On the evening of 7th February, I was lucky enough to be invited to the student presentation evening of the Greenhouse Gas Management Project, a great initiative and a perfect example of enabling innovation at NTU.
The night was a success to say the least (when is it not when there’s free food and wine?!) and I found it particularly inspiring to hear the many achievements of the students at NTU, as well as the success stories of local businesses who took part in the project. In my eyes, the Greenhouse Gas Management Project is not nothing short of a huge success, as everyone involved is a winner.
Success firstly coming from the students who receive training in Environmental Management and gain first hand experience working within a company. This provides them with the opportunity to put their acquired knowledge and skills into practise, offering students a chance to gain commercial awareness as well as work experience in the market before they have even graduated.
Secondly, (without forgetting the benefits to the local environment), this initiative helps to boost the local economy. Many students are placed within small businesses, who may not yet have had the skills, time or money to look into lessening their environmental impact until now. Listening to the success of previous projects, such as the ‘Vegetable Garden’ – where students helped a design balcony container that catches run-off, which is directed straight to plants so you don’t have to remember to water them, was one of my favourite parts of the night! Along with the “Sustainable Sofa” that is made out of 100% sustainable fabric!
Upon engaging with students during the event, it was interesting to learn how the term ‘sustainability’ can be interpreted differently across various disciplines. Within a business mind, the term is often considered in the context ‘is this business sustainable? i.e. ‘is this business going to be successful and long lasting in the market?’ It was therefore interesting to find, that after being involved with the Greenhouse Gas Management Project this perspective had often changed, and many students now consider environmental and social aspects of sustainability as well as the economic.
It was inspiring to hear that many students who had not previously given a second thought to sustainability, were now, (thanks to the Greenhouse Gas Management Project), actively changing their behaviour in order to live a more sustainable lifestyle. One student expressed how her behaviour had changed since taking part in the project, as she saw the ‘blah-zey’ attitude of many people and didn’t want to identify as the type of person who knew about the environmental implications of an increasingly globalised world and chose to do nothing about it.
The rewarding nature of the project was also clear to see. One student shared her experience of working with a building that had previously been too expensive for the council to own, with the new modifications, it was now not only more environmentally friendly but cheaper to run meaning it could be bought back into action.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the evening and feel that the Greenhouse Gas Management Project is a credit to all involved, not only staff and students at NTU but also across the wider community. It demonstrates a perfect example of how sharing knowledge and working together can enable us to envisage a more sustainable future.
-Thank you to Laura Hill, who is a Project Officer in the NTU Green Academy, for writing this blog post!
Want to write a blog post that’s featured on this site? Email us your ideas today at GreenAcademy@ntu.ac.uk!