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Exploring HEIs' green champions in carbon management strategies

26 September 2012

Adapt Commercial, a new spin out company wholly owned by the University of East Anglia (UEA), has published a new study into the activities and effectiveness of university green teams and champions, entitled 'Evaluating Green Champions in Higher Education Institutions: Their Roles in Carbon Reduction Strategies'.

Commissioned by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education as one of its annual Small Development Projects, the study will inform new ways of managing carbon strategies within universities and colleges. The report saw the participation of City University London, University of Birmingham and UEA, and members of their relevant green champion networks.

Stuart Hunt, key associate of the Leadership Foundation said: ‘We were pleased to support this study into the emerging role of Green Champions in the Higher Education sector, which we felt to be both timely and relevant. Such roles are relatively new to our sector, diverse in conception (as shown in the report), and their impact is variable. We hope this very readable and well founded report will be of real value to those reviewing the development of such a role within their own institution.’

The research defines the role of green champions, identifies barriers to activity and looks at how greens schemes are or could be effectively evaluated. The project used questionnaires and focus groups to assess the level of activity and influence individuals have within higher education institutions (HEI) – and found that this was dependant on organisational factors.

The report concluded that the effectiveness of a green champion campaign and its place in an HEI carbon reduction strategy was dependent on five key factors; formality of the role, type of role carried out by green champion, monitoring, coordination and university culture.

The report recommended that green champion activity can be improved through; increasing formalisation of the role into job descriptions, improved training and communications, increased involvement of senior decision makers, improved energy monitoring and reporting and developing a method to audit baseline activity. It suggests that further research is required involving a wider cross-section of universities.

Copies of the report are available from: www.lfhe.ac.uk/sdp2011/uea or
www.adaptcommercial.co.uk/AdaptC/case-studies

If you would prefer a hard copy contact Jemma Moran, Marketing Coordinator, University of East Anglia or
T: 01603 597 538

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