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Board member news

Engaging in sustainability

4 March 2021

Read a message from Karen Holford, Deputy Vice-Chancellor on sustainability.

Despite many of our students and staff being off-campus I was really pleased to see interest in Sustainability Week, 1 to 5 March. We put on a range of online events to help people reduce their impact on the environment from wherever they may be working or studying, which included practical sessions such as making a draft excluder or ditching the cling film by making a beeswax wrap. 

At our Carbon Emergency Forum we shared more about our carbon modelling project which is the first step in measuring our baseline emissions from all our activities. Our newly formed Carbon Net Zero Panel will use this information to further develop our carbon management plan to able us to become carbon neutral for scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030.   

We are also determined to address our scope 3 emissions, and although precise measurement of these is a challenge which all organisations face, we will be doing further work on our baseline estimate to enable us to set appropriate targets and agree mitigating actions.  The UK’s goal of reaching net zero territorial emissions by 2050 is a massive undertaking and will only be possible if we all work together on the change required.  

As well as reducing our use of materials, recyclingalso playsa huge part in sustainability. It is exciting to see new recycling stations being installed across our whole estateintroducing to six stream recycling, and helping us achieve our aim of reaching a 70% recycling rate by 2023 – thank you to Welsh Government for their funding in this area.  

If requested, staff and students were sent free packets of wildflower seeds to encourage biodiversity, and we also shared more about our plans for a hedgehog friendly campus.  

You can now read our revised environmental sustainability strategy and I’m looking forward to reaching these new goals by working together across the University.