February 16, 2008

As Go Green Week begins, will halls have recycling next year?

Go Green Week begins next week, so RaW News decided to find out what is going to happen and what the University and Union are doing with regard to environment policy.

RaW News has been speaking with the University’s Environment Officer – Nick Hillard, Go Green Week’s Coordinator- Hannah Smith, and Tom Callow who is Finance Officer at the Union.

The University:

Nick Hillard promised that there was going to be some ‘exciting news’ with regard to recycling in the coming months. Whilst being slightly evasive over the issue of recycling in halls, it seems that it might well be introduced in the near future, and he said it was part of the University’s sustainability matrix. When we asked him, he said ‘Yes, indeed’ to whether there would in-hall recycling, but he wouldn’t be drawn on a date. However, he added that Warwick Accommodation had to incorporate sustainability into their aims and told people to ‘watch this space’. It wasn’t a question of cost but a question of behavioural change, he said.

Mr Hillard said that the University had saved 763 tonnes of Carbon Dioxide this year against the target of 800 tonnes as part of the carbon management scheme. The Environmental policy of the University apparently contains targets that exceed the commitments of national legislation. As for the University’s expansion, he didn’t believe that the aiming for carbon neutral buildings was right and that it was instead ‘greenwash’. Instead all buildings will be ‘BREEAM excellent’.

Nick Hillard also said that the University was providing funds for Go Green Week’s Publicity, and was ‘delighted’ that they were able to assist. He hoped that the University would meet its environmental targets and said that he was there to ensure that it happens.

To see the University’s Environment targets, click here.

To see the Environment policy, click here.

The Union:

The Union said that they had managed to secure some furniture for Go Green Week.

The University’s policy and achievements seems to be quite clear, however for the Union the water is much muggier. As the Union is a part of the University (though separate politically speaking in the words of Tom Callow), the Union finds it hard to separate the achievements that it has made. The Union’s Environment Policy (674) has only just come into force last term after been changed by the Finance, Democracy and Governance Officer, Tom Callow and Environment Officer Asen Geshakov. The Policy outlines hard lobbying on the University and NUSSL to help find more environmental friendly methods as well as mandating the Union itself to make its actions as green as possible.

However in the discussion hosted by RaW News, the Finance Officer was unable to come forward with any hard figures on the actual achievements of the Union in terms of its green objectives. The Union’s Executive will soon be presented with a report from the Finance and Communications Officer which shall give an update on the progress (or lack there of) that has been made towards the targets set out by Policy 674.

There is the hint of tension as well with the Environment Officer allegedly stating that he was ‘unhappy’ with the funds that had been given to him to do his job. Mr. Callow did not agree however and said that there was a difference between the funding allotted to campaigning for the environment and money allotted to making the Union greene

To see the Union’s policy, click here.

You can listen to the feature here. We begin by previewing what’s happening in Go Green Week and then tackling Nick Hillard and Tom Callow:

Sam Shirley
Head of News
Andrew O’Brien
Political Correspondent

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