Archive for June 17th, 2011

Greening Events II

Friday, June 17th, 2011

We are pleased to announce that the Greening Events II project is now underway. The main aim of  Greening Events II is to build on the work of the initial exploratory project, in order to provide an exemplar in profiling the extent and sustainability impacts of HE events and travel within the University of Bristol, with a view to informing and helping other institutions undertake similar initiatives. 

There are two main strands of work proposed under the Greening Events II project:

1. An Academic Event Profiler tool to allow the University of Bristol (and subsequently other universities) to systemically profile their event and travel footprints (including financial costs, Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and other sustainability impacts) in order to provide a baseline on which to measure any subsequent changes.

2. An Events Planning Toolkit to help event organisers think through what type of event (if at all) they need to hold (physical, virtual or hybrid) and then to provide assistance in the form of guidelines and technology tools with each stage in the process to enable to reduce the sustainability impacts of the event.

In particular the objectives are to:

  • Create a methodology and tools for analysing the extent and costs (monetary, GHG emissions and other sustainability impacts) of academic travel for the University of Bristol and beyond
  • Produce baseline figures for the University of Bristol to help create targets and monitor future reductions in academic travel
  • Work with stakeholders at the University of Bristol (and beyond) to help create a set of tools and guidance for event planning.
  • Document this work in the form of best practice reports and guidance materials so that other universities can benefit from the experience at the University of Bristol.

We are delighted to be working in collaboration with UKOLN at the University of Bath on this project. UKOLN will be providing their experience and expertise on how technologies may be used to ‘amplify events’  in order to maximise their impact.

See the project plan for more details.

Greening Events Final Report

Friday, June 17th, 2011

The final report of the Greening Events project is available as a PDF file.

Executive Summary

The Greening Events project conducted an exploratory investigation into how to reduce the negative sustainability impacts of planned academically related events (such as conferences and seminars, training, administrative and project related events) whilst gaining the maximum benefit from them. It also focused on the role that digital technologies could play in helping to reduce the negative sustainability impacts of these kinds of events. The project was divided into two related strands:

Systemic Impact Investigation

This aimed to explore a way to understanding the sustainability related impacts of academically related events from a system wide perspective – rather than only the direct impacts of an event – and so possible options for reducing their overall negative impacts. A broad range of methods were used to gain insight into:

  • the nature of the systems of which academic events are a part
  • approaches to modelling, representing and communicating the systemic impacts that events have at present
  • approaches to modelling, simulating, representing and communicating the impacts of any changes to the practices related to events

Event Tools

This aimed to explore the potential for using mobile and web-based information services to support event attendees to make more effective use of public transport, cycling and walking options.  The project developed and trialled a range of tools to support physical events and assess to what extent better information and better use of commonly available technologies (such as mobile phones) could improve the sustainability of a wide range of physical academic events. The project built on the software tools produced by previous JISC-funded work (the CREW and Mobile Campus Assistant projects) at the ILRT and trialled them with real academic events.

The underlying goal of the project was to begin to identify and map out on a wide-scale the key issues, factors, initiatives, gaps in knowledge and understanding, defined by the intersection of events, sustainability issues and event enabling ICT.   Given the wide scope and complexity of this area the project findings report (Rethinking Events) aims to give a flavour of the issues and opportunities associated with ‘greening events’ rather than a comprehensive review. An Annotated Bibliography was also produced to provide a set of starting points for those interested in taking these issues further.  Other appendices include a synthesis of Green Event Guidelines and the findings from the Greening Event User Research.