Coffee cups, baby steps, and long-term laptops

Staff and students at the AIM day in LUMS

Many projects of varying sizes are happening all the time across Lancaster to make a difference and help the University reach its ambitious sustainability goals.

Stories about five initiatives were shared on the Staff Intranet in March, including sustainable travel funds for students, changing food practices in one faculty, and green books being made available for local kids.

Here are five more examples of positive changes from across the University for April:

You can now easily recycle your coffee cups

Traditionally takeaway coffee cups have been difficult to recycle due to the inside being coated in a plastic coating. Thanks to work by the Facilities team, there are now better options in case you forget your reusable mug. All the takeaway cups in Lancaster University-owned outlets on campus are now made from biodegradable paperboard. These will biodegrade naturally in landfill in 190 days instead of traditional takeaway cups that take 30 years on average to decompose. You can also recycle any takeaway coffee cups at Costa Coffee, who run a cup recycling scheme.

Academics and local businesses met to share sustainable research

A Sustainability and Stewardship AIMday was run on Thursday 21 March in conjunction with the Centre for Family Business and the Pentland Centre for Sustainability in Business. The event brought together Lancaster academics and local businesses to discuss sustainable business ideas, research and practical steps on improving sustainability credentials. This is a great example of knowledge sharing to help the local community.

Pre-School taking baby steps in sustainability

Lancaster University Pre-School have been making many positive changes recently towards a more sustainable future. The team have been using airers to dry clothes instead of heaters or dryers, using reusable cloths instead of blue paper roll to wipe up spills and reducing plastic resources. Additionally, they have been working with the Morecambe Bay Curriculum to embed sustainability into the pre-school curriculum.

ISS and Procurement are lowering the carbon emissions of your laptop

IT procurement is one of the largest contributors to the University’s carbon footprint, so keeping your laptop for as long as possible is an effective way to reduce carbon emissions. Most of the IT equipment purchased by the University for use by staff (laptops desktops, tablets) is now via a rolling replacement programme of five years. The difference between keeping your laptop for five years, rather than four years, is the equivalent in carbon of printing 3,500 pages on University printers.

Student helping to improve procurement sustainability

Kai Clish, a first year Biochemistry student has joined the Procurement and Sustainability team on a micro-internship via the GROW Your Future scheme. Using research and data analysis, Kai has been helping to track and record our top suppliers’ carbon emissions and sustainability policies in order to see where the University can highlight more sustainable suppliers, and help staff to reduce Scope 3 emissions from products and services bought through the procurement system.

Your suggestions and stories 

The University’s Sustainability team want to hear more from anyone who is working to advance sustainability in any way across Lancaster University, no matter how big or small. Send your stories, suggestions, ideas, and feedback to Your story could be featured on the Staff Intranet next month.

Back to News