Sustainability is one of the most important and urgent issues facing society today. The University of South Wales is committed to reducing it’s environmental impact through reducing energy consumption and investing in energy efficient products, reducing waste creation and avoiding waste to landfill, promoting and supporting low carbon travel alternatives and undertaking good carbon management practices.
We encourage all staff and students to adopt sustainable ways of working and living, and are constantly working to embed sustainability into all aspects of University life.
USW is home to an amazing array of cutting edge environmental research. We’re helping to create a safer, more sustainable world with our ground breaking multi-disciplinary research in hydrogen, ecology, anaerobic digestion and advanced power systems.
Our courses cover sustainable themes from all angles, including but not limited to geography, conservation, environmental management, civil engineering and renewable energy.
Turn USW Green is a web app that rewards you 'Green Points' for positive environmental actions which help you live a more sustainable life and help USW achieve its 2040 carbon neutral target.
At USW we care about protecting our environment, and have made a strong commitment to be carbon neutral by 2040. However, we need the help of everyone at USW to achieve this target. That’s why we’re launching a brand-new way for you to contribute to our sustainability efforts and get rewarded for all the good actions you’re taking
For each action you take you’ll earn ‘Green Points’ and compete on leader boards with your colleagues, fellow students and as whole departments.
Each month we’ll reward our top points earning individuals with 4 x £20 vouchers from a range of options, including cinema vouchers, Marks & Spencer and National Book Tokens. For our top performing teams each month there will be a £200 charity donation awarded each term.
Watch the Turn USW Green video to find out more.
Search 'Turn USW Green' in your device's app store or select the following links:
We’ve recently created a carbon footprint for the 2020-2021 financial year. As everyone knows, sustainability and carbon reduction is a key theme at the moment. You can’t solve a problem you don’t fully understand. Carbon footprinting is critical to both understanding where we are in our journey to decarbonisation, as well as monitoring our progress.
This new carbon footprint covers April 2020 to March 2021. This period was unprecedented, with a huge amount of campus being closed. The lockdown is clearly visible in our footprint, with the reductions in emissions a result of both deliberate reduction measures, and the mandatory low levels of occupancy across our sites. 2020 to 2021 is a year no one is likely to forget, an anomaly, which we sincerely hope will remain the exception and not the norm.
We expect our footprint to increase next year, as things hopefully continue to move towards the new normal. Measurement remains vital though, and we will continue to record and report our carbon footprint.
Even with the uncertainty of the last eighteen months, huge strides have been made. The graphic below shows our headlines for the year.
Real Wrap are the world’s first Carbon negative food-to-go. USW first started using them in 2019, as an award-winning sandwich supplier. With headquarters within a 50-mile radius and an ever increasing emphasis on shopping local, they were an obvious choice.
Unfortunately, the catering offer remains impacted by the pandemic, but under usual circumstances all of our sandwiches, baguettes, panninis, toasties, salad boxes, wraps, fruit pots and sushi come from Real Wrap.
But what is it that makes Real Wrap so special? Their range of sustainable initiatives is vast. Packaging has been made sustainable by moving to plastic free materials or materials made from 100% recycled plastics. Food miles were reduced, and suppliers worked with to green their supply chain.
Real Wrap wanted to go deeper though. With time of the essence in the climate emergency, they believed radical changes in mindset were necessary.
The first step in any process of decarbonisation is measuring your carbon footprint. Real Wrap did just this, and then dove into the different facets of their footprint. Changing energy supplier to 100% green energy reduced their emission by 13% instantly; something everyone can do themselves. All delivery vans run with the most carbon efficient available engines available, with an electric alternative on the way. A team of professionals was then brought in to work through every detail of their supply chain and lift the lid on every bit of Carbon.
Real Wrap believe in more than just need to balance their effects though, they want to reverse them. That is why Real Wrap work are part of an offsetting scheme, investing in renewable energy sources, planting trees and providing clean water to communities in Africa. Being green helps more than the planet, it helps communities and aligns with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
So next time you grab a quick bite to eat, by choosing Real Wrap, you can contribute to actively taking carbon out of the atmosphere. Not bad for a lunch break!
We’re introducing a new sustainability email address, as a focal point for all communication relating to sustainability.
All queries can now be sent to this address.
The Sustainability Team
The Executive Team approved the proposal by the University’s Estates and Facilities team as decarbonisation is recognised as an essential requirement to operate and maintain a sustainable university environment - part of our USW 2030 strategy.
The UK government passed laws in 2019 to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. The UK’s 2050 net zero target — one of the most ambitious in the world — was recommended by the Committee on Climate Change, the UK’s independent climate advisory body. The Welsh Government also set out its legal commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 last month.
Net zero means every effort is made to reduce operational emissions and only unavoidable emissions are offset.