Environmental sustainability

The Department of Oncology is committed to environmental sustainability and engages with all of the Universities initiatives in this regard within all buildings and across all of its sites. We are proactive in our resource and waste management and all members of the department are encouraged to consider the environmental impact of their activities. The department is liaising with the broader University and the Hospital Trust in both short to mid-term projects: the Universities Carbon Management Strategy (to reduce carbon emissions by 33% by the end of 2020/21) at our Radiobiology Research Institute (RRI) and Old Road Campus Research Building (ORCRB) sites and the Hospital Trusts Energy Project at our RRI and Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine (WIMM) sites (replacing steam generation from heavy oil with high temperature water generated from gas for use in our heating systems), and longer term, ongoing activities such as: Energy Efficiency Monitoring and Midnight Oil projects within ORCRB; supporting the WARPit recycling scheme; Sustainable Travel and most recently the Green Impact environmental accreditation scheme.

The Environmental Sustainability Officer for our Churchill sites is Caroline Fitchett. Please contact Caroline (caroline.fitchett@oncology.ox.ac.uk) if you require any further information or would like to be actively involved with environmental sustainability activities of the department in either the ORCRB or the RRI building.

The Green Impact scheme was set up by the NUS with the aim of bringing together students and staff to change behaviour and policies to provide a more sustainable environment within universities. The idea being that each building forms their own local Green Impact Team to initiate changes.

The Green Impact Initiative provides a set of criteria and ideas for each local Green Impact Team to implement in a year. These criteria include many aspects of sustainability in the workplace from how printers are used, to the type of lights and bulbs used,  from recycling of materials , to the way catering is provided, from reusing furniture, to how we use water and electricity supplies, and how we all communicate with each other. The criteria can be as simple as printing double sided to as complex as changing the way air handling systems are set up or installing automatic lights.

At the start of the Green Impact Year (September) local Green Impact Teams start to implement the criteria. At the end of June the following year, Green Impact Auditors (trained NUS students) assess the work that each local Green Impact Team has done and awards their efforts with a Bronze, Silver or Gold Award. In circumstances where the team has not been running for long enough to reach the criteria for a level, a “Working Towards Award” is given.

In the 2015/2016 year, the Green Impact Team from the ORCRB (containing members from Department of Oncology) implemented criteria and with the support of staff and students in the ORCRB building achieved a Bronze Award. In the same year, members of the Green Impact Team at the RRI achieved a “Working Towards Award” (a considerable achievement considering the team had only been formed for less than two months).

This coming year, we hope to build on last year’s achievements and keep the green momentum going. We will be going for the Silver Award at the ORCRB and the Bronze Award at the RRI. Additionally, special criteria for sustainability in a laboratory have been created which we plan to implement.


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