UWE green intern boosts Bristol hotel's energy-saving credentials

Issue date: 14 October 2014

Berwick Lodge hotel

Recent UWE Bristol graduate James Rogers has put local hotel Berwick Lodge on track to an energy-saving future after spending a month there as a green intern.

James, who graduated with a BSc (Hons) degree in Geography and Environmental Management earlier this year, created the new 'green' role of environmental officer at the hotel, near Cribbs Causeway. This meant he became involved in a wide range of projects to make the hotel more environmentally friendly and aware.

These included implementing EnergyDecksoftware to monitor energy usage, installing energy saving light bulbs and standby plug sockets throughout the hotel, and creating a new recycling system. He set up a green policy and charters, which led to the hotel joining the Green Tourism Business Scheme - these included a responsible visitor charter and a green feedback form for customers.

Owner Sarah Arikan said, “This new 'green' role that James created was not something we had previously considered, mainly due to lack of knowledge on our part about the importance of green issues within a business, especially a hotel.

“James was a fantastic asset to our hotel who completely opened our eyes to a whole new 'green' world.”

James also put in place processes for replacing the oil-fed boilers with a biomass boiler; installed compost bins on the hotel site and looked into installing solar panels. He has established a green action plan for the hotel to work on after he left.

He said, “The main purpose of me being at Berwick Lodge was to set up a system in which the hotel could monitor and record its energy consumption and input the data online so that it can be analysed.

“Setting up EnergyDeck will enable Berwick to see how much energy it uses in terms of electricity, oil, gas and water over the year, which in turn will lead to goals being set to improve the energy efficiency of the establishment.”

Sarah continued, “These are things that we probably wouldn't have achieved if we hadn't had James working for us and we are so grateful that he was able to put all these practices in place. We are so happy with all the work he has done here that we have even asked him to come back and do a few days' paid work for us.

“With James' help we are now hoping to achieve a Green Tourism Business Scheme award and become a 'Green Leader' on Trip Advisor.”

UWE launched the green intern funding scheme during Big Green Week to help local businesses recruit graduate interns who will develop green policies and practices. The scheme is one of the ideas created by the University that helped Bristol become Green Capital 2015.

The internships were offered to students who graduated this year and took place during the summer for a four week period. Businesses received £1,000 to pay a graduate to carry out a 'green' project, with the option to match-fund so that the internship duration could be doubled to eight weeks.

Maggie Westgarth, Head of Careers at UWE Bristol, said, “Many small to medium size enterprises (SMEs) do not have the resources to be as green as they would like to be. Our Bristol Green Internship Scheme helped eight local SMEs employ graduates to carry out work that has enhanced their business through delivering projects that reflect their sustainability agenda.

“There was great diversity in project proposals ranging from providing a clear tangible link between Bristol Zoo and the work it does around the world for wildlife and people, to completing a company environmental audit. The response from companies was incredibly positive and based on this feedback we aspire to run a similar scheme in 2015.”

  • New guidelines developed for UK Higher Education institutions aim to create a framework for sustainability within the curricula of universities and bring together the considerable efforts establishments are already making. Education for sustainable development: guidance for UK higher Education Providers was developed by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), working in partnership with the Higher Education Academy (HEA) through an expert advisory group chaired by Professor James Longhurst of UWE Bristol.

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