Bangor University is home to more than 12,000 students from more than 80 countries worldwide.
Ricky Carter, Environmental Manager (Property & Campus Services) for Bangor University, talks to us about the Green Dragon certification process and how it has benefitted the University:
What was the organisation’s reason for seeking Green Dragon Certification?
Bangor University has taken the bold decision to become known globally as The Sustainable University. Indeed, much of what we do at Bangor University is founded on our desire to Bring Sustainability to Life; whether through our teaching, research or public engagement. Developing an Environmental Management System has been a cornerstone in this aim. We initially made a commitment to develop and implement an Environmental Management System in 2008, and Green Dragon was the perfect Standard as it provided a structured and phased approach. We initially achieved Certification to Level 3 in 2009, and progressed to Level 5 which we have retained for the last 5 years.
How does Green Dragon support the organisation’s aims and objectives?
Green Dragon has provided a focus for the environmental aspects of our sustainability "journey". It has raised the profile of our environmental performance amongst our staff and students, and has encouraged our stakeholders to actively contribute to our objectives and targets. Sustainablity is now one of five "strategic enablers" set out in the University's new Strategic Plan which describes our commitment to "deliver a financially, socially and environmentally sustainable University". One of the key performance indicators referred to in the Plan relates to Energy and water usage, waste,recycling and CO2 outputs. Our EMS is crucial in monitoring and measuring these aspects, and for reporting performance publicly through our Annual Environmental Report.
What has changed as a result of implementing Green Dragon?
Since implementing our EMS and achieving Green Dragon Certification, we have been formally and actively monitoring our energy and water consumption, waste and recycling rates, greenhouse gas emissions, and our travel and transport. Prior to implementing Green Dragon, these issues were being managed on an ad hoc basis with no formal targets or assessment of performance. The structured nature of Green Dragon has also enabled the University to achieve Certification to the international ISO 14001 Standard.
How has the organisation benefitted from Green Dragon certification?
Green Dragon has enabled the University to assess its environmental performance, and publicly demonstrate its environmental credentials. Students in particular are becoming more aware of, and want sustainable development from their institution (see link below)
Although Environmental Management is one aspect of sustainability, through the requirement for a publicly available Annual Report, Green Dragon has enabled the University to provide a concise and measureable summary of our performance year on year for existing and prospective students, as well as our staff.
In addition the implementation of our EMS has enabled us to appraise proposed development schemes at the University, and ensure that such works (undertaken internally or by contractors), are consistent with our overall environmental aims and objectives.
Applications for Research Grants often require information on applicants' Environmental Management Systems, and the University is therefore able to refer to both Green Dragon and ISO14001 Certification.
Any other comments?
Despite achieving ISO14001 Certification in 2014, the University has decided to retain its Green Dragon Certification annually. To this day the Univeristy's Environmental Management System remains in the structured format set out in the Green Dragon Standard.