University of Chester

At the University of Chester, our vision is of a just and sustainable world for present and future generations. Our goal is to embed sustainability throughout our campuses, community, cultures and curriculum. By actively engaging with students, staff and the wider local community, through the Green Chester campaign – Our Future in Our Hands - and by means of the Carbon Management Plan and our Environmental Management System (EcoCampus).

10 Reasons the University is up the Green League

The University gained 20 places in the 2014 People & Planet Green League, giving it a high 2:1 award. We know we are at the very beginning of our journey to achieving our vision and objectives, but here are 10 reasons to celebrate where we are:

  1. Clear and relevant Sustainability Policy;

  2. Green Gown Award Finalists for Student Engagement;

  3. EcoCampus Environmental Management System – Gold certification  – working towards Platinum;

  4. Whole institution approach captured in strategy; Sustainability Vision 2020;

  5. One of just 13 institutions to be chosen to pilot Responsible Futures;

  6. Renewable Energy Tariffs for all Chester, Riverside, and Warrington electricity supplies;

  7. Solutions-driven student projects delivered by Geography’s Sustainable Futures module;

  8. Ethical investment policy and commitment being delivered by Finance;

  9. Comprehensive Sustainability Network open to all;

  10. Sustainability Executive driving senior level change and commitment.

Choosing Responsible Futures at the University of Chester

The University of Chester and Chester Students’ Union (CSU) have been selected by the National Union of Students (NUS) to be one of 13 Higher Education Institutions to take part in the Responsible Futures pilot programme this year.

The University and CSU have adopted the definition of ESD used by the Quality Assurance Agency and the Higher Education Academy, which defines it as “the process of equipping students with the knowledge and understanding, skills and attributes needed to work and live in a way that safeguards environmental, social and economic wellbeing, both in the present and for future generations”.

At the University of Chester, ESD is related to the:

  • Curriculum - developing skills in responsible management, ethical consideration, and sustainable development

  • Campus - carbon management, key sustainability impacts, and sustainable food

  • Community - workers’ rights, ethical investments, and partnerships

  • Cultures - auditing of systems, human resource management for sustainability, empowering staff, and student engagement.

The University and CSU are working together to begin the journey of integrating sustainability into the curriculum. A Sustainable Innovation Lab for Responsible Futures has developed an Action Plan to drive the ESD agenda. One of the first priorities is to understand where we are starting from. Therefore, we are looking at a sample of programmes for indicators of what may be included in the documented curriculum, and to stimulate discussion around sustainability and its integration into the curriculum.

Renewable Energy

The University has signed an agreement with Scottish Southern Electric (SSE) to ensure its annual electricity volume of 9.21 GWh is sourced from renewable generators. The agreement means that effective of 1 November 2014, the University is guaranteed to receive its electricity from renewable sources such as onshore wind, hydro or pumped storage units.
SSE is the UK’s leading generator of electricity from renewable sources and the largest generator of electricity from wind across the UK and Ireland.

Community Engagement

The Green Chester campaign includes 11 projects that engage students and staff on different levels; including Green T Volunteers, Green Impact, Fair Trade, How YOU Travel, The Big Green Make Over, DoChester, Don’t Trash Our Future, EcoCampus, Responsible Futures, WarpIt and People & Planet.

This year is #OurVintageYear – themed to encourage repair and re-use. We aim to help reduce the University’s reliance on our natural resources by inviting staff and students to the Green Chester’s Fix It Fair, which was held in March 2015.

The Fix it Fair was developed and delivered with colleagues in Geography and International Development and Learning and Information Services (LIS). LIS were one of the departments to have a stall at the fair, where they were recycling old computer parts and running demonstrations of how a 3D printer could be used for household improvements. Fixperts run by student and staff volunteers were on hand to demonstrate various ways to fix or repurpose a range of items; including bikes, cars, textiles, jewellery. In addition there were many external guests, such as Timpsons, British Heart Foundation, Love Food Hate Waste and Reviive. Staff were encouraged to sign up to use WARPit.

The DoNation - DoChester

For the Sustainability Unit’s Green Chester campaign we wanted to apply an innovative product to our sector, in particular to engage students and staff using technology to translate the concept of carbon reduction into actions that can save them money and can be applied to their studies.

The University of Chester became the founding member of the DoNation’s Do Good for Uni program; aiming to get students and staff pledging simple sustainable behaviours. 29 Faculty Teams compete on our DoChester league, and have so far made a total of 1302 pledges saving 17, 944kg CO2.

Our aim was to encourage staff and students to make small behaviour changes in their day-to-day lives to embed sustainability within the culture of the University. The range of ‘Actions’ that staff can ‘Pledge’ to undertake include home energy reduction or sustainable sourcing, car sharing or reduction, food reduction or sustainable sourcing, exercising, recycling and upcycling.

Main Contact Name: Alice Elliott, Head of Sustainability
Main Contact Email & Telephone: 01244 512202
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