Social Impact Team News

Keep up to date with social impact events and news at Leicester
Energy Efficiency on Campus

Energy Efficiency on Campus

Posted by sll33 at Sep 27, 2019 09:40 AM |

Research and teaching can be energy intensive activities so on energy efficiency day we are pleased to highlight some of our recent projects designed to lower our environmental impact:

Whilst medical and science research are invaluable, they can be carbon intensive as we need to store samples, often in -80oC freezers (a domestic freezer is -18oC), and we have 1000 freezers! You are probably aware of good freezer management practices, such as keeping it full and clear of frost, checking the temperature regularly, keeping it in a cool, well ventilated place without storing stuff on top or around it – but how many of us actually do that? In a laboratory setting with hundreds of researchers across several buildings, that can be even harder. The Big Chill project is a complex programme that combines good freezer and sample management processes with a large scale systematic replacement of older, inefficient appliances as well as reviewing temperatures – for example, many samples can be stored at -70oC thereby saving 30% of the energy requirement. The project will cost £1.1M over 5 years and will be cost neutral due the energy saved. We also hope to save space through reduced equipment need as well as improving working efficiency.

DW Library LED project

Refrigeration project - an ambitious project that will save over 880 tonnes CO2 over the next 5 years by improving our freezer efficiency – that’s the equivalent of running 900 homes for a year or taking 52 return flights to Australia.

Student Switch off - Last year, a group of students ran a switch off project in the Maurice Shock Building and over 6 hours saved enough energy to power an oven for 3 1/2 days!

External Lighting - we are changing our outdoor campus lighting to LED which will save a lot of energy (and carbon), improve visibility and campus appearance, as well as being more wildlife friendly.

Henry Wellcome trial AHU project - this trial has been used for a business case to replace other fan units on Air handling units around the campus.

Global Climate Strike

Global Climate Strike

Posted by sll33 at Sep 23, 2019 03:45 PM |

The University of Leicester is supporting the Global Climate Strikes 20th - 27th September by taking unprecedented action to highlight the climate emergency that we are facing.

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City Nature Challenge 2019

City Nature Challenge 2019

Posted by amj42 at Apr 03, 2019 03:25 PM |

From 26th-29th April 2019, join the global competition and help Leicester to document as many species of wildlife as possible

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Bring your plant to work day!

Bring your plant to work day!

Posted by sll33 at Apr 01, 2019 05:45 AM |

To promote the University's commitment to biodiversity, air quality and health & wellbeing, this Friday (5th April) will be the first 'Bring your plant to work day' where staff are encouraged to bring a small houseplant into their work space.

As well as looking good, houseplants are known to support human health in homes, offices, school and hospitals. They improve air quality by trapping and capturing pollutants, help us to breathe more easily. Likewise, they provide a wide range of mental and physical health benefits.

The psychological benefits of indoor plants have been shown as:

  • An improved mood
  • Reduced stress levels
  • Increased worker productivity (adding plants to a windowless office in particular)
  • Increased the speed of reaction in a computer task
  • Improved attention span (in some scientific studies, but not all)
  • Increased pain tolerance (for example, where plants were used in hospital settings)

The physical health benefits of indoor plants have been shown as:

  • Less breathing problems created by better indoor air quality through the removal of airborne pollutants
  • Reduce blood pressure
  • Reduced fatigue and headaches by 20-25 percent in one study
  • Patients in hospital rooms with plants reported decreased post-operative pain.

Whilst we encourage staff to reap these benefits, we also request that plants are removed at the end of the day to avoid greenfly and other unwanted fauna, and also to avoid watering their plants at work to reduce spillages and in line with our water conservation policy.

We will also be running an event in Centenary Square at lunchtime where you can discuss any plant concerns with our gardening expert April. The first opportunity we have had to meet like minded flora enthusiasts from around the University.

Earth Hour 2019

Earth Hour 2019

Posted by sll33 at Mar 25, 2019 02:00 PM |

Leicester is joining millions around the world to turn off the lights and speak up about why nature matters.

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Leicester supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals

The University of Leicester proudly presents our first annual SDG report that captures our important contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

These 17 goals act as a blueprint to create a better world for all by 2030 such as eradicating poverty, reducing inequalities and combating climate change.

Universities, such as Leicester, play a crucial role in educating tomorrow’s leaders as well as tackling global challenges with our pioneering research. Our staff and students have led the way through all their amazing work, which has led to the SDGs underpinning our social impact.

The University of Leicester was one of the first UK higher education organisations to sign up to the SDG Accord and UN Global Compact — our pledge to promote and work towards positive social and environmental change and we are committed to leading the UK HE sector in embedding the SDGs in all we do to ensure we maximise our positive contribution to the world.

This sector-leading report shows our academic contribution to the SDGs through our teaching and research activities, along with how the institution contributes through day to day activities and public engagement. By using the SDGs, we are able to put all our work into a globally-recognised framework to capture and celebrate our positive impact from students, staff and the institution as a whole.

Visit our SDG webpage to read about the top 5 goals we contribute to academically and read the full (and colourful) report!

Learn how YOU can contribute to the SDGs whilst at Leicester

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