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People and Planet League Table

“What’s your secret?”  That’s the question people ask us looking at our rapid rise up the Green League. The answer is simple – we care about sustainability; although delivering it has meant a fundamental review of what we do and how we do it across the university – its culture, campuses, curricula and communities. We believe that universities should actively ensure their graduates become the responsible citizens and creative problem solvers that the uncertain world we live in demands, so we reflected this in our strategic plan. We wanted to learn from others, so we joined the HEA Green Academy for inspiration and created our own virtual institute INSPIRE – Institute for Sustainable Practice, Innovation and Resource Effectiveness in 2012 to lead our systemic approach. We identified staff capabilities and interests through a staff skills audit and have redefined our academic offer with every module going through the INSPIRE gateway. We carried out a curriculum audit this summer and found that all our faculties and schools are delivering sustainability throughout their curriculum – and have an appetite for more.

We are still at an early stage of the journey, but have now developed systems in all areas of the university’s activity, so we know where we’re going and we have a pretty good idea how long it will take us to get there. With the active support of the Vice-Chancellor, the governors, senior managers, students and the inspirational Sustainability Committee members, we are demonstrating that embedding sustainability within the university is everybody’s business and to everybody’s benefit.

Dr Jane Davidson, Director of INSPIRE

To start embedding the sustainability agenda across the university, we carried out our first staff sustainability skills survey (academic and support staff) across the University of Wales Trinity Saint David in 2012.  The survey helped develop an evidence base of existing expertise, experience and interest in sustainability across the multi-campus institution. The work identified opportunities for new curricula and research and engaged staff on what it means to have sustainability as a core value and strategic priority. This project helped engender greater enthusiasm and support for the agenda and was essential in enabling the university to prioritise sustainability in its strategic planning.

We conducted our second sustainability skills survey in June 2017 and results will be presented at the first Sustainability Committee of 2017/18. 

Dr Jane Davidson, Director of INSPIRE

A critical part of taking the sustainability agenda forward at UWTSD has been to demonstrate the links with employability. The University has created 3 paid INSPIRE student internships on each campus to develop specific initiatives: Fairtrade, NUS Green Impact and Waste & Energy. The interns must develop a programme of action in their chosen area; report monthly on their activity to the INSPIRE Directorate and work as a team encouraging the students more broadly to engage. This has led to the creation of university allotments, wildflower meadows and new bike shelters. In response to the interns, this year, for the first time, the Students’ Union has appointed Environmental Officers and all campuses are working towards NUS Green Impact awards.

You can find out more about the INSPIRE Internships here. 

Dr Jane Davidson, Director of INSPIRE

Smart phones are for voting – or they are at UWTSD.  Using ‘VocalEyes’, an exciting digital platform to turn ideas into action, piloted at UWTSD and now being used in other universities and colleges across the UK, students and staff have been putting up ideas to promote sustainability in the university, debating them, ranking them, voting on them and receiving responses from management. 

Join in the conversation on the INSPIRE Live Greener Ideas Exchange 

Dr Jane Davidson, Director of INSPIRE

UWTSD has completed a Sustainability Curriculum Audit across all mandatory courses to analyseSustainability content.

The University committed in 2012 to the equivalent of 15% of the total taught student experience being delivered through a sustainability lens.  In order to monitor and evaluate progress towards this target, a review of all degree programmes was undertaken in 2014 to ascertain how sustainability was integrated into the learning and teaching experience. All courses have to demonstrate sustainability content through the validation process.

The results from the curriculum mapping process indicated that each faculty was surpassing UWTSD’s target of 15% of the total taught student experience being delivered through a sustainability lens.  The following table highlights this by demonstrating the average percentage of programme credits taught through a sustainability lens for each faculty at UWTSD.

Art and Design:  58%
Business courses: 77%
Automotive Design and Engineering courses: 67%              
Humanities: 29%      
Performance courses: 39%
Social Sciences: 51%          
Teacher education: 93%

Further curriculum reviews will be carried out on a biannual basis to monitor delivery.

Dr Jane Davidson, Director of INSPIRE

UWTSD delivers its staff Development programme throughout the Academic year and through the Summer as do most other Universities. However, UWTSD takes the initiative a little further than the usual programme date structures and provides for all staff an annual 6 day Strategic & Operational Planning Programme which runs from the end of August through to the first Friday in September (a 6 day programme). All staff are mandated to attend as appropriate starting with corporate Induction on the first Friday for staff new to the university. This includes a Sustainability presentation with opportunity for staff to follow up with an informal discussion or 1-2-1 queries.

The first Monday is given over to the main university briefing event for all campus staff, starting with the Vice-Chancellor address, followed by Pro-Vice Chancellor presentations and other top priority presentations such as Sustainability. This programme is then repeated at another campus the following day and this day is also filmed and broadcast live for all staff to access, and a recording is made available for a specified time after. This enables the key priority Sustainability message to be received by all Faculties and all Professional support units and also by Student Union Representatives who also present on this programme.

The Wednesday is mandatory for all Academic & Related staff, and is given over to Academic Regulations and other Learning & Teaching requirements, including a mandatory presentation on Sustainability in the context of Curriculum content and audit.

All Faculties and Professional Support units are then required to plan (Strategic & Operational) on the Thursday & Friday and to return the plans including their Sustainability components as part of the ongoing Strategic and planning review process.

Mark Thomas, Staff Development Officer, Human Resources

Sustainability has been an integral part of the student experience at UWTSD but this is also true for the marketing and student recruitment team.

The team have developed environmentally sustainable marketing practices and are working to make sustainable choices where possible in everyday life at UWTSD.

The sustainability agenda is a key focus when highlighting the core values of the University in its marketing material, with students informed of the University’s commitment to the sustainable agenda both online and in printed marketing material.

On an operational level the department has reduced its reliability on printed material and has a member of staff dedicated to the online and digital marketing sector to reduce the department’s footprint on a global scale. The digitalisation of output has seen a reduction in print and encouraged staff to consider sustainable issues during the procurement process. The University’s prospectuses are printed on responsibly sourced paper, working closely with the Technology Enhanced Learning Centre and the Environment Manager. 

Caroline Benyon, Director of Marketing and Communications

In October and November of this year UWTSD conducted its first university-wide travel survey of students and staff since it merged three universities into one, and has since carried out an annual survey to gain feedback on how our staff and students travel to our campuses.

The results of this survey are used to inform planning, our carbon management and clearly demonstrates our commitment to continual improvement of environmental performance. Currently we operate a small fleet of eco-cars and are actively formulating plans to ensure we take advantage of technological advances in electric and hybrid vehicles. We operate a corporate bus scheme for staff, and students are eligible for various discounts. 

You can see the results of our annual travel surveys and our Green Travel Plan here.  

Fiona Wheatley, Sustainability Development Officer

The University has carried out a Carbon Management review and a Carbon Management Plan has been prepared by external consultants.

The plan highlights many areas for a targeted approach to carbon reduction.

The University has already commenced works on the following measures:

  • 'Smart' metering of gas, electricity and water on a building by building basis to all campuses. This will enable proactive management of energy and water use and also enable analysis of carbon reduction measures post completion against target savings.
  • Plant room pipework insulation works are on-going 90% complete.
  • Repairs and improvements to heating / hot water plant controls and infrastructure improvements are on-going (70% complete).
  • Lighting survey to establish prioritised programme for areas to be target for automation of switching and a prioritised programme for light fitting replacement on are both on-going (10% complete).
  • An overarching programme / action plan are being developed for the delivery of all recommendations made in the carbon management plan - on-going (15% complete).

In delivering its aspirations of significant carbon reduction, financial savings will be achieved and these are being re-invested in 'spend to save initiatives' which will deliver further reductions in carbon usage.

Hywel Griffiths, Director of Operations

The Information Technology & Systems team have implemented and further developed Microsoft Lync over the past 6 months as a unified communications tool.  Lync provides staff with the ability to have desk to desk conversations via high quality video with instant messaging functionality and the ability share documents and screens with participants. The increased use of Lync within UWTSD has meant that inter-campus travel has been greatly reduced.

 Key benefits of using Lync include:

  • Drastically reduced staff costs, in terms of staff time, travel expenses and environmental costs. There is also a reduction in risk to health and safety by keeping staff off the road
  • Significant impact on reducing the institution’s carbon footprint
  • Full IT&S service desk support
  • Productivity can be improved with real time collaboration by sharing any running application such as Microsoft Office
  • Cross campus communication is enhanced with audio/video desktop conferencing. Easily drag and drop files and images into your Lync conversations
  • Rich presence and its integration into Outlook allows employees or students to find who is available when and what their current status is, including out of office and busy/free information. This then leads to more effective communications
  • Communication with external companies via audio/video one-to-one or conference calls for free.

James Cale, Acting Executive Head of Information Technology and Systems