Saturday, 7 November 2009

Policies and the paper they're written on

We hate to complain about Aberystwyth University again, but we get a fair few emails on this topic, obviously people feel let down by the university's actions. We have had more emails, enough to add together as a new post. Wouldn't it be great if we could instead have positive posts about the university? E.g. they decided to preserve a greenfield site instead of building on it; or established a new wood; or instituted a policy of full consultation before any building projects; or halted expermentation on GMOs and their use of animals in vivisection?

Energy and the environment
In their
Energy and Water Management Policy the university says:
"The University is committed to managing energy and water consumption in order to minimise the impact on the environment and maximise efficient use of resources."
However they don't even adopt the simplest step of using a 100% renewable energy supplier such as Good Energy. Even more ironic when a recent university press release says:
"One of the world’s leading biologists has said that new developments at Aberystwyth University place it in an ideal position to lead the world in environmental matters."
That biologist obviously has a very limited way of judging what is environmentally good. The scientist, Steve Jones, goes on to say:
“This Institute could make a major difference to some of the great issues facing the world today – including developing new crops that will offer the hope of greater food, water and energy security.”
By 'new crops' in connection with IBERS he means 'genetically modified organisms'. Hardly the natural option. Not surprising though when IBERS are getting a new building, with all the resource-use that entails. The University website said that the car park between Edward Llwyd and Cledwyn Buildings was closed for two weeks from Sunday 26th September in order for site investigation work prior to starting construction on their new IBERS building.

Oh well, at least the university builds environmentally-friendly buildings - yes? No, of course not! They go for the cheapest option. See Alun Williams' blog for a good example, where the university selected UPVC window frames instead of sustainably sourced wood.

Fair trade
The university say they are committed to fair trade in their Fair Trade Policy, yet a student emailed us to say that if you go to their vending machines (e.g. the machines at the Sports Centre and in the Hugh Owen Library, amongst others) you will find products produced by companies such as Coca Cola and Nestle - both well known for their exploitation of workers and developing countries.

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