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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

Ecosystem Resilience and Biodiversity Action Plan (ERBAP)

The ERBAP Steering Group has recently reviewed and updated the university’s Ecosystem Resilience and Biodiversity Action Plan. The plan sets how we are going to maintain and enhance biodiversity and promote ecosystem resilience across Cardiff University’s campuses, in compliance with the Section 6 Duty of the Environment (Wales) Act 2016.

The ERBAP is based on assessing and improving the five attributes developed by Natural Resource Wales (NRW) for building ecosystem resilience: diversity, extent, condition, connectivity, and adaptability of ecosystems (DECCA). The plan also incorporates the five ways of working set out by the Well-Being of Future Generations Act: integration, collaboration, engagement, long-term and prevention.

The ERBAP was developed in collaboration with Cardiff Council to ensure that our joint actions achieve synergies in reaching our ecosystem resilience and biodiversity targets. The work is collaborative and draws upon the resources and expertise of all of Cardiff University’s community: academic staff, professional services staff, and postgraduate and undergraduate students.

The revised ERBAP sets out a series of targets to reach over the next three-year period between 2024 and 2026. We present here a summarised version of the plan, which includes the aims, priority species/species groups and habitats, and the species, habitats, engagement, and education targets. A full version is available upon request at

Changing Steps Cardiff

Changing Steps Cardiff is a rewards scheme designed to encourage active and sustainable travel. Using the BetterPoints app, university staff and students can collect points for travelling in more sustainable ways. Points can be spent on offers and vouchers or can be donated to support biodiversity projects across campus.

100% of the money raised through these donations will be allocated to projects by the Ecosystem Resilience and Biodiversity Action Plan (ERBAP) Steering Group, to help progress their plan for building ecosystem resilience and biodiversity across Cardiff University’s campuses.

Carbon management

We are developing a Carbon Net Zero Roadmap that will outline the actions we should take to help the University achieve Net Zero for Scopes 1 and 2 emissions.

In the summer of 2024, we will initiate an 18-month Carbon Reduction programme to reduce our carbon emissions. Throughout this programme, we will closely monitor our energy and carbon savings to ensure they align with our expectations and help achieve the targets set out in our Environmental Sustainability Action Plan. The Carbon Reduction Programme will introduce six energy conservation measures (ECMs) aimed at reducing our electricity and gas consumption:

  1. LED lighting upgrade across 32 buildings
  2. Solar PV panel installation on several suitable roof areas
  3. Air Handling Unit upgrades across 5 buildings
  4. Fume cupboard upgrades
  5. Valve and pipe insulation
  6. Installation of an additional ground source heat pump

Collectively, the changes will help the university save 1,363 t/CO2e each year, which is around 5% of our Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions. It will also help reduce our annual energy costs. This work represents a positive first step in our journey towards Net Zero, and we are actively planning future carbon reduction works to reduce our emissions even further.

We are committed to transparency in our carbon reduction efforts. Find the most up-to-date information about our emissions on our dedicated Carbon Reporting page.

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

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.


The implementation of LEAF (Laboratory Efficiency Assessment Framework) launched in November 2022. The initiative follows the same principles as the Green Impact programme but focuses on sustainable actions for laboratories. Local guidance has been written and resources developed This will help the university to meet our commitments to environmental sustainability and carbon net zero. The programme originally began at UCL and is now being taken up across the UK.

The programme requires participants to complete a workbook to achieve Bronze, Silver and Gold accreditation sequentially. Each level has several actions for lab users to carry out to save various resources including plastics, water and energy. The aim is ultimately to reduce laboratory carbon emissions and create an environment that supports research quality. Other areas covered include equipment efficiency, procurement, chemical management, and business travel. Laboratories interested in taking part should contact

Sustainability Week

Sustainability Week will run from 4 to 15 March 2024 providing events and practical sessions to encourage our staff and students to adopt sustainable practices in their lives. We will have two key focus days: 7 March at Heath Park West and 12 March at the Main building, where there will be information, fun activities and practical help on hand. A key theme of this year is to raise awareness and ensure we are all segregating our recycling properly.

ECO Network

A series of sustainability-themed hybrid meetings are being held this year 2023-2024 for our ECO network, providing information and updates on strategic actions that can be rolled out at a local level. Themes will include Carbon Net Zero in January; Sustainable Travel in March; Biodiversity in May and Waste and Recycling in July.

Hedgehog friendly campus

As part of the ERBAP (Ecosystem Resilience and Biodiversity Action Plan), we have now joined the Hedgehog Friendly Campus accreditation scheme. This is a national biodiversity programme set up by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society in collaboration with SOS-UK for universities, and more recently for colleges and primary schools.

The programme offers free support to staff and students who wish to take meaningful actions to help transform university campuses into a safe habitat for hedgehogs and other wildlife.

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.