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A sustainable start to the year at Aston University

Green campus

16 January 2012

Go Green Week, a five-day programme of inspiring free events, talks, activities and exhibitions open to the public and celebrating Aston University's commitment to sustainability, is to take place between Monday 6 and Friday 10 February in Birmingham city centre.

Building on the success of last year’s Go Green Week, Aston University’s Environment and Sustainability Team have organised the third annual week of free events to demonstrate sustainability and carbon reduction across their city centre campus, as part of the nationwide Go Green week run by People and Planet.

Highlights of Go Green Week at Aston University include:

  • 'Capitalism or a habitable planet' talk with comedian, author and environmental activist Robert Newman
  • Friends of Earth, Greenpeace and Digbeth-based walkit.com to feature in Eco-Marketplace
  • Second-hand bicycle sale from Birmingham-based social enterprise Cycle Chain
  • Aston University Chaplaincy faith and climate change debate, ‘Safeguarding the planet’
  • The Co-operative’s highly acclaimed ‘Tarnished Earth’ exhibition on campus

All events are free of charge and open to the general public.

Aston University Vice-Chancellor Professor Julia King, who is the UK’s Low Carbon Business Ambassador and a member of the Government's Committee on Climate Change, said ”We hope that our diverse programme of events and our convenient campus location in central Birmingham will help to make this year’s Go Green Week our most successful yet, attracting visitors from the wider community and local businesses as well as increasing awareness of sustainability issues amongst the University’s staff and students.”

Aston University ranked within the top 10 of People and Planet’s award winning Green League for the past two years. As a recognised leader in the field of sustainability, Aston University already has a number of technologies on campus, such as a Combined Heat and Power plant, a wind turbine and green roof on the recently built student residences, and an electric car and charging points, as well as ambitious targets to further reduce carbon emissions by 48% by 2020.

Past Go Green Week events at Aston University have included a World Food Market, a fuel efficient driving simulator and live webcam footage of Kestrels nesting within the main building on campus.

Aston University Environment and Sustainability Assistant Kathy Hopkin said, “Following on from the success of Go Green Weeks 2010 and 2011, we've put together the most varied programme of events yet, designed to appeal to students and staff alike as well as reaching out to the wider community. Visitors can receive advice on reducing energy use and costs in the home, explore alternative travel options or simply learn more about environmental issues.”

Aston University Go Green Week
Monday 6 February – Friday 10 February 2012
Aston University, Birmingham
All events are free and open to public

For further enquiries please contact Victoria Johnsen, Environment and Sustainability Officer on v.johnsen1@aston.ac.uk or 0121 204 4970. Alternatively contact Kathy Hopkin, Environment and Sustainability Assistant on k.hopkin@aston.ac.uk or 0121 204 4961



Notes to editors:

Listings:

Green
6.00pm Monday 6th February 2012
Main Building Room 155, Aston University
The story of a female orang-utan in the Indonesian rainforest, struggling for survival against the devastating impacts of logging and land clearance for palm oil plantations.

Eco-Marketplace
11.30am – 2.30pm Tuesday 7th February 2012
Student’s Guild Hall, Aston University
Exhibitors include: Birmingham Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, Student Switch Off, The Co-operative, Globally Local, Office Depot, walkit.com, Riverford Organic Veg, Foodcycle, Change Agents, Traidcraft, Fair-trade Design and The Body Shop.

“Safeguarding the planet”
6.00pm, Tuesday 7th February 2012
Martin Luther King Multi-Faith Centre, Aston University
Aston University Chaplaincy faith and climate change discussion evening.

Bicycle Sale, managed by Cycle Chain
9.00am to 1.00pm Wednesday 8th February 2012
Main Building Reception, Aston University
Cycle Chain is a social enterprise working in Birmingham and the West Midlands to refurbish unwanted bicycles for re-sale. Cycle Chain works with people with visual impairment and those recovering from mental health problems and gives them training in bicycle maintenance.

RSPB city centre wildlife walk
1.00pm – 2.00pm Friday 10th February 2012
Meeting point: Main Building Reception, Aston University

“Capitalism or a habitable planet”
5.30pm. Friday 10th February 2012
Main Building Room G8, Aston University.
Interactive talk from stand-up comedian turned environmental activist Robert Newman.

Background:

Go Green Week is a national initiative organised by People and Planet, which is the largest student network in Britain campaigning to end world poverty, defend human rights and protect the environment. 

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