Are we dispensing of water coolers?


Is the rumour true that the University are dispensing of all water coolers and, if so, are there any plans for suitable cold alternatives?


As far as we are aware there have been no proposals or decisions made to remove all water coolers from across the University. This is certainly not something that has been discussed within Executive.
The idea may well have come from the Green Impact initiative, specifically, the silver Green Impact award. This asks the team to meet the following criteria: ‘not have any bottle-fed water coolers or, if it does, it has a valid reason for not having replaced bottle-fed water coolers with mains-fed versions’.

This is encouraged as bottle-fed water coolers are typically 150% more expensive to run than mains-fed water coolers (34.0 pence per litre vs. 0.22 pence per litre respectively) and both dispense the same quality water. Mains-fed coolers also have significant additional environmental impacts through food miles.

As Green Impact is currently voluntary, this criteria is encouraged as opposed to enforced. Another initiative local management are asked to consider where feasible, is the removal of disposable plastic cups and the fitting of timer clocks to water coolers to save energy during non-operational hours. Staff are reminded that tap water within kitchen areas across the University is also of drinking quality unless otherwise stated on site.

Why have the light switches been removed in the Beacon Building?


Why have the light switches been removed from C342 and C346 on the top floor of the Beacon Building? Now the lights remain on all day while the rooms stand empty for most of the day. This surely does not comply with the University’s green policy.



The lighting in these rooms has been updated as part of the teaching room refurbishment programme. This has resulted in the light switches being relocated inside trunking rather than within the plaster surface. The switches will be marked up when the works in these rooms are complete. The new lighting will be on absence detection when fully commissioned, but in the meantime it is necessary to have continual full light for 100 hours as part of the ‘burning in’ process. This extends the life of the tube within the light fitting.

Are plants going to be placed in the Thompson Library?

I love the new colour scheme in the Thompson Library, but I think it would look even better with a few plants.

Even plastic ones would humanise it a bit – and go with all the other ‘green’ campus improvements planned for outside.

Is this something that could be arranged?


We’re very pleased that you like the new space.

We decided not to use plants due to the level of maintenance required – live plants need regular attention and artificial plants can soon look tired and dusty.

Instead we are in the process of installing a selection of art work which will further enhance the space and complement the focus on learning and study. We also hope to showcase student art work in the library spaces.

In the spirit of sustainability, will the Uni swith to e-cards next Christmas?


Seeing as the University is committed to sustainability and reducing our carbon footprint I was wondering if there are any plans to send out an electronic christmas card rather than the current ones that we post out?


As part of our commitment to reduce the environmental impact the University has through its environmental strategy, this is certainly a viable suggestion for consideration for Christmas 2011. 

Health, Safety and Environmental Unit will liaise with the Design Unit to ensure that any Christmas card production has a minimal environmental impact, with e-cards being the most obvious choice. 

If these were not deemed  sufficient, and traditional cards were printed, the specification will include environmental considerations such as digital printing and minimum orders to reduce wastage, FSC or recycled content paper stock and statements to inform the recipient the card has a lower environment impact through its design and to encourage them to recycle when the card is disposed.