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School of Geography

Welcome to Geography Green Impact

Here you will find lots of information to help make Geography a ‘greener’ place to work. We welcome your comments and suggestions – and anyone who would like to join the Geography Green Impact (GI) Team. Please contact Rachel Blackeby for more information.

Quick guide - How can you help?

  • Switch off all electrical equipment when not in use e.g. desk lamps, office lights etc.
  • Turn your heating down if you know you won’t be in your office for long periods of time.
  • Consider changing the settings on your computer/monitor so that they go into sleep mode if you are away from the office for more than 30 minutes or hibernate/shut down when you leave in the evening. When leaving for longer periods, switch off mains supply after shutting down.
  • Remember to dispose of your waste in the correct bin: for certain waste items there are set collection areas around the school e.g. stamps can be left in the red WWF box near the fridge in the foyer; batteries can be taken to Dom; single-sided paper can be placed in labelled boxes by printers/photocopiers for reuse.
  • Consider how you travel to work – is this the most sustainable and economical approach?
  • When ordering equipment, visit the University of Leeds reuse website and/or consider the environmental impact of your purchase – does your preferred supplier have appropriate environmental policies in place?
  • For more detailed information on how you can be more sustainable at work, please read the following sections.


The ultimate goal is the end of waste: in the meantime, we can try to reduce, reuse and recycle as much as possible. In Geography there are various methods available to:

  • Reduce – print/photocopy on double-sided/combination paper; use tap water not bottled water; speak to suppliers about reducing their packaging; ensure all taps are switched off after use and report leaks/drips.
  • Reuse - make use of Reuse@Leeds; use single-sided paper collection points located near all printers and photocopiers.
  • Recycle – make full use of the varied recycling points – a full guide to what can be placed in these colour-coded bins can be found here.


There are a number of measures you can adopt to reduce your energy consumption. Simple steps are to keep radiators on a constant low level during the day (rather than fluctuating between on/off); keep windows closed when heating is on to conserve heat; close doors to prevent drafts; close blinds at night to reduce heat loss; shut down or hibernate computers at night/weekends; switch off monitors if you are away from your desk for more than 30 minutes; switch off all office lights when not is use; help to switch off lights in communal areas/corridors/bathrooms when not in use!

The Geography Green Impact Team can help you save energy so contact us if you would like a room thermometer, energy-saving light bulb for your desk lamp or timers for plasma screens/lab equipment.  You can calculate your energy footprint at work using the Carbon Trust’s calculator

Find out more about the University's Carbon Management Plan


The University Travel Plan sets out a vision for improving the sustainability of travel associated with University business. There are a large number of alternatives available for travel to/from the University and while on University business:

  • Cycling: Bike hire on campus, free cycle training, tax benefits for new bikes (Cycle to Work Scheme), and cycling mileage allowance while on University business (20p per mile). Geography has a range of storage facilities nearby and a shower is located in the basement of Main Building. For more information about cycling and associated issues such as cycle storage, please contact transport(at) 
  • Public transport: Leeds is well served by buses and trains, and the University offers a number of benefits and incentives to help staff make the most of these services: 15% discount on Metrocards; railcard loans; and monthly and annual bus pass reductions. The HR website provides more information on how to apply for these offers.
  • Driving: Parking is limited on campus but if driving is the only option for you, there are a number of alternatives to single-car occupancy. The City Car Club for pay-as-you-go cars and WY Carshare.
  • Walking: For various walking routes, including a campus lunchtime walking route, see the Sustainability website.
  • Business travel: The University encourages the reduction of business-related travel wherever and whenever possible, through the use of virtual meetings and conference calls. Domestic travel using public transport (trains, buses) is encouraged over and beyond cars and particularly domestic air travel. Carbon offsetting should be considered when booking non-domestic travel.
  • Information for visitors: The Geography Green Impact Team is currently putting together a leaflet providing details of transport to/from the campus. In the meantime, a leaflet can be downloaded from the Sustainability website.


When making a purchase, consider the environmental impact of your purchase and whether alternatives exist for goods with potentially large negative impacts. Consider reusing equipment from elsewhere in the University and try to ‘buy local’ for catering and associated purchases. The University is working with companies on the approved supplier list to improve sustainable purchasing performance.


There are three main activities to get involved in each year – but many more events take place which will be advertised through the Geography newsletter and twitter feed as well as on this webpage:

  • Big Garden Birdwatch – get involved in recording bird life on campus every January
  • Bulb planting – help make the campus a brighter place in spring and provide an early food source for our honey and wild bees by planting bulbs in October/November
  • Sustainable Garden – volunteer at the Sustainable Garden to learn new skills, harvest food to take home free of charge and contribute to a better campus every Thursday, 12-2pm throughout the year.

For more details about any of the measures listed above, please visit the Sustainability Team website or contact one of the Green Impact Team:Rachel Blackeby, Rebecca Slack, Constanze Vageler, Rizwan Nawaz or Louise Walker.