We take our environmental impact seriously

The MRC Clinical Trials Unit takes seriously its impact on the environment and implements a number of measures to reduce its footprint. The Unit also encourages its staff to adopt environmentally-friendly work practices.
All of these initiatives are part of our work within the Green Impact scheme. This is a scheme led by the National Union of Students at universities across the country. Each year, the MRC Clinical Trials Unit assesses its progress towards the goal of environmental improvement.

Office

All staff are provided with a reusable cup which can be in and out of the office to reduce paper cup waste. Reusable mugs are also available for meetings.

Staff are encouraged to keep office plants which improve indoor air quality, improve wellbeing and store carbon.

All office printing is automatically double-sided, and printed on recycled paper.

During holiday periods, the Unit runs ‘switch off’ campaigns to remind staff to turn off computers, monitors and other electrical equipment.

Waste

All staff are responsible for sorting their own waste - the Unit collects mixed recyclables, food waste, electrical waste and used batteries. By doing this, the Unit minimises the amount of non-recyclable waste going to landfill or incineration.

IT hardware like printer toners are separately collected for specialist recycling. Old but still-working laptops are rebuilt in-house and then distributed to staff at our trials sites in less developed countries. Broken laptops are used for parts to build new laptops, and any electrical waste is sent for recycling/disposal.

Education

Staff complete a compulsory sustainability eLearning course when joining the Unit to raise awareness of their personal impact on the environment and how to reduce this.

Staff are also required, within their job descriptions, to “carry out their duties in a resource efficient way” and to “actively support UCL’s Sustainability Strategy”.

Meetings

The Unit provides a range of video and teleconference options to help reduce the impact of staff travel to meetings. All meeting rooms are equipped for Skype for Business meetings and staff are encouraged to video conference where possible.

Where meetings are catered, the Unit chooses suppliers who provide Fairtrade & sustainable food and drink options wherever possible and reasonable. The sustainability of catering is also considered when the Unit holds meetings externally.

Sustainable Transport

The Unit promotes UCL’s cycle-to-work scheme which enables staff to purchase a bike and cycle safety equipment free of VAT.

Shower facilities have been incorporated into the office specifically to support those who commute to work.

The Unit also encourages sustainable transport for staff travel. Where a journey can be completed by train, such as domestic and near-international travel, staff will be asked to do so.

Events

The Unit runs a number of events across the year to promote sustainable and environmentally-friendly actions.
Recently, these have included:

  • Cycle-to-work day celebrations – The Unit held a series of talks and a cycle celebration breakfast to encourage more staff to cycle to work
  • Fairtrade fortnight bake sale – Staff from across the Unit baked using Fairtrade ingredients and raised money for the Fairtrade Foundation.