Green Impact is an environmental accreditation scheme that brings together staff and students across the University to play an active role in improving the sustainable practices of their office, building or department. At the end of the year – joined by the Vice-Chancellor – teams, students and management come together to celebrate the part they have played in creating a positive impact at the University.
Not only did we achieve a Silver award for Green Impact this year, our building manager was also a runner up for the Green Impact Staff Award!
Rob Bryant is the Department of Plant Sciences’ Building Manager. In addition to his normal job requirements, Rob has been instrumental in getting Green Impact embedded and active within the Department of Plant Sciences. Achieving Bronze status last year and submitting for Silver status this year would not have been possible without his enthusiasm.
Such is his commitment he has also taken this a step further by initiating several large projects to drastically reduce energy use and save money within the department. These include the implementation of an LED lighting system alongside Dr Eric Belfield for the growth rooms (for plants used in experiments) and installing motion sensors for lighting in the communal areas. The biggest project, and currently underway, is the installation of an HVAC system (heat exchange system) by Pentagon control systems. The new combined heating and cooling infrastructure will cool the departmental server room by using the excess heat generated by the computer servers to heat the growth rooms and the greenhouses elsewhere in the building.
Rob applied and won funding for the project from Estates. The new HVAC system will make significant savings to the department’s energy costs by reducing the need for heating and cooling these different parts of the building.
Amazingly these projects have all been done within the context of an extremely tight department budget.
Congratulations to Rob Bryant and the Plant Sciences Green Impact Team! And a big thank you to Dr Eric Belfield for his help with researching and implementing the LED lighting system! It's teamwork like this that acts as a catalyst for siginificant and positive change within the Department.