Welcome to the blog of the Department of Environmental and Geographical Sciences at the University of Northampton. This will keep you up to date with both student and staff activities.

The Department of Environmental and Geographical Sciences includes staff with interests in biological sciences, conservation, ecology, environmental sciences, environmental statistics, geography and waste management. We offer a range of degree programmes and have a number of postgraduate research students. For more information about studying with us please visit http://www.northampton.ac.uk/.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Waste Minimisation and Resource Efficiency in the Community

Environmental and Geographical Sciences students recently undertook a series of resource efficiency audits for community groups and schools in Northamptonshire.  Audit organisations include an umbrella organisation, Community Spaces, which runs twelve community centres in the county and Northamptonshire County Council (NCC). 

Over the course of the year students undertake resource auditing training as part of a 3rd year module. The first term involves a ‘training block’ of topics which take the form of a series of ‘Environmental Business Imperatives ‘(EBIs). The EBIs provide the students with the knowledge and skills to apply auditing techniques in organisations.  Upon completion of the module students receive certification as can be seen in the photo.

Monitoring consumption of energy, water and raw materials as well as waste and waste water is an essential first step in resource efficiency.  In their written report, students identify priority areas where financial savings can be made and ‘identify quick wins’ where savings can be made for no capital outlay.  The schools audits, in partnership with NCC, took on a much greater focus this year as part of a wider European project, ‘ZECO2’s‘.  NCC is committed to a series of actions in the project which aims to feed into the development of a community–focused zero carbon certification scheme. The emissions data collected by the students will form part of the baseline data to help schools reduce energy consumption and emissions and become examples of good practice.