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Attenborough sends out big bold green message

University of Leicester’s tallest building signals stark environmental message

The University of Leicester is – quite literally - nailing its colours to the tallest building on campus.

In a bold and forthright statement, the University of Leicester is sending out an environmental message by committing to recycling.

A giant banner will declare: One Year’s University Waste Could Fill This Tower – Now We Can Recycle Half of This. The banner spans the top two floors of the Attenborough Tower and is visible for miles around.

The banner, which will remain on the building for a number of months, will in turn be recycled - being used in a local community allotment project to suppress weeds or help shelter seedlings.

The institutional pledge to recycle comes as staff and students have themselves been making Green Pledges during Big Green Week- the biggest environmental festival in the University’s history.

Scores of events form part of the week and a new Centre for Environmental Research will also be launched during the week. The Centre will bring together experts in environmental research and climate change to form a think tank on some of the most pressing issues of our times.

Dr Emma Fieldhouse, Environmental Manager, who is spearheading the green initiatives on campus said: "Big Green Week has reinforced the message that there are like-minded people who care about the environment, and that the University is now committed financially, ethically and with people power to making positive environmental changes. With 100 volunteer recruits, 40 Environmental Coordinators, 650 green pledges so far and being championed by senior managers and our estates colleagues… the time to green the University has come!"

"Our aim is to raise awareness amongst staff and students of environmental issues on and beyond the campus, and to demonstrate how to make their lifestyles greener, their carbon footprint smaller and their environmental consciences clearer."

"The University produces approximately 1200 tonnes of waste every year and its aim is to cut this first by half though a range of recycling initiatives around the campus. The first phase of recycling bins are already in place and a further two phases will bring recycling opportunities to the rest of the academic buildings."

"On Thursday (Oct 18) we are also staging a Recycled Art Exhibition, a Clothing Swap-Shop, Ethical Fashion Show and Recycled Fashion Show competition featuring clothes from waste materials. There will also be a Battery Amnesty, where batteries can be left to be appropriately disposed of."

"The message underlying all the fun of the day itself is to bring to everyone's attention the drive by the Estates and Environment Team to implement the phasing in of recycling across the University's operations to make it easier for staff and students to dispose of their waste responsibly."

The University of Leicester has pledged its commitment to the environment in the following ways:

- reduce its carbon impact through 27 projects (delivered over the next 5 years) designed to make the University more energy efficient

- developing a Green Travel Plan and employing a Travel Coordinator to support sustainable ways of travelling to and from the University

- strive to achieve Fairtrade Status by the end of this academic year

Ather Mirza | alfa
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