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30-minute work stoppage: Friday 20 September

All-Staff email providing information on the 30-minute work stoppage on Friday 20 September

Dear Colleague

On Friday 20 September a global day of action is planned in response to the growing threat of global climate change, and here at Queen's we are committed to playing our part and delivering environmental change.

At the University's annual Green Awards ceremony in June, our Registrar and Chief Operating Officer, Joanne Clague, announced that Queen's has now exceeded the carbon emissions reduction target for 2020-21 set out in our Carbon Management Plan – an important achievement as part of the University's journey to become a low carbon organisation.

At Queen's we are committed to delivering environmental change:

  • By reducing our carbon emissions and providing a high quality and sustainable learning and working environment for students and staff – including investment in a range of technical projects supported by behavioural change projects
  • Through the impact of innovative research taking place here to solve some of the world’s key energy and sustainability challenges
  • Through educating students, staff and our society in all aspects of climate change, and what we all can do to deliver the necessary environmental changes

To date over 80 energy efficiency projects have been implemented and more than half of the electricity consumed by the University is now generated on site using low carbon technology.

Interdisciplinary research projects and activity by our academics is contributing to a sustainable future and helping to fight climate change by pioneering solutions to some of our world’s greatest challenges – from transforming waste plastic into a variety of useful products to helping communities go carbon neutral and become plastic-free and partnering to create a sustainable future for the city of Belfast, to delivering interdisciplinary academic training and research that will prepare the next generation of scientists to collaborate with industry and policy-makers to drive positive environmental change.

30-minute work stoppage

On Friday 20 September a global day of action is planned in response to the growing threat of global climate change, with schoolchildren and young people across the world participating in a global climate strike and asking adults to join with them.

The University will be supporting staff wishing to join in the planned 30-minute work stoppage as part of their action on 20 September. Staff are encouraged to participate if they wish by stopping work for half an hour between 12.00pm and 12.30pm on that date as an expression of support for the global climate strike.

Taking part

Please let your line manager know that you intend to join the 30-minute stoppage, and, for health and safety reasons, please also let them know if you are planning to leave your office or work area.

We recognise that not all areas can stop working and that we do need to be able to support business as usual; therefore, if it is not possible to take the time at 12 noon, we are happy to support you to make your gesture of support through a 30-minute stoppage at another point that day. This should be arranged in conjunction with your line manager. The University is supporting staff to participate in a 30-minute stoppage on 20 September only and trusts staff to observe this appropriately.

You are welcome to use the time as you wish. For example, you might like to take the time to go outside for a walk.

As always, we ask you to do your bit to engage with the issue of climate change. You can do this in a range of ways, such as:

Over the coming year there will be many opportunities to contribute to our own initiatives in research and education, and in our daily operations, and we would welcome and encourage you all to contribute to these so we may continue to play our part in tackling climate change.

Best Wishes

Professor Ian Greer
President and Vice-Chancellor