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We aim to be a socially and environmentally university, this is demonstrated by the policies which we use within our organisation.

Biodiversity

Biological diversity is the variety of life on Earth (plants and animals) at the ecosystem, species and genetic levels. Biodiversity is essential for healthy ecosystem functioning and is directly valuable to human society for economic and cultural reasons.

Biodiversity is declining worldwide and must be conserved and enhanced to provide a sound basis for human survival and progress.

As a prominent institution for teaching and research in the environmental sciences, and with a campus containing significant biodiversity resources, Staffordshire University will take a lead in promoting biodiversity conservation and improvement on its own estate, and more widely wherever possible.

The policy aims to protect and where possible enhance local biodiversity within the management of the existing estate, as well as a new developments.

Staffordshire University is committed to:

  • Ensure compliance with statutory biodiversity obligations and alignment with other University policies.
  • Protect and enhance biodiversity on the University estate by the application of environmentally friendly management techniques.
  • Avoid or limit the use of environmentally-damaging substances, materials and processes, e.g. by minimising the use of pesticides.
  • Plant native herbs, shrubs and trees wherever possible and provide habitat for animals, e.g. nesting sites, ‘bug hotels’, pollinator plants etc.
  • Take into account biodiversity needs, including pollution prevention, in investments, procurement, planning and design, new-build and construction, servicing and maintenance.
  • Create new greenspace where possible and ensure ecological connectivity both on campus and by linking to the external green space network.
  • Use biodiversity to promote healthy living and well-being through enhancement and use of species-rich outdoor amenity areas Mitigation.
  • Minimise the impacts of University functioning and developments on biodiversity, by consideration of alternatives, applying mitigation measures and compensating for modifying effects.
  • Monitoring and Assessment
    • Conduct species and habitat surveys to establish a baseline for the University’s biodiversity status. Repeat to establish trends and report regularly. Set targets for improvements. Use this data as an educational resource. Communication.
  • Raise awareness of biodiversity conservation internally among staff and students in order to mainstream biodiversity thinking in decision-making at all levels. Communicate the University’s work in this area to external audiences so as to raise and enhance the University’s profile, with benefits for public image, professional esteem and student recruitment.
  • Partnerships
    • Use the deep pool of staff and student expertise to assist with biodiversity assessment and conservation action.
    • Access external funding for biodiversity and natural resources management, and partner with relevant external bodies including volunteer groups to deliver biodiversity enhancements.
  • Action Plan
    • Prepare and apply a detailed, participatory Plan to provide best practice guidelines for the University’s biodiversity action, and to programme and steer interventions.
    • Refer to urban ecology principles and employ a dynamic and adaptive approach so as to ensure flexibility and resilience.
    • Review policy and the Action Plan regularly.

Energy Management

Staffordshire University is committed to proactive energy management measures which, in addition to meeting all legal requirements and approved codes of practice, aim to aim to minimise energy wastage and optimise the use of low carbon and renewable energy sources.

This policy aims to direct how energy is managed and monitored at the University, how wastage is kept to a minimum and how the use of low carbon and renewable technologies can be optimised at the University.

This policy reflects the commitments set out in the University's Environmental Policy.

Staffordshire University is committed to:

  • Complying with all relevant legal and legislative requirements relating to energy use, consumption and efficiency.
  • Monitor and report on energy consumption and carbon emissions.
  • Identify areas of significant energy use at the University in order to set appropriate objectives, targets and action plans designed to reduce energy waste.
  • Support the purchase of energy efficient products and services as outlined in the Sustainable Purchasing Policy.
  • Develop a programme of preventative maintenance to maintain and optimise the energy efficiency of installed building services.
  • Optimise the procurement and generation of energy from low carbon and renewable sources.
  • Minimise the energy used in conditioning the internal building environment, whilst maintaining workplace temperat ures at a reasonable level, as outlined in the NTU.
  • Consider and implement where possible, low energy and passive design within all new build and major refurbishment projects as per the Carbon Reduction Strategy for the Estate.

This Energy Management Policy will be reviewed annually by Estates and Commercial Services Department and is endorsed by the Sustainability Group and reported to the University Executive annually.

Environmental

Staffordshire University has around 15,000 students and 1,200 members of staff located within an estate of some 15 buildings across 2 main campuses within Staffordshire and Shropshire. Our core business is to provide high quality teaching and research whilst taking care of our staff, students, community and environment.

We understand that our activities have an impact on the environment, and are committed to continual improvement of our environmental performance and  limiting our impact on the environment.

Staffordshire University will not only seek to protect our natural environment, but also actively pursue opportunities to enhance it, promote a culture of environmental stewardship amongst our staff and students and work towards the goals of sustainable development.

Staffordshire University will minimise our adverse environmental impacts by:

  • Ensuring compliance with all relevant legislation and obligations associated with our activities.
  • Managing waste through reduction, re-use, and the promotion of recycling.
  • Minimising energy and water consumption.
  • Promoting sustainable transport initiatives throughout all campuses and utilising local links.
  • Reducing our contribution to global climate change by making year on year reductions in our greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Promoting and increasing biodiversity conservation and improvement across the University estate.
  • Embedding sustainability within the procurement procedures.
  • Undertaking to prevent the pollution of the natural environment.
  • Raising environmental awareness and awareness of the UN Sustainable Development Goals amongst staff and students through improved communication and involvement.
  • Embedding sustainable development and awareness of environmental issues in our curricula across the University.
  • Establishing environmental objectives and targets and report progress on an annual basis.

This Environmental Policy will be reviewed annually by Estates and Commercial Services Department and is endorsed by the Sustainability Group, and reported to the University Executive annually.

Ethical investment

Staffordshire University seeks to have an Ethical Investment Policy which meets the purpose of the University and its values as stated in the Strategic Plan

The University recognises its responsibility to operate in an ethical manner and to take account of social, environmental and ethical considerations in all activities including financial investment.

The University wishes to seek investment opportunities in organisations and countries which demonstrate a positive approach to individuals, communities, environmental protection, pollution control, conservation and recycling, safety & security and ethical employment practices.

Staffordshire University is committed to the following:

Screening investments on ethical grounds; with the provision that, if the activities of a company are, on ethical grounds inconsistent with the objectives of the University, then the University may choose not to invest even though this may reduce returns.

Not engage in any investment which might hamper the work of Staffordshire, either by alienating financial supporters or potential financial supporters, or by having a material impact on applications from potential students.

The University engages on a daily basis with various investment managers through the investment of surplus funds, endowments and in spin-out companies. The University expects its investment managers, as part of their normal investment research and analysis process, to take account of social, environmental, ethical and governance considerations in the selection, retention and realisation of investments.

Stakeholders may draw attention to any of the University’s investments that may be considered unethical. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Human rights abuse/oppressive regimes;
  • Support of unethical operations such as armament sales to military regimes, tobacco production or animal testing for purely cosmetic purposes;
  • Environmentally damaging practices.

Staffordshire University is a member of multi-employer pension schemes constituted as separate legal entities with their own trustees and corporate governance procedures. Pension scheme funds are therefore invested entirely separately from the University and thus not included in this policy.

This Policy will be reviewed and updated every 3 years to ensure that it remains fit for purpose.

Sustainable Procurement

Staffordshire University acknowledges that its purchasing activities have a significant impact on the environment, society and the economy. As part of the HE sector, the University also accepts it has a more global impact on sustainability and recognises it has a responsibility to reduce those impacts.

This policy is to clarify the sustainable procurement principles, and the commitments set out in the University’s Environmental Policy, the University aims to embed sustainable purchasing within its culture.

Staffordshire University is committed to:

  • Raise awareness and promote best practice in sustainable procurement across the University, making information accessible for all.
  • Ensure that environmental, social and whole life cost impacts are taken into consideration in the assessment of value for money.
  • Encourage Staffordshire University’s new and existing suppliers to consider the social and environmental impacts of their services and activities and address how to reduce them.
  • Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking within any of its supply chains.
  • Encourage suppliers to comply with national and international standards on environmental and human rights matters and encourage a partnership approach to sustainable progression.
  • Undertake sustainability risk/impact assessments of products and services to ensure compliance with the universities environmental management system procedures.
  • Manage the procurement of commodities and services in order to minimise or reduce negative impacts on the natural environment e.g. waste, carbon emissions, transport miles, biodiversity and consumption of natural resources.
  • Communicate the sustainable procurement policy to Staffordshire University staff, students and suppliers.
  • Forge links with the local community to encourage positive participation and address barriers to entry to encourage local, regional, SME and ethnic minority suppliers to bid for University contracts.
  • Manage the procurement of goods and services to help the University to achieve its carbon reduction targets.
  • Ensure that any timber and timber products, including paper, are from certified sustainable sources such as FSC and PEFC.
  • Sign up to the Net Positive supplier engagement platform.
  • To provide an annual objective to measure and monitor progress.

This Sustainable Procurement Policy will be reviewed annually by the Financial Services Department and is endorsed by the Sustainability Group and reported to the University Executive annually.

Travel

Staffordshire University is committed to make sustainable travel the norm for our students and staff. This means improving connections whilst travelling within our campuses and to and from our campuses, whilst aiming to reduce our negative impacts on travel.

Our key focuses are:

  • Student and staff commuting
  • Business travel
  • University vehicles
  • Visitor travel

The policy is to clarify the University’s aims to increase sustainable travel options for students and staff.

Staffordshire University is committed to:

  • Minimising parking demands through the delivery of alternative sustainable travel and transport options.
  • Reducing the need to travel for University related activities.
  • Monitoring and reporting on student and staff commuting and travel behaviour.
  • Monitoring and reporting on carbon emissions related to business travel.
  • Challenging travel options and optimising the procurement of low carbon travel options.
  • Identifying areas of improvement and aspects of behaviour change.
  • Providing appropriate facilities and information to increase the use of low carbon travel options to students, staff and visitors.
  • Working and communicating with external stakeholders to advise and influence positive change for promotion of sustainable travel to and from the University.

This Sustainable Travel Policy will be reviewed annually by Estates and Commercial Services Department and reported to the University Executive annually.

Waste Management

Staffordshire University generates a number of waste streams across it’s campuses. Due to the negative environmental impacts associated with waste generation and disposal. Staffordshire University are committed to reducing the impact through effective management of these waste streams.

This policy is to clarify the variety of different aspects and requirements of waste management that takes place at the University and to reflect the commitments set out in the University's Environmental Policy.

Staffordshire University is committed to:

  • Ensuring compliance with all relevant legislation and regulations associated with our activities, and where possible, to exceed requirements.
  • Ensure we comply with our Duty of Care requirements.
  • Handle and dispose of Hazardous Waste correctly.
  • Establishing waste related objectives and targets and report on progress annually.
  • Applying the Waste Hierarchy when making decisions;
    • to firstly consider prevention, then
    • reuse or preparing for reuse,
    • then recycling (which includes anaerobic digestion),
    • followed by other methods of recovery such as energy recovery, before disposal (landfill)
  • Remain zero to landfill for schedule waste.
  • Reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill, in particular waste that can be reused, recycled or recovered by improving recycling facilities and communication
  • Reviewing materials used and sold at the University, including packaging, and seeking to ensure products can be reused or recycled (preferably closed-loop) wherever possible, in order to contribute to a circular economy.
  • Raising awareness amongst staff, students and visitors through improved communication and involvement, talks, seminars, campaigns and initiatives.

This Waste Management Policy will be reviewed for effectiveness and relevance annually by Estates and Commercial Services Department and is endorsed by the Sustainability Group and reported to the University Executive annually.

Water Management

Staffordshire University is committed to water management measures which, in addition to meeting all legal requirements and approved codes of practice, aim to minimise water wastage and optimise the use of water saving and harvesting technologies throughout all campuses.

This policy is to clarify the water management that takes place at the University and to reflect the commitments set out in the University's Environmental Policy.

Staffordshire University is committed to:

  • Comply with all relevant legal and legislative requirements relating to water use, consumption and efficiency.
  • Identify areas of significant water use at the University in order to set appropriate objectives and action plans designed to reduce water waste.
  • Reducing year on year water consumption, per FTE staff & student.
  • Monitor and report on water consumption.
  • Develop a programme of preventative maintenance to maintain and optimise the water efficiency of installed building services.
  • Drinking water facilities will be provided for staff and students across the estate.
  • Consider and implement, where possible, water saving and harvesting technologies within all new build and major refurbishment projects in line with the NTU Carbon Reduction Strategy for the Estate.
  • Provide compliant vehicle wash down facilities for fleet vehicles.
  • Support the purchase of water efficient products and services as outlined in Staffordshire University’s Sustainable Procurement Policy.
  • Ensure the availability of information and necessary resources to achieve water objectives and targets.

This Water Management Policy will be reviewed annually by Estates and Commercial Services Department and is endorsed by the Sustainability Group and reported to the University Executive annually.