Quarterly sustainability update – October to December 2023

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

Staffordshire University's Leek Road site in Stoke-on-Trent pictured after staff and students hosted a litter pick.

Biodiversity is an important part of the University’s sustainability agenda, and removing any rubbish from the paths and hedgerows will help on campus wildlife and habitats to thrive.

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

Staffordshire University climbs 36 places in sustainability league table

Staffordshire University has risen 36 places in the People & Planet University League Table which ranks universities for environmental and ethical performance.

The annual sustainability league table of UK universities categorised Staffordshire University as a 2:1 class university, placing it 54th out of 150 institutions, in recognition of its commitment to sustainability.

Sustainable swaps for autumn awards ceremonies

As always, Staffordshire University ensured a more sustainable offering for its more than 1,500 graduating students and 3,600 guests, that celebrated over two days in November.

Many sustainable swaps from the University’s summer awards ceremonies were continued, including offering all graduating students and guests reusable water bottles, reducing the number of printed brochures, increasing the use of digital technology and reducing single-use plastic during the pre and post-award celebrations.

Newly introduced this year were biodegradable rain ponchos available to staff and students if needed, and the graduation team have lots more sustainable swaps planned for the next awards ceremonies in summer 2024.

Big Community Carbon Literacy Day

On Monday 4 December 2023, Staffordshire University ran a Big Community Carbon Literacy Training Day for the community of Shelton, individuals from the wider city of Stoke-on-Trent and surrounding areas, as well as University staff and students.

The University’s free all-day event introduced participants to the basics of climate change science and ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on an individual, community and organisational basis. Participants who completed the training and a low carbon pledge form were given the opportunity to become certified as ‘carbon literate’.

Too Good to Go

In January 2023, Staffordshire University signed up to ‘Too Good To Go’, the free app that allows customers to purchase unsold food at the end of the day to prevent it from being wasted. Staff and students can use the app across all six of the University’s catering outlets.

Over the whole of 2023, almost 2000 meals were saved from going to waste across its Stoke-on-Trent, Stafford and London campuses – saving a total of almost 5 tonnes of CO2e. Help us continue to fight food waste on campus by downloading the Too Good To Go app.

ResLife swap shop on 14 December 2023

The Residence Life (ResLife) team who manage the University’s accommodation ran a swap shop on Thursday 14 December 2023. Students and staff were invited to bring along any items they didn’t want or need to swap for something else (or simply donate), rather than throwing them away.

World Paper Free Day

On World Paper Free Day, Monday 6 November 2023, staff were encouraged to use the University system to check their print usage, the environmental impact linked to that, and consider alternatives to printing.

Since the pandemic, printing at the University has halved. There has also been a reduction in the number of printers on campus and existing printers have been replaced with more energy efficient models. However, the University continues to encourage individuals to make changes to their printing habits and if you would like to speak to someone about more sustainable printing practices, please email printing@staffs.ac.uk.

Campus clean-up on Wednesday 29 November 2023

Staff from various services across the University went out litter picking on Wednesday 29 November 2023 to clean-up the Stoke-on-Trent campus ahead of the December open day.

A total of nine bin bags of litter were collected from the campus and surrounding areas. Biodiversity is an important part of the University’s sustainability agenda, and removing any rubbish from the paths and hedgerows will help on campus wildlife and habitats to thrive.

The litter pick is part of a regular group contributing towards sustainability on campus. If you would like to join us in the future, please contact comms@staffs.ac.uk.

Existing University furniture repurposed

At Staffordshire University, there continues to be an up-to-date inventory of available furniture for reuse on campus. Once furniture has been moved out of existing spaces or buildings, the priority is always to reuse furniture within the University and when that isn’t possible, to donate items to charity.

During the last few months, with a number of office moves taking place, digital assets including docking stations, keyboards and mice have been redistributed throughout the University, and surplus equipment is always returned to the University and reused.

If you have items for reuse, or are in need of furniture, please contact Estates and Commercial Services on 3600@staffs.ac.uk, Helen Rutherford (helen.rutherford@staffs.ac.uk) or Laura Rhodes (laura.rhodes@staffs.ac.uk).


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