15 December 2010
Edoardo Borgomeo, MSci Environmental Geoscience, and Tom Wesby, MSci Geology and Geophysics, are ambassadors for the College’s carbon reduction campaign, StepChange. Reporter finds out why they got involved in the project and what simple things we can do on a daily basis to be more sustainable.
How did you get involved with StepChange?
EB: This summer, together with three other students, I entered a competition sponsored by the energy company npower that encouraged university students to promote sustainability in their community. We researched the environmental policy currently implemented at Imperial and immediately realised the importance of the StepChange campaign promoted by Facilities Management. The StepChange campaign provided a platform to coordinate the efforts towards a more sustainable Imperial.
What have you learnt from being involved in the campaign?
TW: I’ve always wanted to study at an institution that took environmental issues seriously and the College’s StepChange campaign has given me the opportunity to help out. Working with Facilities Management has made me understand that becoming environmental isn’t just about making changes to buildings: we need to change people’s mindsets to have a lasting impact.
What does it mean to be a StepChange ambassador?
EB: We act as a bridge between our Departments and Facilities Management. The key aim of our role is to help communicate issues and share information regarding wasteful energy use, recycling and other sustainability related issues. By working directly within the community, we hope we will also be able to evaluate the effectiveness of the StepChange campaign.
TB: We want Ambassadors to feel they can make a difference in the best way they know. They identify their own problems and set about researching them through staff and students. They also collect feedback on energy usage problems from their areas. Often the kind of problems they identify have two positive outcomes – they may lower the thermostat to make a room more comfortable, and at the same time this also lowers the energy usage! This project is just as much about the future welfare of Imperial’s employees and academics as it is about being green.
What can staff do during their working day to help?
TW: Hit the sleep button when you are not using your computer and change your lab equipment only when necessary.
EB: Lead by example, suggesting best sustainability practices to your students and colleagues, and become involved in the StepChange campaign.