Sustainability database


Ms Jane Mortimer

DL / Collaborative Administrative Assistant, Educational Support and Inclusion

One of the University's growing number of Sustainability Enthusiasts. Find out more about the initiative here.

"Many organisations find it a challenge to fulfill their sustainability commitments. In April 2013, on an Erasmus funded trip, I visited Green UiO at the University of Oslo and the Environment Office at the University of Gothenburg to discover how, whilst with very different approaches, they are addressing their commitments. Hence, my journey via Copenhagen! As a 'Sustainability Enthusiast' at The University of Manchester, UK I thought that we could learn from other universities and share our practices.

In Copenhagen, peering through the large glass window I spotted two beautifully designed chairs. On wanting to investigate further I found I was looking through the windows of the Arktisk Institut and Polarbiblioteket. I walked inside and browsed the shelves. I saw a headline – “Climate changes and society: When climate boundaries move” and then another – “Gulf Stream warming and its impact on Norwegian and Arctic continental margins – methane release and instable slopes?” Beneath the headlines and images, lies a wealth of disputed (and undisputed) facts. I am not a geologist or a meteorologist but I do believe there is enough evidence to suggest that damaging anthropogenic impact on the environment is occurring. When considering the social and ethical dimensions of this, it makes sense “not to trash our natural capital” – we are gifted at being innovative and resourceful, but whether we choose to believe it or not, there is a limit to our control over our environment.

It’s not rocket science. But what is difficult is to consider how in our everyday lives we can relate to this. How do you connect the way you live, with say for example, climate change? How much efficacy does an individual have?"

We are connected – to a country, a workplace and we travel, we communicate, we make choices – all these have implications and consequences. How do we move beyond the headlines and make real positive change?

From Green UiO:

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