Creating a 'Green University'.
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Evaluating the environmental performance of a university is important in order to identify more sustainable options for reducing the environmental footprints. The study was conducted at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). The aim of the study was to assess the current greening status at UKZN, and then evaluate staff support to facilitate greening. The objectives of this study were to determine the current greening initiatives by staff and the university, staff support for greening and whether there were demographic differences in attitudes towards greening. The questionnaire was designed to obtain demographic information about the respondents, whether or not they contributed to greening, the nature of their contributions, reasons for apathy and suggestions to facilitate greening. Staff were also asked about current and possible future modes of transportation to the workplace, and about extending the computer replacement period. Seeing as no previous greening studies were conducted at UKZN, it was decided to obtain information from as many staff members as possible, through a web-based survey using the on-line software programme QuestionPro. Greening was considered to be important by the majority (97%) of the survey respondents, but only 67% of them actually contributed towards greening UKZN. In this respect, switching off lights was most practised (14.7%), followed by switching off computers after work (12.9%) and writing notes of scrap pieces on paper (12.3%). Other greening practices in order of popularity included the collection of used paper for re-cycling, the reporting of leaking taps, printing on both sides of the paper, and returning printer cartridges. Least selected greening practises were printing of the final copy only, indigenous gardening and animal care. There were numerous suggestions which covered mechanisms to save electricity, paper, and water, to facilitate greening at UKZN. The pursuit of management support and an established strategic environmental plan to steer and guide greening at UKZN, was considered urgent. The importance of awareness campaigns, better communication and facilitated recycling were emphasized. The vast majority of the staff (79.2%) travelled to work by means of their own transportation. Sharing of transport occurred in 11.6% of the sample. Public transportation, walking and cycling were used less frequently. Overall, the staff regarded intensified re-cycling, awareness and teaching programmes and the election of a dedicated team to manage greening projects as priority.