To begin, we tried to get everyone up to speed with the work of the CNU network so far and the aims for the future. The core group has existed for just over a year and has written two open papers detailing the main ideas that have come from all the hard work so far. The first can currently be found under the 'papers' section of this website, the second will be up shortly.
In that year we learnt a lot about the infrastructure in place at the University and which channels are the most promising for getting our message through. Plus, many important links have been made with experts and other groups at the University and in the surrounding area.
Since the launch event the network has grown quickly and it is important that we keep the momentum up. We believe the strength of the network lies in it's focussed goal, to achieve carbon neutrality in the University's scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2025. Due to this specific goal we have been able to propose potential strategies that the University could adopt in order to make this a reality.
While the goal of 2025 may sound ambitious, we feel it is necessary since scientific estimates suggest that, in order to avoid a potentially catastrophic 2°C rise in global temperatures, the entire planet would need to be carbon neutral by 2040. For this to be feasible, we think that institutions with a wealth of relevant expertise and knowledge, such as our University, should be leading the way.
After this introduction, we moved on to discussing the ideas for potential sub-groups of the network that would focus on specific aspects of the carbon neutral challenge. 4 sub-groups were discussed:
- Self-generation: e.g. University owned wind farms, solar panels, biomass generators etc.
- Energy efficiency: e.g. Building design, replacing existing infrastructure etc.
- Behaviour Change
- Lobbying the University
Next, members were elected for the following positions:
- 2 co-chairs: Christian Unger and Chris Rosslowe
- Secretary: Liam Hardy
- Knowledge Exchange Officer: Carl Lee (not definite)
- Publicity and Social Media Officer: Carl Whitfield
- 2 lay members: Stephen Folkes and Ziya Gokmen
Finally, we have an upcoming presentation on Wednesday 24th June at the University of Sheffield Engineering Symposium (USES 2015) where Andreas will give a talk and Chris R will be presenting a poster. Several other network members offered to help with preparation of the poster and presentation so hopefully this will provide an exciting opportunity for the network to gather even more support.
We also have a meeting with the Carbon Management group of the University next month to present our goal and propose specific ideas. Thus, preparations for this will need to be discussed at the next network meeting.
Descriptions of the duties for each steering committee role are listed below:
- Lead the network both internally and externally.
- Facilitate network meetings, and represent the network at external meetings.
- Liaise with all other volunteers, and be true to the project aims.
- Both co-chairs must closely work together but need to be able to guide meetings alone, if one is unable to attend.
- Organise and maintain the connections across the network.
- Organise meetings, book venues, read and write emails, and take minutes. Brief and discuss with cochairs before/ after meetings.
Publicity & Social Media officer:
- Maintain the CNU website, Facebook page and Twitter, giving regular updates on progress and events.
- Help the secretary keep on top of emails and communication.
Knowledge Exchange officer:
- Coordinate the sharing of knowledge and expertise across the network.
- Facilitate regular informal presentations on a wide array of topics.
- Assist all other members of the steering committee in their roles, providing backup and extra volunteer power.