Environmental Performance Report 2018/19
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
An overview of the University’s environmental performance targets
Achieved ISO 14001 and EcoCampus accreditations in August 2019.
|Target||Continual improvement through a programme of internal and external audits in 2019.|
|Progress||We achieved ISO 14001 and EcoCampus accreditations in August 2019|
|Evidence||Comments from External Auditor: 'This audit found the general standard of environmental management at the University to be very high, and the implementation of the environmental management system robust. It is apparent that the University takes both its environmental commitments and the functioning of the Environmental Management System very seriously, and there are solid processes in place to communicate information throughout the organisation'|
The Green Team grew in membership and delivered a comprehensive calendar of engagement events for Staff and Students
|Target||Increased communication on environmental and sustainability issues across the University|
|Progress||The Green Team grew in membership and delivered a comprehensive calendar of engagement events for Staff and Students|
The Green Team successfully launched the University’s second Community Fridge on the De Havilland Campus. As part of the launch event the Green Team organised for a chef to run cooking demonstrations and had local sustainable suppliers run stalls promoting sustainable living.
Have a clear reporting structure with a working Group and Steering group bringing together stakeholders from across the university
By 2020, we want to have refreshed and embedded the environmental management system across the University. To achieve this, we will build a sense of community and focus on schemes such as waste recycling (particularly plastics and food)
|Progress||Have a clear reporting structure with a working Group and Steering group bringing together stakeholders from across the university and these groups involves focus on core golden threads like waste and recycling that every school and SBU have influence over.|
Sustainable Events – The Careers Team have made the decision to not giveaway promotional items except for sweets. As well as saving budget this has reduced their negative impact on the environment. However, the team have gone even further by contacting their stallholders and asking them not to provide single-use items as giveaways with the exceptions of reusable items such as pens, cups, water bottles and sweets.
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
Sustainability student placement case studies
Join the Health, Safety and Sustainability Office in September 2017
Assistant to the Environment and Sustainability Team
My placement at the University of Hertfordshire gave me the opportunity to work in an intense and evolving Environmental setting. This gave me key experience in environmental audits, thinking outside the box and implementing environmental schemes to encourage people to care and get involved in protecting our environment.
I am now an Environmental Advisor at McGee Group who are a civil engineering company in London and have worked on such projects as Heathrow and Wembley Stadium. The skills and experience I gained at the University of Hertfordshire were a key reason in why I got this job as experience in the field of work was a standout in the interview stage. I .now looking to progress my career in the environmental sector and achieve goals I have set myself in the coming years.
Joined the Health, Safety and Sustainability Office in September 2018.
Assistant to the Environment and Sustainability Team.
As Assistant to the Environment and Sustainability Team, I was involved in managing relations with students and staff around organisational sustainability and environmental change at the University. I re-shaped the HSS team's presence through communication channels, such as Instagram and Twiter. Various engagement and environmental change projects were implemented across the year, raising awareness of our Environment policy and Sustainability projects, as well as keeping the topic of sustainability relevant. Engagement is a vital part of the University's Environmental Management System and this work helped to maintain the University's accreditation to ISO 14001:2015 and platinum status with the EcoCampus framework.
One successful project was the founding of a student Green Team at the University called 'The Green Movement'. This team increased from 30 to over 70 members within a year and have racked up over 800 hours of volunteer time since October 2018. The team spreads sustainable lifestyle tips for other students and staff, linking up with local business' and the environmental charity Hubbub. Students get involved in various projects promoting and actively making environmental improvements at the University. The Team also raises money for local charities, such as Earthworks St. Albans. Some events we have hosted include an Environment fair, Vegan tasting evening, a Fairtrade bake sale and Environmental Talks.
I've gained a plethora of skills during my placement role, some of these include; refined communication and presentation skills, creative thinking, problem-solving, professionalism and leadership. Not to mention valuable knowledge and auditing training, regarding Environmental Management Systems. I wish to take these important life-skills with me into the next chapter of my life. I am currently in search of a graduate job and I am keen to continue my journey of learning in the Sustainability sector.
Get involved by contacting us at email@example.com.