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Sustainability Week

26 November 2010

Students from the University Fruit & Veg Co-opStudents from the University Fruit & Veg Co-op

The University’s 2010 Sustainability Week took place from the 8th to 12th November and built upon the success of last year’s inaugural Sustainability Week.

The week-long event, supported by the Students’ Union, included talks, discussions, film screenings, and more. The aim of the week was to provide events that were varied, challenging, inspiring, thought-provoking and open to the whole University community.

Once again this year, a highlight of the week was the Question Time-style debate which brought staff, students and members of the community together to discuss whether in tough economic times it is possible to stay true to sustainable principles. Chaired by Professor Ken Peattie from the University’s Centre for Business Relationships, Accountability, Sustainability and Society, the debate was lively and engaging with many questions put to the panel about the key sustainability challenges that lie ahead. The panel included Wales’ Minister for Environment, Sustainability and Housing Jane Davidson AM, student representative Sam Coates, director of the new Sustainable Places Research Institute Professor Terry Marsden, Sharanne Basham-Pyke BT Programme Director for Heads of the Valleys Low Carbon Zone Programme, and leading Welsh economist Professor James Foreman-Peck.

Sustainability Week debateThe panel members at the Sustainability Week debate

This year’s film screenings proved popular. The first featured the Academy Award winning, ‘The Garden’. Organised by sciSCREEN the event attracted a large audience who stayed on to debate the powerful and thought provoking film. The second screening shown in the Students’ Union was ‘The Age of Stupid’, a film which set a Guinness World Record in 2009 for the largest live film event ever.

In order to encourage more environmentally friendly modes of travel, a variety of bike-related events were on offer for staff and students. Cycle Training Wales’ Bike Doctor service held a bike maintenance day where more than 40 bikes were serviced. Later in the week, a bike sale was held offering refurbished bikes at reasonable prices. Students were also given the opportunity to get their bikes UV marked, and around 270 bikes were security marked over two days.

servicing a bikeA mechanic from Cycle Training Wales servicing a bike outside Main Building

Sustainability Week was once again supported by the University Fruit & Veg Co-op who held a sale of great priced fruit, vegetables, salad or stir-fry ingredients where fifty pence from every purchase goes to generate a sustainable income source for the Riverside Community Food Co-op.

Other events staged by Schools and Centres across the University included the launch of 'The ABC of Corporate Social Responsibility for Small and Medium sized Enterprises', a practical online guide developed by BRASS; an Earthcast on Climate Change by Dr Lorraine Whitmarsh, Cardiff School of Psychology; a public lecture in the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, entitled ‘How green was Antarctica?’, and a research seminar organised by the Sustainable Places Research Institute’s seminar series.

The week also provided a platform to launch the Cardiff University Sustainable Development Strategic Framework. A University-wide policy, the framework formally sets out the sustainable development principles which will continue to inform decision making, procurement and other processes. Also during the week, a new interactive book showcasing some of Cardiff’s leading sustainability-related research was published, as well as a short guide to plan and organise Cardiff University events in a more sustainable way.

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