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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
  • 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.

Green Impact

This is the fifth year we have run Green Impact and we have had the largest number of teams involved across our campuses.

Green Impact is an NUS led behavioural change program to help staff and students understand sustainability and social responsibility. It actively creates change through actions with evidence.

Teams are made up of staff and students that complete various criteria in their workplace environment and evidence these in the electronic workbook. The workbook is styled around energy efficiency, waste and recycling, travel, wellbeing, community engagement and biodiversity. The award scheme is structured to give Bronze, Silver and Gold which involves awareness raising, engagement and wider action through ingenuity and creativity.

This year 43 teams have submitted from a wide range of disciplines across campuses for a variety of awards. Four team achieved Gold; 12 Silver and 17 Bronze, we also had 2 Lab Gold; 5 Lab Silver and 8 lab bronze. In addition, 15 students from a variety of courses engaged in the auditing role with some going above and beyond what was expected.

All of the students that took part are set to receive their accredited training from the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA), with some using this as part of their volunteering requirement for the Cardiff Award.

Sustainability Week 5-9 March 2018

The theme for this year's Sustainability Week was 'Reduce, Reuse, Recycle'.

Events included:

  • Plastic, plastic everywhere – marine conservation society
  • Policies and plastic – introducing the plastic bag charge.

We ran sustainability skills workshops including ‘Revive your clothes’ and 'Wasteless kitchen’. We also provided 'Bike to work' breakfasts, Dr Bike sessions and security marking.

Cardiff nextbike

We are proud to be supporting the recently introduced Cardiff nextbike scheme launched in May 2018.

The nextbike on-street bicycle hire scheme currently offers 250 bicycles located at 25 hire stations to all staff and students with free membership and the first 30 minutes of every trip free.

Numbers of bicycles will increase to 500 by the end of August 2018 with 25 additional hire stations introduced; some of which will be located on or in close proximity to many University buildings.

More information on nextbike Cardiff.

Student Switch Off

The Student Switch Off campaign campaign encourages our students to help tackle climate change by saving energy and recycling. It's run in partnership with the National Union of Students and forms part of an international campaign.

In 2017-18, 46% of students living in residences took part. A 10% reduction of 181,466kWh was saved over the winter months, keeping 70 tonnes of carbon out of the environment.

Positive Health Environment and Wellbeing Week

Between 21 June and 7 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.