The University of South Wales is a major institution and has
an important role to play in environmental stewardship and
sustainability. As an institution, we are committed to sustainability.
This is embedded within our Core Values; Professional, Responsive, Creative,
Inspiring and Collaborative. It also ensures we meet the requirements of
the Welsh Government’s Well-being of Future Generations Act.
USW aims to be carbon neutral by 2040.
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.
This Carbon Footprint report forms a key step in University of South Wales’ (USW) climate emergency response and sets out a number of strategic actions that USW should work towards in order to achieve their carbon reduction ambitions.
The University of South Wales has several published policies and strategies in place:
Biodiversity Action Plan Aims
Energy Management Policy
Space Temperature Policy
Halls of Residence Temperature Policy
USW Environmental Policy
USW 2020-2030 Carbon Strategy
USW Carbon Roadmap
Financial Resource for Sustainability
The University recognises that it has an important part to play in reducing its carbon emissions as an environmentally responsible institution. Each year, a budget is provided to the Sustainability Team to implement a variety of environmental initiatives which are supported within our Sustainability Strategy. Examples of how this budget has been used to date include LED lighting upgrades, solar PV installations, electric vehicle charging point installations, upgrades to window seals, thermal insulation of pipework, installation of utility sub meters, upgrade of waste bins and waste signage, awareness and engagement materials, and improved bike shelters to name a few. Current and future budget will be utilised to implement environmental improvements which support our journey to decarbonisation.
Sustainability is embedded throughout the University. Staff inductions include key sustainability messages and direct staff to relevant resources and information on how they can help us achieve our goals, targets and ambitions.
Plans and Publications
The University recognises the importance of reducing its environmental impact and carbon footprint. Therefore, we have developed a number of key documents to demonstrate our commitment to this and ensure we remain on target to achieve our objectives:
We are members of the Higher Education Purchasing Consortium, Wales (HEPCW) and use several other government schemes and frameworks.
The Higher Education Purchasing Consortium, Wales (HEPCW) is a purchasing consortium supported and funded by Welsh Higher Education institutions (HEIs) that promotes procurement best practice and training via the HE and wider public network.
Funded by members, for members, it embraces an inclusive working methodology, and strives to deliver policies which support the delivery of members’ strategic objectives in an increasingly competitive and challenging environment.
We currently benefit from access to over 100 collaborative agreements across a range of commodities including, but not limited to: IT hardware and software, buildings and estates, books and publications, catering, fixed and mobile telecommunications, laboratory equipment, office products, office and residential furniture, professional services and business travel.
Despite all of the challenges of 2020, huge strides have been
made on the journey to decarbonisation.
August 2021 - July 2022
August 2020 - July 2021
August 2019 - July 2020
As a public body, we work to the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act goals, as shown in the diagram below.
USW stocks Fairtrade hot chocolate at its catering outlets, as well as Rainforest Alliance Certified PG Tips Teabags. The majority of coffee sold is also Fairtrade. We also stock several Fairtrade chocolates and snacks.
The Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC) is an alliance for Sustainability Leadership in Education, and USW is a member of it along with over 200 other UK institutions.
Members of the sustainability team regularly attend meetings through the EAUC in which staff from universities and colleges across Wales can share ideas and implement best practice across the sector.
EAUC membership at an institution level also allows all staff and students to join! This gives you access to a wealth of sustainability materials, such as webinars and publications as well as networking opportunities.
For more information visit the EAUC homepage.