GCU leads way in environmental practices

26 March 2015

GCUs Sustainability Officer Paulo Cruz

GCUs Sustainability Officer Paulo Cruz

Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) is the first university in Scotland to achieve EcoCampus Platinum certification for its environmental practices.

EcoCampus is the leading national Environmental Management System (EMS) for the higher and further education sectors which enables institutions to systematically identify, evaluate, manage and improve their sustainability performance and procedures. Platinum accreditation conforms to the requirements of the international environmental management standard ISO 14001:2004.

“GCU takes its environmental responsibilities seriously and is committed to creating a sustainable future,” said Gerry Milne, GCU’s Vice-Principal Infrastructure.

“EcoCampus Platinum and ISO 14001:2004 certification demonstrates that the University’s Environmental Management System has a robust framework for ensuring that a systematic approach to identifying and quantifying environmental impacts is adopted, and that procedures are in place to minimise significant impacts and guarantee compliance with legislation.”

Paulo Cruz, GCU’s Sustainability Officer, added: “While students and staff are familiar with GCU’s procedures for reducing waste, maximising recycling or saving energy - which have enabled the University to reduce its carbon footprint and send no waste to landfill - there’s a substantial amount of work behind the scenes to implement them. We are delighted to achieve the top standard. However, we will continue to challenge ourselves to ensure we build on our sector leading position.”

EcoCampus implementation has four stages: planning (Bronze), implementing (Silver), operating (Gold) and checking and monitoring (Platinum). GCU was the first university in Scotland to achieve Gold status in 2013.

Alex Hobbins, EcoCampus Project Manager, commented:  “GCU has made significant progress since joining the EcoCampus scheme and it is clear that there is a strong commitment to improving the environmental performance of its operations, which is further demonstrated by becoming the first Scottish university to achieve certification to ISO 14001.”

GCU was externally audited by NQA, a global certification company, on behalf of EcoCampus. Richard Walsh, Lead Environmental Assessor for NQA, said: “This is a thoroughly deserved recommendation and I look forward to seeing where this spirit of continual improvement will take the University at my next visit in 2016.”