Vision

In an era of significant societal challenges, an effective sustainability and social responsibility strategy will ensure that limited resources are used efficiently and that our business is managed in a way that minimises our environmental impacts, while demonstrating an awareness of our ethical and social responsibilities.

We recognise that the sustainability legacy and impact of the University will be measured not only by carbon emissions or landfill tonnage, but by the sustainability of our decision-making, by the quality and global relevance of our research, and by our role in developing active and engaged graduates with the attributes necessary to tackle the challenges facing society.

Strategy

During 2012/13 we drafted the University's first Sustainability & Social Responsibility Strategy. It identifies the breadth of this agenda and seeks to articulate it in the context of a whole-institution commitment to these twin principles.

We welcome the work of the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC) in helping to frame the emerging sector consensus on what a 'whole-institution' approach to sustainability looks like.  We have adopted a strategic model based on four main strategic pillars:

  • Leadership and Communication (Culture)
  • Estate and Infrastructure (Campus)
  • Partnership and Engagement (Community)
  • Learning, Teaching & Research (Curriculum)

By adopting this structure we acknowledge that, alongside the estate and environmental issues from which this agenda has evolved, a whole-institutional approach to sustainability and social responsibility needs to reflect a broad range of issues that cut across teaching, research and all aspects of administration.

This whole-institution approach builds on our experience as a participant in the former Universities that Count (UTC) benchmarking index (securing a 'Silver' in its final year) and our evaluation of the EAUC's Learning in Future Environments (LiFE) index. These exercises reinforced the importance of an approach that identifies sustainability as a feature of all aspects of institutional activity.

Policy

Over the years the University has introduced a series of sustainability and social responsibility policies and statements. These cover core environmental concerns such as Energy, Water, Waste, Travel and Buildings, as well as issues such as Fairtrade, Food, Curriculum and Investment.

In 2013 we consolidated our main Estates related policies into one Environmental Sustainability Policy.

All our institutional policies are available via our Policy Zone

For the most up-to-date sustainability themed policies just enter 'sustainability' as a search term.