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Annual Conference

Annual Conference

The 20th Annual Conference will be taking place on 25-26 May 2016 at the University of the West of England.

The theme for this year's Annual Conference is Learning and Legacy: The Role of Education in Creating Healthier, Happier Cities. Hosting the event in Bristol provides an opportunity to explore the legacy of the city’s European Green Capital Award and the Conference will consider the important role universities and colleges can play in influencing the way our cities and communities are designed.

Carbon Credentials

About our Headline Sponsor

Carbon Credentials is one of the UK’s leading independent energy performance and carbon compliance consultancies. They:

• optimise energy performance in buildings
• reduce carbon compliance and reporting risks

Through their insightful data-driven approach, they help their clients to achieve compliance with their corporate carbon reduction commitments, and move beyond this to measurable and sustainable performance improvement. Their people approach every challenge with Integrity, Curiosity and Excellence – their ‘ICE’ values.

They continue to be actively engaged in the higher education sector and are proud to support the EAUC Annual Conference as its Headline Sponsor for a third year in a row.

About our host venue

The University is proud to be hosting the 2016 EAUC Conference, and look forward to welcoming colleagues across the sector to the Frenchay Campus to celebrate sustainability and to inspire collaboration.

The University of the West of England (UWE) is a modern, growing university in the thriving harbourside city of Bristol.  UWE is one of Britain's most popular universities with over 27,000 students and 3,000 staff. Students come to UWE from all parts of the UK, as well as a significant and growing number of international students from over 140 countries worldwide. UWE is a multi-site university. It has three campuses in and around Bristol encompassing fourteen departments covering a wide range of disciplines and expertise. In addition, we also have an associate faculty, Hartpury College and a regional education centre, both in Gloucester. 

UWE is continually developing and has committed to investing £250m on projects as part of the UWE New Campus Masterplan. Projects include a new Faculty of Business and Law building, Student' Union building and student accommodation on Frenchay Campus. The University offers more than 600 courses at undergraduate, postgraduate, professional and short course levels, and prides itself on consistently high assessment scores for teaching quality. UWE's focus on partnerships and links with major employers provide opportunities for our students to get real world experience and develop the skills they need to succeed in their chosen career. UWE has an active research community which makes a significant contribution to advances in industry, commerce, health and technology, both nationally and internationally. Through the breadth and quality of its teaching and research, and by providing expertise for businesses, UWE makes a major contribution to the social and economic development of Bristol and the region.

The University’s approach to sustainability is set out in the Sustainability Plan which has the bold aim of ensuring that the University delivers a student and staff experience within an environment and culture incorporating the principles of sustainable development. All UWE Bristol student and staff members will have the opportunity to live, study and work in a sustainable environment as well as develop and use the skills and understanding required to contribute to global sustainability throughout their careers. The University’s approach to sustainability is governed by the high level Sustainability Board which is chaired by the AVC Environment and Sustainability with reporting lines to the Board of Governors and Academic Board.

UWE Bristol is committed to ensuring that all its students, irrespective of their programme of study, are introduced to the ideas of sustainable development during their degree programme. In the most recent year of analysis 96% of our students were able to consider issues of sustainability within their degree programme. We seek to prepare our future graduates for the sustainable development challenges of the 21st century integrating sustainability into curricula, research, campus operations and our interactions with our local communities.  

The University has been certified to the Environmental Management Standard BS:EN ISO14001:2004; designated an Outstanding Earth Champion by the Earth Champions Foundation; is a signatory of the Talloires declaration; has made a commitment as part of the UN Rio +20 process to ensure its students are able to engage with the ideas and meaning of living and working sustainability; is a member of the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges; a member of the UK and Ireland Chapter of PRME (Principles of Responsible Management in Business), the United Nations-supported framework for Higher Education Institutions and regularly offers the opportunity to staff and students to take part in the UNESCO supported Sustainability Literacy Test.

The City of Bristol has been designated European Green Capital 2015 by the European Commission. The University played a central role in providing the evidence of the sustainability credentials of the city and provided financial and intellectual resources to support the bidding process and is now a Strategic Partner of the Bristol 2015 Company. The University is working with the University of Bristol in a joint project funded by Hefce’s Catalyst Fund entitled Green Capital: Student Capital to deliver 100,000 hours of student sustainability engagement in the city - click here for more details.

The University is committed to ensuring that current and future students are able to build on the achievement of the Green Capital award. As part of our contribution to the Green capital Year we are developing the “Our Green City: Global Challenges, Bristol Solutions” MOOC. You can sign up for this free, online course.

"UWE aims to lead, innovate and create the powerful partnerships needed to address the complex issues we face in the world. We are committed to understanding and transforming our environment, health and wellbeing – and our students and staff play a vital part in that."
Professor Steve West, Vice-Chancellor

‘At UWE Bristol, …we will support our staff and students to work and live in a sustainable way’
UWE Strategy 2020

Highlights of UWE’s Sustainability Practice

The management and development of green spaces at the university incorporate many aspects to help maintain and improve our campus biodiversity. We are increasing our wildflower and pollen rich flower populations annually, in order to attract more invertebrates to our site which will in turn increase our biodiversity in other areas of fauna. We have also introduced many artificial habitats for them to shelter in and now have our very own colony of bees based on the Frenchay campus. We are also attempting to engage with staff and students to do the same at home.  We now have a pollinator demonstration bed on campus, showing examples of “perfect for pollinator species”. These are plants that people can source locally and incorporate into their own garden spaces to provide a nectar source throughout the year. Find out more

Campus Development 
The University’s Estate Department recognised early on in the delivery of the Masterplan that in order to deliver sustainable construction we needed to put in place a framework to formalise and benchmark our requirement. To this end we have created a suite of documents that are issued to Consultants and Designers to ensure that our quality, sustainability and environmental threshold are met. The two principal documents are our Design Guide which provide a holistic overview to ensure sustainability is considered from the inception of the design and Standard Specifications which define the palate of materials used. In selecting the materials a range of criteria were used including; maintenance, durability, technical and economic life, in-bedded carbon, energy consumption and aesthetics. Find out more

Education for Sustainable Development 
UWE has adopted an institution-wide approach to increasing levels of knowledge of, and engagement with, global, local and discipline-relevant sustainability issues and challenges. This approach has seen action taken to enhance delivery of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) across our formal, informal and extra curriculum, with a critical focus on staff development. We utilise our sustainable campus infrastructure as a resource for learning, teaching and research and our operational processes to affect culture change within our teaching, learning and research practices.

Our Quality Management and Enhancement Framework incorporates detailed consideration of ESD and the teaching and learning approach of the University identifies ESD as a pedagogic driver. Through collaborative efforts, led by our Knowledge Exchange for Sustainability Education (KESE) and the UWE Students' Union, we are striving to achieve the ambition of our Sustainability Plan 2013 – 2020 to expose all students to education for sustainable development by 2020.

Food and Fair Trade   
In our catering outlets we provide 100% organic milk and 100% welfare protected meat - Red Tractor or organic - all sourced within 40 miles. 

UWE is a Fairtrade University. The SU shop supplies over 120 products and only Fairtrade drinks are sold at the coffee machine and award winning coffee cart. The 2015  Student Union AGM passed resolution to stock more fair trade  and ethical goods, to push us further to do better. Find out more

Green IT
The university IT Services (ITS) have introduced virtual servers wherever possible to support our IT needs.  ITS is currently using over 500 virtual servers and have minimised the use of physical servers where ever possible. Our aim is to keep maintaining this level of virtualisation and working with the University to reduce the number of similar systems in operation thus reducing the need for so many virtual servers and further reducing the energy demand associated with server use.

UWE is proud to have been certificated to the international standard BS: EN ISO14001:2004 in July 2014, one of a relatively small number of UK universities to achieve this whole institution designation. Following an external surveillance review audit in July 2015 UWE certification to the international standard ISO14001 was reconfirmed demonstrating that environmental management and improvement is truly embedded within the operation of the University. Find out more

In partnership with the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS), UWE developed the CIPS Sustainability Index, a cross-sector sustainability measurement and development tool for buyers and suppliers. After its launch in 2013, the Index is now being rolled out internationally with a growing number of suppliers registering, being assessed and having their sustainability performance published on the index. UWE’s role in developing this was recognised by the Green Gown Awards by receiving a “Highly Commended” in the Research and Development category of the 2014 Green Gown Awards. Further details.

After investing millions into the University bus network UWE is focusing attention on enhancing cycling and walking modes of accessing the university sites. Bold & attractive flagship cycle hubs have been built to emphasise the centrality of cycling and public pumps, tool stations and water fountains have been installed across the Frenchay campus. In September 2015 a student cycle lease scheme will be launched along with an electric pool bike trial. A research-led approach has informed a travel marketing campaign and helped us address barriers such as launching a fleet of electric/hybrid pool cars for business travel to allow people to leave their own cars at home. Find out more

UWESU Green Leaders
Green Leaders are a group of dedicated students committed to inspiring and creating positive social and environmental change. Find out more

Waste/Resource Management
Recycling is now embedded across UWE and our focus is on reuse and waste prevention. A key initiative is the reallocation of surplus furniture, much of which previously went for disposal. A managed furniture warehouse in combination with an online reuse portal (www.warp-it.co.uk) has enabled UWE to reuse over 50 tonnes of surplus items leading to a total saving of more than £200,000 in avoided procurement and waste disposal costs.  UWE also donates items that cannot be reallocated within the university to third sector organisations in the region, and has also started selling items to staff for home use. Find out more

Read about more about UWE Sustainability activities

Read UWE's Sustainability Plan 2013 -2020