EUSA Progress with Environmental Management System (ISO 14001)

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The University of Edinburgh


Sustainability and Sustainability Advisory Group


9
th

October 2006




EUSA Progress with Environmental Management System (ISO 14001)




Brief description of the paper


This paper aims to update SEAG of the Environmental Mana
gement System (ISO 14001)




Action Required


SEAG is invited to note the progress of EUSA in becoming more environmentally friendly.



Resource Implications



Risk


The paper does not include any risk analysis.


Equality and Diversity


This paper does no
t have equality and diversity implications.


Freedom of information

This paper can be included in open business






Originator of the paper



Tim Gee


EUSA Vice President Services

02/10/06




SEA
G Paper 8

9 October 2006



EUSA Progress with Environmental Management System (ISO 14001
)



Introduction


EUSA strives to lead the way on addressing environmental issues. We do this both for the difference that we
as an Association can make, and as an example to other institutions and the government.


In many ways we are ahead of the pack


for instance we have sourced all electricity from renewable sources
since 2001, almost 100% of bottles used at our bars are recycled and our chip fat is re
-
used for bio
-
diesel.
However we are also aware that to address the pressing issues of environmental
justice that will ultimately
affect everyone, we have much further to go.


The Students’ Association has adopted two radical and complimentary plans for environmental progress. The
first


adopted November 2004
-

is to work towards attaining ISO14001 accr
editation. The second is a ‘Zero
Waste’ policy adopted in November 2005 that aims to halve waste every five years, eventually converging
on close to zero. The Students’ Association aims to implement these side by side.


After the waste audit drawn up las
t academic year, the Students’ Association is taking the recommendations
forward and has formally adopted specific environmental targets and a plan for implementing them.


The Audit


Below is an overview of the results of last year’s audit. It found that
the Students’ Association sends 145
tonnes of waste to landfill each year, at a cost of £20,000. The three main forms of waste were identified as
being cardboard (25%), plastic (16%) and food (29%).


Weekly, the waste produced by the Association constitut
es the following:


All sites

Weekly waste (kg)

Weekly waste (bags)

Food

659

77

Cardboard

550.1

271.5

Plastic

337

189.3

Non
-
recyclable paper

296.9

78.7

Paper

155.2

36.8

Metal

56.5

23.7

Other

78.3

29.7

Glass

34

4



Waste management


This report fou
nd that


-

Waste management was highly fragmented

-

Recycling was done on a site
-
by
-
site basis and lacked coherence.

-

Often, good or bad practice was attributable to the initiative (or lack of initiative) of particular
members of staff.

-

In some cases recycl
ing facilities existed but were not being utilised by staff. This was almost
always because they had not been made aware of them.

-

If recycling was implemented effectively, up to 50% of all waste could be diverted from going to
landfill. This would achiev
e our target of halving waste by five years time


In response to this


-

EUSA is training staff in the necessity and practical application of waste management and energy
efficiency. The Students’ Association gratefully appreciates the assistance of the En
ergy and
Sustainability Office in facilitating this.

-

EUSA shops have started promoting recycled and recyclable pens, paper and ‘re
-
eusable’ bags.

-

EUSA is setting up ‘Green teams’ in all union buildings to facilitate environmental progress

-

High but achiev
able targets have been formally approved by the Committee of Management on
reducing, reusing and recycling as follows




Conclusion


Almost everyone is concerned about environmental issues. Individuals changing habits is important, but the
issue will not
be truly addressed until institutions change too. The intentions of these targets and this plan is
to entrench environmental good practice in the Students’ Association, so that energy efficiency, flying less
and reducing, reusing and recycling waste become
s the norm rather than a new project. As well as the
environmental impact, we hope to free up funds to invest in the excellent service, advocacy and welfare work
of the Students’ Association.




Tim Gee


EUSA Vice President Services