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Nottingham Trent Is The UK’s Most Sustainable University

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Nottingham Trent Is The UK's Most Sustainable University

UK publicly funded universities have been scored on their policy and action for environmental and social justice as the 2016 People & Planet University League audits are published by student campaign network People & Planet.

Nottingham Trent University (NTU) have hit the No1 spot in this years table after consistently being ranked in the top 10 universities by People & Planet over the last 7 years.

First published in 2007, the league celebrates the ambition and success of universities that are taking a holistic and practical approach to tackling climate change and social inequality. The 2016 league results show that over 80% of universities now have publicly available policy on environmental issues and a quarter of institutions back this up with comprehensive targets to improve their sustainability. This year the data showed two record highs – 55% of UK universities – opening their campus up to external scrutiny of an external environmental management system audit and half of all universities have publicly available ethical investment policy.

It was also announced that UK universities are leading the way on fossil fuel divestment globally. The University League shows that 42 higher education institutions have committed to exclude the fossil fuel industry from around £10.7bn of endowment wealth, overtaking other EU countries, the US and Australia.

UK universities have been world leaders on cutting-edge research into climate solutions

Amoge Ukaegbu, Campaigns and Movement Building Co-ordinator, People & Planet said: ‘UK universities have been world leaders on cutting-edge research into climate solutions. By severing their ties with fossil fuel companies, universities are standing in solidarity with the communities across the world that are on the frontline of fossil fuel extraction and climate change. The Fossil Free movement has grown exponentially with students and universities at its core, pioneering a new way for public institutions to be truly independent of the fossil fuel economy and in doing so, trailblazing a path for wider society to follow.’

In what campaigners claim is ‘a game-changing announcement’ it was revealed today that 16 new UK universities have committed to divest. These institutions join twenty six other UK universities that had already ruled out investing in coal and tar-sands or all fossil fuels. Combined this represents over a quarter of UK universities and places UK universities ahead of their global rivals. The UK all most has almost as many universities divested as the rest of the globe put together, with a total of 51 educational institutions divesting globally outside the UK – in the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Denmark, Canada and Republic of the Marshall Islands. The USA is closest to the UK with thirty five institutions committing to divest, however this number only makes up a fraction of their institutions representing just over 1% of the US higher education sector.

100 policies included a vision to offer learning opportunities for sustainable development across all areas of study, with a third of universities starting the process by supporting teaching academics to explore areas of sustainability in the curriculum. 20 universities had implemented a framework to help them ensure that every student explored environmental and ethical challenges in their courses.

NTU is integrating sustainability into its teaching and learning through its “Green Academy”.
“We made it a formal requirement six months ago that all of our courses incorporate at least one of the 17 UN sustainable development goals,” says Grant Anderson, NTU’s environmental manager. “We think it will give our students an edge in their careers to have considered some of the environmental challenges they will face in their lifetimes,” he says.
“So chemistry students are looking at the role they can play in finding solutions to feeding the world in a sustainable way and primary education students learn practical gardening skills that they will be able to share with their pupils at the university’s food share allotments”.

NTU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Edward Peck, said: “Returning to the top of the People and Planet University League – alongside a plethora of other awards – shows what can be achieved when professional services colleagues, academics, and students work together on an issue in which they all believe. ”

Whilst this years People & Planet University League acknowledges the inspiring vision and practice of the top 30 universities, by awarding them a “First” class degree, the overall picture looks less encouraging when you take a step back. At the national level, university commitment to meeting the climate challenge is dwindling.

60 institutions lacked any evidence of a senior role with responsibility for sustainability issues, which may leave middle management staff powerless to make key decisions with regard to sustainability. More worryingly, People & Planet noted a decrease in university environment staff as one third of universities now appear to have no dedicated environment team at all.

Since 2009, the number of drivers encouraging sustainable development in the Higher Education sector, have all but disappeared. This is especially poignant in England when you look at the change in government priorities.

Before the coalition were elected in 2010 there was a flurry of carbon reduction and sustainability initiatives in universities that were encouraged by government policy and linked to university funding.

Hannah Smith Co-director; Research and Campaigns at people & planet said:
This was an exciting time – the future looked set to harness the energy of 150 institutions of research, creativity, innovation and knowledge, not to mention the 5million students per year. Right now the policy landscape looks bereft of any support or incentive, which we find extremely concerning when you consider the opportunity the UK has to meet carbon reduction targets through the ambition of world-class universities” .

Since 2005 the HE sector in England has managed to achieve a 10% reduction in carbon emissions. John Bailey, Head of Sustainability at the University of London has conducted his own research into the plight of university carbon targets.
“If the future emission reductions follow the same trajectory will achieve a 26% saving by 2020, a big difference from the 43% target set by the sector” he said.

Environment

How To Make The Shipping Industry Greener

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green shipping industry

Each and every year more damage is done to our planet. When businesses are arranging pallet delivery or any other kind of shipping, the environment usually isn’t their number one concern. However, there’s an increasing pressure for the shipping industry to go greener, particularly as our oceans are filling with plastic and climate change is occurring. Fortunately, there’s plenty of technology out there to help with this. Here’s how the freight industry is going greener.

Make Ship Scrapping Cleaner

There are approximately 51,400 merchant ships trading around the world at the moment. Although the act of transporting tonnes of cargo across the ocean every year is very damaging to the environment, the scrapping of container ships is also very harmful. Large container ships contain asbestos, heavy metals and oils which are toxic to both people and the environment during demolition. The EU has regulations in place which ensure that all European ships are disposed of in an appropriate manner at licenced yards and the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) introduced guidelines to make recycling of ships safe and environmentally friendly back in 2009, but since then only Norway, Congo and France have agreed to the policy. The IMO needs to ensure that more countries are on board with the scheme, especially India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, which are some of the worst culprits for scrapping, which may mean enforcing the regulations in the near future.

Reduce Emissions

A single large container ship can produce the same amount of emissions as 50 million cars, making international shipping one of the major contributors towards global warming. Stricter emissions regulations are needed to reduce the amount of emissions entering our atmosphere. The sulphur content within ship fuel is largely responsible for the amount of emissions being produced; studies have shown that a reduction in the sulphur content in fuel oil from 35,000 p.p.m to 1,000 p.p.m could reduce the SOx emissions by as much as 97%! The IMO has already begun to ensure that ships with the Emission Control Areas of the globe, such as the Baltic Sea, the North Sea and the English Channel, are using this lower sulphur content fuel, but it needs to be enforced around the world to make a significant difference.

As it’s not currently practical or possible to completely phase-out heavy, conventional fuels around the world, a sulphur scrubber system can be added to the exhaust system of ships to help reduce the amount of sulphur being emitted.

Better Port Management

As more and more ships are travelling around the world, congestion and large volumes of cargo can leave ports in developing countries overwhelmed. Rapidly expanding ports can be very damaging to the surrounding environment, take Shenzhen for example, it’s a collection of some of the busiest ports in China and there has been a 75% reduction in the number of mangroves along the coastline. Destroying valuable ecosystems has a knock-on effect on the rest of the country’s wildlife. Port authorities need to take responsibility for the environmental impact of construction and ensure that further expansion is carried out sustainably.

Some have suggested that instead of expansion, improved port management is needed. If port authorities can work with transport-planning bureaus, they will be able to establish more efficient ways of unloading cargo to reduce the impact on the environment caused by shipping congestion.

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Features

What Kitchen Suits Your Style? Modern, Classic or Shaker?

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shaker kitchen designs

A kitchen is the centre of the home. Your kitchen ranges between where friends and family gather, talk about their day, cook meals, have drinks, to somewhere you can just enjoy each other’s company. The kitchen is the heart of the home. But, everyone’s lifestyle is different. Everyone’s taste is different. So, you need a kitchen that not only mirrors your lifestyle but matches your taste too. Whilst some prefer a more traditional design, others want a modern feel or flair – and it’s all down to personal taste.

When it comes to redesigning your kitchen, what style would you go for? It’s a difficult one isn’t it. With so many different styles to go for, how can you know exactly what you want until you’ve seen it in action? Leading kitchen designer, Roman Kitchens, based in Essex, have provided three examples of bespoke kitchens and styles they specialise in, accompanied with beautiful images. This design guide will get you one step closer to picking your dream kitchen for your home.

1. Modern

New home in the city centre? Or even a sleek new modern build? You want a trendy and modern kitchen to reflect your city lifestyle. In modern kitchen design, colours are bolder and fresher, with sleek design and utilities that are distinctive and vibrant.

modern kitchen designs

This modern kitchen is sleek and smooth with flawless design and beauty. Minimalism doesn’t stop this kitchen standing out. Featured walls of wood and vibrant mint green draw the eye, whilst the white surfaces reflect the light, illuminating every nook and cranny of this kitchen. This kitchen features products from Rotpunkt, innovators of modern kitchen design. Made with German engineering, a Rotpunkt Kitchen is the ultimate modern addition to your home. Rotpunkt Kitchens have timeless design and amazing functionality, they work for every purpose and are eco-friendly. Sourced from natural materials, a Rotpunkt kitchen uses 37% less timber, conserving natural forests and being more environmentally conscious.

2. Classic

Prefer a homely and traditional feel? Classic kitchens are warm, welcoming and filled with wood. Wood flooring, wood fixtures, wood furniture – you name it! You can bring a rustic feel to your urban home with a classic kitchen. Subtle colours and beautiful finishes, Classic kitchens are for taking it back to the basics with a definitive look and feel.

classic kitchen designs

With stated handles for cupboards, Classic kitchens are effortlessly timeless. They convey an elegant but relaxing nature. Giving off countryside vibes, natural elements convey a British countryside feel. The wood featured in a classic kitchen can range between oaks and walnut, creating a warmth and original feel to your home. Soft English heritage colours add a certain mood to your home, softening the light making it cosier.

3. Shaker

Any kitchen planner will tell you that the meeting point between traditional and modern design, is a Shaker kitchen. They have a distinctive style and innovative feel. Shakers are fresh, mixing different colour tones with stylish wood and vinyl. The most important feature of a Shaker kitchen is functionality – every feature needs to serve a purpose in the kitchen. Paired with stylish and unique furniture, a Shaker kitchen is an ideal addition to any home.

shaker kitchen designs

The ultimate marriage between Classic and Modern kitchens, this Shaker kitchen has deep colour tones with copper emphasis features. All the fittings and fixtures blur the line of modern and tradition, with a Classic look but modern colour vibe. Unique furniture and design make Shaker Kitchens perfect for the middle ground in kitchen design. Minimal but beautifully dressed. Traditional but bold and modern at the same time. Storage solutions are part of the functionality of Shaker kitchens, but don’t detour from conveying yours as a luxury kitchen.

Whatever you choose for your new kitchen, be it Modern, Classic or Shaker – pick whatever suits you. Taste is, and always will be, subjective – it’s down to you.

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