Environmental awareness and protection
As we enter into a new year, EPALE enters into a new theme! Our main theme this month will be environmental awareness and protection and what better way to celebrate it than to celebrate eco-friendly adult education providers?
Universities, colleges and schools can produce a huge amount of waste and with many students joining forces with groups like Extinction Rebellion, it has never been more important for education providers to take a tough stance against climate change. This blog post provides insight into the environmental approach of four universities across Wales.
Wales is known for its rolling green valleys and vast national parks, hosting a beautiful collection of natural spaces that residents and visitors alike are keen to preserve. Swansea University takes this responsibility to new heights, putting environmental protection at the top of its list of priorities.
Last year, the institution was voted as one of the top ten greenest universities in the UK. It has ensured that progression in environmental processes and studies has been put at the forefront of operations, proving commitment through environmental management, enhancing biodiversity on both of its campuses and increasing recycling. The university also invests in sustainable travel, bringing the Santander cycle hire scheme to the entire city – not just to students and staff – enabling the community to positively impact on carbon emissions. In fact, the university plans to reduce carbon emissions by 35% by 2026.
Swansea University is surrounded by stunning scenery and well placed to be a green hub. It utilises environmental progression by passing on knowledge through teaching and learning of sustainability courses, preparing the next generation to approach climate change positively.
Ranked 22nd in the global league tables for the world’s greenest universities, Bangor University proves itself to be an environmental champion. The institution continues to reduce energy use and carbon emissions on an annual basis, and recycles a significant amount of waste. Sustainability is reflected in every aspect of their services, ensuring that the environment and its needs are accounted for during every stage of strategic planning.
There is a Sustainability Lab on campus that provides a focal point for leading on sustainability within the grounds of the university. The lab aims to promote sustainability through research, business and enterprise activities, and to collaborate with other universities in Wales to maximise benefit for the nation.
University of South Wales
USW invites students to give their opinion on what should change on campus to make the university more eco-friendly. More recycling bins have been installed and an agreement has been reached that when the existing showerheads and toilet flushes break, they will be replaced by more sustainable models. In a bid to reduce waste going to landfill, paper towels have been removed from food preparation areas.
A student group championing sustainability has been set up to enable students to have an even more direct effect on decisions made. The Student’s Union has also been galvanised to drive change, preparing to open a zero waste shop in Treforest.
Cardiff Metropolitan University
This institution has made headway by providing sustainable catering on campus – the university works closely with local food producers to increase the supply of seasonal and organic food that doesn’t create a ton of pollution to arrive on the plates of students and staff. But they don’t stop there – they aim to reduce packaging waste and increase composting associated with catering too. Keep A Cup, a scheme to reduce coffee cup waste, has also been introduced.
Once a month, the university hosts a farmers market on campus, drawing local food growers that offer a diverse range of products. Fruit, vegetables, honey and organic sausage rolls are sold to the community, allowing residents outside of the university to enjoy their initiatives too.
This blog post is the first in a series focusing on adult learning in Wales. Revisit this page to find a link to the next blog post soon.
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