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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 Committee have developed a plan for building ecosystem resilience and biodiversity across Cardiff University’s campuses.

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).

Further, the ERBAP 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, postgraduate and undergraduate students.

The ERBAP sets out a series of objectives to achieve over the three-year period of 2021 to 2023.

ERBAP objectives

  1. Characterise the biodiversity and state of natural habitats across Cardiff University’s campuses.
  2. Establish the most effective management strategies for maintenance, restoration and enhancement of the University’s green estates. These will be based on the principles of mitigating, restoring and enhancing green spaces for biodiversity.
  3. Implement a monitoring programme to evaluate the impact of management practices on biodiversity and ecosystem services.
  4. Promote, Engage and Mobilise staff, students and community members living around Cardiff University to participate in ERBAP activities and to be champions of ecosystem resilience and biodiversity.

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 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 currently developing an interim Carbon Management Plan 2021-2023 to reflect on our climate emergency declaration.

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

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 on 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 with the aim of achieving Bronze, Silver and Gold accreditation sequentially. Each level has a number of actions for lab users to carry out in order 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 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 that 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.