The team at PML, in conjunction with external contractors, have been working incredibly hard to complete environmental improvements to PML’s building and grounds over the last year.
These efforts are in support of one of PML’s strategic priorities of demonstrating leadership in environmental responsibility and reducing its impact on the natural world.
Having successfully secured funding from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the National Centre of Earth Observation, there have been a plethora of improvements to the premises either undertaken or overseen by PML’s Technical Services Group. These include:
- Solar panels
- LED office lighting
- New carpet for offices made from recycled marine plastics
- New perimeter hedgerow with 11 UK native species
- Native flowering plants in the grounds
- Encouragements to wildlife including a bug hotel, hedgehog house, bird houses, feeders and bath
- Wildflower seeds in ‘wild zones’
- Compost heap
In addition, thanks to funding from NERC, PML commissioned a heat energy feasibility study on its main building, which has provided various options for PML to consider.
In particular staff were delighted to hear about the addition of solar panels. Due to the construction of parts of the roof, the installation of solar panels has previously been not been possible. However, the PML team worked with the solar panel company to re-evaluate various areas of the building, enabling this project to go ahead.
Beverly Tremain, Director or Operations at PML, commented: “We were delighted to receive funding that has enabled us to carry out a wide range of environmental improvements, and with further funding we can do so much more. As more staff return to the lab as their main place of work over the coming months, they will be greeted by much richer and diverse natural spaces. In addition to the installation of new technologies affording increased energy efficiencies, we have developed a ‘Biodiversity Action Plan’ to increase the ecological value of our estates. We hope this plan will help us introduce native, unique and varied habitats to encourage enhanced biodiversity in flora and fauna species at PML.”
Going forward, PML will build upon the heat energy feasibility study to develop innovative solutions to reduce the energy consumption of PML’s high-performance computers as well as plans to repurpose heat produced by the recently installed, state-of-the-art datacentre. Back outside, premises improvement working groups will be established with active roles in surveying species, maintaining areas and implementing new ideas that will benefit the natural spaces around PML.