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02 November 2011

Bristol has a ‘green impact’ on hospitals and universities across the country

An innovative scheme developed by the University of Bristol to cut back on its environmental impact has been rolled out nationally, with a Bristol hospital trust the latest to get on board.

The University's Sustainability department first introduced the Green Impact scheme four years ago, in partnership with the National Union of Students Services Limited [NUSSL], and it has since been adopted by over 50 universities throughout the country. 

Now University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust has teamed up with the University and NUSSL to pilot Green Impact Hospitals - a new accreditation scheme to help departments reduce their negative impact on the environment. 

The pilot scheme will be rolled out to other hospitals if it proves a success and significantly reduces energy use. 

The principles behind the scheme are simple, with every department being challenged to implement a number of easy practical actions that will help the environment, whether it's improving recycling, using less water, promoting sustainable travel or reducing waste. 

Martin Wiles, Head of Sustainability at the University, said: "It's great to see Green Impact being used across the country and resulting in significant changes to help the environment. Universities inevitably have many buildings of varying ages and lots of staff and students who travel there and use the various facilities. 

"We have a responsibility to reduce the impact these activities have on the world around us and it's encouraging to see that Bristol's efforts are leading to changes in attitude throughout the higher education sector. 

"Our new partnership with University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust is very exciting. We've seen that relatively minor changes to the way we do things can have a big effect, and this will hopefully be the case in hospitals too. We're looking forward to holding a joint award ceremony in May to highlight what's been achieved." 

Samuel Willitts, Energy and Sustainability Manager at UH Bristol, said: "'Piloting Green Impact at the Trust is an exciting opportunity to get staff involved in practical solutions to improve our environmental sustainability. 

"The programme complements the central schemes the Trust is already investing in like better recycling systems and more energy efficient buildings." 

Another initiative being adopted by the University this year is Green Impact Labs, a joint initiative between NUSSL and the S-Labs project based in the University of Bradford, which looks at efficient cold storage, fume cupboards, ventilation and heating, chemicals, waste and water. 

For research-intensive universities like Bristol, the environmental impact of what they do in their labs is large. It's estimated that 40 per cent of energy use at Bristol University is generated by its labs and the focus is now on reducing this critical impact. 

To find out more about Green Impact, please visit: