Statement on Policy for the Environment
The University of Durham enjoys a high quality of environment within the setting of an historical city. It is therefore committed to maintaining, and wherever possible, improving, the quality of this environment, both for the people who live and work in the University, and for the wider community. This commitment is reflected in policies which seek to make the most effective and efficient use of all resources, encouraging all members of the University community to develop an ecologically sound approach to their work and lifestyle.
- To make all members of the University community aware of the environmental linkages relating to much of what they do in their daily lives, thus providing a continuing education in the environment.
- To adopt, wherever practicable, methods of working which reduce the impact on the earth's biophysical systems, mindful of the potentially disastrous results for us all if the capacity of resilience of these systems is exceeded.
- To show to the wider community that the University, Local Authorities, and other organisations, can co-operate to implement environmental policies to benefit all levels, from the local community through to the global level.
In consequence, the University will pursue the following programmes of action:
1. The University will monitor its use of energy and maximise the efficiency with which it is used.* This includes eliminating unnecessary energy use, pursuing a programme of energy conservation, and reviewing water usage.
(a) The University will regularly monitor and review wherever practicable, its acquisition, use and disposal of materials. When materials and equipment are purchased, preference will be given to items produced in ways which cause least harm to the environment and which generate fewest waste materials. Other things being equal, preference will be given to suppliers in the region so as to promote the University's links with the community.
(b) Where distribution of information on printed paper is essential, the University will seek to make the most efficient use of the paper. The University is also seeking to develop non-paper based methods of distributing information.
(c) Schemes for the collection of glass, aluminium and plastic materials for recycling will progressively be introduced.
(d) The University will make best endeavours to ensure that it uses cleaning materials which are biodegradable and environmentally friendly. The University will not use cleaning materials if there is knowledge that they have been tested on animals.
3. The University will seek to make its members less dependent on the use of the car, particularly for journeys within the University, by improving facilities for pedestrians and cyclists, and by seeking to promote more effective use of public transport.
4. In maintaining and developing its estate, the University will recognise its role as custodian of a large and important part of the built environment and landscape of Durham, and will promote positive environmental practices in fulfilling this role.
The use of artificial fertilisers, weed killers and insecticides will be kept to the minimum possible level. Wildlife habitat conservation will actively be pursued.
5. The University will promote general environmental awareness and education within its community, and provide opportunities for specialist study of environmental issues and policies for all those wishing to pursue this.
(a) The University will assess every major new initiative (relating to both academic and estate matters) for its environmental costs and benefits.
(b) Costs and benefits in both environmental and financial terms will be considered when specific action deriving from this policy is proposed.
7. The University will continue to pursue policies and practices by which it might enhance the local environment, and will be willing to disseminate details of good practices to interested parties outside the University. Above all, it will encourage every individual member of its community to participate in achieving the goals of its environmental policy.
* See Energy Management Policy