaders, however the average person can make a difference. There are a number of super easy thing we can adopt into our routine, if we all do it, will make a big difference.

The UN Sustainabile Development Goals website offers tips and guidance to help you contribute to increasing the sustainability of your lifestyle. These tips are split into four levels of actviity; things you can do from you couch, things you can do at home, things you can do outside your home and things you can do at work.  

Click here for more information 

Christmas switch off - what you can do to help reduce energy consumption

December 2017 

This Christmas, we are encouraging all staff to turn off equipment and appliances to reduce our energy consumption over the holiday period.

Click here for more information 

Professor Karim Vahed "being a TV star" free talk

November 2017 

30th November

5.30pm -7:00pm
Room OL1, Kedleston Road

Our very own TV star Professor Karim Vahed will show clips from his work on the BBC’s Spider House and the British Garden, talk about how programmes are made and reveal some of the tricks of the trade, in this free talk.

Counts towards attendance for Researcher Digital badges

People and Planet Green League 2017 Results 

November 2017 

University of Derby climb environmental League Table  

On the 14th November, the 2017 People and Planet University League results were announced. The university has been ranked 56th out of 154 universities which are included in the league table.  

This is a climb of 3 places from the 2016 table. It means that although the university retains it's 2:1 result, the efforts and hard work from all involved has been recognised 

People and Planet is a UK based student network that campaigns on poverty, human rights and protection of the environment. Each year they compile a University League table which examines the web pages of all UK Universities to assess their activities. They award points under a number of headings: Environmental Management Systems in place, ethical investment, carbon management, workers’ rights, sustainable food, staff and student engagement in sustainability, sustainability education, energy sources, waste/recycling, carbon reduction and water reduction. It icurrently the only comprehensive, independent university league table ranked by environmental and ethical performance. The University recently gained certification to the international environmental management standard; ISO 14001: 2015 from the British Standards Institute, however there are still areas which need improvement and development including; the creation of a sustainability strategy, carbon reduction, workers' rights, ethical investment, greater student/staff engagement and communication.  The appointment of Professor Nick Anotonopoulous (Pro Vice-Chancellor Research) as chair of the Environmental Steering Group will hopefully increase the sustainability of our University. 

Univeristy achieves the international standard for environmental Management System ISO 14001:2015 

September 2017 

The University is one of the first universities to achieve ISO14001:2015, the recently updated international standard for environmental management systems.

It has been stated that 80% of students believe that sustainable development should be actively promoted and incorporated by UK universities (HEA, 2014). This standard demonstrates that the University’s environmental impacts are being measured and improved not only internally to staff and students but also to external stakeholders such as businesses who look to their supply chains to have this certification.

Our Estates department has managed the University’s environmental impacts for many years and recognises that we all have an impact on the environment and that we can all help with positive changes. This certification is a signal that we are moving in the right direction. 

The recently revised standard provides a framework by which we can monitor and reduce our environmental impacts, including our activities on all teaching sites. It requires increased prominence in the strategic planning processes, greater input form leadership and a stronger commitment to proactive initiatives to improve environmental performance.

Objectives have been set to help monitor progress in strengthening environmental performance, which will be reviewed periodically to continually improve environmental performance

Nature Connections

The Nature Connections Festival is a two-day outdoor celebration of the natural world that will take place in Summer 2017. Now in its third year, it is one of the first festivals to combine nature with art, history, health, wellbeing and science. Find out more by visiting the Nature Connections website 


Nature Connections Conference 2017 

The University of Derby are hosting the Nature Connections Conference in June 2017, for more information visit the Conference website. The day will provide a forum for sharing and learning from the latest research and practice in nature connection.

Previous Nature Connections Conference 

In June 2016 the College of Life and Natural Sciences ran a Nature Connections conference involving representatives from the RSPB, Wildlife Trusts, National Trust and Historic England. The conference aimed to help professionals and researchers to develop a common understanding of the role of nature connection, for example in well-being and pro-environmental behaviour.

The University also runs a Nature Connectedness Research Group that aims to understand people’s connection to nature and create everyday interventions in order to improve connectedness; bringing about the associated benefits in well-being and conservation behaviour.

Could your business reap energy efficiency benefits?

The D2EE (Derby and Derbyshire Energy Efficiency) project, a partnership between Derby City Council, Derbyshire County Council and the University of Derby, was launched in February and has already helped a number of small businesses in Derby and Derbyshire. The project team have been out and about across Derby and Derbyshire looking for energy saving opportunities and offering grants to help businesses to save money.

28 June 2016

Experts gather at bee summit to address decline in species

Bumblebee experts from across the country gathered at a Bee Summit to address the decline in species hosted by the University of Derby on June 24, 2016.

8 June 2016

Student illustrates importance of recycling through award-winning artwork

An Illustration student who has created artwork showing the damaging effects not recycling can have on wildlife has won a top award.

18 December 2015

Royal Society of Biology grants accreditation to University of Derby courses

The Royal Society of Biology has accredited two courses at the University of Derby following independent and rigorous assessments.

18 November 2015

Zoology student awarded for voluntary commitments to the city

More than 70 people attended the Green Space Forum Awards this week (November 16), co-hosted by Derby City Council Parks Team and the University Environmental Sustainability Research Centre, at the University of Derby.

10 November 2015

University lecturer calls for scientists to save coral reefs

A recent research paper published by Michael Sweet, Lecturer in Invertebrate Biology at the University of Derby, has found that in order to save coral reefs and fisheries, scientists must improve their collaborations in small island states.

2 March 2015

University appoints new Energy and Environment Research Chair

Professor Paul Stewart has been appointed as Research Chair in Energy and Environment in the Institute for Innovation in Sustainable Engineering (IISE) at the University of Derby.

BSi 14001: 2015 Logo
People and Planet Green League 2017 logo