University of Strathclyde students and staff complete 15,000 sustainable behaviour change activities

The scheme was updated in light of Covid-19

The University posted an update on its sustainability engagement and behaviour change scheme, hosted as part of Green Rewards’ Jump programme, this week, revealing that it has mitigated almost 16,000 tonnes of CO2e emissions.

Jump works through a smartphone app and other digital communications channels, encouraging participants to engage in behaviours that reduce their waste, energy and carbon footprints while improving their health and mental wellbeing. Activities listed include walking or cycling instead of using cars, using reusable coffee cups and turning off electronics when they are not in use.

Jump told edie that it has altered the range of activities promoted via Jump to ensure they are suitable for those working and studying from home due to Covid-19.

Since 2019, all staff and 21,000 students at the University have been able to access the platform. It provides users with virtual ‘Green Points’ in exchange for their logged actions and, each month, the University provides prizes donations to the teams and individuals with the most points. Prizes include sports sessions and gift cards.

Charity donations are also provided on an annual basis, on behalf of the university department with the most points. The University offers £500 per year for this challenge.

The University’s associate director for Sustainable Strathclyde, Roddy Yarr, said the scheme has helped it to deliver “tangible results” across the environmental agenda and to better engage staff and students.

“The positive results highlight the collective power we have when we come together with sustainability at the forefront of our agenda,” added Yarr, who has been managing sustainability in the UK’s higher education space for more than 15 years.

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Last year, Green Rewards revealed to edie that a record 216,348 positive actions were recorded at universities in the last academic year as part of the programme.

Actions aimed at reducing plastic waste were the most popular under the scheme, with 82,540 positive actions taken collectively. For example, the University of Strathclyde diverted 2,939 disposable coffee cups from entering landfill by using reusable alternatives – the equivalent of 30kg of waste – during a five-month trial of the scheme.

Strathclyde is the only Scottish university signed up to Jump. Other universities which work with Green Rewards include Nottingham Trent University (NTU), the University of Bournemouth, Brunel University, the University of Winchester and the University of Exeter. Outside of the higher education space, the Green Rewards scheme is being used by the likes of Manchester’s NHS Foundation Trustthe Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service and Natwest Group, formerly known as the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).

Sarah George

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