Publically accessible buildings such as libraries and villages act as hubs of the community. They have a great role to play in pro-environmental behaviour change and more sustainable consumption and production. As part of the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Environmental Action Fund, CHANGE AGENTS ran a programme of volunteer led Environmental audits and follow up support that helped buildings across Northamptonshire reduce their environmental impact.
CHANGE AGENTS worked closely with local authorities, community groups and learning institutions to create the biggest possible impact. Volunteers were given training on how to conduct audits and compile the follow up reports and visited a number of high profile sustainable buildings across the region.
Through the project we helped organisations cut their environmental impact, save money and become more involved in the community. We also helped young people as volunteers who were trained to check out and re-check the resource efficiency of premises and work with organisations to implement the recommendations.
Overall, the project led to a 15.3% reduction in resource use and checked over 120 buildings across the county. The project was funded between 2005 and 2008 by DEFRA as part of the Environmental Action Fund. Project resources, toolkits and templates can be found at http://www.studentforce.org.uk/toolkit/index.htm - all the resources are free to download, please contact CHANGE AGENTS UK for further information.
If death and taxes are certainties in life, so is the continually increasing cost of energy, water and waste. A CommunityCheck survey is a great way to focus on these costs and produce significant savingsJohn Husain, Barceloneta