Staff Bike to Work and bag a free Breakfast

Yesterday saw around 30 members of staff from the University cycle to work; coming from various locations, some near and others from afar. The Bike to Work Breakfast was hosted a week ahead of national Cycle to Work Day to coincide with Physical Fitness week, part of the University’s Wellbeing calendar.

As shown in these two maps (below), 18 staff came from outwith St Andrews and across Fife, the furthest travelling over 15 miles from Ladybank and others taking part in a “park and cycle”, parking at Guardbridge and cycling the rest of the way to St Andrews along the cycle path.

staff bike to work breakfast

Maps showing the distance cycled on Thursday morning

 

Not only were they rewarded with some Scottish sunshine and for their efforts, a free (and healthy!) breakfast was provided by the Environment Team, which was served in John Burnett Hall.

Staff enjoy their free breakfast

Staff enjoy their free breakfast

 

On top of this Jim, from the St Andrews Bike Pool (below), provided a helping hand to fix any minor issues with the bikes.

 

Jim lends a helping hand to fix staff bikes

Jim lends a helping hand to fix staff bikes

And temporary bike racks were provided to cope with the demand from our cyclists. This year the Environment Team has helped to install 270 new cycle parking spaces across St Andrews.11949616_10155950715725494_2123367270_n

In total 315 miles were covered by staff which equates to 70kg of carbon dioxide – enough electricity to power an LCD TV continuously for 17 days! Well done everyone!

From China to Scotland: Engineers get Creative

Last week saw 22 engineering students from the South China University of Technology (SCUT) complete an intensive three week ‘Creativity in Engineering’ course here in St Andrews with ELT. The course focused on tackling the University’s sustainable energy challenges and seeking ways  to help us achieve our goal of becoming the UK’s first energy carbon neutral university in 2016.

Creative Engineers from SCUT, China

Creative Engineers from SCUT, China

Eager to find out more, the students were briefed on the University’s plans by David Stutchfield, the Energy Officer within our Environment Team, and were subsequently invited to visit our sustainable energy projects.

First on the list was Guardbridge, the £25 million biomass district heating project situated four miles from St Andrews in a disused paper. This scheme will heat and cool the University’s building with low carbon energy, saving around half a million tonnes of carbon within 20 years.

Guardbridge Old Paper Mill Site

Guardbridge Old Paper Mill Site

Next, was the site for the community wind farm project at Kenly, which will save 19,000 tonnes of carbon per year when it comes online. The students also got the opportunity to visit an active biomass plant, micro renewable energy projects at MUSA in St Andrews and the Michelin factory in Dundee.

After their (multiple!) trips the students were tasked to expand on the University’s current proposals and use their creativity to seek innovate ways that they could be made more sustainable. Their efforts culminated in group project presentations at the end of the week, bringing together the knowledge they had gained from the site visits, the lecture series and the ‘English for Engineers’ language course.

It was a tough decision for the judging panel but it was decided that Zhang Baori, Jiang Ziliang, Peng Jie and Huang Ledeng’s group was the best overall! Their proposals included high altitude wind turbines alongside an integrated anaerobic digestion (AD) and combined heat and power (CHP) system at Kenly farm. Thank you to all the groups involved, your proposals have proven your drive to produce new and inspired ideas!

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Action shots of the winning team's proposals (above). The winner team and judges from left to right: Peng Jie, Zhang Baori, Rohan Fernando, George King, Jiang Ziliang, Pamela McIlldowie, Nicola Dobson, Huang Ledeng (below)

Action shots of the winning team’s proposals (above). The winner team and judges from left to right: Peng Jie, Zhang Baori, Rohan Fernando, George King, Jiang Ziliang, Pamela McIlldowie, Nicola Dobson, Huang Ledeng (below)

Scotland Office Minister visits Guardbridge biomass project

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Lord Dunlop visits Guardbridge Energy Centre

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Scotland Lord Dunlop today (Tuesday August 18) visited the £25 million green energy centre under construction at Guardbridge.

A state-of-the-art biomass facility, using only wood from sustainable local sources, will be built on the site of a former paper mill at Guardbridge and will pump hot water from the plant four miles underground to heat and cool laboratories and student residences in St Andrews.

The green energy centre which is being delivered by St Andrews University will help to regenerate north east Fife by creating more than 225 jobs in the construction phase.

The University has developed the Guardbridge Guarantee as part of the project. This ensures that the project supports apprenticeship and graduate training, creating and sustaining jobs while working with the local community to promote environment and energy projects and local business.

During his visit Lord Dunlop met senior representatives from the University and contractors.

Lord Dunlop said: “This project creates a virtuous circle. It provides jobs and apprenticeships, helping to re-generate north east Fife.

“It will deliver the hot water needed for the University in a green and efficient way and it puts one of Scotland’s oldest universities at the cutting edge of new, sustainable and environmentally friendly technology.”

Meet your new Sustainability Officer Intern

This week we welcome George King into the Environment Team as this year’s Sustainability Officer Intern.

George has recently graduated from the School of Geography and Sustainable Development with the University of St Andrews and is keen to apply his degree by getting stuck into projects t11807407_10155838635200494_9150909643641792920_o-204x402hat Lynsey Smith, the previous Sustainability Intern, has worked hard on throughout the year. Lynsey’s efforts are greatly appreciated by the Environment team, other members of staff and students across the University and we all wish her the best for the future!

George will build on these efforts by focusing on outreach, engagement and communication with staff and students, whilst also supporting University sustainability initiatives, such as Transition. He will also support the other members of the Environment Team: David Stutchfield and Barbara Aitken on their exciting projects, which include the Environmental Facilitators Network, recycling schemes and implementing the renewable energy park at Guardbridge to help fulfil the University’s goal of becoming carbon neutral, in energy, by 2016!

Stay up-to-date with the Environment Team’s work via Facebook and follow us on Twitter @EnvironmentStA.

Get in touch with George by dropping an email to gdk2@st-andrews.ac.uk.