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Sustainability Projects

Sustainability Projects

The University is keen to promote sustainability and hold a register of projects, devised in conjunction with the Carbon Management Plan to engage staff and students as well as ensure energy conversation practices and measures will be implemented to reduce our Carbon Footprint and conserve environmental resources.

The university’s energy team is active around the campus, carrying out sustainability projects and monitoring our use of energy in all areas.

Sustainability is not always about the obvious things; it is often a case of thinking about things differently.

Below is a list of ongoing projects as well as those which have been completed and which are already making a difference.


Current Projects

Green Champions Walk 2018

Green Champions Walking Project

Green Champions are on a mission to sit less, walk more and feel better. They aim to encourage staff and students to get involved by making the walks interesting.

Led by Green Champion volunteers themed walks will take place every month 12.30 - 13.00. 

Themes include: Coin flip junction - Two directions at every junction are chosen and then a coin flip decides, Step counter - How many steps can we walk in 30 minutes and Bring a brew - Take your cuppa of choice.  

Find more events here

Good House Keeping

Currently continuously monitoring timetables, optimisation settings and heating set points.

Upgrade Metering, Monitoring and Targeting System

Existing metering system investigation and improvement.


Student Green Champions

Student involvement. At the latest Freshers event, a total of 59 students were recruited. The Student's Union is now involved with planning on how to take the initiative forward. Refresher plan also to be drafted for existing staff Green Champions.


Working with Wrexham Council & possibly Wrexham Maelor Hospital

Wrexham County Borough Council met up with the Energy Team in December to discuss Employee Awareness to Reduce Energy Consumption. Plans in place to meet also with Wrexham Maelor Hospital in 2014, the biggest three  Wrexham employers coming together to reduce carbon emissions, energy consumption and energy costs. 


Completed Projects

Science Garden 2018

Science Garden at Techniquest Glyndwr

WGU Students have been involved in the design and construction of the new Techniquest Science Garden over the past few months and we are pleased to announce that it is now complete. Architectural Design Technology students were briefed to design a shelter suitable for use as an outdoor classroom in the garden. Our Renewable Energy students worked on installing solar photovoltaic solar panels to gather electrical energy from the sun and a solar thermal panel to gather heat energy from the sun to heat water for use in a basin to be installed in the garden area. Wildlife and Plant Biology students helped in the selection of aquatic plants for the pond and students from a range of other courses helped in preparing the raised beds and bug hotels.

The objective of the Science Garden is to establish an outdoor educational space that will complement the indoor space of Techniquest Glyndŵr that houses over 75 hands-on interactive science exhibits.

The Science Garden offers a mixture of planted areas and features such as wheelchair friendly surfacing, raised beds and pond area, a composting area and a number of working exhibits of equipment that illustrate the primary scientific themes of Biodiversity, Renewable Energy and Recycling. 

Read about the construction here
Staff Project

Encouraging Wildlife to Campus

WGU’s Sustainability Action Working Group funded a staff lead project to encourage more wildlife and brighten up the decking area in the quad. The project was headed by Senior Health & Safety Officer, Claire Doran and Environmental & Sustainability Co-Ordinator, Fiona Begg. They applied for the funding through SAWG and received £200 which was spent on a range of plants, pots and compost. They roped in the help of WGU’s Green Champions for a morning of planting. Claire commented saying “We hope to inspire other members of staff to start sustainability related projects that both students and staff can benefit from.”

If you would like to apply for funding from SAWG for a sustainability related project, please email – energy&

Read more about SAWG
Attracting Owls to Campus

Attracting Owls to Campus

The Owl Trust, based in Llandudno visited our students to talk about owl conservation and rehabilitation. Joining Jenni Morgan was a barn owl, a little owl and a long-eared owl, all being cared for at the centre as a result of injury. Jenni described how the birds are brought to them after being found at the sides of roads, caught in barbed wire or as unwanted pets and provided with medical care, time and space to recover. Students from the Animal Studies course have recently redesigned the enclosures at the Trust’s headquarters to increase enrichment and allow birds to fly. Jenni explained that most are successfully released back into the wild.

After the visit Students teamed up with WGU Northop’s site manager Dennis Powell who organised for an owl box (handmade and gifted to WGU by Dennis Powell Senior) to be installed at WGU’s Northop Campus on the boarder of our prey-rich grassland, an area that supports a whole range of biodiversity.


Find out what WGU are doing on biodiversity
Lighting up at Plas Coch – December 2017

Lighting up at Plas Coch – December 2017

With the dark nights now upon us, what better time to upgrade our outside lights at Plas Coch?

You have probably noticed an increase in the external light levels when walking around the site late afternoon /early evening. Several areas have been tackled so far in Stage One of the Lighting Project owned by the Carbon Management Team.

New lamps have been installed in the Student Guild area, the main walk way between Engineering and ‘D’ Block buildings and the Quadrangle/ United Kitchen areas. Other areas include the Health Centre and ‘A’ block building, facing the Stadium.  So far just under 60 lamp fittings, a mixture of SOX and SON, high and low pressure sodium discharge lamps, have been replaced with more energy efficient LED lamps.

The new LED lighting fittings have a light spectrum which is a vast improvement in comparison to the previous discharge lamps. They also have a life span of about 50,000 hours, with a very slow decay.

In certain areas within Plas Coch we looked to increase light levels with higher wattage LED floodlights and in other areas we looked to maintain the light levels, installing more efficient lamps to provide comparable light output at a reduced wattage. This has ensured the lighting system serves the design goals of the space in each specific place, bearing in mind both the needs of highly pedestrianised areas and high traffic usage areas.

We are also controlling our energy usage for external lighting further with our energy management software systems, photocells (light sensors) and time clocks. This way we are able to control the hours the lighting system is used, eliminating waste and reducing energy usage.

Significant operating cost savings of £1500 per annum will result in our ability to pay for the £5k investment, calculating at just under 3.5 years payback. Our consumption savings from Stage One will total over 11,000kwh, which equates to almost 4 ton of C02. Excellent results!

Stage Two is now in planning for Crispin Lane along with other areas of priority and will be rolled out shortly.

If you have any questions or suggestions on this article or anything energy related, please email us at: energy&

The Carbon Management Team, Fiona Begg & Paul Wright ,

would love to hear from you!

More sustainable news

Two major carbon reduction Salix Funded projects.

The Salix funded projects took place June to October 2013 for lighting and heating to further improve our carbon reduction targets.

Salix Finance Ltd delivers 100% interest-free capital to the public sector to improve their energy efficiency and reduce their carbon emissions. Salix was established in 2004 as an independent, publicly funded company, dedicated to providing the public sector with loans for energy efficiency projects. 

Summer Students Debate Global Climate Change

The cohort of Glyndŵr University summer students argued from varying perspectives for different nations, including the United States, China, India and Iraq, as part of an assessment on Energy Systems and Sustainable Environment.

Among the viewpoints they gave were that of a farmer, a city trader, green activists and a politician.

Senior lecturer David Sprake praised the students for engaging in the contest, held at the University’s Wrexham campus.

Read more here


Insight Into £2.5 Million Solar Technology Project

The Legacy solar farm became the first of its kind in Wales when it opened in 2015 and is estimated to generate enough electricity to power approximately 700 homes every year.

As well as having the opportunity to walk around the site, the students got to hear from some of those at Wrexham Council about the technologies and benefits of the scheme.

The Legacy solar farm will reduce the carbon footprint of otherwise using fossil fuel by 1,300 tonnes of CO2 (the driver behind climate change) a year– the equivalent of travelling 32½million miles by train during the life of the project.

 Read more here


Lighting Refurbishment

Replacing existing lamps with lower wattage, more energy efficient, T5 fittings.

Upgrade of Library LED & T5 Lighting Project - bringing environmental benefits along with saving money.  Lighting in the library is in use for many hours throughout the year hence was of particular interest for a modernisation program.

The work was completed out of normal operating hours, which ensured minimal disruption to staff and students.

The project involved a combination of LED and T5 lamps, replacement and conversion fittings. This entailed replacing the primary working components within the light fixtures (i.e. newer energy-efficient lamps and ballasts), redesigning fixtures for a different configuration of lamps, ballasts, and reflectors and replacing existing fixtures with new, more efficient ones.

Proposed savings achieved will reduce our library lighting energy costs by 40-60%. In addition, the lighting retrofit project will save on maintenance costs, because the replacement lights are used and their components have a much longer lifecycle than the previous ones. Additional savings will come from daylight sensors so that lights can automatically turn off when daylight gives sufficient brightness in certain areas.

The project completed by the end of August 2013. The outcomes beyond energy savings will include improved student and employee workspace areas, brighter reading conditions, increased safety and accident prevention and improved customer satisfaction.


Spider and Arachnids Survey

Carl Payne Wildlife & Plant Biology Graduate teamed up with the North Wales Wildlife Trust and Cofnod to organise a survey of spiders and other arachnids on the Northop campus site. It was conducted by Richard Gallon - arachnologist and biological data officer from Cofnod a local environmental recording agency from Llandudno, on the 27th May 2017. The session was open to WGU students and the public. Richards’s session included spider ID, general techniques, an arachnid survey around campus and then running through some microscopy identification to record at species level.

Recording techniques and volunteering opportunities were discussed and a request for a Bio-blitz was made to the local branch of the North Wales Wildlife Trust - Clywydian branch committee that organises local events.

The link between the University and other organisations involved in conservation activities is exciting. It will raise the potential for students within Wildlife & Plant Biology and Ecology, Geography and Conservation to volunteer, learn new skills, network and understand the ecosystems within the area.


Insulation of Heating and Hot Water Pipework & Fittings - Plas Coch Site, Wrexham.

The project started end of August 2013 and was completed end of October 2013. It consisted of thermal insulation to reduce heat loss which in turn will improve the performance of the heating system and reduce gas consumption, thus reducing the University’s carbon emissions.

The work was carried out within the Plas Coch Campus in the ducts and main boiler house and  comprised of the supply and installation of thermal insulation of valves, flanges, heat exchangers and pipework within the low/medium temperature hot water heating system (80 - 120°C) and duty hot water system.

Project Update:  In line with the Heating Policy the heating has been switched on since mid-October. The monitoring timetables, optimisation settings and heating set points have already been altered / reduced in this period alone as the heating system is performing exceptionally well. Data is currently being analysed.

Salix were so impressed by our project that they are currently using it as a case study presenting to Town & Community Councils.

Water – Colliers Park

Investigations into meter reading billings resulted in disconnection of an unused meter at the end of October 2013. This will result in substantial savings per annum. 

Water – Plas Coch Hockey Pitch

The construction of our international water-based hockey pitch.

One of the conditions we stipulated with the building contractors was that the topsoil they removed was to be recycled or reused rather than go to a waste landfill site.

The topsoil was then transported for reuse at a housing development in the Wrexham area for reinstatement work and the formation of gardens.

This is just one example of how Wrexham Glyndŵr University is always actively looking for ways to promote growth within the community and to support the environment.

A water refund from Dee Valley Water has been refunded in October 2013 for the international hockey pitch’s non-return to sewer allowance.

A 45% allowance has been granted in addition to the current standard 5% allowance already in place making a total of 50% non-return to sewer allowance.

A sub meter was installed to enable accurate usage readings to be obtained for a whole billing year and from analysing the hockey pitch’s consumption alongside the main meter figures billed upon from Dee Valley Water, the trade effluent officer was able to complete his assessment. This allowance will be on going and reflected in our future invoices.


Electricity Sub Meter - Wrexham Football Stadium

Investigations were completed into meter reading billings, resulting in a refund from Scottish Power.

In December, the electricity account for supply at Wrexham Football Stadium was corrected, as it was confirmed that a previously charged meter was in fact a Sub Meter and should never have been billed.

Scottish Power Business Energy Team apologised for the errors that occurred. 

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