History and structure of Sustainability at the University of Bristol
The University first started to scrutinise its energy usage in 1989 and set up an Advisory Group on Energy Management to look at how it could reduce its energy consumption. A number of energy saving schemes were introduced over the following years leading to the appointment of a fulltime energy manager in 1993. The University introduced an energy guide for the building of new properties, invested many thousands of pounds in energy saving projects such as heating and lighting controls and also wrote an energy policy for the University.
The University wrote a Framework Policy for the Environment in 1997, which included the existing energy policy. This document set out the importance that the University places on the protection of the environment and the effective and efficient use of resources. The document was divided into several headings including; purchasing; waste management; recycling; energy; transport; Gardens and Grounds; the built environment and environmental education & health. In the summer of 1997 a University Environmental Advisory Group was formed. It was charged with monitoring the University's performance on matters affecting the environment, and with developing more detailed procedures and guidance to fulfil the overall objectives of the Environmental Policy. An Environmental Co-ordinator, Jont Cole, was appointed in autumn 1997 to assist in implementing the Environmental Policy.
To help the Environmental Advisory Group a series of Departmental contacts or Departmental Environmental Advisers (DEAs) were established. Information was requested from departments, which helped to build a picture of activities within the University that would affect the environment. Departmental contacts were further requested to influence the operations within their departments in order to achieve voluntary commitment to environmentally friendly practices. During this period further energy saving projects were implemented and a number of environmental initiatives were started including a cardboard, paper and can recycling scheme and the two advisory groups were joined together. By 2000 staff changes saw reduced activity on environmental and energy issues at the University which lead to the establishment of the Energy and Environmental Management Unit (EEMU) in 2001. The Unit has grown starting with the appointment of an Energy and Environmental Manager and an Assistant Manager. In 2002 a Building Energy Management Systems Manager was appointed and in 2003 an additional Assistant Manager and an Environmental Office Assistant were appointed. The team now (2009) has additional staff, Waste Management Technician, Hazardous Waste Driver..
2002 saw the creation of two new groups replacing the Environmental Advisory Group and DEAs. These two groups assisted the EEMU in implementing the environmental policy whilst ensuring that all major stakeholders are involved. The first was the 'Environmental Forum', which acts as a consultative group focusing on the practical day-to-day issues of implementing the University's Environmental Policy. The Forum had a wide membership including representatives from all academic and support services departments. The members comment and advise on implementing policies in the field; help with implementation of policies where appropriate, and disseminate information. Due to the large size of the group, it is email based and coordinated by the Energy and Environmental Management Unit. The second group is the 'Environmental Implementation Group' (EIG). The first task for this group was to review the University's Environmental Policy and now advises on its implementation. Membership of this group includes representatives from each faculty as well as support services departments was chaired by the Bursar, Mike Phipps. The group met quarterly.
In 2007 the environmental policy objectives and targets started to be met and the EIG started to review the policy. In 2009 the new 'Sustainability' policy was agreed by the University.
In 2008 the EIG was wound up. The University's Estates Committee formally taking on responsibility for sustainability. In 2009 EEMU changed its name to Sustainability and the energy & environmental manager was promoted to the Bursar's senior management team as the Head of Sustainability .
In 2009 a new carbon management plan was agreed.