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A green and fair world

27 October 2011

sw-button-greenOne world, your world. That’s the theme for the University’s 2011 Sustainability Week which runs from Monday 31st October – Friday 4th November.

Throughout the week, a series of events will be aimed at highlighting what we can do – as individuals and as a nation - to help our local and global communities.

From buying a bike and cycling more, to choosing a forest project for the University to support, there are opportunities for staff, students and the wider community to get involved and make a difference.

Key events and initiatives include an Eco-Halloween fayre in Main Building (31st October) where you can pick up tips on how to be an ethical ghoul or eco wizard; a locally-sourced menu in all of the University’s restaurants throughout the week; the launch of the University’s campus walking maps; and a student Sustainability Innovation Challenge in which students can win cash prizes to help get their sustainable business ideas off the ground.

The centrepiece of the week is the Sustainability Week Debate (2nd November). A panel of experts - including some of Cardiff’s pioneering sustainability scholars leading figures from the field of sustainability - will tackle issues including ‘can one person make a difference to the environment?’, ‘how can a small nation like Wales contribute to the global sustainability agenda?’ and ‘how can we motivate people power and collective action?’.

During Sustainability Week, the University will also be championing the Size of Wales project. This unique national scheme aims to sustain an area of tropical forest the size of Wales as part of our national response to climate change. It was created by the Wales’ Millennium Development Goals Task Force as part of Wales’ response to the dual challenges of climate change and international poverty reduction. Throughout the week, we’ll be asking staff and students to help us decide which of three Size of Wales initiatives the University will partner and support in the future.

Professor Tim Wess, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Estates, who heads Sustainability Week, said: "Sustainability Week is full of events providing advice on how individuals can reduce their own carbon footprints. During the Week there are plenty of opportunities for staff and students to get involved - we know how much energy and enthusiasm they have to make a difference to our communities, not just environmentally but through a wide variety of other projects. Sustainability Week is also a chance for the University to showcase its world-leading research. Our experts will be leading the Sustainability Week Debate and throughout the week we’ll be highlighting just some of our key work in this area."

From Tuesday 1st November, the Viriamu Jones Gallery in Main Building will be home to an exhibition portraying stunning research images taken by Professor Peter Wells of the Centre for Business Relationships, Accountability, Sustainability and Society (BRASS). The photographs show Professor Wells’ research on sugar cane in Brazil and can be viewed daily from 9.00am-5.00pm.

The University’s innovative sustainability and environmental research is also brought together in the e-publication Sustainability at Cardiff: making a difference which is available to view online.

The week isn’t just confined to the University campus – it starts and finishes with the University’s involvement in two city-wide projects. On Sunday 30th October, staff and students are invited to join a flash mob Roald Dahl Place, Cardiff Bay. The event will be filmed to create an advert for the charity. More information is available here

On Saturday 5th November, Cardiff’s 2011 Sustainability Week will come to a close with staff and students adding their voices to a 1,000-singer performance of Handel’s Messiah in the Mega Messiah event at the Wales Millennium Centre. The concert is raising funds for the charity Fairbridge, who help give 13-25 year-olds a new start in life. For more information about Mega Messiah or to book tickets for the event visit

Full details of the Sustainability Week schedule are available here


Related links

Sustainability Week

Sustainable Places Research Institute