New initiatives helping the York St John community to be more sustainable
Published: 28 February 2023
- Campus & Estates
York St John University has begun 2023 with a range of new initiatives to lessen the environmental impact of everyday life on campus. Sustainability and care for the environment are high on the University’s agenda and the small changes support staff and students to make greener choices.
Since January, a new takeaway levy has been introduced as part of a commitment to reduce the number of single-use items on campus. This means a 20p charge for all takeaway cups and food containers bought on campus. The University is on track to meet ambitious goals on carbon emissions reduction, and this will help to ensure that they are met.
To coincide with the introduction of the levy, a new range of reusable York St John ‘eCups’ is being launched. These are available at all our food and drink outlets at a cost of £3.50, with the price including £1 towards a hot drink. The new eCups are made locally in Yorkshire, reusable, recyclable and the University won’t profit from their sale.
Jon Greenwood at eCups Limited said: “Our cups are microwavable, dishwasher safe, fully reusable, returnable and recyclable and most importantly made in Yorkshire. We’re based in York, the design of the cup was done by Techstyle Europe based at Barmby Moor and the cups themselves are manufactured in Thorne, Doncaster.
“Should you ever damage a cup simply send it back to us and we will recycle it into another product for you in the same factory. So do your bit for the environment, stop using single use plastic and join the eCups revolution.”
Alongside this work to tackle packaging waste, the University is also targeting food waste on campus. The Catering team has signed up to Too Good to Go, an app based scheme which sells surplus food at cut prices.
Launched at York St John University in January, bags of sandwiches, pasties, cakes and fruit are available to buy on the Too Good to Go app from 3.30pm every weekday. Collection is from Holgate Café between 4.45pm and 5.15pm. As well as reducing waste, the scheme is part of wider University efforts to support students with the cost of living.
Other teams are making positive changes on campus too. The domestic services team has done an audit of their work and brought in greener measures such as refillable cleaning product containers, recycled toilet paper, installing hand dryers to phase out non-recyclable paper towels.
Separately, the Estates team has been boosting the sustainability credentials of refurbishment projects on campus. For example, 85% of the furniture used to fit out the new Counselling and Mental Health Centre on Clarence Street is reused from elsewhere on campus instead of buying new, significantly reducing the impact of the building fit out.
Sarah Williams, Energy & Environmental Projects Officer said: “Sustainability and care for the environment are high on our agenda here at York St John University. This isn’t just about the major projects like our decarbonisation work though. With a community as large as ours, it’s important to remember that small individual steps can make a difference too. We know that our staff and students care about the planet and we’re always looking for ways that we can support everyone to make greener choices.”
Read more about sustainability at York St John on the Our Green University page