College Ethics Guided Walk

Bradford College Thursday 23 May 2013 National` Walking Month and Day 1 of Global Corporate Challenge
by Ruth Wilson


Check Jonathan’s map




Starting out
In the ten minutes we spent gathering on the steps of the Grove Library, it rained, it nearly hailed, and the sun shone, setting the pattern for the rest of our walk.


First stop: the bus stop
The free city bus goes in a circular loop through the city. Staff and students who use it can reach the College and University at no cost to themselves. The free bus enables more to have an education and lowers environmental impact.


Every free city bus fact that you ever wanted to know …
… can be found on the College Ethics blog thanks to Neil Moore, Senior Transport Planner, Bradford Council, and Pam Sheldon, Bradford College.
• The service costs around £270,000 a year to operate.
• Funding is split between Bradford Council and Metro. • Bradford College and Bradford University sponsor the service. • Bradford College uses the money raised from parking fees to do this (£12,500) • The council recently guaranteed to fund the Free City Bus until March 2014


Remembering Doris Birdsall
Doris was the daughter of a millworker and trade unionist. Throughout her life she was passionate about Bradford, education for all, and Bradford College. She was a Councilor, a mayor and a pioneering member of our governing body. At the College’s Doris Birdsall Halls of Residence, Sandra Vine-Jenkins (on the right) told us about the Doris she knew.


Doris Birdsall
You can listen to a recording of Sandra Vine-Jenkins and Jillian Mercer remembering Doris on the College Ethics blog or here: The photo shows Doris opening the Doris Birdsall Halls of Residence in 1998.


Biodiversity at Bradford University
Ben Tongue, the University’s Environment Manager, gave us a short tour of the rain-drenched university grounds. The university grows edible plants wherever possible, for humans, animals and insects. There are allotments and beehives on the campus.


Ecoversity: sustainable buildings
All new University buildings are being built to the highest sustainable standards, with a focus on lowering energy consumption by using natural light and ventilation. This includes the new green student accommodation and ‘Re-Centre’, which will be the base for studying the circular economy and the way we view and re-use materials.


Ethical Tissue
Dr Susan Boyce (with the umbrella) is Head of Ethical Tissue, based in the Institute for Cancer Therapies building at the University of Bradford.


More about Ethical Tissue
Susan explained that Ethical Tissue responds to requests from researchers for human tissue, and it stores tissue for biomedical research. It is unique in providing a primary source of tissue solely for research purposes. Staff at Ethical Tissue are involved in meeting potential donors, getting their consent, and securing the samples. A committee then vets research applications for the tissue samples. The service charges only to recover costs. You can read all about it on the College Ethics blog.


Green Solutions
Down at Garden Mills, Building Services Manager Ian Brown (on the left) told us about Green Solutions, the re-cycling and re-using business the College runs.


Last stop: ethical biscuit
No, it’s not an obscure or expensive delicacy. It’s a hobnob made from ethically sourced palm oil. Palm oil is everywhere – biscuits, cakes, bio-diesel, animal feed, soaps, cosmetics and more. The way it’s farmed is destroying rainforests and habitats. We import tons and tons of it, and in 2011the UK government estimated that only 29% came from ethically managed plantations. Palm oil is hidden – it’s labeled as vegetable oil, so it’s hard not to buy it.

United Biscuits - maker of the hobnob - uses 100% sustainable palm oil in all its products and has reduced its use of palm oil by over 40% since 2005. In 2012 the company was awarded top marks in the World Wildlife Fund’s Palm Oil Buyers’ Scorecard.


How to eat an ethical biscuit
Choose a day when there is a mix of torrential rain, hail, and brief, beautiful sunshine. Go for a one hour guided walk that involves lingering in the wet. At the end, go to a recycling centre, open up the ethical biscuits and enjoy. Demonstrated here by Gail Holmes and Fran Walker.

Thank you!
• • • Our experts, Dr Susan Boyce, Ben Tongue, Ian Brown, Sandra Vine-Jenkins Our Walking Champion, Jonathan Curtis All the soaking wet people on the walk:
Susan Boyce
Ed Briggs Zoe Corcoran Jonathan Curtis York Dixon Joanne Fawthrop Gail Hall Gail Holmes Emma Haycock Susan Houlbrook Vanessa Hutchison Julia Kendall Maria Mousawi Linda Taglione Sandra Vine-Jenkins Fran Walker Andy Welsh

There’s more information on the College Ethics blog
Including useful links about topics included in the walk, and the recording about Doris Birdsall. See also two separate College Ethics blog entries:
Ethical Tissue:

The Free City Bus:

The College Ethics blog has regular profiles of staff, and it looks at social responsibility issues and research ethics. You can follow it online, via Twitter or through the links in the College staff newsletter. It is written by Ruth Wilson: