Branson throws down green gauntlet

Sir Richard Branson has opened Derby University’s new £21m Markeaton Street design campus and set students an environmental challenge


Sir Richard Branson has opened Derby University’s new £21m Markeaton Street design campus and challenged students to help make Virgin Atlantic more environmentally friendly.



The challenge comes with a prize, which is an opportunity to work with Virgin Atlantic’s Creative Design team on placement.



He said to students: ‘Today I set you the following challenge – to improve further the environmental performance of Virgin Atlantic, so as to create the sustainable airline of the future.’



The challenge has been set to students on undergraduate, postgraduate and other courses at the university, across the disciplines of arts, design, technology, education, health, sciences, business, computing and law.



Some suggestions made to design students included constructing a lightweight seat to improve fuel efficiency, designing crew uniforms made from recycled materials and introducing more energy efficient facilities at airport terminals.



Initiatives already initiated by Virgin Atlantic include reducing the ‘carried weight’ on planes, and launching a partnership with Boeing in a quest to become the most sustainable airline in the world.