The environmental impact on a company begins from the fundamental operations engaged in operating that company to the coordination of its entire production activities with a final consequence on the overall profitability of the company.
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Dealing with environmental concerns needs commitment starting from an individual dedication in changing the way activities are performed; this will then lead to an extensive change in the company development.
This report aims at reviewing the impact and level of individual change of personnel in one of departments of Anglia Ruskin University in terms of the environmental concerns and the impact of this change on the university.
According to Kane, carbon footprint refers to the cumulative quantity of greenhouse gas stated based on similar quantities of CO2, for which people, organizations, products or situations are accountable. The gas is usually generated by the product and service utilized (Kane 2009, p. 51). To completely comprehend the impact of greenhouse gases on the environment, they have to be determined.
The determination of the greenhouse gases will allow people make the required adjustments necessary for controlling their impact on the environment. An approximation of my carbon footprint per annum is as indicated in figure 1.
An assumption was made in the calculation of this carbon footprint since it was difficult to estimate some of the data needed. Basically, the activity was highly educating as it offered a clear illustration of my individual involvement in the global warming problem. This then resulted in an individual decision of limiting the utilization of global air-travel to a lesser number.
|Breakdown of sections||CO2 Footprint|
|Total Footprint for Home||6.49|
|Total Footprint for Appliances||0.55|
|Total Footprint for Travel||0.18|
|Total Carbon Footprint||7.22|
Figure 1: Carbon Footprint, Directgov, 2012
The information offered indicates the level of impact home heating (5.79) has on the atmosphere. This can be reduced through using one or a combination of the following aspects:
- Advising the owner of the rental houses to insulate both the walls and windows using a double glaze.
- Installing a reflector which will enhance the efficiency of the heating system by directing the heat produced into the house.
- Putting on warmer clothes
Another great level of impact came from water heating and this can be lowered through utilizing a modern water heating appliance as well as minimizing on the amount of water to be boiled.
Anglia Ruskin University’s (ARU) regulation on environment is a significant outline that acts like a roadmap for attaining the goal of a more conducive environment not only for the university but also for its stakeholders. The regulations were enacted as per the requirements of the ISO 14001, a globally utilized measure of Environmental Coordination Framework (ECF).
The ECF used in the Anglia Ruskin University will deal with various applications through which an environmental effect could be evident, ranging from the acquisition of goods to the actual surroundings of the Anglia Ruskin University itself as well as increasing understanding among the university’s beneficiaries (Anglia Ruskin University 2008).
The environmental policy for the university takes into consideration the impact its day to day operations has on the atmosphere and looks into reducing this impact by adopting the ECF.
The Green Impact Award (GIA)
The GIA is a standard framework which is an award program provided in compliance to the National Union of Students (NUS) policy that supports the extensive Environmental Impact Award.
Involvements to this program are voluntary as they are geared toward empowering people and departments with a view of reducing possible environmental impact through promoting, recompensing and commemorating tangible environmental developments (NUS 2011).
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The program aspects are grouped into four classifications which need various criteria to be satisfied before qualifying for the award (U.S Global Change Research Information Office 2009). The criteria include:
- Bronze – which consists of 20 criteria to be satisfied prior to qualifying for this environmental ward
- Silver – which needs 15 criteria to satisfactory qualify for this award
- Bonus: this category involves 60 criteria to be satisfied. Fulfilling a greater percentage of these criteria as possible would improve the chances for the entrants to attain a bronze or silver award.
- Special award: this category has 5 criteria. Satisfying these requirements, the entrant would obtain the Best-Student award, Environmental Champion also known as the Best Innovation prize.
In this report we would look into the EasyPeasy group which was among the various groups at the disposal of the team for auditing. Basically, the EasyPeasy group consisted of personnel attached to the Learning and Development Department as well as the Digital Copy Department found in the Anglia Ruskin University College.
This group is accountable for the developing of education programs, producing hard copies and binding of teaching and learning materials at a fee as well handling external printing work. Table 1 below provides a summary of the team against the Green Impact Award application.
Table 1: The Easy Peasy group Summary
|Scope/policy needs||The group looks into enhancing its current work with an aim of winning the silver prize as per the GIA criteria.|
|Activities||Provision of green lunches with a view of educating and capacity building the university staff.|
Eco-map refers to an innovative instrument that facilitates the adoption of an effective environmental coordination framework through generating a collection of environmental norms and challenges, a clear environmental auditing and offers an optical and simple method of documenting and tracking environmental developments (Cameron and Green 2009).
Figure 2 below provides a clear eco-mapping of the EasyPeasy group. As described below, the group has a wide window which lowers the need of the group to light and the heating appliance at the top is strategically located in order to limit heat loss through the windows.
In 2010 auditing report, the team managed to win the Bronze prize. Based on my evaluation as an auditing member to the EasyPeasy group, it is rather likely for this group to work toward achieving the Silver prize in this current auditing period since they have adopted numerous promising steps to their last audit report.
One key concept the group implemented to address its environmental concerns was the adoption of Green Lunch, which is a chance for the group participants in meeting, eating ‘green’ and discussing concerns and methods the team could utilize to enhance and reduce their effect to the environment.
An extra accomplishment of the group was the replacement of the black and white printing machine in the Digital department to a power effective modern machine that was capable of switching off after printing and copying so as to reduce energy consumption.
The learning program offered for the objective of this environmental function was amazing, fun and extremely competitive. The lessons were enough to address the roles of auditors particularly for individuals that have experience on office setting and regarding a student contributing to the Green Impact Award exercise; it was a chance for viewing environmental policies as auditors to a company.
My role of auditing in the group could be seen as that of an introspective partner through enabling the group evaluate its strong and weak areas in relation to its environmental policies as well as through encouraging the group that its previous effort was recognized.
Opportunity and challenge
At first the EasyPeasy group encountered challenges and obstacles to the Green Impact Award as could be apparent in other organizations that must adopt adjustments (Anglia Ruskin University 2010). The challenges were that EasyPeasy team needed more time to implement all the changes and that there was a general feeling that staff were being forced into GIA. In response to these concerns the group focused on the following:
- Introduced the green lunch program with a view of motivating and encouraging its participants
- Shared work equally through the introduction of hat dips
- Incorporated a Green Impact Award guidelines in its day to day operations
The above plans served as an incentive package for keeping the entire group functioning and creating the need for personal contribution and responsibility of the various roles documented in the Green Impact Award roadmap.
Sustainable education refers to a permanent learning program whose purpose is that of coming up with knowledgeable people dedicated to engage necessary activities with a view of ensuring a sound environment and socioeconomically successful future (Creighton 1999).
As contributions to the sustainable education, ARU can utilize the greening of the university in teaching and advocating the aspects of capacity building and leadership of the physical universe, and also increasing the opportunities of descent and positive domestic and international environment in the future (Engel 2002).
The greening project in ARU in addition provides a chance for the management to incorporate sustainability education chances for both the students and staff and other internal and external stakeholders. The ARU was number ten and attained an award way back in 2010 which indicates the environmental awareness of the UK’s universities and which is under the management of The People and Planet program (People & Planet 2011).
Contributing to this kind of operations like the Green Impact Award, allows the ARU increase its recognition for being an environmentally accountable organization that appreciates the international environment challenge and is flexible of changing with a view of reducing its impact therefore enhancing the ARU’s reputation, improving its possibility for funding and bring about a general client fulfilment.
Contributing to the Green Impact Award audit as a partial requirement of this course has provided a chance for observing and understanding the problems encountered to implement and practice a sound environmentally lifelong program particularly at the working place.
The course has increased my knowledge and consciousness of the concern that everything needs to be carried out in an environmentally compliant manner so as to prevent a condition of environmental degradation.
Assessment of individual day to day activities is significant in order to make changes both when an organization is in the state of dilemma when other organizations are not comfortable with their activities and also in a state where no other organization is monitoring its actions.
The environmental upgrading is a collective agenda and any organization must enjoy and in addition be responsible for its operations. This way citizen will enjoy and be responsible in order to have a better and promising future.
Anglia Ruskin University 2008, Environmental policy statement. Web.
Anglia Ruskin University 2010, Green impact online workbook. Web.
Cameron, E. & Green, M. 2009, Making sense of change management: a complete guide to the models, tools & techniques of organizational change, 2nd edn, Kogan Page Limited, London.
Creighton, S. 1999, Greening the ivory tower: Improving the environmental track record of universities, colleges, and other institutions, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press, Cambridge.
Directgov 2011, Act on CO2 calculator. Web.
Engel, HW 2002, Ecomapping: Ecomapping Network. Web.
Kane, G 2009, Three secrets of green business: Unlocking competitive advantage in a low carbon economy, , via Anglia Ruskin University Library.
NUS 2011, Greener Unions: Green Impact. Web.
U.S Global Change Research Information Office 2009, A program for change. Web.
People & Planet 2011, People & planet green league. Web.