Environmental Performance Report 2018/19

Introduction

The environment is vital for businesses and organisations of all sizes. The University of Hertfordshire recognises the impact our operations have and, as such, takes our impact on the environment extremely seriously.

As you’ll see from this year’s Environmental Performance Report, we’ve had many successes. Together we’ve achieved – or are on track to achieve – many of our targets.

We recognise there’s still a lot more we can do, so we've also highlighted areas for improvement and our objectives for the year ahead. We’re confident that we have the structure, systems and ambition to deliver on these targets.

This report updates the University's progress on its environmental performance as published in the annual Estates Management Statistics (August 2018 to July 2019), which cover the University's academic estate. It also outlines how the University is living our sustainability and environmental policy.

United Nations sustainable development goals

Our report details how the University is applying the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

At the University of Hertfordshire, we have an opportunity to shape the professional identities of our students, by helping to future proof our society for the better, through our engagement with the Sustainable Development Goals. Our sustainable approach is designed to ensure our students graduate with a critical-ethical behaviour and systems-thinking mindset. To achieve this we will aim to have a ‘whole-institution’ approach where the Sustainable Development Goals are driven by the student community such as the Green Team and other groups/societies. We have the fundamental basics of the Sustainable Development Goals threaded through every element of our organisation; access to basic knowledge, access to information and communications, health and wellbeing, ecosystem sustainability and incorporate them into our certification to ISO14001. The University has demonstrated continued improvements on our approach to our environment and sustainability agenda.  Using examples we can demonstrate how this looks across the campuses. Through the Environmental Steering Group, the senior team set and drive the Environmental Objectives, disseminating key information across members of our University Community. The management structure supports and guides Academic Schools and Strategic Business Units as they lead on their own initiatives, for example, the work by the School of Creative Arts has focused on Furniture Reuse and Student engagement campaigns and work from our Estates Team has continually improved their approaches to managing utilities and waste streams. Further achievements are listed within the report. Our forward look for 2019/20 lists steps we will take to build on this year's achievements.

Our top achievements are:

  • Achievement 1 – The Green Movement – Over 400 hours of volunteering with 70 members
  • Achievement 2 – Finalists in the Green Gown Awards Research with Impact 2019
  • Achievement 3 – Achieved 4 ‘best practices’ in the surveillance External Surveillance Audit for ISO14001:2015
  • Achievement 4 – 53% reduction in waste produced from Academic Buildings since 2015
  • Achievement 5 – Appointment of a Biodiversity specialist adviser

European sustainability goals

Key sustainable drivers

What does 2019/2020 look like?

  • Integration of the Sustainable Development Goals into the Environmental Strategy
  • Continual improvement through a programme of internal and external audits in 2020
  • Develop the Biodiversity Action Plan and the complete certification through the Green Flag initiative

Meet the team

Turning our sustainable vision into reality

  • Monica Kanwar, Director of Health, Safety and Sustainability
  • Tracey Russell, Assistant Director Campus Services
  • Thomas Andrews, Head of Facilities
  • Scott Copsey, Travel Planner
  • Mike Toft, Energy Manager
  • Sarah Claypole, Health, Safety and Sustainability Adviser
  • Paul Davis, Health, Safety and Sustainability Adviser

Get involved by contacting us at sustainable@herts.ac.uk.