We are working with Falmouth University, the University of Exeter and the Students' Union (FXU) on a varety of prokjects to make our campuses more sustainable. Here's a taste of some of the work carried out so far...
Disposable cups. Between September 2018 - when we introduced the sale of reusable, 100% biodegradable hot drinks cups and also started charging for disposable cups - and March 2019, about 33% of hot drinks across our catering outlets were sold in disposable cups. We’re aiming to reduce this even more so, this September, we’re supplying free, reusable hot drinks cups to every fresher.
The University of Exeter’s ESI is leading the way by far with just 2% of drinks being sold in disposable cups. The next closest to that is The Stannary at 14% followed by Falmouth University’s AMATA at 23%.
Bin the Bin: This initiative is already happening in many workplaces across our campuses and will be rolled out across the whole of Penryn Campus in September (2019). It means the removal of office (desk) bins across campus and provision of larger, centralised bins. 451 office bins will be removed and a whopping 45,000 plastic bin bags will no longer be going to waste. We also plan to create bin maps/apps to help you find your nearest waste bins and recycling points.
Energy: Carbon reduction is a major plank in FX Plus’ ongoing commitment to sustainability. We have recently signed up to getting its electricity supply from 100% renewable energy sources. The electricity is backed by Clean Technology Renewable Energy which originates from sources such as wind, solar and hydro and is evidenced through the Renewable Energy Guarantees Origin (REGO) scheme.
We also have an energy screen in The Exchange detailing energy use in several Penryn Campus buildings - informing us all so we can become more sustainable.
British Heart Foundation Pack for Good: In 2018, Falmouth and Penryn campus users collected 800 bags for the British Heart Foundation (BHF) – worth £3000 more than the 2017 collection. The collection takes place across the year as part of the BHF Pack for Good campaign which targets students who are moving out, encouraging them to donate unwanted items (books, household goods, clothes) to the BHF. The 2018 collections diverted 6.3 tonnes of unwanted items from going to landfill or an incinerator and helped to raise more than £11,000 for the BHF.
Single use plastics: We have stopped supplying plastic straws on our campuses and are looking at reducing single use plastics as much as possible. This includes:
- Encouraging our suppliers to use less plastic packaging, or to collect and reuse their packaging.
- Introducing dual-purpose water fountains (drinking and bottle refill).
- Removing plastic bottles from vending machines.
- Charging for disposable hot drinks cups and food containers and offering reusable ones and china and crockery as alternatives.
- Compostable packaging for sandwiches and other food made and/or packed on site.
- Looking at alternatives to plastics in laboratories and work spaces.
Carbon Reduction: Since 2006, great progress has been made in reducing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions by approximately 40% from 93.4 kg CO2e per m2 to 56 kg CO2e per m2. This has been enabled by installing technologies including LED lighting, photovoltaics (PV) and combined heat and power systems (CHP). In total, six PV arrays and four CHP engines have been installed with combined installed power capacity of 325 kWp.
Biodiversity: Our beautiful campuses are full of a huge variety of plants, insects and wildlife. Our grounds team encourages biodiversity to flourish. Some examples of this are:
- Creating ‘bee hotels’.
- Growing wildflowers to encourage insects, birds and bats.
- Achieving Green Flag status three years in a row (the third year result is pending).
Transport: We try to discourage car use wherever possible and where cars are used we want to encourage sharing, electric vehicles and other more sustainable use. To support this we plan to promote Lift Share and The Pasty Connection car share app in September.
Working with Fal Rivers and First Bus we encourage use of the Mussel Card Uni which is a significantly discounted travel card for employees and students offering free travel on buses across Cornwall, the Falmouth to Truro train line and Fal River ferries.
Reprographics: Our Reprographics team has several different options for sustainable printing. The most commonly used paper for laser printing is FSC certified and CO2 neutral and it’s also used in the student fleet printers (eg in the IT Suite and Library). The team also stocks a 75% part-recycled paper - Evolution Value – which, unlike many recycled papers, is produced without chlorine bleaching. This paper is used in the staff fleet copiers. Also on offer is a 100% recycled ‘newsprint’ paper (for printing in the Repro office only).
Koofi: All products that are made in-house are put in completely biodegradable or compostable packaging. These include baguettes, bagels, wraps, yoghurt and fruit pots. We use companies including Vegware for the packaging and Planglow for our labels. Planglow items are all made from plants and can be composted together with food waste. The Vegware boxes and baguette bags are made from recycled paper and the ‘glass’ window is made from wood pulp. All disposable cutlery is now made from corn starch or birchwood and Koofi also offers metal cutlery as an eat-in option.