The Birmingham Post’s Go Green campaign has attracted support from some the city’s key people and organisations. Here they explain why they are giving it their backing
Vice-Chancellor of Aston University Professor Julia King said: “As a university, Aston has a responsibility to protect the environment and promote sustainability through our teaching and learning, research and work within the community.
“We are committed to raising awareness and knowledge of climate change and that’s why it’s so important to be backing the Birmingham Post’s Go Green campaign.
“At Aston, we’re always striving towards creating a better environment. Our recently launched Centre for Sustainability and Innovation brings together researchers from all our university schools to stimulate and develop multi-disciplinary research focussed on sustainable innovation.
“Our students are also encouraged to think ‘green’ with opportunities to take modules specifically aimed at creating a better environment, including pollution control, sustainability and environmental management.
“We’re delighted to be involved in assessing the future of low-carbon transport, thanks to a successful consortium bid to the Government’s Technology Strategy Board.
“This will bring a fleet of 110 ultra low emissions (electric, plug in hybrid and hydrogen powered) vehicles to the streets of Birmingham and Coventry.
“Recent initiatives on Aston’s campus include the installation of a combined heat and power plant, which is set to drastically reduce our carbon emissions; increasing the use of electric vehicles both on and off campus; and adding new recycling posts to allow students and staff to recycle batteries, books and mobile ‘phones in addition to paper, bottles, clothes.
“We’re also looking to the future, and our new halls of residence are set to have a number of key energy saving features including rainwater collection units and grass roofs to encourage biodiversity and lower energy consumption.
“They meet the BREEAM Excellent environmental standards. In the long run, making sustainability concepts a core element of our learning and teaching is likely to be one of our most important legacies.
“We need to raise awareness, helping our students to understand the challenges of climate change and potential problems they will need to tackle - whether in their careers as senior professionals making decisions for businesses or as citizens and individuals, considering the impact of their personal actions - and equipping them with the tools they need to meet these challenges.”
E nvironment director of National Express Nick Coad said: “At National Express we believe that by making travel simpler we can create a transport system that provides great value while helping to reduce carbon emissions across the Midlands and throughout the UK. That’s why we’ve invested £15 million in our flagship coach station in Birmingham, set to open in November 2009, which meets the highest standard of green credentials for design.
“The station will become one of the largest gateways into Birmingham, offering a modern, spacious station for millions of visitors each year.
“We’re also investing in a new generation of cleaner vehicles for our National Express West Midlands bus fleet.
“All new buses provide the modern comforts which encourage more people to travel by public transport and result in less carbon emissions. Millions of passenger journeys take place across National Express coach, bus and tram every day.
“Simply commuting to work by bus or substituting a long car ride for the coach will dramatically reduce your carbon footprint, while also saving money.
“Public transport is one of the few ways you reduce your carbon footprint, without spending more.
“At National Express we recognise that climate change is a major challenge.
“We are committed to reducing our carbon emissions and creating a simple, integrated transport system which encourages more people to leave the car at home.”
For more information about National Express’ environmental vision, or to calculate the carbon impact of your travel see www.nationalexpress.com
M anaging director of Cadbury GB and Ireland Trevor Bond said: “As a company which is integral to both the past and future of Birmingham, Cadbury is delighted to be joining the Birmingham Post’s Go Green campaign.
“The Cadbury brothers took environmental issues very seriously when they built their ‘factory in a garden’ in Bournville back in 1879.
“They looked forward to a time when all business would escape from the pollution of the Victorian city centres to provide healthy and greener homes and working conditions for their employees.
“Today, Cadbury is very much committed to green issues and the Post’s campaign mirrors our own Purple Goes Green initiative.
“This is a global move to reduce both our carbon footprint and the amount of materials we use in producing the confectionery for which we’re known around the world.
“We’re delighted to support the Post’s excellent campaign for a second year.
“It’s only by highlighting the steps that everyone can take – from global businesses to each one of us in our homes – that we will truly address the ecological problems facing us today.”
R oss Armstrong, eaga director of corporate affairs, said: “As a green support services company and one of the largest providers of household energy efficiency solutions in Europe, eaga is committed to encouraging and facilitating sustainable living.
“Teaming up with the Birmingham Post therefore makes perfect sense for us and we are delighted to be supporting the Go Green campaign.
“Most agree that the environmental challenges facing us today are immense, and that failure to tackle them could be catastrophic.
“The good news is that each and every one of us can play a part in meeting these challenges by making small but important lifestyle changes and embracing the shift to low-carbon living.
“Together with its Go Green partners the Birmingham Post aims to show us ways of making this shift.
“Embracing the environment and sustainable living at the heart of its editorial agenda is the sign of a genuine campaigning newspaper and is something we at eaga applaud.
“Founded in 1990, eaga’s broad customer base includes government, energy suppliers, the BBC, a significant number of local authorities, including Birmingham City Council, housing associations, and the general public.
“In serving this customer base, eaga has installed energy efficiency measures, such as modern heating and insulation, in more than five million households in the UK.
“Through schemes such as Warm Front, which offers government-funded heating and insulation grants, and by working with the energy suppliers, eaga has assisted more than 31,000 households across the Midlands in the past year alone.
“UK-wide, Warm Front has helped around two million households since 2000. Making a home energy efficient makes it warmer in winter and more affordable to heat.
“It can help a typical family save more than £300 a year on their annual energy bills and just as importantly cut household carbon emissions by around a tonne every year. “More than 50 per cent of eaga is owned by its 4,500 employees, who it refers to as Partners. It has operations around the UK and from bases in Ireland, Canada and India.”