What the Department Does to Support Green Impact
July 2020: Swift boxes
On Thursday 25 June 2020, three swift bird boxes were installed on the narrow, north facing wall of our main RPC building (outside Richard Hobbs' Office).
Charlotte Thompson-Grant led the project through her voluntary role in the department as Green Impact lead and is hopeful that the boxes will provide these migratory summer birds with some well needed nest sites.
The life of a swift is almost entirely aerial, breaking only to nest briefly, high up in the eaves of buildings. They return to the exact same nest, all the way from Africa, each year. Swifts are in a period of drastic decline with the breeding population down by some 47% between 1996 and 2014, the result of a sustained loss of habitat with modern housing and renovations on old buildings.
Oxford is already passionate about its swift population, with the Oxford University Museum of Natural History being home to many generations of swifts (webcam here). And through the Oxford Swift City project, an eye-catching and unique swift tower was installed in the University Parks in 2019.
Charlotte hopes that this Green Impact project, funded jointly by the department and Sustainability within Estate Services, will lend a helping hand to these incredible birds.
Our department provides plant-based milk to all its employees. Plant milk is better for the environment than cow’s milk and it is more eco-friendly than other plant milks. Almond milk for example requires six times as much water to grow than oats (Water Footprint Network) and soy milk can be damaging to our ecosystems (WWF).
For work meetings, we now only order in vegetarian and vegan sandwiches.
PLASTIC- AND PAPER-FREE MEETINGS
Jugs and glasses are available in the kitchen and also in the meeting rooms, so there is no need to order bottled water for meetings.
The Senior Academic Committee has also approved that meetings be paperless whenever possible. Green Impact also introduced recycled paper in the summer 2019 for all printing and this has been successful.
Our department has a pool of four standard and one electric bike available as a means to get to and from external meetings around Oxford. These can be booked via Planon
WARP-it allows University staff to post unwanted (useable) items from University of Oxford, colleges or permanent private halls to share within the collegiate University: warp-it.co.uk
We encourage all staff and students to make the ultimate sustainable travel choices:
- Cycle or walk to the office where possible - there is lots of support for cycling in Oxford: https://travel.admin.ox.ac.uk/bike/oxford
- Full information can be found here: https://travel.web.ox.ac.uk/home