Staffordshire University’s quarterly sustainability update – January to March 2022

Sustainability is a key priority for Staffordshire University and the organisation is targeting Net Zero by 2030.

The Catalyst PV Panels

To increase energy efficiency across its Stoke-on-Trent campus, Staffordshire University has introduced new sustainable technology in its buildings.

In the first three months of 2022, the University has made huge progress in its sustainability agenda, achieving the following milestones across its campuses.

Bronze Hedgehog Friendly campus status

Following its continued work to make its Stoke-on-Trent campus hedgehog friendly, Staffordshire University has been awarded Bronze Hedgehog Friendly Campus status by the British Hedgehog Perseveration Society (BHPS). And it’s not stopping there, the University is now going for the silver accreditation.

To achieve the award, Staffordshire University has implemented a variety of actions and changes across its Stoke-on-Trent campus, including a hedgehog home, a Big Hog-Friendly Litter Pick Challenge, surveys to detect hedgehogs on campus, awareness posters, and warning labels on groundskeeping equipment.

Desktop recyclers introduced for all staff

To help increase recycling rates on campus, Staffordshire University has supplied desktop recyclers to all staff, replacing personal office bins. The desktop recyclers, which are made from recycled plastic, have been placed on every desk and workspace to collect personal waste and recycling throughout the day.

Furniture repurposed to avoid waste

Staffordshire University has reused furniture and appliances from buildings on its Stoke-on-Trent campus that are set for demolition, to avoid unnecessary waste and consumption of new products.

The University always prioritises reusing furniture within the University and when that isn’t possible, items are donated items to charity.

Donation of furniture to Dougie Mac

Second-hand furniture from Staffordshire University’s Stafford campus has been donated to local charity, Douglas Macmillan, who provide free hospice services to more than 3,500 people with life-limiting illness in Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire, and surrounding areas.

Following, refurbishment works at the University’s Stafford campus to create its new Centre for Health Innovation, canteen furniture and library shelving was donated to Dougie Mac and the sale will help secure much needed funds for the Hospice.

Electric vehicle charging goes live

Staffordshire University’s electric vehicle (EV) charging points have gone live at its Stoke-on-Trent and Stafford campuses, and are available for all students and staff to use.

The University has introduced 26 double charging points run by Vend Electric, on both its College Road and Leek Road sites in Stoke-on-Trent, included a number of disabled EV parking bays. There are also six charging points installed at the University’s new Centre for Health Innovation, Blackheath Lane, Stafford.

Leading the way with sustainable technology

To increase energy efficiency across its Stoke-on-Trent campus, Staffordshire University has introduced new sustainable technology in its buildings.

A Building Energy Management System (BEMS) ensures accurate and real-time monitoring of energy consumption, and the University is in the process of installing dataloggers across its Stoke-on-Trent campus to capture information about electricity, gas, and water consumption of individual buildings.

Introduction of water saving technology

The University has installed Ureco, a new sustainable technology, to help the University reduce its water consumption. With over 250 toilets across its campuses, in just academic buildings alone, the amount of water used within these toilets has a very large impact on the University’s annual water consumption.

The University is now working in partnership with hygiene solutions business HSG, who have created Ureco, an eco-friendly innovation that helps prevent costly urinal blockages and unpleasant odours. HSG have also installed water monitoring technology within the washrooms, which allows for detailed monitoring of water use and provides data on the efficiency of the technology.

Creation of the CAP Sustainability network

At the beginning of February, a meeting of representatives of the University and seven partner colleges was held over Microsoft Teams to discuss carbon reduction ambitions and strategies. This creation of a CAP Sustainability Network will aim to align and support the sustainability strategies and targets of the University and partner colleges.

Travel survey for staff

Staffordshire University is committed to both increasing environmental sustainability, and staff and student wellbeing. Commuting is an area where these agendas may converge or conflict, and it is therefore important to investigate commuting behaviour and viewpoints, to identify opportunities to enhance wellbeing and reduce carbon emissions concomitantly, while respecting personal travel choices and needs, and facilitating these satisfactorily.

A staff travel survey was carried out in Autumn 2021, to explore staff travel behaviour, desires, and opinions. The aim was to calculate the University’s carbon emissions associated with staff commuting, identify changes pre- and post-onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as capturing information which can guide policies, design decisions, and effective collaboration with external partners.

The staff travel survey gauged a good level of interest and a student travel survey is planned to take place in May 2022.

Free Carbon Literacy Training offered to all University students and staff

The University has launched free Carbon Literacy Training for all staff and students to embed positive climate action across the University and its wider community.

Run by the Geography department, the Carbon Literacy Training presents the opportunity to develop your understanding of the science behind climate change, social justice and provides practical knowledge about how to reduce your carbon footprint. The programme will help build confidence to talk to others including fellow students, colleagues, family, and friends about climate change.

New Geography, Climate Change and Society degree launches

As part of its commitment to positive climate action, Staffordshire University has launched a new degree programme called Geography, Climate Change and Society. The degree is focused on equipping students with the skills to help tackle the climate crisis right now and in their future careers.

15-Minute Campus Project

The students and staff from the Geography department at Staffordshire University, have been mapping a 15-minute campus, inspired by a new idea of urban planning called the 15-minute city. The concept suggests that everything you need to live fulfilled lives is within a 15-minute radius of where you live.

The aim of Staffordshire University’s project is to highlight everything available within a 15-minute walk or cycle of its Leek Road site on its Stoke-on-Trent campus, and evaluate how good the public realm is in terms of walkability, cyclability and a whole host of other services and places.

 

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