Staffordshire University’s quarterly sustainability update – January - March 2023

Sustainability is a key priority for the University and the organisation is targeting Net Zero carbon emissions from its buildings by 2030.

Sally McGill and Dr. Eleanor Atkins planting a tree at the Stoke-on-Trent campus

Staff and student volunteers came together to plant over 100 trees and a wildflower garden to connect the wilder landscape to the campus.

Within the first month of using the electric vehicles, Staffordshire University has already saved over 860kg of carbon dioxide being emitted into the atmosphere, which is the equivalent of planting 39 trees to capture the carbon.

Helen Rutherford, Head of Campus Facilities Management

In the first quarter of 2023, the University has made huge progress in its sustainability agenda, achieving the following milestones across its campuses.

 

Staffordshire University Plants 100 Trees

In January, staff and students at Staffordshire University planted more than 100 new trees on its Stoke-on-Trent campus as part of initiatives to capture carbon and improve biodiversity.

The University’s Wild Staffs Project is continuing to implement different environmental strategies to protect and encourage biodiversity which has included new tree planting across campus.

Students and staff came together with young people from The Prince’s Trust to plant 100 trees including, Hazel, Elder, Crab Apple, Dog Rose, Rowan, and Blackthorn on the Leek Road site to encourage local biodiversity and provide safe habitats for wildlife.

This project will play a vital role, not only in the campus transformation, but also with the University’s strategic aims of sustainability and carbon reduction.

 

Too Good To Go

In January, Staffordshire University signed up to ‘Too Good To Go’ to ensure that good food gets eaten, not wasted.

Since signing up, Staffordshire University has saved over 500 meals from going to waste across its Stoke-on-Trent, Stafford and London campuses. 

You can find out more about what our catering team are doing as part of the University’s sustainability strategy here.

 

CleverTouch Screens Switch Off

A working group has put forward a series of power initiatives to improve the Environmental and Financial Sustainability of Staffordshire University’s flagship building, The Catalyst.

One of the first initiatives coming soon to The Catalyst, is to upgrade the CleverTouch Screens found in the building so that they function using motion detection. This means that if a screen has seen no activity, the screen will automatically enter hibernation. That’s potentially 64 screens across the building all saving power.

 

‘Walk and Talk’ Litter Pick

To mark World Wetlands Day and Time to Talk Day, Staffordshire University staff and students took part in a ‘Walk and Talk’ litter pick around the University Nature Reserve at the Stoke-on-Trent campus.

Nearly 90% of the world’s wetlands have been degraded since the 1700s, and we are losing wetlands three times faster than forests. Yet, wetlands are critically important ecosystems that contribute to biodiversity, climate mitigation and adaptation, freshwater availability, world economies and more. A well restored wetland can provide many of the services performed by the original natural wetland.

 

Driving Towards Sustainability: Meet Staffordshire University’s New Electric Fleet

In February, Staffordshire University unveiled its new electric vehicle fleet. The new fleet, which supports the work of the University’s Estates and Commercial Services team, comprises ten new electric vehicles including delivery vans and a tractor. This is the first phase of achieving an entirely electric fleet, with seven remaining vehicles to be replaced in the near future.

Helen Rutherford, Head of Campus Facilities Management said, "Within the first month of using the electric vehicles, Staffordshire University has already saved over 860kg of carbon dioxide being emitted into the atmosphere, which is the equivalent of planting 39 trees to capture the carbon."

 

Introduction of lifetime eco-cups

In February, Staffordshire University introduced reusable and recyclable eco-cups, made from planet friendly materials with one tree planted for each cup purchased.

These reusable cups are available across the Stoke-on-Trent and Stafford campuses, and the introduction of them will see a drop in use of disposable cups across Staffordshire University.

 

Bike user group

The Staffordshire University Bicycle User Group (SUBUG) was set up to provide support to colleagues who currently cycle to work and those who want to give it a go.

The group meet to discuss the current bicycle facilities at Staffordshire University and how these could be improved. The group is for all cyclists and potential cyclists whatever your experience level.

 

Free Hydration Stations

Staffordshire University has created a new map of its free hydration stations. The hydration stations will help to reduce single-use plastic waste on campus and contribute to the targets of our sustainability targets.

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