The JUMP pilot project, operated by sustainable rewards scheme supplier Green Rewards, encourages employees to engage in energy saving, sustainable travel, waste reduction and other green actions.

Winning teams and individuals are rewarded with £20 vouchers for outlets such as iTunes and Marks & Spencer (M&S) each month. The winning team also gets to make a donation to one of the three shortlisted charities, WaterAid, Macmillan and Breast Cancer UK.

Brunel University London energy sustainability manager Bob Stiff said: “Linking individual behaviours with competition, rewards and communications is a very motivating and effective way to build engagement on an ongoing basis – as well as building team spirit!”

‘Highly committed’

The project, launched in partnership in Carbon Smart, has reportedly seen 25% of pilot group employees sign up and some of the design get students involved through a competition to design posters to promote the programme.

Brunel University London is the latest UK university to implement the project, joining Swansea University, Bournemouth University and the University of Chichester.

Carbon Smart managing director Ben Murray sees wider potential for JUMP across the university sector, commenting: “Universities in the UK are highly committed to delivering sustainable solutions and JUMP is an effective platform for getting people engaged and actively involved.”

University challenge

The initiative reflects a growing commitment from academic institutions to deliver sustainable growth through low-carbon and resource-efficient measures. Sustainability pioneer Bournemouth University has just installed a new 95KWp solar system on a new £22m “fusion building” which opened in June 2016. The array will provide the University with more than 100,000kWh of electricity annually.

Oxford Brookes University recently became one of the first educational establishments in the UK to use demand response as a way of reducing energy usage in student accommodation. Additionally, the first ‘carbon-neutral’ student accommodation opened last year at the University of Herefordshire, having secured a BREEAM Outstanding rating.

Students at the University of Northampton will soon have their heating and hot water generated by a CO2-saving on-site energy centre, incorporating woodchip biomass boilers and a combined heat and power (CHP) system. Elsewhere, the University of Surrey has received a new €762,000 grant from the European Union to conduct research into the development of smart cities and the environmental impact of a cleaner aeronautics industry.

George Ogleby

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