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Environmental Sustainability

This is AUB. A place to shape and build your work; to learn, share, provoke and collaborate.

Environmental Sustainability

The outcomes

  • We achieved the EcoCampus Platinum award in 2019.
  • Our Sustainability and Net Zero programme sets our commitments 2022-2030 (although new actions and targets will be introduced within the timeframe).
  • We acknowledged and awarded student sustainability/ethical projects.
  • All new staff attend an environmental sustainability induction

Sustainability and net zero programme

Sustainability and net zero programme is owned and monitored by the Environment Committee. It demonstrates our targets and achievements covering these main aspects:

  • Energy and water
  • Sustainable Resource Management.
  • Travel
  • Sustainable Campus
  • Biodiversity
  • Social justice

AUB Human

AUB Human is a space where we celebrate social, ethical and sustainable creative practice. It connects designers, architects, filmmakers and other creative practitioners who share a desire to bring about positive change for global good

Our students and staff use their skills to engage and address some of the most pressing issues that are facing the human race today. Explore AUB Human to find out some of the ways in which our community is working together to make the world a better place.

Sustainable Campus

Aligned with our sustainability and net zero programme, any development projects are designed to are designed to net zero or BREEAM standard ‘very good’ as a minimum requirement. Opportunities are also sought to lessen the environmental and ecological impact of developments. For example, a substantial reptile relocation programme was undertaken as part of our current campus development project as well as the planting of more than 100 new trees and the development of local pedestrian and cycle routes. The current halls of residence development include photovoltaics covering all roofs that contribute to the powering of an efficient electrical heating system.

We’re undergoing a campus master plan exercise that has sustainability at its core – through the repurposing of existing buildings and their materials and the use of sustainable materials for any new builds.

Environmental Management System (EMS)

EcoCampus is a flexible-phased approach to introducing an EMS. We achieved Bronze certification in October 2017, Silver in October 2018, Gold in April 2019 and Platinum in October 2019.

What does an EMS do?

  • Drives continual improvement.
  • Lowers costs associated with utility consumption.
  • Addresses sustainability issues and climate change.
  • Helps to achieve sector targets.

Read our EMS report

Sustainable development goals

We recognise our impact on the environment and society and want to make a difference. We want to contribute to achieving the SDGs locally, nationally and globally.

SDGs were developed and agreed by world leaders in 2015 and are split over 17 goals. These cover everything from ending poverty and hunger to achieving gender equality and inclusivity in education to urgent action in combating climate change.

To find out more about the SDGs read more on the United Nations’ website.

Sustainable resource management

We aim to:

  • send zero waste to landfill.
  • increase recycling rate.
  • decrease the overall waste produced.
  • reuse ensuring that the ‘waste = raw material’ principle is applied where possible.

As a result, we:

  • send zero waste to landfill.
  • convert any waste that can’t be recycled to ‘energy from waste’.
  • have decreased the amount of waste produced and re-use is on the increase e.g. exhibition boards and film sets etc.
  • use plastic milk carton tops to recycle into raw material for 3d printing in our Modelmaking course.

Southern Consortium Affiliation Group

We’re part of the Southern Consortium Affiliation Group. That means we use the same waste contractor, aim to share best practice, find innovative ways to use the waste hierarchy and have more influence over the contract. The group is associated and acknowledged for its innovative ideas in waste management.


We’ve tried to make recycling as easy as possible. There are ‘Dry Mixed’ (DMR) recycling bins and ‘General Waste (GW) bins. The DMR is recycled, and the GW is converted to energy.

Although we’ve significantly increased our recycling rate, more can be achieved and every member of the community is vital to achieving this.

What can be recycled in the DMR?

  • Paper
  • Card
  • Cans
  • Glass
  • Waxed cartons (not coffee cups) and plastics.

Our community use approximately 700 single-use coffee cups every day (term-time). We strongly encourage people to bring a reusable cup/bottle or at a minimum use a coffee cup recycling bin.

Metals enter the waste stream via the skip where they’re separated and sorted at the waste plant.

Specialist waste such as batteries and chemicals are stored separately and dealt with by Campus Services or course Technicians

Energy, carbon and water aims

To view our targets and actions, download our Sustainability and Net Zero programme.

  • Pledged to be Net Zero by 2030.
  • We’ve met and superseded our CO2e emission target ahead of deadline.
  • We’ve recorded reliable and accurate data for water consumption as we’re aiming to establish a new baseline and target.

The new SNZ takes us through to 2030, to our Net Zero pledge. Some of the projects we’re working on include:

  • Installing LED lighting across the campus
  • Upgrading the Building Management System
  • Replacing North Building and the Library gas boilers with air source heat pumps and joining to the new Fine Art studios building.
  • …and many other initiatives

DECs are displayed at the entrance to each building. This gives a general overview of the energy efficiency of each building.

Governance, policies and plans

The university has between 3,500-4,000 students and 350-400 staff members, and we aim to encourage and promote environmental sustainability throughout all our operations.

As part of our commitments in the AUB Strategy 2030, we’ve developed a Sustainability and Net Zero programme that sets out our priorities and targets for environmental sustainability.

We achieved ISO14001:2015 via the EcoCampus framework in 2019. We’re also committed to complying with legislative requirements imposed by the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and other current legislation.

Staff and student involvement in environmental and sustainability issues will be encouraged through appropriate communication of information, training and in the teaching environment.

All staff inductions incorporate environmental sustainability, health and safety and other relevant information. E-Learning Modules for Sustainable Procurement training have been invested in through HEPA.

The Student Union have representatives for all meetings relating to finance, environment and campus services.

The Environment Committee

The Environment Committee monitors and promotes environmental sustainability in all its aspects by identifying, raising awareness of and championing good practice in environmental management and the use of non-renewable resources. It also makes recommendations to the University Management Team.

The Environment Committee constitution comprises the Chair – University Secretary with appropriate professional and academic representatives, the Student Union and Trade Union representatives.

Key Personnel:

  • Jon Renyard, University Secretary – Chair of the Environment Committee
  • Tom Marshall, Head of Estates and Campus Services
  • James Jackson, Environment and Sustainability Manager
  • AUBSU (Students’ Union) – the representative co-chairs a section of the meetings.

The budget for environmental staff/projects has increased each year since 2015. Environmental projects are agreed and financed through the Campus Services Budget, which is the responsibility of Tom Marshall.

If you’d like to find out more, email James or call 01202 363039.


As well as being members of the Environment Committee, they are members of the Human Resources and Remuneration Committee, too.

The AUBSU President is also on the Board of Governors.

Net Zero task force

A Net Zero task force group has been established to take key decisions on Net Zero tasks, practices and targets. The group reports to the Environment Committee


  • Jon Renyard, University Secretary – Chair of task force
  • Tom Marshall, Head of Estates and Campus Services
  • Mary O'Sullivan, Director of Finance
  • James Jackson, Environment and Sustainability Manager
  • Helen Duckworth, Marketing and Communications Manager
  • Gideon Bohannon, Technician Demonstrator, BA (Hons) Modelmaking
  • Craig Norman, Senior Lecture, BA (Hons) Acting

Dorset Sustainable Palm Oil Community project

AUB welcomes and is committed to its participation in the Dorset Sustainable Palm Oil Community project and is signed up as a ‘Champion’ for this scheme. AUB acknowledges this will support livelihoods, mitigate against climate change, and protect wildlife around the world from the harmful impacts of unsustainable agricultural practices.

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