Putting environmental policy into practice at SCI

17 May 2013

SCI is doing its bit to reduce energy consumed and avoid unnecessary waste. The Society recycles its paper and cardboard, as well as glass bottles, and is now doing much more to reduce its carbon footprint. Facilities Officer Edward Polley outlines some of the things SCI is doing below, as well as detailing items soon to be implemented to assist in reduced energy usage and wastage.

Current achievements

  • Using energy saving bulbs where possible (8-10W as opposed to 40W+)
  • Ladies toilet in the basement has had LED blubs fitted, which use 4.5W compared with the 20W a halogen bulb would use
  • Passive infared (PIR) motion detector in use in the gents' toilet on the ground floor to trigger the lights. The lights will only come on once someone enters the room and there is not enough natural light
  • Switching off unnecessary lights wherever and whenever possible
  • Switching off any unnecessary equipment wherever and whenever possible, especially overnight (photocopiers, PC monitors, coffee/water machines etc)
  • Replaced three old photocopiers with one newer, more energy efficient copier
  • Turning off radiators in unoccupied office spaces (4th and 2nd floor)
  • Only placing orders for consumables etc when there are numerous items, rather than for the odd item or two, to save on unnecessary transportation and the resultant CO2 emissions
  • Using a few free 'hippo' water saving devices from Thames Water in toilet cisterns to reduce water being wasted when flushing. Each 'hippo' saves up to three litres of water with every flush
  • Recycling printer toners, via Recycle4Charity.co.uk, that are then refilled and reused. This has saved 45kg going to landfill (approx 145,000cm3), as well as generated £5 for SCI (see below)
  • To comply with Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment (WEEE) Regulations, all electrical equipment is collected and either disposed of, or recycled in an environmentally-friendly way. This has been done with all old/damaged PCs, monitors, printers etc
  • 2012 saw a saving of approximately 12% on electricity usage and 14% on water usage. However cold weather continuing into early June meant an increase of approximately 40% in gas, compared to 2011
  • 2013 in comparison to 2012 may see an overall increase in gas, electricity and water usage, due to the building works planned. With extra people in the building, more water will be drunk; power tools will be being recharged etc.

Once our building works are completed, 2014 should see a dramatic decrease in all energy usage; see below for what we will be doing.

Future plans

  • New audio-visual equipment, which will be more energy-efficient than existing
  • Lighting in the Auditorium is to be changed, the existing bulbs (which range from 80W-120W), will be replaced with LED bulbs (4.5W). Approximately 22 LED bulbs will use the same amount of electricity as one of our existing bulbs.
  • Lighting will also be replaced on the fourth floor, becoming more energy efficient
  • All toilets will have PIR (motion detectors) installed, similar to the existing one in the gents' ground floor toilet. The lights will no longer remain on throughout the day, but will come on when needed
  • New toilets will have smaller cisterns and a dual flush feature, to save water wastage
  • The existing heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit (HVAC) in the Auditorium is to be replaced. The existing units are R22 refrigerants, which are being phased out by 2015 and give off ozone-depleting gases. The new HVAC will give off no ozone-depleting gases and be more energy efficient than the existing 1970s unit
  • Insulation to be added to the roof to reduce heat loss
  • Windows will be repaired where necessary. This will aid in reducing heat loss
  • Continue to do what we are doing at present, to reduce all energy usage and wastage, recycling as much as possible

Recycle4Charity.co.uk is an organisation set up to accept old toner cartridges and mobile phones; their value can be donated to a charity listed. SCI is registered with Recycle4Charity.co.uk and our beneficiary number is C31645. Individuals can send old toners and mobile phones to them and, from the drop-down box, can select SCI to receive the funds. Not only will the item(s) be recycled, but SCI will gain from this financially.

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