Nature & Science
Jason, one of the Carbon Cutters
The Carbon Cutters - saving carbon, saving money
The Carbon Cutters, a documentary film following three University of East Anglia students actively cutting the carbon footprint of companies in Norwich, makes its 'green' premiere.
The Carbon Cutters, Jason Galloway, Aimee Etheridge and Alison Morris, aim to make companies stand back and think about their impact on the planet when they showcase their new film on Wednesday, October 8, 2008.
The documentary follows the three environmental science students, who worked for 12 months at BayerCrop Science, UCP Zeller and the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.
During their year on placement, they observed and raised the environmental impact each company was having in Norwich and made the corporations change their habits for a 'greener' world.
The film shows each student in their workplace and features senior figures from the three organisations, who comment upon the achievements of the students and the role they played in changing company attitudes.
Cutting environmental impact is tough
The inspiration for the movie came from Chris Blincoe, project co-ordinator at Carbon Connections, a fund operated by the University of East Anglia in the Low Carbon Innovation Centre. He drew upon the experience of a previous year-in-industry student, Simon Davey.
Simon previously spent his time working for Adnams brewery in Southwold, Suffolk, analysing the carbon footprint of beer production. The resulting effect from Simon's work was the effective research and eventual production of East Green, the UK's first carbon neutral beer.
A renowned success
Many of the suggestions, promoted by the three students, were adopted enthusiastically by the organisations.
UCP Zeller rolled out some of Jason's suggestions to the company’s plants in China, with much praise and admiration for the individual. The suggestions included cutting energy bills and increasing their recycling.
"I made all of the employees aware of carbon reduction and energy efficiency issues by setting up an Energy Champions group," said Aimee Etheridge, one of the students based at BayerCrop Science on Sweet Briar Road in Norwich.
"I also handed out four free jute (textile) bags to every employee to reduce their dependence on single use plastic bags. The site saved the need for over 200,000 single use plastic bags, saving 15 tonnes of CO2 every year," she added.
BayerCrop Science were in fact so pleased that they have extended Aimee’s contract for when she graduates and the University are confident that UCP Zeller will secure another student for later this year.
Aimee searches for the carbon footprint
Committed to battling climate change
The University of East Anglia has been exemplary in its record for energy efficiency. By the time the new Combined Heat and Gas plant construction on campus has been completed, the University will be able to boast a reduced carbon emission headline of 70%, compared to figures from 1990.
The School of Environmental Science, where the filmed students are now undertaking the final years of their degree, has become globally-renowned and now features in the top five environmental institutions in the world.
Giving advice to companies that seem to ignore their carbon footprint, Aimee said "There are many ways of a company doing their bit and it doesn't have to involve spending vast amounts of money".
"Monitoring energy use is the best place to start and if a company is really struggling then there are companies that can help for free, like Carbon Connections or the Carbon Trust," she added.
The 'green' premiere
"As a spectacle the movie is very engaging and will be made freely available to any company that wishes to see it," said Matt Dolan from Carbon Connections.
People attending the premiere are encouraged to arrive via environmentally friendly transportation and entry to the documentary premiere will be provided via a 'green carpet' of real turf, which will be removed and planted on campus afterwards.
The premiere of the Carbon Cutters is open to the public at the University of East Anglia campus on Wednesday, October 8, 2008. It starts at 6pm in The Studio. To attend the event, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01603 591358.
last updated: 07/10/2008 at 16:23