The Environment and Sustainability annual budget is used to implement sustainability projects and to raise awareness amongst both students and staff. This involves managing a variety of different projects, including staff / student engagement schemes such as Green Champions to participating in Green events. Our events are designed to get everyone thinking about energy, sustainability and carbon reduction. We also celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight and are right behind the Fairtrade message, simple shopping choices enabling farmers to obtain better deals, allowing them to make their own decisions and control their own futures, leading a dignified life.
Along with this we also look to engage with other organisations. Take a look at the below link that was published in the Public Sector Sustainability Magazine.
The article is about how Glyndŵr University and Wrexham County Borough Council are encouraging their employees to help reduce their energy consumption. Employee awareness campaigns are being launched across the main offices of both organisations. These campaigns will be based on office energy audits which will identify potential areas for reducing energy usage.
Regular campaigns across the University
The University actively participates in People & Planet’s, Go Green week every February. The purpose of the week is to engage and encourage staff and students at the university to get involved with our green issues. 2017’s Go Green Week was a great success. The events were well attended by staff and students alike and hundreds of timers and shower water reducers were given out to encourage everyone to make a small change in their own daily lives. The week aimed to make sustainability fun and accessible for all. WGU and WGSU ran a range of activities across campuses including Wildflower Planting, Eco Art Workshops, Crafting your Own Apple Tree and Bee Conservation Workshops. There were skill shares and food-based events. Our society’s efforts even got a mention in People & Planet. Each year we invite organisations in to help us promote the event and visitors to our Go Green week include, the local Fairtrade group, Bring and Take, Local allotments and local producers using ingredients from the area.
We have already started planning for Go Green Week 2018. Staff and students are becoming more involved each year as Sustainability becomes increasingly important.
We take the opportunity to promote Fairtrade at some of our open days. The last one being 10th June 2017. We included a delicious Fairtrade flapjack along with a leaflet explaining what Fairtrade is, why it is important and how everyone can make a difference. The open day was busy and went very well. The Fairtrade flapjacks went down an absolute treat which raised Fairtrade’s profile within university amongst staff and visitors as well as students.
Annually, the Carbon Management Team hold a ’Christmas Switch off Campaign’. Take a look at the report below to see what happened at our last big ‘switch off’.
WGU host a Fairtrade fortnight and as next year is the 10th anniversary for Wales being a Fairtrade Nation we hope to team up with other Fairtrade universities in Wales to hold a joint Fairtrade event/competition, details are yet to be confirmed but we will still be running a whole range of events and activities that will include:
- Fairtrade afternoon teas
- Fairtrade bake-off contests
- Speakers and debates
- Fairtrade pub quiz
WGU joined Earth Hour for the first time in 2017 and we hope to make it a bigger event next year. It was observed in March 2017 with students choosing to star gaze with some sparklers and play board games instead of watching TV or using their computers.
People all over the world supported the environmental day by turning off their lights. The world turned dark from 8.30 pm to 9.30 pm to conserve electricity as well as to unite in the battle for the environment. This year's World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) marked a decade of Earth Hour celebrations which tries to highlight the importance of climate change and how to battle it.
Images from all over the world have flooded the internet and the impact made by Earth Hour 2017 is phenomenal.
One of the most important environmental events, Earth Hour, was first started on March 31, 2007, in Australia. The first Earth Hour was marked as 2.2 million homes, businesses and individuals contributed to the blackout and inspired people all over the world to contribute. The event has since turned into an annual international event.
WGU currently have BHF Recycling drop off points around our campuses. The aim is to encourage staff, students and visitors not to throw away their unwanted items in a bid to saving the environment and with BHS, saving someone’s life.
Dropping your clothes in a BHF collection bin means that they will be given a new life. Recycling your old items will not only prevent those greenhouse gases from being emitted, but also lessens the need for newly manufactured clothes, effectively cutting down on the environmental damage incurred in the textile manufacturing process.
In 2018 WGU will be starting a food collection for unwanted tinned and packet food. It will be donated to our local food bank as residents are departing. We will encouraged residents to get involved to drop off their donated food at our accommodation offices before they checked out of WGU accommodation.
The Flintshire foodbank relies on goodwill and support. They always welcome donations and use them to provide help to people in crisis. Over 90% of the food distributed by foodbank is donated by the public – that’s why your food donations are absolutely vital to our ability to give everyone referred to us a balanced and nutritious three day supply of food.