skip to content



Back in January 2020, when people could still meet in person, various relatively new members of staff in the Alison Richard Building (ARB) decided to restart the building’s Green Impact Team. We gathered for our first meeting and optimistically decided to aim for a Silver Award in the 2020-21 Green Impact year. While soon afterwards we began to work from home, we thought this may only be a temporary measure and we would soon be back in person ready to implement our plans…

Fast forward nine months to the start of the 2020/21 academic year, we were all still working from home and wondering how on earth we were going to do this. We were all still ARB, Green Team and Green Impact relative newbies but had continued our team meetings remotely and attended the Green Impact launch event before deciding to continue with our goal of a Silver Award.

Bit by bit, we have been working our way through the set of actions over the past few months and are now about to submit our workbook and await our audit! We have been so appreciative of the Working from Home criteria that enabled us to take part in Green Impact even when we weren’t physically in our buildings. We have made use of several of these actions, but one in particular stands out as an eye-opening highlight for our team.

Carbon footprints

The survey on members’ individual carbon footprints using WWF’s footprint calculator started a real conversation both within our Green Team and more widely on various Yammer channels. Many of our Green Team members took the questionnaire twice, answering all the questions the same apart from those concerning their commute to work. The first time, members answered the questions as if they were still commuting to work, and the second as things stand for them now working from home. The results were startling!

To give some examples, two peoples’ carbon footprints were reduced by 20%, one person’s was reduced by 85% and one member’s family footprint was reduced by 141%. Even those who do not normally drive to work but use a more environmentally-friendly method of transport, the train, found their footprint reduced by 20%.

An example of a Green Team member's results pre-pandemic...


...and during the pandemic.



Our discussions made us consider what the average carbon footprint drop would be across the University as a whole if even a blend of working from home/working in the office became the ‘new normal’ in the months to come. What an opportunity!

Written by Dawn Bradley