Sustainability is an integral part of our values and something we aim to embed in all of our operations.

To embed sustainability throughout the University, we will:

  • empower our graduates and staff to become sustainable citizens who make a positive contribution to society
  • ensure sustainable development is a key consideration in all senior decision making
  • measure our sustainable performance through the LiFE framework and report annually.

Carbon management

In 2013, we agreed a Carbon Management Plan to reduce our carbon emissions, in which our performance is monitored regularly to ensure targets are met. Projects to reduce our carbon footprint include:

  • upgrading to high efficiency lights and sensor systems
  • upgrading to high efficiency heating systems
  • upgrading insulating materials
  • installing water saving technologies
  • reducing the environmental impact of our technology
  • using technology to reduce other environmental impacts.

Sustainable travel

Our Travel Plan highlights the key areas we can work together to reduce our carbon impact, contribute to long-term well-being and support Wales in securing a low-carbon future.

We encourage our staff and students, as well as visitors travelling to Cardiff University to use sustainable modes of transport.

Travel statistics from our most recent travel survey (2012/13).
Method used travelling to, from and within the UniversityStaffStudents
Public transport25.9%11.8%

University wide initiatives

We regularly run sustainability initiatives with our staff and students to support carbon management within the University.

We actively encourage the reuse of water bottles and mugs. Free drinking water is available across the University, with local drinking fountains available in our buildings and at our University catering outlets.


We take part in the UK-wide blackout events for Universities, which helps raise awareness of sustainable issues and reduces our carbon footprint. Blackout was run on to Friday 17th February 2017. Seven buildings were audited with 18 staff leaders and 26 student auditors taking part.

Green Impact

Green Impact has launched for the 2017/18 Academic Year.

First workshop26 October 2017
Workbook submission21 March 2018
Green impact audits18 April 2018 (afternoon)
Green impact awards ceremony12 June at 11:00 to 12:00 in Main Council Chamber

To book a place onto one of these events, please email

2017 was our 4th year of running Green Impact. 32 teams took part with 8 teams achieving Gold; 9 teams achieving Silver, 12 teams Bronze and 2 teams 'Working towards'.  Five special awards were also presented by the Chief Operating Officer at the awards ceremony on the 8 June 2017.  Our Campus Services Residences went on to win the UK award for Environmental improvement for their work on biodiversity around the campus.

Sustainability Week and Go Green Week

This year's University staff and student Sustainability Week took place 6-10 March 2017 with the theme of Sustainable energy. Events included talks on Tidal Lagoons and the Rampion wind energy project, sustainability skills workshops and bike to work breakfasts.

Transport free day

In recognition of our ongoing commitment to sustainable development, we supported Cardiff’s first Car Free day in partnership with the City Council. Residents and commuters were encouraged to leave their cars at home and use alternative ways to travel as the event saw Park Place closed to traffic for 24 hours.

Car Free Cardiff, launched on World Car Free Day, highlighted the health benefits of walking, cycling and using other forms of sustainable transport while reducing pollution in the local area.

Student Switch Off

The Student Switch Off campaign encourages our students to help tackle climate change by saving energy. It's run through a not-for-profit organisation and in association with the National Union of Students. 59.75% of students living in residences took part. 154,622 kWh was saved over the winter months 2015-16. This was an 11% reduction and 83 tonnes of CO2 were saved.

Positive Health Environment and Wellbeing Week

Between 21st June and 7th July, the University encouraged participation in range of environmental sustainability events including: Bute Park volunteering, Dr Bike workshops, bike to work breakfast incentives, PharmaBees project; nature walks, plant based food talks, health and happiness workshops.

100% recycled paper

We use 100% recycled paper for standard printing and photocopying within the University. We are also actively seeking ways to reduce the environmental impact of specialist print work.