Thursday, 28 July 2011

MMU's Hulme Campus- plans for a greener university.

Manchester Metropolitan University is set to lead the way for greener, eco-friendly sustainable campuses in a time where academic institutions need not only watch their financial spending but their environmental commitments also.

It’s clear from the outset that environmental sustainability is one of the main themes MMU’s planned new £120 million campus in Hulme, south of the city centre. Not just short term reductions are on the agenda – long running issues of sustainability within an urban environment are part of the bigger picture, as laid out in their Strategic Framework.

Whilst the university is sceptical the new campus would help immediately achieve their aims of zero carbon, water and waste impacts it is easy to recognise the potential of such a project to contribute to Manchester becoming a zero-waste city.

Looking through one of the most interesting commitments in my view is to reducing all unwanted material being sent to landfill, with implications for full university-wide application. Through the building of the  new campus MMU will conduct a,

“detailed analysis of supply chains and operational practices, with the emphasis being placed on reduction of inputs without compromising efficiency.”

This isn’t just for your every-day materials but also for much bigger things and being able to meet long-term requirements- such as avoiding the demolition of buildings and making sure supply networks can handle any change in its usage and requirements.

A sustainable transport plan will aim to reduce the use of cars, and put the emphasis on cycling or walking. Schemes such as Nottingham Trent’s Ucycle has shown to have a very positive impact on increasing the use of greener transport across universities, would such an idea work in Manchester?

It all sounds very impressive, but is it possible?

We’re still not in the best of times to be building great big buildings and with possible large fluctuations in the cost of construction iand other related services s there any guarantee from MMU to stand by theses commitments if the going gets tough?

I guess we can only wait and see.

Ed

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