Sustainability Action Blog


‘A major milestone’ – University achieves EcoCampus Platinum

By Julia Kendal |

Guest blog by Greg Sandford, Carbon Management  Communications Lead

Ecocampus award

The University now sits alongside some of the world’s leading companies – including Rolls Royce and Lloyd’s Register – having reached the international standard for environmental management.

The institution has been awarded EcoCampus Platinum, following almost three years’ work to implement the environmental management system (EMS) and an extensive audit in July 2014.

Platinum is the equivalent to the international standard for environmental management systems – ISO 14001. The EMS builds on many years of work to improve the University’s environmental performance, including the commissioning of the Combined Heat and Power plant on Highfield Campus and the running of Uni-link buses.

An environmental management system is simply a way for an organisation to manage and minimise its harm to the environment. Criteria for EcoCampus have included legal compliance, prevention of pollution and student and staff awareness. Crucially, EcoCampus also includes the embedding of sustainability into university curriculums – work that the Sustainability Action team have led on at Southampton.

Professor William Powrie, incoming Chair of the University’s Environment and Sustainability Advisory Group, says: “This is a major milestone for the University and the product of many years work. I’d like to say thank you to all the staff and students who have directly contributed to this achievement, and also to everyone whose everyday actions around the University are helping to improve the sustainability of our campuses.’

Dr Neil Smith, the University’s Environment Manager, who has led the initiative for the last three years with Adam Tewkesbury, Transport Manager, notes: “The auditors were keen to stress that this is not the end of the journey for Southampton. A key component of EcoCampus is continuous improvement, and they will expect to see that demonstrated if we are to maintain Platinum status.”

A celebration event was held in August as a ‘thank you’ to the many students and staff involved in achieving this major milestone.

In the autumn term the Sustainability team will be launching a large infographic in the Hartley Library and the Staff Club to celebrate the journey to Platinum. The team will also be distributing information about how the ISO 14001 classification can be included on research grant applications.

Thank you to all involved in achieving Ecocampus Platinum!

Thank you to all involved in achieving Ecocampus Platinum!