Edge Hill University is the first in the country to use biofuels for its fleet vehicles and local transport options.

As part of its wider Green Travel strategy the University is pioneering the use of environmentally friendly biodiesel made from re-cycled cooking oil to fuel the Edgelink bus service which runs daily from Southport to the Ormskirk Campus, providing a regular service to the town centre and back. Biofuels are also used in six fleet vehicles for staff business use and in its grounds fleet that includes tractors, mowers and other vehicles.

The fuel, which is stored on campus and produces no net carbon emissions, is supplied by Biofuel Ltd based in Kirkby, one of the few suppliers of biofuel in the region.

Dr John Hindley is Environmental Manager at the University: “The Government has set a target for biofuels to make up 5% of motor fuel by 2010-11 under its renewable transport fuel obligation. Edge Hill is working hard to decrease its carbon footprint and the use of biofuel is just one of the ways in which will achieve our goal.”

Edge Hill?s latest new build project is providing the opportunity to pilot ways of reducing carbon emissions at the Ormskirk site. A ground source heat pump will provide a renewable energy source by extracting ground heat energy, and renewable solar thermal hot water generation systems are also to be investigated for use in the new building facilities.

“Through the Higher Education Carbon Management programme, which is supported by the Carbon Trust, we are concentrating on improving less energy efficient areas of the campus, as well as incorporating greener technology into our new build projects. We plan to roll out specific projects to reduce carbon emissions soon, as well as looking at further use of renewable energy forms,” said Dr Hindley.

Students and staff will be invited to take part in a perception survey to determine their understanding of green issues, followed by a campaign to raise awareness and educate for greener living.

“We are really keen to educate our students so that they can play their part in acting responsibly in terms of the environment. It?s important that people graduate not only with a degree, but with an awareness of how their actions can positively impact on climate change. Everyone has a part to play.”