The University of Kent's Human Resources team is one of the departments actively taking part in the Green Impact project, a part of the Degrees Cooler programme, in conjunction with the National Union of Students (NUS) and the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC). This project challenges both academic and non-academic departments to be more environmentally aware by implementing simple changes to their general workplace.
In recognition of these positive steps to a greener culture at the University there is an awards scheme in place. The Human Resources team achieved Gold in 2013 after initial Bronze (Working Towards Silver) awards in 2011 and 2012. The team is now working to maintain its Gold accreditation and undertaking a supplemental new Green Impact project in 2014.
Members of the Human Resources team are encouraged to live by the 5 R's: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Renew and Respect
- Paper - print double sided whenever possible and only print when it is essential.
- Electricity - Switch off lights in empty rooms where movement sensors are not installed, switch off PC monitors and printers when stepping away from a desk and use heaters and fans sparingly.
- Electricity - Switch off all electrical equipment at the end of the working day where practical.
- Scrap paper for notes and envelopes for internal mail.
- Everything from paper to plastic food containers to drinks cans in the bins provided. We are working towards recycling compostable waste such as tea bags too.
- Use renewable resources where possible; all of our departmental paper is green paper.
- The environment by taking public transport, walk, cycle or car-share to and from the University.
- The environment by bringing as much of the outdoors into the office as possible by encouraging staff to keep pot plants.
- Others by raising funds for charities such as Seeds for Africa and Sports Relief.
December Newsletter Now Available!
The December newsletter is now available to view here.
Macmillan Cancer Support
Louise will once again be organising the world's biggest coffee morning for Macmillan Cancer Support on 27 September. Be prepared for more tasty baked goods and hit of caffeine.
For a second year we supported Kent Wildlife Trust with a trip to Reculver Beach for an afternoon spent picking up litter. It was a great success and we couldn't have asked for nicer weather.
We did it! HR is Good as Gold. The auditors were very impressed by the way in which the Human Resources department as a whole have engaged with Green Impact ideas. We look forward to receiving our award at the ceremony to be held on 15 April.
Fantastic Start to the Fundraising Year
From 4 - 8 March the HR team held a Comic Relief Bake-Off and we were absolutely WOWed by everyone's enthusiasm for the cause. A wonderful £413.75 was raised over the week and this effort could translate into seven children living on the streets of Uganda attending school for 1 year and working towards a brighter future.
Congratulations to Kim on her brillaint chess cake creation that won first place:
- Charities We Support
- Seeds for Africa:Seeds for Africa is a registered charity (1122357) that helps African families and communities by providing locally sourced seeds, plants, agricultural equipment and advice. Much of their work is with primary school children helping them to establish kitchen vegetable gardens and fruit tree orchards. By producing nutritious food in this way, secure, reliable food sources are assured for the future. In 2012 we raised £153 for this charity.
- Sports Relief: Sports Relief makes sure that any money raised helps people living unimaginably tough lives, both within the UK, and across the world’s poorest countries. Some of the ways Comic Relief uses its funds include: helping refugee and asylum-seeking women, helping young people suffering with alcohol addiction and mental health problems, supporting the older generation and giving them a voice, and supporting survivors of domestic and sexual abuse.
- The Butterfly Trust: The Butterfly Trust provides a variety of support services in the community for people affected by Cystic Fibrosis. They do this through the provision of information and advice on living with the condition, as well as assistance with navigation through official housing and benefit application processes.
- MacMillan Cancer Support: MacMillan Cancer Support work towards getting better cancer care. They provide practical, medical and financial support with the help of nurses and volunteers. In 2012 we raised £170 for this charity.
- Children in Need: BBC Children in Need provide grants to projects in the UK which focus on children and young people who are disadvantaged. They are local to people in all corners of the UK and support small and large organisations which empower children and extend their life choices. In 2012 we raised £30 for this charity.
- Jeans for Genes: Jeans for Genes aims to raise money that provides care and support for children and families who are affected by genetic disorders. In all that they do, they aim to raise awareness and promote understanding of genetics and what it means to be affected by a genetic disorder. In 2012 the Registry building as a whole raised an amazing £576 for this cause.
- Wear it Pink: The Breast Cancer Campaign is a unique community of scientists, supporters and people touched by breast cancer. Wear it Pink is part of their focus on pioneering approaches to breast cancer research and funds projects with the greatest potential to save and improve lives. In 2012 the Registry building as a whole raised £242 for this cause.
- Initiatives on the Go
- Battery recycling: Our used batteries are currently disposed of at any local Sainsbury's superstore.
- Stamp recycling: Our stamps are currently being donated to the 7th Hillingdon Air Scout Group in Middlesex.
- Car share and public transport: The UoK Estates Department website holds detailed information regarding discounted public travel options for both staff and students. We are always encouraging our team to think green when it comes to travel and have recently been promoting the use of the shuttle between the Canterbury and Medway campus' instead the use of individual vehicles.
- Composting: Biodegradable food waste is being taken away and recycled thanks to Caroline. We plan to introduce another bin and set up a rotation system for HR team members with home compost heaps.
- Volunteering in our local community: Last year the HR department volunteered to do a Reculver beach clean with the Kent Wildlife Trust which was a great success and also involved a number of our team's children. We hope to undertake a similar large scale volunteer activity in our local community on an annual or biannual basis. Inital plans for our 2013 volunteer excursion are underway.
- Challenges for 2012/13
- Get every member of the Human Resources team to reference the Green Impact site within their digital signatures along side the "Please consider the environment before printing" request
- Reuse as much paper as possible for scrap when only printed on one side
- Remove the use of as many portable electric heaters as possible within the department
- Calculate the [carbon footprint] and total miles travelled on University business in the last financial year
- Join hands with the other Green Impact teams within the Registry building for a fund raising event
- Create tighter links between the Green Impact initiative and Fairtrade at the University