Green Gown Award 2017 Goes to UniGreenScheme

Green Gown Award 2017 for Facilities and Services goes to UniGreenScheme

The university is delighted to have won a Green Gown Award, recognising exceptional sustainability initiatives undertaken by universities and colleges.

Policy and Environmental Services Manager Peter Larkin was approached by Birmingham alumnus Michael McLeod, who had recognised a problem: the disposal of redundant and outdated equipment from laboratories and other areas. Together they pioneered UniGreenScheme, a resale service which viewed surplus equipment not as material to be disposed of, but as a waste resource.

By collecting the items and facilitating the sale of equipment for reuse to schools, colleges and universities, to date 543 cubic metres of assets – equivalent to 88 builders’ skips – has been saved from disposal or wasteful storage in cluttered labs. The environmental results are remarkable, with CO2e savings at over 21,000kg. The financial positives are clear too, with a net benefit to the university of £44,561 through saved staff hours, disposal savings and paid rebates.

Small wonder that what started as a pilot scheme  is now a successful growing business, now running in 10 other UK universities and 27 schools and colleges. If rolled out across the entire research industry, the savings are estimated at £6.2m per year.

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